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NH State House Watch

AFSC's weekly newsletter for activists and all who want to pay attention to state policy-making

AFSC’s New Hampshire State House Watch newsletter is published weekly during legislative sessions (and occasionally at other times of the year) to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord including housing, 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.

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April 10, 2021

Greetings, State House Watchers!

It has been a tough three days. April 9 was Crossover Day, so every House bill that hadn’t already crossed over to the Senate had to be voted on by the end of the day yesterday. The biggest obligation of the House in the first year of the biennium is to pass a budget, which they did on Wednesday, but it’s full of harmful provisions.

73 Bills Left to Die

The House Calendar was structured in such a way that all of the bills that came out of committee with an “Inexpedient to Legislate” (ITL) recommendation (that is, a recommendation for defeat of the bill) were put in the third section of the calendar.  Leadership had contracted with the Sportsplex to be out by 7 PM on Friday. We won’t speculate about the reasons why the calendar was structured in a way that it never has been, nor why they never got to the third section of the calendar, but the bottom line is that they did not. That means that the three-day session ended without having addressed 73 bills (!).  Because the Crossover deadline has now officially passed, all of these bills are dead.  What a terrible mismanagement of the process, and a disregard for legislators’ labor on behalf of their constituents. Garry Rayno has more of the story for InDepthNH: “’In the decades that I have served in the House, I don’t remember ever seeing such broad and aggressive moves by the Majority to rig our sessions to kill so many bills without discussion, debate, or votes,’ said Deputy Minority Leader David Cote, D-Nashua. ‘Last term when we had lots of bills and were pushed up to a deadline, the…Majority showed leadership and a commitment to the institution by staying until 4 in the morning to finish the people’s business. This Majority showed that they have no interest in transparency or the legitimate functioning of this body.’”

House Passes Budget on Party Lines

The full House passed the budget on a party-line vote, approving a proposal that would eliminate hundreds of positions in DHHS and underfund public schools by about $100 million. “’The hypocrisy of massive cuts to funding and jobs in the name of ‘tightening our belt’ and handing out $10 million of public money to private citizens who voluntarily took risky investments is mind boggling,’ said Rep. MaryJane Wallner, D-Concord, and the ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee. ‘Recovering from a global pandemic is not the time to be saving for a rainy day,’ she said, referring to the $35 million the budget would allocate to the state’s rainy day fund.” (InDepthNH)  

That belt tightening wasn’t applied across the board. From Josh Rogers at NHPR: This plan passed along party lines, and includes many policies dear to conservatives. That includes a range of tax cuts: to state business taxes, and the tax on rooms and meals.” Business taxes are an important source of state revenue, which means the cost of those cuts will be downshifted to cities and towns.

Deborah Opramolla from The People’s Budget campaign summed it up: “This budget has an overall lack of investment in public health infrastructure, public education, affordable housing, and health care, while providing massive corporate tax give-aways to out of state corporations. Our communities deserve a state budget that invests in our communities’ health, education, recovery, and opportunity. This budget is nowhere close to a morally or fiscally responsible budget.” These are the demands made by The People's Budget campaign.

Floor amendments which attempted to undo some of the harm of the Finance Committee’s proposal were defeated, including one which would have eliminated the language of the “divisive concepts” bill, HB 544. Several lawmakers took to the floor to fight the provision: “’It doesn’t belong in a budget, and these bills let people discriminate against people like me,’ said Rep. Maria Perez of Milford. ‘Anyone in this room who lived one day in my life would understand why educating people about racism is vital,’ said Rep. Jean Jeudy of Manchester.” (NHPR). (State House Watchers know that HB 544 was also on the calendar this past week as a stand-alone bill; thankfully, it was tabled.)  Please contact the Senate Finance Committee and your own senator to let them know that this absurd and regressive proposal has no place in our state budget.

During budget writing season, we rely on our friends at the NH Fiscal Policy Institute for their analysis.  If you missed their House budget webinar this past week, you can find the slides and a recording here.

