Fourth graders from Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, visited the State Capitol on Thursday, hoping to see a bill they wrote become law. House Bill 373, “an act establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor,” easily passed through the Environment and Agriculture committee, but ended up failing in the House on a 133–160 vote.
The children watched as their painstakingly crafted bill died.
Representative John Burt, who gets paid $100 a year to be a state lawmaker in New Hampshire, voted against the bill because, “Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn’t have in front of us, we’ll be picking a state hot dog next.”
Representative Christy Bartlett said the environmental committee “caved” to the fourth graders.
Representative Warren Groen thought that the hawk would serve better as the official bird of another well-known entity. “It grasps them with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.”
Foster’s Daily Democrat reported that one parent “had to explain to their fourth-grader what Planned Parenthood was and its relation to the red-tailed hawk.”
The House was able to vote on more important bills that week, like naming the bobcat New Hampshire’s state wildcat, as asked by fourth graders from another local school.