Amendment to HB 287. Amend the title of the bill by replacing it with the following: AN ACT establishing a committee to study issues related to changing prostitution laws in New Hampshire.
Amend the bill by replacing all after the enacting clause with the following:
1 Committee Established. There is established a committee to study the potential effects of altering the laws against prostitution in New Hampshire.
2 Membership and Compensation.
The members of the committee shall be as follows:
Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
II. Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.
The committee shall study:
The scope and scale of engagement in the sex trade in New Hampshire.
The mental and physical health and wellbeing of those engaged in the sex trade in New Hampshire.
Experiences of law enforcement personnel with those individuals engaged in the sex trade in New Hampshire.
Experiences of those individuals engaged in the sex trade in New Hampshire with law enforcement personnel.
The needs of those individuals engaged in the sex trade in New Hampshire and the availability of services in this state to meet those needs.
The impacts of arrest, conviction, and incarceration on individuals who have been arrested on prostitution offenses.
The costs to state and local law enforcement and corrections budgets of arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating individuals for prostitution offenses.
The potential costs and benefits of partial or full decriminalization of prostitution, including possible effects on rates of sex trafficking.
II. The committee may solicit advice and testimony from an interested party, including but not limited to:
The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.
The commissioner of the department of safety, or designee.
The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition
Child and Family Services.
New Hampshire Legal Assistance.
The Sex Workers Outreach Project.
The American Civil Liberties Union.
The Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force.
Survivors of sex trafficking.
Individuals who are or were engaged in consensual sex work in New Hampshire.
4. Chairperson; Quorum. The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member. The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.
5. Report. The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2018.
6. Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
What comes next? Well, first, the House Clerk has to receive the paperwork from the committee.
Then? The full House has to approve the Committee’s recommendation. This will not happen until the first or second week of January at the earliest, since the House is not currently in session. The House might not vote in favor of the committee recommendation; for instance, they might vote to table the bill instead.
If the full House approves the Committee’s recommendation, then HB 287 will go to the Senate Judiciary committee.
THEN We have to convince Senate Judiciary that a study committee on the costs and benefits of changing New Hampshire’s prostitution laws is worthwhile.
Then the full Senate has to approve the bill.
Then the Governor has to sign it.
In other words? We are still a long way away from having a study committee. There are a lot of steps between here and there. That’s the bad news.
⚜️THE GOOD NEWS is that every one of those steps is an opportunity to educate legislators, the press, and the public about the huge amount of evidence that shows decriminalization’s positive impacts.”