The House also voted on a number of bills to try to change public education. The most rancorous debate concerned CACR 3, a proposed amendment to the New Hampshire constitution that would allow taxpayer dollars to fund religious schools. The bill failed to meet the necessary three-fifths threshold required for a constitutional amendment. InDepthNH has the story. We encourage you to read it for two reasons – it’s a good story, AND it has a great photo of activists greeting the legislators as they drove into the NH Sportsplex to begin the session.

A ‘Win’ for Immigrant Rights

We are delighted to report that HB 266, the anti-immigrant, anti-sanctuary cities proposal that would have endangered immigrant community members and undermined many years of work with municipalities as well as state and local police, was tabled by a voice vote. Now that Crossover has passed, it would take a 2/3 vote in the House to remove it from the table for any further action, so this harmful bill is defeated for this year. Many thanks to immigrant leaders – most notably Eva Castillo, Asma Elhuni, Bruno Soares, Viola Katusiime, Alejandro Urrutia, Sebastian Fuentes, Grace Kindeke and many more—and allies whose hard work and determination have won the day.

While we are dismayed that HB 328, which would expand driver license access for undocumented immigrants, was among the 73 bills that were never brought to a vote yesterday, and therefore is defeated for this year, the Drive Safe NH campaign will continue to advocate for this common-sense, public safety proposal. We are glad to report that HB 587, which would have put a citizenship marker on driver licenses and nondriver IDs, was defeated by lack of action yesterday. 

Voting Restrictions Approved

The House also passed a number of new bills aimed at restricting voting, particularly absentee voting. More at AP News.  We’ll have more to say as these bills make their way through Senate hearings.

Real Civics Education Would Be Better

A bill that would force students attending NH colleges to pass the US Immigration Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test, HB 319, also passed after lengthy debate. From NHPR: “Legislators from both parties lamented the dearth of civics knowledge and engagement among college students. But their opinions differed on whether administering and taking the online, 128-question U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services civics naturalization test would be an effective way to improve that.”

Taking a test online, when the answers are also available online doesn’t seem like an effective way to teach civics, especially since there will be no course to teach or reinforce the subject matter. However, watching legislative committees and sessions online is an excellent way for everyone to learn more about civics. We hope that legislators will keep this in mind as the debate continues about maintaining online access to public hearings and session days.

COVID Vaccination Update

This week Governor Sununu reversed his stance on refusing to vaccinate out -ofstate students attending NH colleges. From NHPR: “Last Friday, the state opened up vaccine eligibility to all New Hampshire residents 16 and older, but, at the time, did not include people like out-of-state college students or second-home owners. Sununu said Thursday the increased availability of COVID vaccines led him to reverse course.” We’re glad that the governor has chosen to see reason, for whatever reason. For more information on COVID in NH, we recommend the NHPR FAQs site.

A Win for Disability Rights

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that disabled lawmakers are entitled to protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a victory for NH lawmakers who have been advocating for remote access to House sessions. The Conway Daily Sun has the story.

NH Border Patrol Checkpoints – More Good News

A federal judge has refused to dismiss the case brought by the ACLU, that challenges the constitutionality of the Border Patrol checkpoints on I-93 in Woodstock. Todd Bookman for NHPR: “The New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont ACLU chapters filed the suit in 2020, alleging the routine staging of checkpoints nearly 100 miles from the international border by Customs and Border Protection agents amount to “general crime control and interdiction” rather than the enforcement of immigration law. They contend that CBP agents unlawfully search vehicles, a violation of the Fourth Amendment.” The case will move forward. For a refresher on what provoked the lawsuit, here’s the NHPR story from 2020. 

Last Week in the House

The key

OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment.
OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment.
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment. “ITL” can also be used as a verb.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.

DV – Division Vote. Just the numbers for or against the bill are counted.

HB 68 Relative to the definition of child abuse. This bill seeks to add sexual reassignment to the definition of an abused child. This bill was removed from the consent calendar but was not voted on before the House adjourned. The bill is dead.

