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State House Watch: April 3, 2022

Photo: Cheryl Senter/AFSC

“We have been taught to fear the very things that have the potential to set us free.”
– Alok Vaid-Menon

April 3, 2022

Greetings State House Watchers,

As the month of Ramadan begins, we wish all who celebrate a safe and peaceful holiday.

We begin this week's report by celebrating the inspirational victory of Amazon workers in Staten Island who won for themselves a union on Friday, the first ever at an Amazon facility. The grassroots campaign, led by Christian Smalls, focused on the need for better wages, benefits and working conditions, overcoming the aggressive and well-funded efforts by management to delegitimize their leaders and threaten the employees. Read more here. And here. We’ll be cheering them on as the Amazon Labor Union negotiates its first contract.

The Amazon news, combined with what Starbucks workers have achieved in recent months—10 stores unionized, and elections coming up in 170+ other locations—is a promising reminder that people power is real and that grassroots organizing can deliver big wins. Closer to home, we are truly inspired by the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth, who won their union election last week with a unanimous vote. Read more here. Extra cheers to the international students who played key leadership roles in the organizing effort.

Cesar Chavez, co-founder with Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers of America, who would have celebrated his 95th birthday on March 31, would be proud. (See President Biden’s proclamation marking the occasion.) In Chavez’ own words, “There’s no turning back … We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart…”


Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31 was Transgender Day of Visibility, an important occasion to honor the courage, dignity and resilience of transgender and non-binary people and the ongoing struggle for freedom from discrimination. The White House issued a proclamation recognizing the hard-fought progress and the need for federal civil rights protections. This year, 200+ anti-LGBTQ+ proposals are making their way through state legislatures throughout the country. From the Washington Post: GOP lawmakers push historic wave of bills targeting rights of LGBTQ teens, children and their families. We’re relieved that two weeks ago New Hampshire state legislators tabled HB 1077, which would have repealed the prohibition on conversion therapy, and HB 1180 which would have invited discrimination against transgender students. The bills are defeated for this year. More here from GLAD.


An End in Sight for Title 42

The Biden Administration announced on Friday that it will terminate Title 42 expulsions effective May 23, 2022. The Trump-era policy, which was continued by Biden for what will be 16 months by the time it is ended, has resulted in 1.7 million expulsions and devastating consequences for those who attempted to exercise their asylum rights at our southern border. From the Welcome with Dignity campaign, “human rights organizations have documented nearly ten thousand instances of people being kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted, and murdered as a result of Title 42, including families with small children and vulnerable people fleeing violence and persecution. This policy has a disproportionate impact on Black people seeking asylum, especially Haitians.”

We can thank asylum seekers, immigrant justice activists, public health advocates and Democratic leaders for this important win, but there is still cause for anger and concern as the Administration plans to continue expelling Haitians and other migrants over the next seven weeks, and to increase enrollment in the harmful “Remain in Mexico” program.

As mentioned in this statement from the Defund Hate campaign, “Some members of Congress have already started to use the ending of Title 42 as an excuse to buckle down on calls to expand the immigration detention system and further militarize the border region.” Sadly, Senator Maggie Hassan is one of them. Please contact her today and urge her to understand that all people have a right to seek safety and refuge; militarization, surveillance, detention and expulsion are not the answer. Here is a resource for creating your own message.


The President's Budget Revealed

President Biden released his FY ’23 budget request last week. You can read the summary here. His request includes $813 billion for military spending and nuclear weapons, an increase of about $31 billion over the current year's budget. While there are some positive details, including the reduction in the number of beds for immigrant detention, the Administration “once again prioritizes violence, the military and war over peace and human needs,” according to the National Priorities Project. More from their statement, “The U.S. has relied for far too long on a false equation of military might and higher military spending with security. U.S. military spending is already 12 times as high as Russia’s, but that did not prevent the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Instead of doubling down on this broken model, the U.S. should reinvest in diplomacy and humanitarian aid, and recognize increasing militarization as the escalating factor it too often is. As a candidate and as President, President Biden has called for a diplomacy-first foreign policy, a more humane immigration policy, more investment in public health, childcare, elder care, clean energy, ending poverty, higher education, and more. Americans support those priorities. Unfortunately, this budget does not deliver.

