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NH State House Watch

NH State House Watch

 AFSC’s New Hampshire State House Watch newsletter is published weekly during legislative sessions to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord including housing, the death penalty, immigration, and labor rights.  We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, corrections policy, and more. For an email subscription, visit our main page and click on <SUBSCRIBE>. 

We also have a weekly radio show on Mondays from 5 to 6 pm, re-broadcast Tuesdays from 8 to 9 am.  You can listen live on WNHN, 94.7 FM in Concord, or over the internet. You can download a podcast of any of our earlier shows.

State House Watch 

March 22, 2019

With the 2019 session approaching its mid-way mark, the Senate is slated to finish up work on all Senate bills next week (“crossover day”).  On the House side, there are still a few House bills getting worked over in committee (e.g. the Ways and Means Committee, which appears to be devoting considerable attention to the bill to legalize and regulate sale of cannabis).  Serious work is being done on the budget, especially in House Finance, which is meeting almost all the time to complete its version of HB 1 (the budget) and HB 2 (the budget “trailer bill,” which changes laws and policies in line with the proposed budget).  Public Works and Highways, meanwhile, is working hard on HB 25, also known as the capital budget.  

Read on for updates on family and medical leave insurance, the death penalty, driver licenses for undocumented immigrants, legal action on education and Medicaid work requirements, nuclear weapons, last week’s House and Senate sessions, and upcoming hearings.

More on the Budget

Last Monday, Representatives Hall was crowded when the House held its third public hearing on the budget.  People turned out in significant numbers to call for funding developmental services, including raising the wages for people who provide assistance to children and adults with disabilities.  There was also excellent testimony in support of funding for NH Legal Assistance, whose budget was slashed in the governor’s budget proposal.  NH Youth Movement turned out some great speakers in support of increased funding for higher education.  Others spoke about the needs for funds for programs addressing domestic and sexual violence, schools, and mental health.  While the process can be criticized as a “beg-a-thon,” pitting essential services against each other in a competitive, zero-sum process, it really does enable lawmakers to benefit from the personal experience of people who depend on services provided by the state to live safe and dignified lives.   

Also last week, Governor Sununu held a press conference to emphasize his view that “one-time funds” should be spent on “one-time projects.”  From the governor’s perspective, the state cannot rely on revenues which are now generating surpluses to be sustained.  Therefore, he favors using money that now appears as surplus to be spent on construction projects rather than using them to address chronic needs like public education.

You can learn more by listening to State House Watch Radio on Monday, March 25, when our guest will be Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Chair of the House Finance Committee.  Find us live at five on Monday afternoon at 94.7 FM in the Concord area or wnhnfm.org.  

Driver License Bills Move Forward

We are thrilled with the House passage of HB 397, which enables immigrant families living in New Hampshire to get driver licenses.  It’s a common sense proposal that promotes safety on the roads, enhanced ability for immigrants to participate in the economic and cultural lives of their communities, and improved well-being for families.  We send thanks to Representatives George Sykes, Casey Conley and Latha Mangipudi for their leadership, and to Bruno Soares for the initiative. The bill passed Wednesday by a roll call vote of 204-137 and heads to the Senate Transportation Committee, where Chairman David Watters is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.  

At the same time, HB 669, the bill to allow driver licenses and nondriver ID cards to indicate gender as male, female, or other (M, F, or X on the card) passed the House by a voice vote. HB 471, which would have  promoted discriminatory profiling by requiring driver licenses or nondriver IDs to indicate citizenship, was voted inexpedient to legislate.

Minimum Wage Passes Senate

Yesterday the Senate passed SB 10, re-establishing and raising the minimum wage, by a party-line vote of 14-10. The bill would set the NH minimum wage at $10 per hour at the beginning of 2020. In 2022 the wage would increase to $11 if an employer offers at least 10 paid sick days to an employee, and $12 if they don’t.  Following the vote, Senator Donna Soucy, the bill’s champion, said, “It’s encouraging to see the Senate take the next step to honor the dignity of work by re-establishing and raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage. I look forward to shepherding SB 10 through the rest of the legislative process to support our working families and continue growing our economy.”

SB 10 will cross over to the House, and the House-passed HB 186 moves in the other direction.  Over the coming weeks we will learn how backers of the two bills intend to resolve their differences in order to get a bill to the desk of Governor Sununu.  Speaking for Raise UP NH, the Rev. John Gregory-Davis said, “New Hampshire’s working people are counting on Governor Sununu. It is up to him to decide whether he is going to lead on this issue or obstruct, whether he will declare that the working people of the Granite State are worthy of the same wages as workers in surrounding states or not.”

