- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - An effort to ban the practice of gay conversion therapy for minors is one of the major casualties of a busy week of legislative negotiating.

The bill had once seemed destined for passage.

“I’m baffled,” the bill’s prime sponsor, Republican Rep. Eric Schleien, said Friday.

It’s not abnormal for bills to suddenly die or see drastic changes during what’s known as Committee of Conference Week, when House and Senate negotiators meet to hammer out agreements on competing versions of bills. A proposal to regulate the use of drones by people and businesses also died, while lawmakers found agreement on bills to regulate platforms such as Airbnb and Uber.

Lawmakers meet Wednesday for a final session day to act on the compromises, sending most to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s desk. Here’s a look at the major issues:

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CONVERSION THERAPY

The conversion therapy bill would’ve banned licensed counselors from attempting to change a minor’s sexuality or gender identity. Several other states already ban the practice, and initially the bill passed both Republican-led chambers after some debate.

But skepticism with the proposal ultimately caused it to die in the negotiations phase. Republican House Speaker Shawn Jasper said there was never any evidence presented that the practice is happening in New Hampshire and suggested that, if it is, lawmakers should spend more time vetting the proposal.

Democrats, including Hassan, are angry over the decision to kill the bill.

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DRONES

If and how to regulate overhead aerial drones, which are becoming more popular among people and businesses, has been a topic of discussion among lawmakers for several years. But an agreement is still out of reach, with the main dispute centering on how businesses can use them.

Some lawmakers argued for exemptions for businesses, but privacy advocates expressed worry about businesses flying over people’s personal property.

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DRUG MONEY

The attorney general’s office won’t be getting $130,000 in state funds to hire a drug prosecutor, but lawmakers say the office can hire one if they find the money through grants or elsewhere. The new position is one piece of a larger drug funding bill that includes money for affordable housing for recovering addicts, peer-to-peer recovery services and the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

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OTHER ISSUES

You can’t drink beer at college sporting events in New Hampshire, but that’s likely to change. Negotiators agreed on a bill that would allow the sale of liquor and beer in college stadiums when admission is being charged for a game.

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and lodging rental services such as Airbnb are set to face new regulations. One bill requires anyone who rents out space in a home to display a license number that shows he or she is paying the state rooms and meals tax. Companies like Uber will be required to register with the state, conduct background checks on employees and make sure drivers are insured.

Lawmakers also agreed on a bill allowing school districts without high schools to send students to private schools using taxpayer dollars. Hassan’s office said Friday she plans to veto it.

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