Please join AFSC in urging Congress to deliver better health care, schools, and jobs—not more money for weapons, war, and corporate defense contractors.


A Way Forward for Peace

Joseph Gerson, president of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and our former AFSC colleague, wrote last week about the urgency of a ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine: “Putin has given us new lessons about the catastrophic perils of the arrogance of power. Slow though the restoration of trust and normal diplomatic relations will be, we will face the urgent necessity of Common Security negotiations. The imperatives will be to replace the new ice age of an old War with a new Euro-Atlantic order in which no nation seeks to ensure its security at the expense of other nations… Humanity will be sleepwalking to its doom unless the great powers negotiate nuclear disarmament, and to collaborate to stanch the climate chaos that haunts humanity's future.” Read more here.

Our AFSC colleague Aura Kanegis asks “As global horror unfolds in Ukraine, why is war still legal?” She reflects on the need to strengthen international laws and systems of accountability to respond to conflicts nonviolently, and to build capacity for peacebuilding. “While a world without war may seem unthinkable in our current political context, we sell ourselves short if we refuse to imagine it and demand it.”


New Hampshire Legal News

The NH Department of Justice has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the Banned Concepts Act. The case was filed by teachers, civil rights groups and others who say that the law is vague and has a chilling effect on teachers and classroom instruction. NHPR has the story.

In other court news, the First Circuit Court refused to provide injunctive relief in the matter of Cushing v. Packard, the lawsuit brought by Democratic House members on behalf of those who need remote access to legislative proceedings due to medical vulnerabilities. House Minority Leader David Cote explained the importance of the case, which will continue to move forward: “Allowing a small number of disabled representatives to attend and vote digitally would ensure that all citizens of New Hampshire are equitably represented by their legislators and that the laws passed respect the will of all Granite Staters.” Read more at InDepthNH.

The Attorney General released the full “Laurie List” on Tuesday, an important step forward for transparency in matters related to policy misconduct. The list, formally known as the exculpatory evidence review, includes 174 current and former law enforcement officers whose misconduct undermines their credibility with regard to criminal legal matters. 91 additional names are redacted. The publication of the list followed years of litigation and legislative advocacy. Read more here.


Updates from Crossover Day

The House and Senate met for Crossover Day on March 31, the deadline by which all bills must be acted on in the chamber where they originated. Scroll down for the outcomes on bills we’ve been tracking. Here are updates on a few of them:

The Senate voted to restrict voting rights by approving SB 418, a bill that would make it harder for eligible voters to vote, and would undermine the privacy of ballots. From Frank Knaack, policy director at the ACLU-NH: “SB 418 would pose new, unconstitutional, unnecessary burdens on the right to vote in New Hampshire—including by creating unnecessary affidavit ballots, requiring paperwork returns under deadline, and generally making it harder and more burdensome to vote. This bill has the potential to impact thousands of voters at a time when our elections are already safe, secure, and reliable. There is no reason to impose these needless burdens on New Hampshire voters.” The bill has now been referred to the House Election Law Committee; a public hearing will be scheduled soon.

The full House voted 231-114 in support of HB 1609 as amended, which mitigates some of the harm caused by the state's abortion ban by adding a fatal fetal diagnoses exception to the 24-week ban and eliminating the requirement that all people seeking abortion care first undergo an ultrasound—at every stage of pregnancy—even if it is not medically necessary. Read more at NHPR, and join us for State House Watch Radio this week to hear more about this from Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager at Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.

The full House approved, with a bipartisan vote, HB 1598, a bill which legalizes recreational use of cannabis, and authorizes its sale through a state-run monopoly equivalent to the state liquor stores. Read more at InDepthNH. The bill advances to the Senate where it will face some challenges.

We are disappointed that the House defeated three common sense proposals that would have expanded access to driver licenses for various groups of immigrants—HB1093, HB 1463, and HB 1666. Representative George Sykes, who was the prime sponsor for all three bills, spoke from the floor: It is not enough to merely feign support for refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other war-torn countries with messages of support on social media or with a lapel pin. We must actively work to craft policies that support refugees’ dignity and improve safety for everyone in our state.” Read more at InDepthNH.

