NH Lawmakers Mock, Reject 4th-Graders' Bill

One rep linked state bird bill to Planned Parenthood
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2015 1:57 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2015 7:38 AM CDT
NH Lawmakers Mock, Reject 4th-Graders' Bill
A red-tailed hawk flies over bird-watchers.   (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael S. Wirtz)

A group of fourth-grade students taken to the New Hampshire State House to watch a vote on a bill they proposed ended up getting an excellent lesson in politics last week—but it certainly wasn't an inspiring one. The Lincoln Akerman School students were present as lawmakers criticized and then rejected their bill to make the red-tailed hawk the New Hampshire state raptor, which one representative somehow linked to abortion, CBS reports. The bird, which preys on small rodents, "grasps them with its talons and then uses its razor-sharp beak to rip its victims to shreds and then basically tear it apart, limb from limb," said Republican Rep. Warren Groen as students looked on. "And I guess the shame about making this the state bird is it would make a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood."

Rep. John Burt, another Republican, said lawmakers should focus on more important issues, NH1 reports. "If we keep bringing more of these bills and bills and bills that really I feel we shouldn’t have in front of us, we’ll be picking a state hot dog next," he said. The bill, which had already passed the Environment and Agriculture Committee, was turned down by a vote of 133-160. At Vox, New Hampshire native Dylan Matthews isn't surprised by the lawmakers' behavior. With 400 members, the state House of Representatives is one of the biggest legislatures in the English-speaking world, he notes. And with the part-time lawmakers paid just $100 a year, it's both easy and unappealing to get elected, "so you can imagine the caliber of politician New Hampshire is left with," he writes. (Utah lawmakers recently OKed the return of firing squads.)

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