HB 265 Requiring bottled drinking water sold to the public meet the same maximum contaminant levels established for public drinking water. ITL by a voice vote.

HB 270 Relative to post-conviction DNA testing. OTP by a voice vote.

HB 286 Establishing a committee to study the response of law enforcement and the criminal justice system to homelessness in New Hampshire. OTP by a voice vote.  

HB 436 Relative to eyewitness identification procedures. OTP/A by a voice vote.  

HB 441 Requiring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be placed in all public schools. ITL by a voice vote.

HB 429 Relative to college or university voting. This bill would require the University System of New Hampshire and the community college system to charge in-state tuition for any student registered to vote in this state. This bill was removed from the consent calendar but was never voted on before the House adjourned. Bill is dead.

HB 555 Relative to prisoners’ voting rights. This bill amends the absentee voter application form and absentee voting affidavits to make clear that certain persons confined to penal institutions may vote by absentee ballot. OTP by a voice vote.

HB 155 Renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. This bill, as amended, would create an entirely new holiday, making August 9 Indigenous People’s Day in NH. Rep. Horrigan successfully moved to table the bill, in a DV of 242-124.

HB 283 Proclaiming April 11 as Wentworth Cheswill Day. OTP/A by a voice vote.

HB 157 Relative to the state health improvement plan and the state health assessment and state health improvement advisory council. OTP/A by a voice vote.

HB 492 Requiring maintenance of the COVID-19 dashboard. ITL by a voice vote.

HB 154 Relative to community revitalization tax incentives. OTP by a voice vote.

HB 486 Relative to eligibility for the low- and moderate-income homeowners property tax relief. OTP by a voice vote.  

HB 25 Making appropriations for capital improvements. OTP/A by a voice vote.

HB 626 Relative to historic horse racing. OTP by a DV of 223-152.  

HB 1 Making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 20, 2022 and June 30, 2023, also known as the state budget.  OTP/A by a RC vote of 205-178.

HB 2 Relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures, also known as the state budget trailer bill. OTP/A by a RC vote of 200-181.

CACR 8 Providing the legislature make no law restricting the right to own, carry, or use firearms or firearm accessories. OTP/A by a RC vote of 201-174. The bill lacked the necessary three-fifths vote, and so it fails. 

HB 195 Adding display of a firearm as an exception to reckless conduct. OTP by a RC vote of 198-169.

HB 196 Adding trespass as an exception to the charge of criminal threatening. OTP/A by a RC vote of 208-151.

HB 307 Relative to the state preemption of the regulation of firearms and ammunition. OTP/A by a RC vote of 191-162.

HB 69 Relative to the display of the national motto in schools. OTP by a RC vote of 204-169.

HB 319  Requiring students in the university and community college systems of New Hampshire to pass the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services civics naturalization test. Voted OTP/A by a RC vote of 188-187.

HB 458 Relative to provision of menstrual products for students in need. This would repeal the 2019 bill that mandates menstrual products be placed in middle and high school girl’s bathrooms, at no charge. The House defeated the OTP recommendation with a roll call vote of 183 – 193, and when a motion was made for a vote to ITL, the majority party quickly moved to table the bill before the motion could be voted on.

HB 291 Relative to public inspection of absentee ballot lists. OTP by a DV of 191-179. 

HB 292 Relative to the absentee ballot application process. OTP by a RC vote of 198-179.

HB 523 Requiring a person who registers to vote without any identification to have his or her photo taken before registration is complete. OTP by a RC vote of 197-172.

HB 544 Relative to the propagation of divisive concepts. Tabled, by a DV of 347-18. The stand-alone bill is effectively defeated, but the “divisive content” language lives on in the budget.

HB 185 Removing the work requirement of the New Hampshire Granite Advantage Health Care Program. Tabled by a RC vote of 203-155.

HB 295 Relative to initiating amendments and corrections to birth records. The sponsor of the bill moved to table, in a DV of 352-3.