House members dismissed HR 18, a bill that would have recommended to Congress the removal of a clause in the 13th amendment to the Constitution which allows for enslavement of incarcerated people. We recommend that our elected officials watch Ava DuVernay’s important 2016 documentary about this matter. This vote is another reminder of why we should be encouraging the teaching of a true history of the United States.


Action Alerts for This Week

Please take a moment early in the week to contact your legislators:

Oppose HB 1431, establishing a parental bill of rights. This bill would remove community protections for children. It would give a parent the final word on their child's health, education, and welfare -- even if it meant the child was put at risk or danger. It is based in ALEC Model legislation and is part of a nationwide effort by the far-right to further target public schools, undermine an honest education, and target diversity, equity, and inclusion justice. The bill has a public hearing in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday, April 5 at 1:15 PM. Register your opposition here.

Oppose SB 294, which would mandate the incarceration of people charged with any one of 13 offenses prior to arraignment pretrial based only on unsubstantiated allegations, eroding the progress made with bail reform in 2018. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 20-4. The ACLU-NH offers a fact sheet to assist with advocacy against this harmful bill which has a public hearing in the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, April 6 at 1:45 PM. Register your opposition here.

Support SB 400, which will help New Hampshire communities to address housing supply shortages with local policies, economic incentives, improved timelines, and greater transparency for the local review process. Housing Action NH asks that we sign and share this letter urging support for SB 400 which will be heard in the House Municipal and County Government Committee on Thursday, April 7 at 4 PM. Register your support here.


In This Issue


Last Week in the Full House

Here are some outcomes from the House session on March 31. First, a 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.
IS – Referred for interim study.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote. Individual legislators’ votes are not tallied.

On the Consent Calendar

HB 1547-FN, setting maximum contaminant levels for perfluorochemicals in the soil. Voted OTP.
HB 1608-FN, (New Title) relative to withdrawal from the state immunization registry. Voted OTP.
HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity. Voted OTP.

On the Regular Calendar – Part One

HR 17, opposing all federal and state efforts to establish a carbon tax on fuels for electricity and transportation. Voted OTP 178-159.
HR 18, urging Congress to remove the exception from the 13th Amendment: “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Tabled 195-145.

HB 1093, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire. Voted ITL 186-161.
HB 1463, relative to drivers’ licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005. Voted ITL 177-154.
HB 1666-FN, relative to the application process for driver’s licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records. Voted ITL 189-160.

HB 1478-FN-A, relative to the business profits tax applicable to certain large, low-wage employers. Voted ITL 304-40. 

On the Regular Calendar – Part Two

HB 1646, relative to representation on a cooperative school district board. Tabled 297-49.

HB 1064-FN, requiring the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in elections. Tabled 270-75.
HB 1473-FN, authorizing a forensic audit of the November 3, 2020 election results in Merrimack county for president, governor, and United States senate races. Tabled 251-94.

CACR 24, providing that the attorney general be elected by a majority vote of the members of the general court in a joint session. Voted ITL 253-87.
CACR 25, providing that no person shall serve more than 15 terms in either the house of representatives or the senate. Voted ITL 301-41.
CACR 26, relating to the house of representatives. Providing that 100 of the representatives are elected using party list proportional representation. Voted ITL 324-8.
CACR 27, elected and appointed officials. Providing that all state court judges shall be subject to recall and removal by petition and vote of registered voters pursuant to provisions established by the legislature. Voted ITL 254-85.

On the Regular Calendar – Part Three

HB 1235-FN, relative to compensation paid to a crime victim. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1417-FN-LOCAL, relative to payment by the state of a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. Voted OTP 186-159.
HB 1535-FN, relative to cost-of-living adjustments for retirees in the state retirement system. Voted OTP/A 218-100. Read more here.
HB 1587-FN-A, relative to determination of average final compensation under the retirement system and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1609-FN, relative to the scope of the fetal protection act. Voted OTP/A 231-114. Amendment allows for an exception to the 24 week abortion ban so that in the case of fetal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion would be an option.
HB 1624-FN-A, relative to students with disabilities participating in co-curricular activities and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1627-FN-A, establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A 201-131.
HB 1642-FN, relative to lead testing in children. Voted ITL.
HB 1647-FN, relative to the calculation of child support. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1682-FN-A, establishing the law enforcement conduct review committee in the New Hampshire police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.

