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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

NH businesses, educators: anti-LGBTQ bills hurting kids, economy

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Monday, April 29, 2024   

Some New Hampshire businesses and educators say legislation targeting LGBTQ+ students is harming both kids and the state's economy as it faces a critical worker shortage.

More than two hundred businesses recently signed on to a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu saying the steady drumbeat of bills targeting transgender youths in particular is tarnishing the state's reputation.

Michelle Veasey, executive director of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, said the bills are shortsighted.

"When our families don't feel comfortable and aren't happy, our employees are moving to other areas," Veasey pointed out. "We felt it was important to help them to understand the economic side of these decisions."

Veasey argued discriminatory policies make it harder for companies to recruit new workers to the state or convince young people to remain in New Hampshire to pursue their careers.

The New Hampshire Senate has advanced legislation to ban transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams as well as a measure requiring teachers to inform parents about their child's behavior at school.

While the bill does not single out LGBTQ+ students, educators say it would require them to share information regarding a student's gender identity or sexual orientation.

Linds Jakows, communications and digital director for Granite State Progress and 603 Equality, said too often, such students are forced into homelessness by disapproving parents.

"This bill could have really dangerous consequences for students for whom home is not a safe place right now," Jakows emphasized.

Jakows pointed out it meant the world to have a teacher in high school to come out to when it wasn't possible at home and schools should be a safe space for all students. Jakows added forcing teachers to record what they see and hear in the hallways erodes trust among students and could drive more teachers from the profession.

Disclosure: The Granite State Progress Education Fund and Granite State Progress contribute to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Gun Violence Prevention, Health Issues, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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