HB 503 Establishing a New Hampshire Commission on Homelessness. New title: Codifying the council on housing stability. The bill survived a motion to table, by Rep. Sylvia. Voted OTP/A by a DV of 210-115.  

HB 206 Relative to collective bargaining strategies under the right-to-know law. A motion to table by Rep. Spillane failed in a DV of 174-178. The bill was voted ITL by a RC vote of 189-163. A motion to reconsider by Rep. Baldasaro failed in a RC vote of 162-192.

HB 227 Relative to termination of tenancy at the expiration of the tenancy or lease term. OTP/A by a RC vote of 202-147.

HB 348 Requiring a public employer to provide notice of a new or amended collective bargaining agreement. The vote on the committee amendment failed in a DV of 169-179. A motion to reconsider the amendment failed in a RC vote of 184-192. A motion to table the bill by Rep. Turcotte passed, in a RC vote of 194-184.

HB 266 Relative to the enforcement of immigration laws and prohibitions of sanctuary policies. A motion to table by Rep. Dolan passed by a voice vote.

Bills Defeated Due to Inaction

The bills below were in the third section of the Calendar. All of these bills came out of committee with ITL recommendations. None of them were voted on before the Crossover deadline which means they’re dead.

HB 138 Allowing prisoners serving life sentences to be eligible for parole after 25 years. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 12-8.

HB 507 Prohibiting no knock warrants. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.

HB 557 Relative to the authority of state and county correctional facilities to discipline inmates using close or solitary confinement. This bill seeks to repeal the authority of the Department of Correction to use those punitive measures. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.

CACR 4 Providing an independent redistricting commission shall be established to draw boundaries for state and federal offices. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-8.

HB 61 Relative to absentee voting and allowing for partial processing of absentee ballots prior to election day. This would allow for no-excuse absentee voting as well as partial processing. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-8.

HB 428 Relative to the procedures for apportioning electoral districts. This bill called for a high degree of openness, transparency, and public interaction in the redistricting process. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.

HB 516 Allowing voters to vote by absentee ballot. Another no-excuses absentee voting bill. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.

HB 538 Relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters, and relative to the terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency.” This attempt to turn the clock back to the pre-2018 days of voter registration is recommended ITL by the committee, by a vote of 11-9.

HB 506 Relative to equal access to places of public accommodation. This bill seeks to add refusal to wear masks to the list of civil rights protected in our state. The majority finds it would expose the general public to grave harm.  The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 15-6.

HB 160 Relative to rent increases in certain residential property. This bill would extend the amount of time required for a landlord to give notice to tenants of a rent increase. The majority finds this a “step towards rent control.” Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.

HB 216 Relative to public notice and access to meetings under the right to know law. This would establish requirements for remote access to public meetings. The majority finds this a local control issue. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.

HB 288 Eliminating the housing appeals board. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 15-6.

HB 430 Repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility. This would repeal the so-called buffer zone law that was passed in 2014. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.

HB 434 Prohibiting the use of public funds for abortion. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10, given that the Hyde Amendment bans the use of federal funds for abortion. The majority party put this language into the budget.

HB 550 Relative to the nonpayment of rent during the state of emergency. This bill would establish a procedure for a court to continue an eviction action during the state of emergency, thereby providing time for tenants to secure rental assistance, and an efficient process for courts to resolve nonpayment of rent disputes that have arisen during the state of emergency. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.

HB 107 Relative to the minimum hourly rate. This bill would establish the state minimum wage at $22.50 and the tipped employee wage at $10.12 per hour. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 19-1. 

HB 563 Establishing a committee to study a living wage and the utilization of public assistance among low-wage workers and their families in New Hampshire. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.

HB 341 Relative to permissible residential units in a residential zone. This would increase the number of housing units permitted in single-family residential zones to four units. The majority calls it an unfunded state mandate that overrides local control. Committee recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.