Passage of a minimum wage bill will be one of the focus points for the Dignity at Work Legislative Advocacy Day on April 4.

 


Family and Medical Leave

The Senate’s family and medical leave bill, SB 1, cleared the House last week, with a roll call vote of 291-141. Since there were no amendments, it will head to the governor’s desk, where he’s boasted of an ample supply of red veto pens. The House version of the bill, HB 712, is scheduled for an executive session in House Finance on Wednesday.  (See below.)

Our friends at the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy are hosting a rally on Tuesday, March 26, at the LOB, urging Governor Sununu to sign SB 1 and help NH families. More details on the rally in the Events section.

The Road to Repeal

The death penalty repeal bill, HB 455, has moved over to the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing by the Judiciary Committee, at 9 AM on Tuesday, March 26 in Room 100 at the State House. We expect the committee to “exec” the bill the following week and reach the Senate floor on April 11.  More details next week.  Meanwhile, urge your state senator to support repeal. 

Members of the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will gather outside the hearing room starting at 8:30 AM. 

Grievances Go to Court

While legislators bat around a variety of proposals affecting the state’s determination of the amount of funding deemed “adequate” to support local public education, at least two school districts have decided they are tired of waiting.  In a news release announcing they are joining the ConVal School District’s lawsuit filed on March 13, Lisa Witte of the Monadnock Regional School District said, “Current proposed legislation and the Governor’s proposed budget for the next biennium do little to provide permanent, guaranteed adequacy.  While some communities may see temporary relief, there remains no solution to a longstanding, ongoing problem.”

“The state currently contributes $3,636.06 as a base adequacy rate per student, but ConVal has argued that the state does not accurately account transportation, facilities, maintenance and other costs," the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript reported.   According to the local weekly, ConVal says the base adequacy figure should be $10,843.60 per student.

If you need a refresher on court battles over school funding, including the difference between the Claremont I and Claremont II decisions, we recommend Sarah Gibson’s comprehensive piece at NHPR.   

 

Meanwhile, NH Legal Assistance is suing in federal court to halt the Medicaid expansion work requirements approved by the NH legislature in the last session.    Read the details in the Concord Monitor, and check out an informative story from Jason Moon of NHPR on uncertainty that patients and providers are facing with the advent of the work requirements.

Reps and Communities Call for  Action on Nuke Threat

With the March 20 passage in the NH House of Representatives of HCR 7, a resolution calling for a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons and opposing development of so-called “low yield” nuclear weapons, New Hampshire legislators added their voices to a growing movement aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear conflict and moving the world toward abolition of nuclear weapons.

Other measures, based on a resolution known as “Back from the Brink,” also cleared the City Council in Portsmouth last Monday and Town Meetings last week in Warner, Alstead, Lee, and Exeter.  The Durham Town Council passed one in December.  New London’s Town Meeting kicked off the latest round two years ago. 

HCR 7 passed on a roll call vote of 192-162.

(Read more from Arnie at afsc.org/nh.)

2019 Legislative Advocacy Day Re-Scheduled for April 4; Theme is “Dignity at Work”

"Dignity at Work" is the theme of this year’s Legislative Advocacy Day, postponed from February 12 and sponsored by a variety of faith-based organizations with our labor allies.  We have chosen April 4 because that is the date, 51 years ago, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down while he stood in solidarity with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, TN.  These workers suffered horrific workplace oppression and indignities and were trying to form a union to assert their rights and basic humanity. Dr. King understood that workers and faith leaders share common moral values in regard to the basic dignity and worth of all workers.  When we think about it now, we think workplace dignity means recognizing that all work deserves respect and all NH workers deserve a true livable wage, basic benefits, safe workplaces, and respect for their collective bargaining rights.

We will meet at noon in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building for public comments, followed by a trip across the street to the State House to deliver our messages to the state officials.

Sign up here to let us know you’re coming.

Last Week in the House

HB 393, establishing a committee to study child care in New Hampshire. The bill will create a committee to study child care costs, affordability, and accessibility issues in New Hampshire. OTP/A by a voice vote.  (We discussed this last week on our radio show with the bill’s prime sponsor, Representative Casey Conley.)

