Stay Work Play unveils 2022 legislative priorities

Affordable housing, outdoor recreation, child care and DEI among focus areas

Stay Work PlayjogAffordable housing, child care, preserving outdoor recreation opportunities and working toward diversity, equity and inclusion are at the top of the legislative agenda of Stay Work Play, the organization whose mission is “to attract and retain more young people in New Hampshire.”

In a virtual press conference Feb. 4, Stay Work Play Executive Director Will Stewart announced the organization’s position on key issues facing the young population of New Hampshire, especially in areas such as affordable housing and child care.

“Given how much state-level public policy can affect the attraction and retention of young people, we realized that if we really want to increase the number of young people in New Hampshire that we need to be active in advancing public policies that will make the state an even more attractive place for young people,” he said.

State Sen. Rebecca Perkins Kwoka, D-Portsmouth, who attended the press conference, said she was “thrilled” to see Stay Work Play “enter the advocacy space.”

“We can make a difference as young people. We are the ones who have the energy, the enthusiasm, and we have new ideas to bring to the process,” she added.

Among the issues it is tracking are:

Affordable housing

In its statement, the organization said it “is focusing on ensuring different types of housing and their affordability is being addressed in this year’s legislative session.”

Stay Work Play said the bills it has taken a position on include Senate Bill 329, which establishes a commission to study barriers to housing development in New Hampshire, including workforce and middle-income housing, a bill it supports.

Two bills it opposes are House Bill 1307, which seeks to weaken the authority of the newly formed Housing Appeals Board, and SB 210, which loosens the notification requirements imposed on manufactured housing park owners prior to selling manufactured housing parks.

Outdoor recreation

Stay Work Play says it supports HB 1579, which provides for landowner liability involving the use of land for outdoor recreational activities; HB 1188, which establishes a commission to study off-highway recreational vehicle use; and HB 1498, which implements a safety training program for off-highway recreational vehicle and snowmobile operation.

Child care

The organization said it supports HB 446, which would establish a child care workforce fund to provide grants to eligible child care programs for child care workforce recruitment and retention; HB 1384, which establishes a committee to study the need and funding to supplement child care in the state; HB 1523, which would establish a child care fund; and HB 1370, which would establish a committee to study child care options for state legislators.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

On DEI issues, Stay Work Play said it supports: HB 1294, which would establish a commission to study demographic trends help increase racial and ethnic diversity in the state; and HB 1414, which would require the State Police to submit an annual report on traffic violations.

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