Monday, February 28, 2011
Farmington, NH March 2011 Voting Information

The Town of Farmington annual report is out. We put it into Scribed and you can view the town budegt as well as the town warrants for election day, Tuesday, March 8th. The polling station is open from 8AM to 7PM that day. On Wednesday, March 9th, at 7PM, the town meeting takes place downtown at the Old Town Hall(now the Rec. Dept.), where all attendees vote on the warrants from election day. Please take the time to vote and attend the town meeting.

Go here for town voter information from the Town Clerk.

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Farmington School District Warrant & Budget Forms2011

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You can also view either at the Farmington NH website here.
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Friday, February 25, 2011
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Please write to ask House Education Committee Members to Oppose HB 370!

Just last year, New Hampshire passed an anti-bullying law to provide enhanced protections for New Hampshire students. Now, before it can even be fully implemented, lawmakers are trying to weaken this law by eliminating crucial protections. Committee members now and ask them to oppose HB 370, as it would endanger students and enable school bullying.

The New Hampshire Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act (2010), updated our previous law (2000). The new law gets an A++ rating from Bully Police USA, a watchdog organization that advocates for bullied children and reports on state anti-bullying laws.

The newly proposed HB 370 would weaken the NH Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2010 in three important ways:

* Eliminate important language from the Purpose section. This language lists characteristics which are frequently targeted by bullies, such as sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, making it clear this law is meant to protect ALL students.

* Eliminate the notice waiver provisions. The law requires notification be given to parents when bullying occurs, but it allows school officials to waive this requirement based on student safety concerns. This is incredibly important for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students, who may face terrible repercussions if they are “outed” through notification.

* Eliminate protection outside of school. Currently, the law protects students from incident that occur outside of school if those incidents disrupt the school or a student’s education, such as cyberbullying or bullying while traveling to and from school.

There is simply no good reason to pass this bill! It needlessly endangers students and prevents effective implementation of the anti-bullying protections passed last year. Email Committee members today and let them know you oppose HB 370.

There will be a House Education Committee hearing on this dangerous bill on March 1st at 1:00PM in the Capital at LOB 207. If you can make it, come testify against this measure! All New Hampshire students deserve effective anti-bullying protections. For more information, you can contact Alison Gill, GLSEN Public Policy Associate at

Email Your Local Representative Now. It's easy to do. A letter is provided for you and can be customized to include your own thoughts.
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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Voice for Animals Feral Cat Info Program
Hard economic times have lead to a huge increase in abandoned pets, particularly cats, which then reproduce frequently and become nuisances and health hazards to entire neighborhoods. If you are you a cat lover and worried about all the strays in our community or would like to find a better way to control this situation, please come hear hear what Candy Burrell of Voice for Animals has to say about her work in the trap, spay, neuter, and release process (TNR). You will learn how local shelters and dedicated individuals are working to solve this problem and what you can do to help these abandoned animals. Don’t miss this fascinating talk being hosted at the Goodwin Library.

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In 1969, Fred Rogers(aka Mister Rogers) appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications to issue a public statement. It happened to be filmed and is the video embedded above. His goal that day was to support funding for PBS, in response to significant proposed cuts by then sitting President Nixon.

He isn't around any longer to fight for his life's work or for PBS(he died in 2003), but those of us that grew up with him on the television screen are. We need to to be his voice, his voice of reason, and keep Public broadcasting alive and well funded. Follow the link below to find out what you can do.
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February 10, 2011

In attendance 7:08 pm: Billie and Martin;Stephanie, Roger, Kyle, Stan, Rachel, Manny and Joyce.

Martin moved to accept minutes as presented; Steph seconded; ayes have it.

Billie moved to accept Treasurer's report as presented; Stan seconded;ayes again.

Old Business:

Kyle explained domain name strategy--sites offer domain names separately for $10-$12. An eco friendly domain site offsets maintenance energy usage (servers), for instance, Fat has a wind energy offset of 100% for $12.99/year.

