Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have this interesting article, Antievolution bills on the New Hampshire horizon, which informs us, with our bold font:
Antievolution bills are on the horizon in New Hampshire. Included on a list (PDF) of legislative service requests dated June 14, 2011, are two requests to have antievolution bills drafted for the 2012 legislative session. LSR 2012-H-2176-R, submitted by Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17), asks for a bill “requiring the teaching of evolution in public schools as a theory”; LSR 2012-H-2320-R, submitted by Gary Hopper (R-District 7), asks for a bill “requiring instruction in intelligent design in the public schools.”
What’s going on here? The state of New Hampshire has a legislative peculiarity known as “Legislative Service Requests” (LSRs). The legislature’s website says: “A Legislative Service Request is when a legislator makes a request for the drafting of a bill.” After Googling around a bit, it seems that that a LSR is the world’s first clue that a legislator is considering introducing a bill, which will be prepared by the legislature’s administrative staff. We’re not sure, but we think the drafting is done by the Office of Legislative Services. When the bill is drafted and approved by its sponsor, it then gets filed and the text becomes available.
Probably all state legislatures have professional staff for this function. But in New Hampshire the public gets early notice of what the staff has been requested to draft, well before the bills are filed and they start going through the process of committee hearings, etc. So it’s an early warning system. In this case it’s for the 2012 legislative session.
Who are the legislative geniuses making these requests of the staff? Here’s the official page for Jerry Bergevin of the House of Representatives. That link is quirky and doesn’t give much information anyway, but merely from the existence of his LSR for a bill “requiring the teaching of evolution in public schools as a theory,” we pretty much know enough. Oh, wait — here’s his campaign website. It doesn’t tell us anything. He’s a clean slate.
The other legislator is Gary Hopper. His page at the legislature’s website is also barren of information; and like the other one it’s also quirky. But this website says he’s a mold maker. That sounds like an honorable trade. He’s the one who wants a bill “requiring instruction in intelligent design in the public schools.”
The New Hampshire legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 01 July, so nothing’s going to happen this year with these two bill requests. We’ll have to wait for the 2012 session to see what their bills look like. If we learn anything more, we’ll let you know.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.