Natalie Wells’ View From Concord, June 2022

By Natalie Wells

As this House Session comes to an end, I want to thank all the constituents of Andover, Danbury, Salisbury, Warner, and Webster for putting your trust in me as your State Representative these past two years and in 2016-2018. I say this now as my District will be changing to Warner, Bradford, and Henniker.

I’m highlighting a few bills that I feel will protect the New Hampshire citizen, give New Hampshire families choices for their children’s education, voter integrity, and put an end to federal mandate restrictions.

Education, SB381: Will establish an office of the advocate for special education. Many parents of children with disabilities reached out to the legislators to have a bill pass that will allow an advocate to be a voice for them. These advocates will not be linked to any school district or Department of Education. They will provide annual reports to the Governor, the House, and the Senate with advice for improving services to families.

Education, SB234: Requiring student identification cards to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for public schools and institutions of higher education.  It will also include the three-digit national suicide prevention hotline number, 988, that will be available across the United States starting on July 16. Any and all information is confidential and offers support for people in distress.  It will be known as the Jason Dickey Suicide Prevention Act. The House was privileged to honor Jason’s parents who appeared at our session with a unanimous passage of this bill.

Election Law, SB418:  For Voter Integrity. Currently New Hampshire does not require a voter registering on Election Day to present any form of ID. They can be handed a ballot in exchange for signing a paper, the Affidavit Ballot, without any form of ID. This bill requires anyone registering to vote on Election Day to present an ID, or they must vote using an Affidavit Ballot. They will have seven days to produce proper ID, or their ballot will be removed and the vote subtracted from the total. For military concerns, the Secretary of State testified his office can accommodate getting those ballots in a timely fashion.

In early May, the FDA announced plans to force one single COVID shot on everyone every year.  However, New Hampshire Republican Representatives Osborne and Layon introduced an Amendment to HB407. This floor amendment adds HB1210.  Without this passage, a New Hampshire citizen would not even have the choice of Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson; the FDA would only allow one. If New Hampshire were to comply, exemptions claimed for religious or medical reasons would not be allowed. Interestingly, the Amendment passed 162 to 153. However, with this Amendment attached, it passed 295 to 28. We have fought back for the New Hampshire people against federal mandates.

The Speaker of the House, Sherman Packard, stated, “while other states are wrestling with poor job growth and their struggling economies, New Hampshire is leading the way and is on track to a fully recovered economy pre-COVID. Our unemployment rate is at 2.5%, we have added 3,200 more jobs, and our labor force has grown by 1,960.” This has all happened by a Republican legislature who believes in loosening burdensome business regulations and cutting taxes, which will benefit the hardworking men and women of the Granite State. Just like our own family’s budgets, the state has remained fiscally responsible.

To summarize, the New Hampshire legislature had bills that were bipartisan, bills along party lines, but most importantly to me is that my vote was for the constituents who shared the same moral compass as did I. It has been a privilege to serve Merrimack 25. I’ve come to know many of you personally. We may not have agreed on certain bills, but respect was exchanged. I truly loved knocking on doors in all of your towns.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at 603 456-2873 or May you have a wonderful and thankful Fourth of July,