Suggested or .org. A .com is slightly cheaper than .org. Consensus is to try for the .ORG, after discussion: motion by Martin and second by Rachel. So, the site url would look like this: and would not be case-sensitive.

Kyle:blog stats to date(one month)=279 hits with 53 in the last 10 days, mostly in the USA. He asks that people write some political limericks or cartoons for the blog, because the lighter stuff gets more hits. Steph will compile some economic cartoons and send them to Kyle. Do we want to be connected to the Farmington Town website? Stan thinks we should ask if it could happen. Also connect Steph's site to the Farmington Dems. Steph suggested we open a Cafe Press shop for democrat paraphernalia like t-shirts and mugs. She currently has one design.

Who wants to become a blog author? Stephanie and Manny do, so far. Kyle will post stuff for us if we want, or we can post our own. It might be faster if we post our own due to his work load.
Our Facebook page has links to smart vote, etc.Do we have any causes or campaigns to be featured? If we currently have none, he will take the page down for now so it doesn't seem stale.Rachel:can we go to the committee section and it will give you the list of what's in committee currently? Yes. A permanent page tab added to for bills listed.

For all of us to do:

Please "like" Farmington Dems facebook page. We need 25 fans/likes to get a shorter url.

{Joyce needs to email all member email addresses to all members so we are connected.}

New Business: 

Activities for the next 6 months

Community Garden idea-could the dems sponsor it? Manny will contact Conley at the Conservation Commission to find out the best location for a garden. We will need selectman approval to use it, also.

Stephanie to do: check on availability of grant funds for this community garden. Stan moved we pursue the garden idea, seconded by Rachel,agreed.

Letters to the Editor-Kyle. Pertaining to upcoming bills and votes. email connections to other activists is cross marketing for our blog/site and widens our audience and other groups' audiences. Blue Hampshire site-you must pay to get on there. How about UNH's Young Democrats? Yes, connect,Kyle, please!

Petitions:Kyle changed their site for the better. Pools petitions. Look at petitions there. Tools there to help a person create their own petition.

Important local events:vote on March 8. Town Meeting March 9. Can we get help

For the library budget? How about CAP and the COAST system?

Kyle will call the Town Clerk to find out when the annual report will be available. He'll check on whether there'll be an electronic copy also.

Steph-can we get Carol Shea-Porter to speak? How about a Pot Luck meet and greet for us? Community Art Project, ie a mural somewhere. Day in the Life of Farmington digipix...grant money available?

Martin-in April discuss some of these ideas (put on the agenda)

Billie-how about George Bald, economic director of NH.Martin-how about Governor Lynch? Let's all work on these topics.

Kyle can create a sub-blog for private musings if and when we want it.

Next meeting will be April 14 and then June 9 and then August 11, at 7 pm at the Old Town Hall aka Rec Dept.

Motion to adjourn by Martin, seconded by Many, adjourned at 8:50 pm.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011
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We have an opportunity to act in support of New Hampshire Peace Action. Will Hopkins has asked that we contact our Representatives to the Democratic National Committee and ask them to support a Resolution being sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee that calls for rapid withdrawal of American combat forces from Afghanistan. Representative Lee will ask the Democratic National Committee to adopt that as the policy of the Democratic Party. The vote will be a week from this coming Saturday when the Democratic National Committee meets.

Our two Committee Representatives are Kathy Sullivan and Peter Burling.

Kathy can be reached by e-mail at
Peter Burling can be reached at

Please consider sending each of them,a brief email asking them to support the Resolution. or could also call each of them, if you have a phone number, and ask that they support Barbara Lee’s Resolution. When you contact them, it would be helpful if you identify yourself as being from Progressive New Hampshire.