HB 512 Relative to emergency housing assistance. This bill would prohibit a municipality from requiring a housing code inspection as a condition of emergency housing assistance. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9, concerned by the potential risks for applicants. This means these folks will continue to live in substandard housing, but without any financial assistance.

HB 112 Establishing a committee to study the effects of deportation of primary earners on family members who are United States citizens. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10. From the minority report, written by Rep. Amanda Toll: “NH communities are experiencing a workforce shortage, and the vibrancy and vitality of communities are being reduced, while human potential is being underutilized, due to deportations. This study would give us a basis to find appropriate solutions to sustain communities’ economic growth. Additionally, this study will help us to further understand the humanitarian impact of deportation on our immigrant communities.”

HB 328 Relative to the application process for driver licenses and relative to the privacy of motor vehicle records. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9. From the minority report by Rep. George Sykes: “This bill was intended to set up provisions to test and license undocumented persons for driving privileges. The minority believes that testing the more than 14,000 undocumented Granite Staters as to their ability to drive safely is of paramount importance. Nearly 300 people signed in support of the bill. Only 22 opposed. We heard strong testimony from Police Chiefs in support of this bill. The American Friends Service Committee, the ACLU, as well as churches and immigrant rights groups also supported the bill. The bill improves public safety and provides for expanded social and economic justice. Passage of the bill would allow many more people to register and insure their automobiles, making our roadways that much safer.”

Last Week in the Senate

HB 318 Proclaiming the daring jumping spider to be the state spider of New Hampshire. OTP by a vote of 23-1.

HB 320 Requiring a civics competency assessment as a high school graduation requirement. OTP/A by a Roll Call vote of 14-19.  

HB 609 Relative to innovation schools. OTP by a roll call vote of 14-10.

HB 587 Relative to indicating citizenship or legal residency on driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. The majority points out that there are nearly 29,000 permanent residents of NH who are not citizens – who are green card holders or international students. This sort of a marker would lead to profiling and discrimination. The committee recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.

Next Week in the House

The House will not meet in full session next week.

Coming up in House Committees

We encourage you to use the House digital calendar, which tells what is coming up on any given day, and provides the Zoom meeting links for each committee. You can also access current and past committee hearings there. Sign in to indicate your position on a bill or sign up to testify here. The guide to remote testimony is a helpful tool.

Monday, April 12

Finance – Division III

9:30 AM Discussion on options for a secure psychiatric hospital.

Thursday, April 15

Executive Departments and Administration

10:00 AM SB 33 Relative to Native American name restoration. This bill authorizes cities and towns to name or rename locations or geographic features in the Abenaki language. It requires the Commission on Native Affairs to assist cities, towns, and the state when requested in determining historic or otherwise appropriate Abenaki language names for locations and geographic features and requires the Commission on Resources and Natural Development act as the state contact for the federal government for state naming issues.

11:00 AM SB 114 Relative to protecting the safe use and enjoyment of publicly accessible recreation areas. This bill requires the Departments of Natural and Cultural Resources and Fish and Game to develop protocols to address the enjoyment and safe use of publicly accessible recreation areas for people without fear of violence resulting from discrimination. It also requires authorized personnel from both departments to undergo ethics and diversity training. The bill requires the police standards and training council to provide additional training to law enforcement officers.

Next week in the Senate

The Senate will not be in session next week.

Coming up in Senate Committees

We encourage our readers to use the Senate digital calendar. It gives you the schedule for committee hearings, provides links to the Senate YouTube channel and the committee Zoom links. You may sign up to speak or indicate your position on a bill here. Everything you need to know about how to testify remotely on a Senate bill can be found here.

Monday, April 12

Energy and Natural Resources

1:00 PM HB 309 Relative to the computation of renewable energy credits. This bill revises the methodology for the Public Utilities Commission to estimate renewable energy credits for certain sources that are net metered. Clean Energy NH supports this bill.

2:00 PM HB 413 Establishing a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning and relative to compost. The bill would require the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services to enact rules relative to the best practices for facilities that compost vegetable matter, meat by-products, dairy products and dairy product derivatives.