HB 229, relative to rulemaking requirements of the Department of Corrections. Voted ITL by a voice vote. 

CACR 4, relative to the right to govern. Voted ITL by a voice vote.

HB 261, requiring the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services to revise the rules relative to arsenic contamination in drinking water. Voted OTP/A by voice vote.

HB 539, relative to the provision of technical assistance for municipal implementation of the One4all ballot. Voted OTP/A by a voice vote.

HJR 2, recommending and requesting the President of the United States and the United States Congress to exclude the State of New Hampshire from offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration activities. Voted OTP by a voice vote.

CACR 12, relative to taxes. Providing that an income tax on personal income shall be prohibited. ITL by a roll call vote of 206-143.  

HB 632, relative to the education tax credit. Tabled, by a roll call vote of 332-19.

 HB 378, raising the minimum age for marriage. Tabled by a roll call vote of 251 – 99.

HB 277, establishing a commission to study a public option for health insurance. Voted OTP by a roll call vote of 211-141. 

HB 520, relative to availability of diaper changing stations in public restrooms. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 206-142.

HB 558, restricting the availability of plastic straws. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 196-146.

HB 560, relative to single-use carryout bags. The minority offered an amendment to turn the bill into a study committee. The amendment failed. The majority amendment passed. The entire bill was voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 201-145.

 HB 628, relative to universal changing stations in certain places of public accommodation. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 211-133.

HB 109, requiring background checks for commercial firearms sales.  A floor amendment was submitted by Rep. Barbara Griffin that stipulated the steps to be taken in the event that an applicant or prospective buyer is an “illegal alien.” That amendment failed in a roll call vote of 92-237. A move to table the bill also failed, in a roll call vote of 147-202. The bill was voted OTP by a roll call vote of 203-148. As we predicted, they spent a lot of time on this one.

HB 208, relative to the justified use of deadly force upon another person. The bill was voted ITL by a roll call vote of 200-150.

HB 514, imposing a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm. This brought about another lengthy floor fight. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 199-147.

HB 280, designating the red-tailed hawk as the state raptor. Voted OTP by a roll call vote of 133-11. Supporters (now in 8th grade) wore t-shirts reading “Live free and fly.”

HCR 3, relative to welcoming communities. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 251-57.  A large crowed attended the Welcoming NH luncheon at the State House cafeteria on Thursday.  Several of those present told us that of all the legislative events held each year, this is the one with the best food!

HB 293, relative to employee credit privacy. A move to table by Representative Flanagan failed in a roll call vote of 145-212. The bill was voted OTP by a voice vote.

SB 1, relative to family and medical leave. Voted OTP by a roll call vote of 219-142.  This will move quickly to the governor’s desk, where a veto is expected.  

CACR 8, relative to the right to govern. Voted ITL by a division vote of 282-74.

HB 358, relative to combustion of wood residue at municipal waste combustors. Voted OTP by a division vote of 204-137.

HB 365, relative to net energy metering limits for customer generators. Voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 254-98.

HB 466, relative to the capacity of electricity customer generators for eligibility for net energy metering. Voted OTP by a vote of 231-121.

HB 568, relative to New Hampshire energy strategy. Voted OTP/A by a division vote of 217-129.

HB 582, relative to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions. Voted OTP/A by a voice vote of 215-133.

HB 614, increasing penalties for air pollution. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 247-104.

HCR 7, urging the president and Congress to adopt a policy renouncing the first use of nuclear weapons and opposing “low yield” nuclear warheads. Voted OTP by a roll call vote of 192-162. Our thanks to Representatives Adjutant and Bouldin for their remarks on the floor.

HB 397, relative to driver licenses for New Hampshire residents who do not possess a Social Security card. Rep. Packard made a motion to table, which failed in a roll call vote of 139-201. The bill was voted OTP/A by a vote of 204-137.  (See above.)

HB 471, relative to indicating citizenship on driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. Voted ITL by a roll call vote of 220-121.

HB 669, relative to gender identity information included on driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. Voted OTP by a voice vote.

Last Week in the Senate

SB 20, relative to notification requirements for employees, workplace inspections, and the youth employment law. Voted OTP/A by a voice vote.

SB 138, relative to the degree granting authority of Signum University. The university offers classes on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, creative writing, fantasy and science fiction literature. Voted OTP by a voice vote. (Arnie is watching for them to post classes on the work of Tolkien predecessor, William Morris.  Look him up.)