For more information on NH Peace Action, visit
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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Hearing-House Judiciary Committee on Marriage Equality In NH 2011

Representatives Hall is packed right now. Estimates are that seven hundred and fifty people showed up at the House Judiciary Committee meeting regarding marriage equality in NH. Accounts from those at the event say fifty people from the other side of the aisle chose to show up to voice their opposition to GLBT marriage and 700 people were on hand to defend marriage equality. One of the latest tweets from the NH Freedom To Marry Coalition Twitter account says the committee declared that everyone that wants to speak today, will speak today. That means about five more hours(it is about 4PM now) of testimony, according to the committee chair. Check out the NH Freedom To Marry Coalition website, NH Freedom To Marry Coalition Twitter account(they are tweeting from the committee room to give updates), and the Stand Up For NH Families site below. Join these great orgs and join the marriage equality fight!

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Monday, February 14, 2011
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A message from Jackie Cilley.
~The Strafford County Democratic Committee

Another week, another round of assaults on students, women, working families, the environment, you name it and it is on the docket. It is an almost Herculean task to highlight the innumerable pieces of legislation that will damage our New Hampshire way of life and our standard of living. So, I hope that you will bear with me as I attempt to shine a spotlight on some of the most important pieces of legislation that will be taken up in committees this week.

For a full list of all of the bills that will be heard in both House and Senate committees, please go to the end of this overly lengthy e-mail. I have highlighted in yellow those things that appear to affect the greatest number of citizens and are the most damaging. However, you may find more that concern you and you may even find some that you want to support (though the truth be told, there appears to be precious few of those these days). If you would like more information on any of the legislation that you see in the list, you may want to go to the General Court website to read the bill itself. If you would like more information after having read the legislation, please feel free to contact me and I will either offer some information about it or put you in contact with someone more expert on a specific topic. Also, if you need help contacting any of the committee members or your own legislators, I will be happy to assist.

I would also encourage you to go to each of the calendars (the links to which I provide below) in order to see the bills on the floors of each chamber this week.

Most Important Bills This Week:

On Thursday, February 17 at 10:30 a.m. in Representative's Hall the House Judiciary will take up three bills related to marriage equality. These include HB 437, HB 443 and HB 569. Each of these bills seeks to strip a right that our gay and lesbian friends, family members and neighbors have been given. As the UNH/Survey Center poll of last week clearly demonstrated the overwhelming majority of our citizens believe that these rights should not be repealed (64% say leave the law alone). This is not the New Hampshire way, yet idealogues on the Judiciary Committee and among the new legislators are pressing forward regardless.

The words of Rep. Lenette Peterson, a member of the House Judiciary, should strike fear in the hearts of any citizen. When she was asked why she supported repeal of marriage equality (which she indicated that she did in response to a constituent's request that she oppose such efforts) her response was as follows: " where in the NH Constitution is the word marriage, it is not a Constitutional Right. There is a definition of what marriage is in the Bible. I suggest you read your Constitution and you will see what rights you have."

You don't have to be a supporter of marriage equality to see just how dangerous this thinking is. At the risk of sounding alarmist, I don't think it is a leap to suggest that this kind of governance is what leads to theocracies. I don't want to be ruled by someone else's Bible or their interpretation of the Bible and I sure don't want my children and grandchildren subjected to this.

Please do everything that you can to attend the hearing on Thursday, February 17 in Representative's Hall and to register your opposition to these bills. It is vitally important for as many citizens as possible to be there, not only to have their voices heard, but to hear the voices of these legislators in their own words. If you are able to make the hearings, I would appreciate your letting me know so that we can get an estimate of the number of folks attending as well as assist in carpooling effots.

There are a number of troublesome environmental bills that will either be heard or voted out of Committee this week. Chief among these is the repeal of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. While costing the average ratepayer a mere 34 centers per month, this bill has lead to the generation of approximately $28 million that has been put to use on energy conservation projects for businesses and residents as well as the creation of dozens of jobs in the state of New Hampshire. The bottom line story on RGGI is that our citizens will pay more for the energy costs even if we opt out and repeal will lead to the loss of millions of dollars and numerous jobs. Please contact the members of the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee and ask them to vote against HB 519-FN.