Finance

1:00 PM House Budget Presentation

2:30 PM Office of Legislative Budget Assistant Presentation on Surplus Statement to Senate Finance Committee

Agency Budget Presentations
3:15 PM Pease Development Authority
3:30 PM Community Development Finance Authority
4:00 PM Department of Environmental Services

Tuesday, April 13

Education

9:10 AM HB 500 Relative to reducing school food waste and addressing child hunger. This bill permits a school to partner with a nonprofit to freeze leftover school food that was never served, to send home with children who participate in a free or reduced price meals program.

Finance

Agency Budget Presentations
1:00 PM Governor’s Office
2:00 PM Governor’s Commission on Disability
2:30 PM Department of Safety

Judiciary

1:45 PM HB 270 Relative to post-conviction DNA testing. This modernizes the existing statute. The bill outlines which court someone would petition for this type of relief, provides for legal counsel for indigent petitioners, and clarifies the evidentiary standard petitioners must meet. It lowers the burden of proof a petitioner must satisfy to obtain this potentially exculpatory evidence.

2:00 PM HB 296 Establishing the crime of unsolicited disclosure of an intimate image. This would make sending an unsolicited intimate image by an electronic device, depicting sexually explicit conduct, to harass, annoy, or alarm a recipient a crime. The first offense would be a violation, and the second a misdemeanor.

2:15 PM HB 615 Reducing the penalty for certain first offense drug possession charges. In addition to the penalty reductions, this bill adds fentanyl to the list of drugs that qualify for penalty reductions.

Ways and Means

9:00 AM HB 154 Relative to community revitalization tax relief incentives. This bill would enable municipalities to offer community revitalization tax incentives for the construction of additional housing in designated areas. It also revises the criteria for assistance from the affordable housing fund administered by the Housing Finance Authority.

Wednesday, April 14

Executive Departments and Administration

9:30 AM HB 499 (New title) Relative to the use of face recognition technology. The initial bill prohibited the state from the use of facial recognition technology. It’s been amended to permit the state to use face recognition technology if it has a warrant supported by probable cause. 

10:15 AM HB 283 (New title) Proclaiming April 11, 2021 as Wentworth Cheswill Day. Wentworth Cheswill was a Revolutionary War veteran who is thought to be the first African American elected official in the United States. The original bill called for the governor to annually issue a proclamation celebrating the observance of this day, on April 11, Wentworth Cheswill’s birthday. The bill was amended to require the governor to proclaim April 11, 2021 as Wenworth Cheswill Day to celebrate the 275th anniversary of his birth.  The bill was amended on April 7 to add that timing, which guaranteed there would be no Wentworth Cheswill Day. We are disappointed with lawmakers’ disdain or neglect with regard to honoring a notable figure in New Hampshire's and the nation's history.

Health and Human Services

9:30 AM HB 120 Relative to administration of psychotropic medications to children in foster care. This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide medication monitoring for children in foster care, and to ensure that the use of medication restraint conforms with the limitations of RSA 126-U.

9:45 AM HB 220 Establishing medical freedom in immunizations. This establishes the policy for medical freedom in immunizations for communicable diseases.

Judiciary

1:30 PM HB 436 Relative to eyewitness identification procedures. This bill stipulates that each state, county, and local law enforcement agency that conducts photo lineups, live lineups, or show ups shall have a written policy that sets forth the manner in which they shall be conducted.

2:00 PM HB 540 Relative to supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship. This bill provides formal recognition of supportive decision-making, which occurs when people with disabilities use friends, family members, and professionals to help them understand and make their own decisions without the need for a substitute decision maker such as a guardian.

Thursday, April 15

Election Law and Municipal Affairs

10:15 AM HB 486 Relative to eligibility for the low- and moderate-income homeowners property tax relief. This increases the income threshold and property value criteria for claimants of the low- and moderate-income homeowners property tax relief.

Judiciary

1:00 PM HB 471 Relative to police disciplinary hearings. This bill requires police disciplinary hearings to be open to the public unless certain confidential information may be revealed.

