Senate Committee: No to Refugee Moratorium

Apr 17, 2012


A senate committee has voted to send a bill that would allow communities to ask for a one year moratorium on refugee resettlement for further study.

The committee voted 3-1 to refer the bill to interim study, with Senator David Boutin from Hooksett dissenting. That vote is a polite way of asking the full senate to let the measure die quietly.

Committee Chair Senator Jack Barnes says he doesn’t think the state legislature has the authority to pass this bill.

"It’s very simple, I think it’s a federal issue," Barnes says, "This is not a state issue, in my opinion it doesn’t belong in Concord."

Barnes says he is concerned about the lack of communication between groups that resettle refugees and Manchester officials. That failure to communicate is one reason Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas asked for a moratorium last July.

The measure passed the house earlier this year by nearly a two-to-one margin.