HB 1598-FN, legalizing the possession and use of cannabis. Voted OTP/A 169-156.


Last Week in the Full Senate 

On the Consent Calendar

HB 1234, relative to criminal background checks for an applicant for a teaching credential. Voted OTP.

HB 536-FN, relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers’ compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits. Voted OTP and referred to Finance.

On the Regular Calendar

SB 348, relative to political expenditures and contributions. Voted OTP/A.
SB 418-FN, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Voted OTP/A 13-11.

SB 376-FN, establishing a committee to study the creation of a board to study mental health incidents among law enforcement officers. Voted OTP/A.
SB 415-FN-A, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for the purpose of increasing rates paid to homeless shelters. Tabled 13-11. 
SB 417-FN establishing an electric school bus pilot program. Voted OTP.
SB 431-FN, relative to child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting schedules. Voted OTP.
SB 444-FN, relative to childhood adverse experiences treatment and prevention. Voted OTP/A.
SB 447-FN, establishing the electric vehicle and infrastructure fund. Voted OTP.
SB 448-FN, relative to energy reduction by state agencies. Voted OTP.
SB 456-FN-A, establishing a law enforcement conduct review committee in the police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP.
SB 458-FN, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility. Voted OTP/A.
SB 459-FN, relative to a health care facility workplace violence prevention program. Voted OTP.
HB 1218-FN, relative to the merger of Granite State college with the university of New Hampshire. Voted OTP. 

SB 288, prohibiting the requiring of COVID-19 vaccinations for schools or child care agencies. Voted OTP/A.
SB 446-FN-A, establishing a child care workforce fund and grant program and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.
SB 450, relative to the prescription drug affordability board. Voted OTP/A.

SB 344, relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public. Voted OTP/A 13-11.


Coming Up in House Committees

Tuesday, April 5

Room 206-208, LOB
10:00 AM. SB 144-FN, relative to child care scholarships.
10:30 AM SB 326-FN, relative to developing a plan to create the office of early childhood.
11:15 AM SB 457, establishing a committee to study nonprofit organizations contracting with the department of health and human services for children’s services.

11:00 AM SB 396-FN, relative to solid waste management.
11:20 AM SB 367, relative to the regulatory status of advanced recycling and manufacturing facilities.

10:00 AM SB 223, relative to requirements for recovery houses.
11:30 AM SB 356-FN, relative to medical benefits payments by state retirees.

FINANCE, Room 210-211, LOB
10:00 AM SB 227-FN, relative to death benefits for first responders who die from suicide.
1:00 PM SB 371-FN-A, making an appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund.
1:30 PM SB 422-FN, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.

9:30 AM SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund.
10:00 AM SB 391, relative to the operation of a state forensic psychiatric hospital.
1:45 PM SB 404-FN, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program.
2:45 PM SB 279, establishing a study committee on harm reduction and overdose prevention programs.

10:00 AM SB 440-FN, relative to the office of offshore wind industry development.
11:00 AM SB 259, relative to the definition of municipal hosts for purposes of limited electrical energy producers.
1:30 PM SB 261-FN, relative to net metering participation.
2:30 PM SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy.
3:30 PM SB 264, relative to certain references to the department of energy and transferring authority over the low-income electricity assistance program to the department of energy.

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
11:30 AM SB 435-FN, relative to the net operating loss carryover under the business profits tax.

Wednesday, April 6

Room 302-304, LOB
1:30 PM SB 121, relative to a state-based health exchange.
1:45 PM SB 319-FN, relative to vaccination status and wellness incentives.

