Politics

Fourth Graders' Bill Shot Down By New Hampshire Legislators

| by Kendal Mitchell
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The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a bill written and proposed by a group of fourth graders on Thursday, but not before mocking and ridiculing it.

A class from Lincoln Akerman Elementary School in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, visited the state capital on a school field trip to learn about the legislative process.

The class wrote a proposal to make the red-tailed hawk the New Hampshire official state raptor, CBS Boston reports.

The bill failed to pass, with a vote of 133 in favor and 160 in opposition. 

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While the Environment and Agriculture Committee voted to approve the measure, many in the state representatives voiced their objections.

Rep. Christy Bartlett, from Concord, said she thinks house committees have more pressing issues, like the state budget, to consider than the one proposed by the elementary school class.

“I realize this may put me in hot water with fourth grader teachers and students in our state,” Bartlett said.

Another lawmaker agreed. 

"Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn't have in front of us, we'll be picking a state hot dog next," said Rep. John Burt.

One representative used the bill to voice his opposition against the Planned Parenthood organization.

Rep. Warren Groen said he thinks the red-tailed hawk is a violent animal that shreds its victims with its razor sharp talons.

“And I guess the shame about making this the state bird is it would make a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood,” Groen said.

Others said they supported the bill because they wanted the students to see the rewards of contributing to the legislative process.

“Being involved in the process of creating a bill, however, is powerfully educational,” said Rep. Peter Bixby. “And our constitution explicitly states that education is the foundation of a civil society. I would argue that fostering education in this way is in fact a very worthy use of our time.”

Sources: CBS Boston, NH1

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons, Flickr