SB 10, establishing the state minimum hourly rate based on whether an employer offers paid sick days to an employee. Voted OTP/A by a party line roll call vote of 14-10.  (See above.)

SB 66, relative to political contributions by candidates for certain offices. Voted 0TP/A by a voice vote.

SB 206, excluding the cost of lobbying and political activity from the rates of public utilities. Voted OTP in a roll call vote of 24-0.

SB 230, requiring the Attorney General to hire staff to supervise election law, campaign finance law, and lobbying matters. Voted OTP by a voice vote, followed by Senator Feltes’ motion to table, which also passed by a voice vote.

SB 259, expanding eligibility for Medicaid for employed adults with disabilities age 65 and older. Voted OTP by a voice vote, then tabled by a voice vote, after a motion by Senator Feltes.

SB 309, relative to stabilization grants for education. Voted OTP by a roll call vote of 24-0, then tabled by a roll call vote of 15-9, after a motion by Senator Feltes.

Unexpected addition:

SB 310, relative to casino gambling. When we last saw this bill, it had been tabled on March 7, by a roll call vote of 22-2. Yesterday, Senator D’Allesandro made a motion to remove the bill from the table, which passed, in a roll call vote of 20-4. A vote to ITL the bill failed, in a roll call vote of 11-13. Senator D’Allesandro next made an OTP motion, followed by a floor amendment that kept the licensing fee for a Class I casino at $40,000,000, and increased the licensing fee for a Class II casino from $15,000,000 to $20,000,000. A Class II casino is approximately half the size of a Class I. The floor amendment passed by a voice vote. The Senate voted OTP/A by a roll call vote of 13-11.  The bill will now move to the House, which has never passed a casino bill.

Next Week in the Senate

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, March 27 at 3:00 PM and again on Thursday, March 28, at 9:00 AM.  March 28 is their “crossover day,” the deadline for floor action on all bills that originated in the Senate. 

Consent Calendar

SB 60, relative to advance notice to hourly employees of work schedules. Would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide employees with advance notice of the work schedule. Employers didn’t love this. Committee recommends re-referral, by a vote of 5-0.

HB 148, relative to notification to public employees regarding their right to join or not join a union. This would require an employer to provide written notice to a public employee regarding their right or not to join a union, and the estimated annual cost of joining a union. It was amended to include other provisions educating new employees on their rights under collective bargaining in the public sector.  It also clarifies how union representatives can meet with new employees in a timely manner. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.

SB 45, relative to electioneering at polling places. This bill, which was requested by the Secretary of State, elaborates further on a 2016 law defining electioneering at polling places.  The existing law concerned itself largely with a dress code for voters.  The new one further describes “electioneering” and “no electioneering” corridors, bars unaccompanied signs, and gives moderators authority over parking.  The committee recommends OTP by a vote of 5-0.

SB 104, relative to the postponement of city, town, village, and school district elections. This bill gives cities, towns and villages the authority to make their own postponements. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.

SB 73, requiring the public utilities commission to quantify and consider environmental and socioeconomic costs in state energy plans of electric utilities. Committee recommends re-referral by a vote of 5-0.

SB 75, establishing a commission to study the economic impact of national carbon pricing in New Hampshire. Committee recommends re-referral by a vote of 5-0.

Regular Calendar

SB 100, relative to discrimination in employment based on criminal background checks. This means no checkbox on an application asking about a criminal record, making it possible for what ACLU-NH calls “fair chance hiring.”  Under this proposal, employers would be able to inquire about criminal convictions in an interview.  The committee amendment specifies that this could be over the phone.  The bill also specifies that there be no discrimination based on the racial or ethnic origin of the applicant, as determined by their first or last name. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 4-1.

SB 8, establishing an independent redistricting commission. The bill was amended to add strict guidelines about who is eligible to serve on the commission, as well as instructions on how the Secretary of State would be expected to screen applicants for membership in order to identify “persons who are compromise oriented, are able to be impartial, and have an appreciation for New Hampshire’s diverse demographics and geography.” The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 67, relative to the definitions of resident and residency. This bill would undo some of the provisions of last year’s HB 1264, including returning “for the indefinite future,” to the definition of resident and residency. The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 106, relative to the definition of political advocacy organization and expenditure. This redefines a political advocacy organization and was amended to simplify the language. The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 155, relative to permissible campaign contributions by business organizations. This bill would prohibit them. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 4-1.

