UPDATE: NH lawmakers adopt resolution encouraging students to stay involved
CONCORD - "The House, you know sometimes people are cranky, but we are not mean,'' said State Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton.
House leaders from both political parties want nothing better than to be done with the raging controversy over a failed bill that fourth-graders had pursued.
But the lawmaker whose comments made the issue go viral only kept it going.
"And to basically tear it apart limb by limb,and I guess the shame of making it the state bird, it would make a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.''
That's Rep. Warren Groen two weeks ago, explaining his opposition to making the red-tailed hawk the state raptor.
In remarks to the full House, the bill's chief sponsor apologized to all fourth graders.
"I wanted to make sure the meanness they experienced that day was an aberration, that the House is much better than we are at our worst moments,'' Cushing said.
Groen did not comment at all, and in fact, did his best to stay out of camera view during Wednesday's session. He eluded reporters by ducking out of a side door.
House Speaker Shawn Jasper said Groen should have done the right thing and said he was disappointe Groen did not apologize Wednesday.
"I requested that he do so, but to this point, he has declined, and I think that is unfortunate.''
The House did approve a resolution encouraging students to stay involved and not get discouraged if their legislation fails.