Bill Sponsor Apologizes To 4th Graders For Lawmakers' Behavior

Mar 25, 2015

Rep. Renny Cushing of Hampton apologizes to 4th grade class for the "distasteful" debate last week on its bird bill.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House tried to put to rest the continued controversy of a bill it killed last week making the red-tailed hawk the state's official raptor.  

During the debate Representative Warren Groen compared the violent bird to Planned Parenthood. Other representatives mocked the idea, which came from a 4th grade class in Hampton Falls. 

The House passed a resolution Wednesday, recognizing the contribution of young people to government. House Speaker Shawn Jasper announced that Governor Maggie Hassan will be hand delivering the resolution to the class sometime soon. 

Democrat Renny Cushing, who sponsored the bill, told the House that civic engagement at a young age is vital to New Hampshire and something we should encourage. The lawmaker also told the House how he remembers fondly when he introduced legislation when he was younger.

“The committee did not adopt the bill that I wanted to pass, what I remember is that I was treated with respect. No one suggested that I shouldn’t be here advocating for a change in the law, no one made fun of the legislation, no one mocked me,” Cushing said, after apologizing to the class and their parents.

Groen declined to comment after the session.