SB 156, relative to political contributions made by limited liability companies. This bill requires a political contribution by a limited liability company be allocated to members, for the purpose of determining whether a donor has exceeded the contribution limits. The committee recommends OTP by a vote of 3-2.

SB 13, relative to limited electrical energy producers and net energy metering. Committee recommends re-referral by a vote of 5-0.

SB 124, relative to renewable portfolio standards after 2025. This bill revises the required minimum percentages of classes I to IV renewable energy in the electric renewable portfolio standards through the year 2040. Committee voted OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 159, relative to net energy metering limits for customer-generators. Committee recommends OPT/A.

SB 165, relative to net energy metering by low-moderate income community solar projects. Committee recommends OTPA by a vote of 4-1.

SB 166, relative to competitive electricity supplier requirements under net energy metering. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 168, relative to Class II obligations under the electric renewable portfolio standards.

(For more on the energy bills, we refer you to Clean Energy NH, which has a user friendly site describing these bills and indicating their views.)

SB 7, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART ACT). Anyone applying for a driver license or non-driver ID or a record change at the Division of Motor Vehicles would be automatically registered to vote. There is an opt-out option. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 4-1.

SB 116, relative to the New Hampshire employment program and family assistance program and making an appropriation therefor. The bill clarifies the funding for the assistance program for two-parent families with dependent children and allows grandparents caring for minor children to apply for assistance. The monies would come from a non-TANF, state-funded financial assistance program, which would be established by the Department of Health and Human Services. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.

SB 236, making an appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of upgrades to substance use disorder treatment facilities. The sum of $5,00,000 has been appropriated. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 4-1.

SB 237, relative to the office of cost containment. This bill amends the procedure for determining an indigent defendant’s ability to pay for services rendered by court appointed counsel in a criminal case and provides that a repayment obligation shall only apply to a defendant who has been convicted or a juvenile who has been found delinquent. Currently, a defendant deemed too poor to afford a lawyer is billed for their defense, even when they’re found not guilty or the charges are dropped.  More on this from Todd Bookman at NHPR.  ACLU-NH is supporting this bill.  Committee recommends OTP.

SB 266, relative to funding for kindergarten pupils, keno revenues, and school building aid. This bill to do away with kenogarten stipulates that kindergarten be funded from the education trust fund, and that keno funds will be used instead to fund school building aid. The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 4-2.

SB 290, relative to the New Hampshire Granite Advantage Health Care Program. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 4-2.

SB 291, relative to the construction of new mental health facilities. This directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and implement plans to establish a new forensic psychiatric hospital with additional transitional beds for forensic patients or patients with complex behavioral health conditions, and a new, acute inpatient psychiatric treatment facility for children. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 6-0.

SB 306, establishing the housing appeals board.  Housing Action NH says, “The Board is specifically designed to provide administrative efficiencies, subject-matter expertise, and adjudication after local reviews are exhausted.” It also makes an appropriation for administration of the board’s duties. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 6-0.

SB 308, relative to the health care workforce and making appropriations therefor. This bill increases Medicaid provider rates, makes appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services to establish new positions and programs to enhance the state’s health care workforce, and makes an appropriation to the governor’s scholarship program for scholarships to students majoring in a health care field. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 6-0.  

SB 263, relative to anti-discrimination protection for students in public schools. This bill, as amended, defines discrimination, clarifies that an aggrieved person may initiate a civil action, and specifies that the Attorney General may also initiate a civil action against a school or school district. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 318, relative to donations to the education tax credit program (ETC). The bill, as amended, extends the ETC tax credit to include donations to public school programs.

Coming up in House Committees

Monday, March 25

Ways and Means, Room 202, LOB

9:00 AM Subcommitee work session on HB 481, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor.

Tuesday, March 26

Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Room 204, LOB

11:00 AM HB 564, relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones. This bill prohibits carrying a firearm in a safe school zone, and establishes that a violation would result in a class A misdemeanor.

Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs, Room 205, LOB

10:00 AM public hearing followed by 1 PM executive session on SB 11, relative to mental health services and making appropriations therefor. This authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to use general surplus funds for designated receiving facilities and voluntary inpatient psychiatric admissions. Makes an appropriation to DHHS for the purpose of renovating certain existing facilities. Provides rulemaking for involuntary admission hearing requirements. Requires insurers to reimburse certain facilities for emergency room boarding.