1:15 PM Hearing on proposed amendment #1118s, authorizing the Department of Justice to maintain an exculpatory evidence schedule to HB 471.

1:30 PM HB 485 Requiring law enforcement officers to inform a person of their right to refuse a consensual search.

1:45 PM HB 180 Increasing the penalty for buyers under the law regarding trafficking in persons. This bill increases the penalty for a person who pays to enage in sexual contact with a person under the age of 18 who is a victim of human trafficking. It also adds a lesser offense based on the age difference between the victim and the offender.

2:00 PM HB 286 Establishing a committee to study the response of law enforcement and the criminal justice system to homelessness in New Hampshire.

Friday, April 16

Finance

Agency Budget Presentations
1:00 PM Office of Strategic Initiatives
1:30 PM Council on Developmental Disabilities
1:45 PM Executive Council
2:00 PM Boxing and Wrestling Commission
2:15 PM Department of State
3:30 PM Lottery Commission
4:00 PM Board of Tax and Land Appeals
4:30 PM LCHIP

State House Watch radio on WNHN 94.7 FM

Tune in on Monday for the next episode of State House Watch radio, hosted by our friends at 350 New Hampshire.  “State House Watch” radio airs Mondays at 5 PM and rebroadcasts Tuesdays at 8 AM at WNHN-LP, 94.7 FM in Concord and at www.wnhnfm.org. Recordings of past shows, including last week’s program hosted by Maggie and Grace, with two young activists, Lidia Yen and Trysten McClain, are here.

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 9 to Sunday, April 11

Mutual Accompaniment and Creation of the Commons - Friday at 7 PM through Sunday at noon. Join AFSC’s Lucy Duncan and Anyango Reggy, as well as Mary Watkins, for an exploration of accompaniment as liberation practice. Accompaniment is a way to restore relationships disrupted by colonization, white supremacy, and capitalism. In this workshop you will learn how to accompany those most impacted by oppression toward deeper social change, learn how to disrupt the dynamics of socialization in how we show up, and the use of clearness committees in offering support to one another in our work.

Saturday, April 10

Redistricting Forum 2021 – 2PM to 4 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy and the League of Women Voters – NH, Kent Street Coalition and Granite State Progress. As voters and citizens, we need to demand fairness, transparency and a commitment to democracy in the redistricting process. Join us at this important forum to learn what you need to know to join the fight.

Sunday, April 11Quakers, AFSC, and abolition: Then and now

Quakers, AFSC and Abolition: Then and Now – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by AFSC. We examine the powerful witness of earlier Friends, the reality of Quaker complicity with slavery and the creation of the penitentiary system, and AFSC’s 1978 minute on penal abolition. We will also hear from contemporary Quaker abolitionists and AFSC staff who will tell their stories and reflect on what this means for Quakers and AFSC today.   Quakers, AFSC, and abolition: Then and now

Quakers, AFSC, and abolition: Then and now

Monday, April 12

Weekly NH Legislative Update – 5 PM to 6 PM. Hosted by the Lakes Region Chapter of Rights & Democracy. This is a weekly look at what has happened in the state legislature and what is coming up this week. After we go over what is happening in the Legislature this week we offer a short training for anyone who is new and wants to learn how the NH Legislative process works and where and how people can make their voices heard.

No Racist Granite State Pledge Final Phonebank – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by New Hampshire Youth Movement. Join us in phone banking our State Reps one last time! We are asking them to sign onto the No Racist Granite State pledge to denounce white supremacy for a safer NH!

Peace & Justice Conversations: Nonviolent Theory in Action – 7 PM. Please join Michael Ferber, Professor Emeritus of English and Humanities, UNH and long-time board member and resident scholar of nonviolence at NH Peace Action for a discussion of his nine theses on nonviolence. (You will receive Michael's theses in your RSVP confirmation email, but you can also read them HERE). For this Peace & Justice Conversation, you will be invited to propose new ones or amend some of his theses.