On Thursday, February 17 the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee will hear HB 470-FN that will repeal the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act. On the same day, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources will hear two bills, SB 124 and SB 154, that would each reduce the requirements of the CSPA (SB 154 suggests the most sweeping changes). The Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act was originally enacted in 1991. The legislature at that time, and in every year since, viewed the protection of the environmental integrity as well as the economic value of our bodies of water in NH as sufficiently important to warrant restricting to a greater or lesser degree the management of shoreland property. The repeal of this law would undoubtedly result in the degredation of our water bodies. Please contact the members of the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee to ask that they oppose the repeal of CSPA.

There are also a number of bills that will mandate that New Hampshire opt out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act as well as one in the NH Senate that will mandate that the NH Attorney General join the lawsuit of several other states (SB 148 that will be heard along with other Senate bills opting out of the law on Tuesday, February 22). Perhaps the most effective steps that you can take to support the new federal healthcare law is to contact your own legislators and senator and ask that s/he oppose any attempts to mandate that New Hampshire opt out. Let them know that seniors are already benefitting from this law that closes the donut hole, that students up to age 26 are now covered by their parents insurance and that insurance companies can no longer drop someone's coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

I apologize for the length of this, but there are so many pieces of potentially harmful legislation being voted on currently that I thought you might want to know about them. Let me know if you think these are helpful and if there is any other way that I and others can assist in keeping you informed and involved.

Thank you for all that you do.

Jackie Cilley

For the complete House calendar go to:
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Sunday, February 13, 2011
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This information below was re-posted here from the newsletter of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Earlier in the week, Republicans were on the attack once again. Not only did they go after public kindergarten, but the also voted to force the Attorney General to join the federal lawsuit against national health insurance reform. But that was just through Wednesday!

The Job Killing Repeal of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
On Thursday, Republicans took aim at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI has not only created scores of jobs in New Hampshire, but it has also lowered the state's energy consumption by the equivalent of nearly 1,500 households. That saves money for New Hampshire families and small businesses.

Additionally, repeal of RGGI would have a substantially negative impact on state finances and cost taxpayers money. Regardless of New Hampshire's involvement, neighboring states will continue to participate, maintaining current energy market prices. But New Hampshire will no longer be eligible to share in the proceeds from the regional auction, estimated at a minimum of 13 million dollars.

During just its first twenty four months, RGGI has created jobs, reduced pollution, and saved taxpayer money. Repealing this program would hurt our New Hampshire's economy and harm our state's beautiful natural resources. Be sure to write to your legislator today to tell them to vote against the job-killing repeal of RGGI!

What's Next?

The Republicans Right to Ruin the Middle Class
This week, an amendment on "so-called" Right-To-Work bill was pushed through the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee too quickly. This amendment never went before the subcommittee, and will instead go straight to the floor next week. This amendment will drastically change the "Right-To-Work" bill. The amendment will radically downshift costs, and as a result cities and towns will have to pay more and create chaos within the workplace, at default budget and town meeting deliberations.

This bill would be devastating to working families and the middle class, and would hurt wages, health care, and employee security.

It will be coming to the floor of the House for debate next Tuesday, and we hope you will come out and show your support for the labor movement.

How Low Can You Go? Say Goodbye to the Minimum Wage in New Hampshire!
Next Tuesday, Republicans will continue their attack on working people when they vote on the repeal of New Hampshire's minimum wage law. Democrats proudly instituted the first increase in over a decade just a couple of years ago, but its existence is now in serious jeopardy. During these tough economic times, the last thing we need to do is to set the precedent that New Hampshire does not want to have their own minimum wage--it sends the wrong message to those who are struggling to heat their homes, pay their bills, and take care of their families.

Please be sure to email the members of the House Labor committee and tell them to keep New Hampshire's minimum wage law in tact!

