I've just been appointed to the SB131 commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire - Granite Grok

I’ve just been appointed to the SB131 commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire

NH_State_House

This was unexpected!  I just received this email:

From: “Adams, Angela” <Angela.Adams@doe.nh.gov>
To: “‘SenateClerkOffice@leg.state.nh.us'” <SenateClerkOffice@leg.state.nh.us>
Cc: “‘Skip'” <Skip@granitegrok.com>; “Adams, Angela” <Angela.Adams@doe.nh.gov>
Sent: 10/7/2019 1:08:04 PM
Subject: Commissioner Edelblut’s designee ~ SB 131, CH 197:1, reestablishing a commission to study grandfamilies in NH

Good afternoon,

Commissioner Edelblut has selected David “Skip” Murphy to be his designee to serve on the committee established by SB 131, CH 197:1, reestablishing a commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire.

Here is his contact information: <redacted by me>

Thank you,

Angela
Angela M. Adams | Executive Assistant
Office of the Commissioner
Phone: 603-271-3144 or 603-271-3829 voicemail

I have known Frank for a little while now and he knows details about how we came to legally adopting the Grandson (opioid epidemic).  I’m also familiar with education, given I have taught technical subjects for decades and I’m an adjunct professor at the local community college, and have had to learn the intricacies of IEP plans and judicial interventions for young children.  Plus, being in my ninth year of being on my hamlet’s Budget Committee (twice being Vice-Chair), I hope that was part of the decision because whatever is recommended, there will be monies attached to it (one reason why I’ve always said “Social issues ALWAYS have financial costs associated with them”).  Also, it certainly can’t hurt to be on top of things political here in NH (as much as one person can be, anyways) which hopefully will allow me to put all of the issues into context in carrying out the mandates of the Commission.

There’s going to be some amount of catch up to do: the only official meeting that has been held, according to the website, was the organizational meeting last month (9/9) – that doesn’t leave much time for the first prelim report for legislative actions:

Report:  The commission shall submit an interim report of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2019 and shall submit a final report on or before September 1, 2020.

Yikes!  And the next official meeting is 10/18 – not a lot of time!  As always, I will try to report what is going on.

Sidenote: While I have not yet talked with anyone on the committee, anecdotally I see more and more senior citizens with young children. While I have always maintained that Family should be THE First Responder to problems, there are roles for Government to play.  Certainly one is to ensure that Government should be deconstructing arbitrary regulatory and statute barriers that would frustrate Grandparents who are now giving up their retirement years to fulfill moral responsibilities (e.g., “it’s hard already, don’t make it worse with too much red tape and too many places / people to have to talk to in order to do right by the grandkids“). I know quite a bit of the ins and outs but imagine someone who has been thrust into the same situation with NO knowledge?  That should be addressed as well – a “one stop shop” to make sure that all of the legal ramifications are made known.

More later as I learn more.

SB131 (below).  The website for the Commission can be found here.

 

***************

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

AN ACT reestablishing a commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

197:1  New Section; Commission to Study Grandfamilies in New Hampshire.  Amend RSA 170-G by inserting after section 17 the following new section:
170-G:17-a  Commission to Study Grandfamilies in New Hampshire.

I.  There is established a commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire.  The membership of the commission shall be as follows:

  • (a)  One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.
  • (b)  Three members of the house of representatives, one of whom shall serve on the health, human services and elderly affairs committee, one of whom shall serve on the committee responsible for children and family law, and one of whom shall serve on the finance committee, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
  • (c)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.
  • (d)  The commissioner of the department of education, or designee.
  • (e)  One representative of the division of family assistance, department of health and human services, appointed by that division.
  • (f)  One representative of the division for children, youth and families, department of health and human services, appointed by that division.
  • (g)  One representative of MomsRising, appointed by that organization.
  • (h)  One representative of the Family Assistance Advisory Council, appointed by the council.
  • (i)  One representative of Waypoint, formerly Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, appointed by that organization.
  • (j)  One representative of a family resource center, appointed by Family Support New Hampshire.
  • (k)  One representative of Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire, appointed by that organization.
  • (l)  One representative of New Futures, appointed by that organization.
  • (m)  One representative of National Alliance on Mental Illness New Hampshire, appointed by that organization.
  • (n)  One representative of the NH Head Start Directors Association, appointed by the association.
  • (o)  One public school principal, appointed by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals.
  • (p)  One pediatrician licensed in New Hampshire, appointed by the New Hampshire Pediatric Society.
  • (q)  One member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, appointed by the association.
  • (r)  One representative of AARP, appointed by that organization.
  • (s)  One representative of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed by the association.
  • (t)  Three grandparent caregivers, appointed by the Family Assistance Advisory Council.
  • (u) One representative of a community health center in New Hampshire, appointed by the governor.

II.  The commission shall address issues related to grandfamilies in New Hampshire.  The commission’s duties shall include, but not be limited to:

  • (a)  Review of current data regarding grandfamilies in New Hampshire.
  • (b)  Review of current barriers facing grandparents who are raising children in New Hampshire.
  • (c)  Identification of causes of issues affecting New Hampshire grandfamilies.
  • (d)  Development of corrective actions for addressing issues facing grandfamilies in New Hampshire.
  • (e)  Identification of current actions being taken to assist grandfamilies in New Hampshire and their effectiveness.

III.  Members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the senate member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 30 days of the effective date of this section.  Seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

IV.  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

V.  The commission shall submit an interim report of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2019 and shall submit a final report on or before September 1, 2020.

197:2  Repeal.  RSA 170-G:17-a, establishing a commission to study grandfamilies in New Hampshire, is repealed.
197:3  Effective Date.

I.  Section 2 of this act shall take effect September 1, 2020.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved: July 10, 2019
Effective Date:

I. Section 2 shall take effect September 1, 2020.
II. Remainder shall take effect July 10, 2019.