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February 13. 2013 7:42PM

Children at risk program gets study in NH House

CONCORD - The House Wednesday approved establishing a committee to study a program to assist children in need of services.

The Children in Need of Services program was dismantled in the 2012-2013 budget, reducing the program to about 50 children who are a risk to themselves or others.

Under the program, courts decide treatment for problem children under 18 years old. The intent was to provide early intervention so to prevent more serious problems later in life.

Several attempts have been made this year to resurrect the program, but the state's financial problems have put those bills in limbo.

House Children and Family Law Committee Chair Mary Beth Walz said the committee would look at best practices to see if there is a more effective and efficient way to provide these services again.

House Bill 418 was approved on a 293-50 vote and now goes to the Senate for action.

Expectation of privacy

Without debate or recorded vote, the House killed House Bill 311, which would protect a person's identifiable information such as DNA, retinal scans, fingerprints, personal biometrics, credit cards, phone numbers, credit cards and work histories from use without a court issued warrant supported by probable cause.

The bill was sponsored by one of the House's most vocal privacy advocates, Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare. He said at the public hearing that state residents do not expect law enforcement, insurance companies or "data miners" to have access to their personally identifiable information when they throw something out in their trash or leave a drinking glass with their saliva on it at a restaurant.

Grievance petition

The House once again rejected a call to send a grievance petition to a committee to investigate its validity.

The House refused to send a petition to the House Judiciary Committee concerning four members of the "new media" who have been barred from entering and filming in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene.

The House voted 228-106 not to have the Judiciary Committee investigate.

Killed

The House killed: House Bill 219, which would restrict the activities of a New Hampshire delegate to a federal constitutional convention. The bill was killed on a 231-119 vote House Bill 387, which would reduce the immunity of court appointed guardians ad litem. The bill was killed on a 215-101 vote.

And House Bill 402, which would force the guardian ad litem board to investigate all complaints filed, including those in an on-going trial or judicial proceeding. The House killed the bill on a 244-99 vote.

grayno@unionleader.com


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