It is Groundhog Day All Over Again.
Another week, another attempt by state Republicans to dismantle national health insurance reform. HB 619-FN, which will be heard next Tuesday, February 15th in the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee (Room 302 of the LOB), would force New Hampshire to opt out of the historic law, leaving seniors, the sick, children, and Americans with preexisting conditions out in the cold. Please show your support for health insurance reform by showing up next week to tell the Republicans to stop railing against those in need, and start focusing on jobs and the economy!

Ignoring New Hampshire's Longstanding Tradition of Rejecting Discrimination and Promoting Equality.

Just because a UNH poll was released today showing that only 29% of the people of New Hampshire support the repeal of Marriage Equality, doesn't mean Republicans are going to embrace reality. There will be a hearing on ignoring our longstanding tradition of rejecting discrimination and promoting equality on February 17th at 10:30 am in Representatives Hall. Please show-up and support marriage equality and Granite State families!

But there is so much more! To view the entire House calendar, please click here.

Don't Forget the ABC's of the New Hampshire House
ITL means "Inexpedient To Legislate". If the full House or full Senate votes to ITL a bill, then the bill is defeated.
OTP means "Ought to Pass" meaning that a committee is recommending that a bill be passed.
Consent Calendar: If a bill receives a unanimous recommendation from a committee, the committee may place the bill on the Consent Calendar. When full House meets, the first vote taken is to approve all recommendations on all bills in the consent calendar. This allows the House to quickly dispense with non-controversial bills and move on to topics that need discussion. If any legislator requests that a bill be removed from the consent calendar, then it will be removed and it will be brought up for discussion and a vote along with the other non-consent calendar bills.
Resolutions: Sometimes the House, the Senate or both will pass resolutions. These are just public statements of opinion or interest, but they have no legal standing. It is similar to issuing a press release. HCR is a House resolution. HJR is a joint resolution (both House and Senate) that originates in the House.
LOB refers to the Legislative Office Building, which is immediately behind the statehouse. Most committee hearings are held in this building.
Reps Hall refers to Representatives Hall in the Statehouse where the House of Representatives meet. This room is used for hearings that are expected to be very large. It is also used on session days.

Join the Discussion!

We encourage you to continue to be a part of the NHDP's discussion on what is going on in Concord! Please be sure to jump on our Wednesday calls, join us at our brown bag lunches every Friday at noon at the NHDP headquarters, or emails us at We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (

And be sure to get more updates on the web at

Finally, if you need help looking up legislation or using the website, please contact Gene Martin at

Ray Buckley
State Democratic Party Chair
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Thursday, February 10, 2011
Farmington Democrats Meeting-Tonight, Thursday, February 10th-7PM

Public Agenda:
Treasurer’s Report

Old Business:
Farmington NHD Blog
Farmington NHD Domain Name
Farmington NHD Facebook Page

New Business:
Activities  (Six Month Window)
Community Garden
Letters to the Editor
Email/Connections With Other Activists
Petitions to . . .

Please join us at the Town Hall to help us map the group initiatives for the coming months. New members are always welcome!
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The Special Committee on Public Employee Pensions Reform will meet again this Friday, February 11th.  The Special Committee is considering a variety of legislation that would cut pension benefits and increase retirees' costs for health care, including
  • HB 537, which would reduce pension benefits by amounts ranging from 1% to 20%, based on the amount of the pension
  • HB 231, which would require retired state employees to absorb another $15 million to $20 million of their health care costs, with the amount charged to each individual calculated through a complex formula including the amount of the retiree's pension benefit and the number of years' state service
In the next day or so, please take the time to write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers, explaining what you do (or did) for the citizens of our great state, and how the Special Committee's bills would affect you and your family.

You can use our on-line tool to send your letter to the newspapers, by visiting and entering your zipcode.  Please remember to use your own computer and personal email address when sending the letter; and keep your letter short (less than 250 words).

The authors of these bills seem to taking their cues from the national campaign against public workers.  They also seem to have forgotten that here in New Hampshire, we expect people to live up to their promises.  