Monday, April 12 to Friday, April 16

NH Next: A Summit For Young Change Makers – 12 PM. Hosted by Stay Work Play NH. Join other young changemakers, and those who aspire to create change, at NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers. During this weeklong web series you will hear from and engage with compelling young people who have made an impact in New Hampshire in the arts, social justice, business, politics, and more. You will meet others who share your passions, you will connect with individuals and organizations with whom you might partner to help you to create the change you want to see, and you will gain access to information and other resources that can help you along the way.

Tuesday, April 13

New Hampshire Summit on Qualified Immunity – 6 PM to 7:15 PM. Hosted by Respect NH, the Cato Institute and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. Addressing qualified immunity can help build trust in law enforcement, develop clear accountability for those that don’t deserve a badge, and make it clear to civilians and police that our constitutional rights cannot be flagrantly ignored. Cato's Jay Schweikert will be joined by Gilles Bissonnette of the ACLU of New Hampshire and Chief Brendan Cox (Ret.), an experienced member of law enforcement from the Albany Police Department.

April SURJ Monadnock Meeting – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Showing Up for Racial Justice. All are invited to join the monthly SURJ Monadnock meeting!

Wednesday, April 14

Wednesday Phonebanks for Justice! - 5 PM to 7:15 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Come join Rights & Democracy NH for our weekly Wednesday phone banks! We'll be calling supporters throughout the state to engage people across many issues aligned with our New Hampshire Renews work, including climate, housing/homelessness, healthcare justice/the opioid crisis, and workers' rights. Jump in and join us for as long as you can! We'll be on Zoom to create the camaraderie that we all so desperately need due to social distancing!

Thursday, April 15

BLM Nashua Organizing Session – 5 PM. Hosted by Black Lives Matter Nashua. Join Black Lives Matter Nashua as we make plans for our chapter! All are welcome. For all inquiries, please contact us at info@blmnashua.com.

Wednesday, April 21

How to have Difficult (but Faithful) Conversations about Race – 6 PM. Hosted by New Hampshire Council of Churches and Jewish Federation of New Hampshire. Members of Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other faith communities of New Hampshire invite you to a conversation about our faiths and race relations. This online program follows three online previous conversations on faith and racial inequities in December and January. The subject of this meeting is techniques for having difficult conversations about race within our faith communities and with others based our faith. Our speakers will draw guidance from the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen.

Thursday, April 22

The Power of Storytelling in Indigenous Ways of Knowing – 4 PM to 5:30 PM. Hosted by Indigenous New Hampshire. This event will highlight the power of storytelling and oral traditions in sharing knowledge within Indigenous communities. Anne Jennison, an Abenaki storyteller and UNH alumna, has been telling Native American stories and teaching throughout New England for over three decades. Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, a traditional storyteller from the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation of the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada, is founder of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival and the Society of Yukon Artists of Native Ancestry.

"The Undocumented Americans" Discussion & Witness Radio debut – 7:30 PM. Hosted by Witness at the Border. A Witness at the Border inaugural book club event - we will be discussing "The Undocumented Americans" by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. The author was a DACA recipient when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she'd tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. So, she wrote her immigration lawyer's phone on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants--and to find the hidden key to her own. We will also be debuting Witness Radio, a podcast hosted and directed by Sarah Towle and produced by Livia Brock.

Thursday, April 29

Powerbuilders Training: One-to-Ones - 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Rights and Democracy Institute. Hosted by Rights and Democracy Institute. Rights & Democracy’s mission is to organize within our communities to build the power necessary to challenge and dismantle structural oppression – racism, sexism, classism, environmental destruction.  To do this we must build a base of people who share our values and who are clear about their stake in taking action and building the collective power necessary to re-shape the policies that affect our lives, communities, and ecosystems.

With best wishes, 

Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke and Susan Bruce 

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. Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke staff the New Hampshire Program which publishes this newsletter.  Susan Bruce is our State House Watch researcher and writer. 

‘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.