CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – April 7, House Republicans blocked an effort to remove language from House Bill 2 that mirrors House Bill 544, a bill that would ban individuals, agencies including schools, and businesses contracted with the state from speaking on certain “divisive concepts” like race and sex. Following the vote, Rep. Jean Jeudy (D-Manchester), released the following statement:
“Inclusion of HB 544 in the State Budget is a disturbing abuse of power. This legislation is the direct result of a dangerous executive order from former President Trump to restrict the free speech of private businesses, teachers, and government agencies from merely acknowledging the existence of discrimination in our society. Plain and simple, HB 544 is unconstitutional. Today on the House Floor, Republican proponents of the legislation acknowledged that it will be subject to court challenges and has been deemed unconstitutional before.
This legislation is an affront to democracy and to the safety of our society for marginalized people. House Republicans have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to ignore diversity and even actively suppress it by trying to ram through this evil legislation in the budget. As Democrats, we celebrate the diversity that makes America and New Hampshire a wonderful place to live and we reject any attempts to undermine it.
If you spent a day in my shoes you would know why it is so important to educate people about racism.”