11:30 AM SB 393-FN, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state or county correctional facility.
1:45 PM SB 294-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM SB 234, requiring student identification cards to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
10:00 AM SB 236, establishing a committee to study New Hampshire teacher shortages and recruitment incentives.
11:00 AM SB 352, relative to substitute teacher criminal history records check.
11:30 AM SB 353, relative to the education professional standards board.
1:00 PM SB 386, relative to the determination of state adequate education grants and chartered public school tuition amounts.
1:30 PM SB 410, relative to public comment periods at school district meetings and meetings of the state board of education.

ELECTION LAW, Room 306-308, LOB
9:45 AM SB 328, relative to the date of the state primary election.
10:00 AM SB 364, relative to the use of electronic poll books.
10:30 AM SB 365, relative to absentee ballot outer envelopes.
10:45 AM SB 366-FN, requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election.
11:15 AM SB 405-FN, relative to fines and penalties for election law violations.
11:30 AM SB 427-FN, modifying the absentee voter registration process, absentee ballot application, and absentee ballot voting process.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
9:30 AM SB 216, establishing a commission to study the landlord and tenant mediation program in circuit courts.
10:30 AM SB 301-FN-L, relative to the procedure for violations under the right to know law.
1:00 PM SB 392, establishing a commission to study insanity and restoration of competency.
3:00 PM SB 217, relative to eviction notices.

11:00 AM SB 258-FN-L, relative to the graves of African Americans alive during the period of American enslavement. Read more here.

Thursday, April 7

2:00 PM SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
10:30 AM SB 296, relative to complaint procedures in cases before the commission for human rights.
1:00 PM SB 302-FN, establishing the personal privacy protection act.

11:30 AM SB 249, prohibiting planning and zoning ordinances that prohibit short-term rentals. 1:00 PM SB 251, relative to the advisory board of a tax increment financing district.
1:30 PM SB 273-A, relative to broadband infrastructure funding.
4:00 PM SB 400-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. Housing Action NH supports this bill.


Coming Up in Senate Committees

Monday, April 4

1:00 PM HB 1153, relative to absentee ballot requests.
1:15 PM HB 1157, relative to electronic ballot counting devices.
1:30 PM HB 1203-FN, relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters.
1:45 PM HB 1457-FN, relative to chain of custody of ballot boxes after an election.

Tuesday, April 5

9:00 AM HB 1125, relative to school emergency plans.
9:20 AM HB 1367, relative to civics instruction in schools.
9:30 AM HB 1263, relative to prescribed studies on health, physical education, wellness, and personal finance literacy in schools.
9:40 AM HB 1663, relative to requirements for home education students.
9:50 AM HB 1381, relative to student school board members.

9:00 AM HB 1454-FN, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills.
9:20 AM HB 1599-FN, relative to customer generators who sell renewable energy certificates. 9:40 AM HB 1629-FN, relative to default service for net metering.

1:15 PM HB 1431-FN-L, establishing the parental bill of rights.
2:00 PM HB 1614-FN, requiring the recording and storing of digital video in all state-funded juvenile detention facilities.
2:30 PM HB 1296-FN, relative to the forfeiture of items used in connection with a drug offense.

Wednesday, April 6

1:00 PM HB 1195, relative to public comment periods at school board or school administrative unit public meetings.
1:10 PM HB 1530, establishing curricular transfer pathways between the community college system of New Hampshire and the university system of New Hampshire.
1:20 PM HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote.

9:00 AM HB 275, relative to the declaration of a state of emergency.
9:30 AM HB 1037, relative to the governor’s duties during a state of emergency.
10:00 AM HB 1337, relative to the duration of unemployment benefits.

10:20 AM HB 1099, prohibiting the department of health and human services from requiring vaccine passports for services.
11:00 AM HB 1241, prohibiting a school district from mandating a COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance.
11:20 AM HB 1495-FN, prohibiting the state from requiring businesses to require vaccine or documentation related to vaccination or immunity status.
11:40 AM HB 1035, relative to exemptions from school vaccine mandates.
12:00 PM HB 1606, making the state vaccine registry an opt-in program.

10:00 AM Hearing on proposed Amendment #1294s, relative to the rate of the business profits tax, and relative to suspension of the state road toll, to HB 1221-FN, relative to the rate of the business profits tax.

