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No immediate decision from Senate panel on refugee-resettlement bill

State House Bureau

April 10. 2012 11:49AM

CONCORD - The Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee will not be making an immediate decision on a bill that would allow communities to impose up to a year moratorium on refugee-resettlement programs.

Committee chair Sen. Jack Barnes, R-Raymond, urged the resettlement agencies to work with Manchester officials to foster better communications, which he hinted could mean the bill would not be needed.

House Bill 1405 passed the House on a 190-109 vote last month.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas told the committee, 'We're not looking for a freeze on resettlement, we just want to allow the people here to be successful in our society.'

But several refugees urged the committee to kill the bill during the two-hour public hearing, saying they just want a chance to be successful.

The committee is expected to make its recommendation on the bill next week.

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