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New Hampshire Ends Affirmative-Action Preferences at Colleges
Public colleges in New Hampshire are precluded from using affirmative-action preferences in hiring or admissions decisions under a new law that took effect on January 1 after being passed by the state's legislature last year with relatively little public opposition.
The measure prohibits New Hampshire's university system, community-college system, postsecondary education commission, and other state agencies from giving preferences in recruiting, hiring, promotion, or admission "based on race, sex, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation."
Both chambers of the state's legislature, which came to be dominated by conservative Republicans as a result of the 2010 elections, overwhelmingly passed the measure last spring. The measure went into law after Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, took no action on it.
In sharp contrast to other states that have experienced highly publicized battles over similar bills or ballot initiatives, New Hampshire passed its measure with little input from national advocacy groups on either side of the affirmative-action debate.