Thursday, April 7

Room 103, SH
9:45 AM HB 543, establishing a commission to study nuclear power and nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire.

9:00 AM HB 629-FN, relative to the home cultivation of cannabis plants and the possession of certain cannabis-infused products.
9:30 AM HB 1677-FN, relative to the administration and settlement of claims of abuse at the youth development center and making an appropriation therefor.
10:00 AM HB 1673-FN, relative to the scope of the fetal life protection act.
2:00 PM HB 254, relative to the placement of minors in secure settings.

State House Watch on the Radio

Join us for State House Watch radio on Monday, April 4; Maggie and Grace speak with Louise Spencer, co-founder of the Kent Street Coalition, and Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager for Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund. Our show airs on Mondays at 5 PM and is rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 8 AM. You can listen at 94.7 FM, WNHN in Concord, and online. You can find podcasts of our past shows here, including last week’s show with Elissa Margolin of Housing Action NH.


Upcoming Events and Programs

Quaker Action for a Just World: 2022 AFSC Corporation Program – April 3 to April 7. Hosted by AFSC. Join us for a virtual gathering of Friends to discuss what we can do to build a vision of a renewed world. How can we overcome oppression, turn back from further climate injustice, and build a world that is more sustainable, just, and peaceful? Join us for a panel of Quaker climate activists, workshops on key peace and justice issues, and a keynote speech from Winona LaDuke as a part of AFSC’s annual corporation meeting.

Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival – February 12 to April 9. Hosted by the Black Quaker Project. Join us for this first-of-its-kind film festival that endeavors to educate all about the importance of Quakers of Color who for too long have remained within the margins of the Society of Friends and the wider world. From February 12, during Black History Month, until Paul Robeson’s birthday on April 9, we will screen a film centered on a Quaker of Color with an introduction from a guest expert and a follow up discussion facilitated by BQP Director Dr. Harold D. (Hal) Weaver. Screenings will take place every other Saturday on Zoom at 1 PM ET. 

"How to Move Our Money: Practicing Reparations in a Year of Release" – Sundays, March 6 through April 10 at 5 PM – 6 PM ET. This nonsectarian course is designed for those who accept the basic ethical premise of reparations, and who seek practical guidance for connecting this ethical premise to their own financial privileges.  To sign up, send an email to Regina ( and she will put you on the list. Group size limited to 24 people.

Monday, April 4

Community Land Trusts: What They Are and How We Can Start One – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Join Kathy Staub and the Manchester Housing Alliance on a presentation on what a community land trust is, how they've been implemented, and how we are going to start one here in NH.

Tuesday, April 5

2022 Midterm Election Outlook – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by NH Institute of Politics. Political journalists Leah Askarinam, Sarah Frostenson and Nathaniel Rakich join the Institute’s Executive Director Neil Levesque for a conversation on the 2022 midterm elections.

Our panelists will discuss the upcoming Senate, House, and gubernatorial races, along with recent polls, and the potential electoral effects of redistricting.

Sunday, April 10

Race Class Academy: A Guided Discussion Series (4 Parts) – 1 PM to 3 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Race-Class Academy is a 12-video introduction to how we can beat dog whistle politics by building cross-racial and cross-class solidarity. Our April workshop series is open to anyone who wants to better understand the importance of using race-class messaging as a strategy to overcome efforts to divide us, change the narrative and win the changes that benefit us all. With so much at stake for our communities, this is a highly recommended series for all leaders, organizers and people considering running for office.

Monday, April 11

Crossover Report Webinar – 4 PM to 5 PM. Hosted by New Futures. As we cross the halfway point of the 2022 legislative session, join New Futures' policy staff for a presentation on the status of priority health and wellness bills as well as a preview of policy and advocacy needs to come. The discussion will include updates on the Campaign for a Healthy New Hampshire as well as other priority bills related to children's behavioral health, early childhood, alcohol and other drugs, health, access to treatment, and health equity. If you cannot attend, please know that a recording of the webinar will be available after the event. We look forward to seeing you!