Ways and Means, Room 202, LOB

10:00 AM Full committee work session on HB 481, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor. Followed by a subcommittee work session at 1:00 PM.

Wednesday, March 27

Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Room 204, LOB

10:00 AM  Executive session on HB 564, relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones.

Finance, Rooms 210-211, LOB

10:00 AM Executive session on HB 457, establishing a committee to study the making, preservation, and internet availability of audio and video recordings of proceedings of committees of the House of Representatives; HB 616, relative to a cost of living adjustment for retirees in the state retirement system; HB 623, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax; HB 712, relative to a family and medical leave insurance program; HB 177, relative to the calculation of stabilization grants; HB 686, relative to calculating and funding the interim cost of an opportunity for an adequate education, and extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains; HB 709, relative to the formula for determining funding for an adequate education.

Ways and Means, Room 202, LOB

10:00 AM Executive session on HB 481, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

Coming up in Senate Committees

Tuesday, March 26

Education and Workforce Development, Room 103, LOB

9:50 AM  HB 123, relative to emergency response plans in schools. Requires all schools to develop a site-specific emergency response plan, and at least one of the five fire evacuation drills be a test of the emergency response to an armed assailant.

Finance, Room 103, SH

1:00 PM Budget briefing with the Legislative Budget Assistant

Health and Human Services, Room 101, LOB

1:45 PM HB 726, establishing a secure forensic psychiatric hospital advisory council. The council will assist the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services in the development of plans for and the construction of a new, secure multi-purpose forensic psychiatric hospital.

Judiciary, Room 100, SH

9:00 AM HB 455, relative to the penalty for capital murder.  (See above.)

What Would Pete Do?  SING!

Join us to celebrate Pete Seeger’s centennial year on Friday, May 10 with song-leaders Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, the creators of the Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks, joined by Charlie King and Sally Rogers.  The concert/singalong will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, with a suggested donation of $20 and proceeds benefiting the AFSC NH Program!   More information and advanced tickets are here.

State House Watch Radio

Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Chair of the House Finance Committee, will be our guest on the radio version of “State House Watch” on Monday.  We’ll be asking her about the state budget process, the messages her committee heard at the three public hearings they held, and where she thinks the budget-making is headed. 

State House Watch radio airs each Monday from 5 to 6 PM on WNHN-LP, with a re-broadcast Tuesday at 8 AM. You'll find us at 94.7 FM in the Concord area or live-streamed at wnhnfm.org on the internet.  You can also find recordings of past shows, including last week's program with Representative Casey Conley at this link.

Events Coming Up…

Sunday, March 24

Every Sunday is Civil Rights Sunday at Market Square in Portsmouth, 3 to 4 PM.

Saturday, March 23

RAD Medicare for All neighborhood canvass in Manchester, 10 AM to 3 PM.  Meet at RAD Office, 83 Hanover St, Suite 26, Manchester.  Facebook event

Tuesday, March 26

Rally in Support of Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance, 11:30 – 1 PM, hosted by the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy.  

Birddogging 101 Training, 6:30-8:00 PM, Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave, Portsmouth.  Birddogging 101 is a participatory and interactive training that will give community members like you the skills and confidence to talk to presidential candidates and elected officials about the issues facing our communities.  This will be led by Arnie Alpert and RAD’s Isaac Grimm.  Sponsored by RAD, AFSC, NH Peace Action.  RSVP on Facebook

Thursday, April 4

"Dignity at Work" Legislative Advocacy Day

OneActionNH.org is a great way to keep up with lots of other events going on in NH and Maine.  Post your events there!

Arnie Alpert and Maggie Fogarty

PS - Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook. Search for “American Friends Service Committee-NH.”  After all, we are your Friends.

AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord including housing, the death penalty, immigration, and labor rights. We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, corrections policy, and more.

The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change. Arnie Alpert and Maggie Fogarty direct the New Hampshire Program, publish the newsletter, and co-host the “State House Watch” radio show on WNHN-FM every week while the legislature is in session.

Susan Bruce is State House Watch researcher and writer. Fred Portnoy produces the radio show.

"State House Watch" is made possible in part by a grant from the Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust. Your donations make our work possible. Click the “DONATE NOW” button on our web page to send a secure donation to support the work of the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program. Thanks.