For decades, workers left higher private-sector wages for state service based on the promise that they would have modest financial security when they retired.  Now, some members of the Legislature want to go back on that promise -- cutting our pension benefits and health care coverage. If these bills pass, many of our retirees will be forced to turn to state programs or their local welfare offices for assistance.  That's not fiscal restraint, that's cost-shifting.

We need to remind these Legislators -- and the public -- that New Hampshire residents rely on state workers for everything from plowing highways to protecting abused children; taking care of our elderly veterans to processing unemployment claims.  Our work is valuable -- and we deserve the secure retirement that we were promised.

If you can, please come to the Special Committee's hearing on Friday, February 11, starting at 1:00 pm in Room 201-03 of the Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011
HB176-Proposed Bill Would Bar Students From Voting In College Towns

Read the article:

Session Year 2011
  Bill Docket
  Bill Status
  Bill Text   
Title: relative to eligibility to vote.
G-Status: HOUSE
House Status: IN COMMITTEE
Senate Status:
Next/Last Hearing: Time not specified    RM 308 LOB
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Good Morning:

There are a number of bills being heard in the NH legislature this week that will, if passed, do tremendous harm to our state and to our citizens.  I will be sending out some other e-mails on separate topics throughout the day today.  This one is focused on one bill in particular, HB 228-FN.  This bill will ban our Health and Human Services Department from contracting with Planned Parenthood or any other entity that provides abortion-related services.  As a result, such other healthcare providers as the esteemed Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center will also be barred from contracting with the state of NH because it offers abortion referrals.

This bill goes way beyond the debate over abortion.  It will gut the very core of healthcare services for women in our state.

The hearing on this bill is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 205 of the Legislative Office Building.  At 11:30 a.m., prior to the hearing, there will be a press conference in the Legislative Office Building Lobby by Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers. 

Your help is needed and is extremely important. 
If it is at all possible, please cancel other plans for tomorrow and come to both the press conference at 11:30 a.m. in a show of unity to preserve healthcare services for NH women and to sign in opposition of the bill when it comes up for hearing at 1:30 p.m.

There are folks looking to carpool and otherwise coordinate with folks who are going.  I have offered to help with this effort, so if you can go please let me know and include whether you will be able to accommodate other passengers.

If you absolutely cannot be there, are you willing to send an e-mail or letter to the committee to express your opposition to this bill?  Can you write a letter to the editor so that every woman in the state knows what is at stake with this legislation?  Are you willing to send e-mails to lists you may have in your possession? 
There are folks who can help with talking points for letter writing.  If you want some assistance in sending e-mails or in writing letters to the editor, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

If you can do any of the above, please let me know as we are trying to track outreach efforts.

Thank you for all that you do.

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Local Action Alert-Legislators Concerned With Bill To Repeal Free Kindergarten

House Bill 631 is being presented to the House Education Committee today, February 8th. The bill proposes to repeal the requirement that all school districts offer public kindergarten. The Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill this Thursday.

When: Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 8 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Representative’s Hall

Action requested: Parents and child advocates are asked to attend the hearing and testify in opposition to HB 631. 

What you  need to know: The bill, if enacted, would take away the requirement of school districts to have public kindergarten. There is little time to act as voting will happen on Thursday, February 10. Your voice is important to this critical decision.

The Children's Alliance of New Hampshire is also asking us to:

Please call, write, send letters, send emails to the Education Committee, and express your opposition to this Bill.  Also, write Letters to the Editor expressing your concern to your local newspaper or enewsletter. It is particularly important for the Education Committee to hear from parents whose children had the opportunity to attend kindergarten and the impact it had on their children; also parents whose older  children  did not attend kindergarten and have seen the benefit that kindergarten provided for another child in their family. 

For more information, contact Rep. Mary Jane Wallner ( or Rep. Mary Gile. (
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Vision. Action. Community.

The Farmington Democrats believe that equality of opportunity can be achieved through community involvement, political action, and a shared vision of social justice.