Peace & Justice Conversations: 350NH Climate Justice Activists Report – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Militarism and climate disruption are deeply linked. In January, Marcy Winograd helped us more clearly see those connections. NH Peace Action has supported 350NH since its inception and welcomes Jen and Wren, Climate Justice Organizers with 350 New Hampshire, for a conversation about their goals for a more just, sustainable world. They will speak about their coalition work to stop the burning of coal, the systems of power that suppress our agency, their vision of a better future, and the work that seeks to connect these things.

Thursday, April 14

Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry: “What Kind of Allies Will We Be?” – 5 PM to 6 PM. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, 17 Main St., Durham. Join us for a panel discussion and lively community conversation around racism and violence in America, and the kinds of allies we might be in the dismantling of white privilege and systemic racism.

Open Democracy Book Club: How Democracies Die – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy. Since the days of ancient Athens, democracies have arisen and disappeared, often suffering violent deaths. In How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblat teach us that democracy no longer ends in a shower of bullets but with the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions and the erosion of long-standing political norms. The culprits are not wild-eyed revolutionaries or foreign adversaries, they are us, or at least a sub-set of us. They give us clear examples of how some democracies have died in the last century and invite us to consider what lessons these fates offer for our own country. This is the way democracy ends, not with bang but a whimper.

Friday, April 15

Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry: “Art, Conscience & Social Justice” – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, 17 Main St., Durham. With the Rev. Mark Koyama, pastor of the United Church of Jaffrey (NH) and organizer of the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry. We’re honored that community member Mark will join us for the evening, sharing with us his vision and experience in this project, and screening for us Stitch—Breathe—Speak, the documentary film produced about the quilt project in NH.

Monday, April 18

WEBINAR: School Budget & Tax Caps – 4 PM. Hosted by Reaching Higher NH. Tax caps have become a hot topic in New Hampshire over the past several years. This year, a new mechanism for limiting school spending has emerged: the school budget cap. Join us for a discussion on school budget and tax caps, current legislative proposals in New Hampshire and beyond, and the impact on students and schools

Powerbuilders Action Workshop: Disobedience + Disruption for Social Change – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Join us for an exciting new Powerbuilders training to delve into what it means to plan and execute an effective direct action! Together, we will explore types of direct action and when to use them; why direct action is so important as a way of challenging unjust power dynamics and achieving social change; and elements of tone, timing, location and messaging that make for a "good" action.

Thursday, April 21

Community Safety Beyond Policing: Gun violence and community safety – 8 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Many communities across the country have experienced an uptick in gun violence over the last two years at the same time that we are having a robust debate around the role of policing in our society. How has or should the movement to divest from policing and invest in community been responding?

Sunday, April 24

NH Interfaith Climate Justice Conference – 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Hosted by Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord. Join us for an afternoon of worship, education and relationship building as we strive to unleash the power of faith communities into the climate justice movement in New Hampshire and Beyond. This hybrid event will be held at UU Concord and online over Zoom.

Monday, April 25

Peace & Justice Conversations: Costs of War with Stephanie Savell – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join us for a webinar on The Costs of War Project analyzes the implications of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in terms of human casualties, economic costs, and civil liberties. Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Project will tell us about their research which documents that over 929,000 people have died due to direct war violence; 38 million war refugees and displaced persons were created; and the U.S. federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $8 trillion—funds that could have been spent on public health or in sectors that create far more jobs than the defense sector, like education or green energy.

Tuesday, May 3

Demilitarizing the Budget: Important Even in Times of War – 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC. As the war in Ukraine adds to the many violent conflicts around the world, governments are responding by increasing military budgets, sending weapons to allies, and calling for escalatory measures against other nations. In 2020, the world spent almost $2 trillion on militaries, and if we don't join together, this number will only get worse. In this webinar, you'll learn why the United States' obscene spending on weapons and war isn't actually keeping us safe, how the budget and appropriations process works, and how you can get involved in the call to move money out of militarism and into our communities.

With best wishes,

Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke and Anne Saunders

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, education, civil liberties, 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. Anne Saunders is AFSC’s State House Watch researcher and co-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
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