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State House Watch: February 19, 2022

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.” - Toni Morrison

Greetings State House Watchers!

Spring is (almost) in the air and we hope you had a moment last week to enjoy the warm days that arrived like a gift. Let’s jump right in.

Last week, Black immigrant-led organizations, allies, and coalitions held a series of actions to uplift the work and leadership of Black immigrants in the immigrant rights movement and call for important policy changes. They called on the Biden Administration to pass TPS for Cameroon which continues to experience a war that has killed and displaced thousands. They amplified the #ReuniteUs campaign to create a pathway to reunite families separated by deportation; and uplifted Rep. Cori Bush and Sen. Cory Booker’s letter calling out the inhumane and disparate treatment of Black migrants and President Biden’s continued use of Title 42 to expel people seeking asylum.


Free Them All!

Many thanks to everyone who joined us last Saturday to uplift messages for "Love from the Walls," our #FreeThemAll Valentine’s Day action. See some video highlights here, and some photos at our Facebook page.

From Kristie: “You are worthy and loved. Know that there are people out here sending you positive vibes. Keep your chin up and your heart open.”

From Anthony Tone Payton: “Rehabilitation is the most important part of incarceration. Not card games, not ESPN. Go to the library, read books, and take any classes that are offered. Make your routine fruitful. You can pave the ground of your future from that jail cell. Your lives are meaningful and can still have purpose. Life has valleys and peaks. Don’t let this valley define you. Remember, this is temporary. You will persevere.”

We will continue to seek ways to be in solidarity with all who are held but not forgotten in our jails, prisons, and detention centers. Please sign AFSC's petition calling on public officials to protect incarcerated people across the nation; we also urge you to connect with the NH Community Bail Fund.


Union Organizing at Dartmouth

From our friends at NH Faith & Labor: Student dining services workers at Dartmouth College are engaged in a robust unionization campaign to secure a collective voice on matters of wages, working conditions, workplace safety and health, and overall dignity and respect. To support and celebrate the students' efforts, the NH Faith & Labor coalition and the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth are holding a Solidarity Town Hall on Thursday February 24 at 6:00 PM. This event will be held at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, UCC, 40 College Street, Hanover (in the heart of the Dartmouth campus). Please join if you can and help to spread the word. More information at the Facebook event.


State of the State: Benefiting from Federal Funds

On February 17, Governor Sununu delivered the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the NH House and Senate. He lifted up several important investments in COVID response including public health and economic recovery, as well as affordable housing development and veterans’ services. The governor is asking the legislature to approve $21 million for a project in Franklin that would provide housing, a retreat center and support services for veterans and members of the military in partnership with Easter Seals. The program would be “designed by and for military members and veterans,” Sununu said.

We note, as have others, that these programs are possible because of the American Rescue Plan, federal funding which passed Congress with votes by our NH Congressional delegation, but which the governor had indicated he did not support. We’re glad that New Hampshire people will benefit from these resources, and we continue to hope for a next round of investments via the Build Back Better Act.

Garry Rayno cautions that there’s more to the state’s economic story than what the governor and Republicans are describing (Don’t believe the budget ‘spin’). And the Granite State Organizing Project’s clergy caucus was present outside of the venue to urge the governor to deliver the much-needed (and federally-funded) emergency rental assistance to the 5,000 households waiting for relief while they face the threat of eviction. (See video here.)


Last Week's Votes in the House & Senate Sessions

From the House Session

In a startling turn of events, including defeating an amendment, tabling, taking the bill off of the table, and voting on the original bill, House members narrowly approved HB 1609 by a vote of 179-174, adding exemptions to the abortion ban in cases of rape, incest and fatal fetal anomaly. The bill now heads to the House Finance Committee; if it passes the full House a second time, it will go on to the Senate. NH Bulletin has the story: House lawmakers pass bill adding exceptions to 24-week abortion ban.

House members also approved, by a decisive vote of 235-119, a bill which would legalize possession and use of cannabis for persons 21 years of age and older. HB 1598 now advances to House Finance for review of the fiscal impact, and then on to the Senate where there is some resistance. For clear talking points in favor of this bill, here is a resource from the ACLU-NH. 

House members also approved HB 549, relative to the system benefits charge and the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board, voting to concur on the Senate amendment. As amended, the bill provides up to $400,000 of system benefits charge funds collected annually to improve energy efficiency. From NH Bulletin:

“Proponents of energy efficiency measures, such as weatherization and efficient appliances, have advocated for the program as the state’s one lever against rising electric and heat costs. Funding for the program was cut in a November decision, halting energy efficiency programs, including those for low-income families, and casting uncertainty on the future of energy efficiency jobs in the state. Dozens of energy contractors came to the State House to tell lawmakers about the devastating effect cutting funding would have on their businesses and clients. And the decision prompted a range of legal actions, including multiple appeals to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The version of the bill passed by the House Wednesday would restore key elements of the programs, including evaluation and performance incentives, and allow for moderate annual increases to the budget. It also sets aside $400,000 to promote energy efficiency which comes with both economic & climate benefits.”

Governor Sununu has indicated that he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

We’re also happy to see that HB 1535, relative to cost of living adjustments for retirees in the state retirement system, passed the full House on a voice vote. 

InDepthNH has a roundup of House votes here and here.

From the Senate Session

During the Senate session last week, we were happy to see a unanimous vote in favor of SB 422 which establishes an adult dental benefit in the state’s Medicaid program.

Unfortunately, Senators also approved an anti-bail reform measure which threatens to incarcerate thousands more people at great human and financial cost. SB 294, relative to release of a defendant pending trial, would mandate the pretrial incarceration of people charged with any one of 13 offenses prior to arraignment based only on unsubstantiated allegations. According to the ACLU-NH, “this one-size-fits-all legislation will deprive potentially thousands of Granite Staters of their freedom without any evidence that any of the individuals pose a threat to our communities.” Read more here, and let your own Representatives know that this bill would not make our communities safer. A similar House bill, HB 1476, had its public hearing recently, but has not yet been voted on in committee. We recommend these talking points for a message to the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee.

Senators also defeated measures that would have repealed or reined in the cost of the Education Freedom Accounts. From reporter Nancy West: “Senator Kahn said [his] bill is straight up a transparency and accountability consumer protection bill. ‘If that encourages competition great. That ought to be what private sector education is all about,’ Kahn said. After the vote [on SB 351], Kahn said: ‘When public tax dollars are being diverted away from public schools, local taxpayers deserve to know how that money is being spent. SB 351 simply aimed to provide taxpayers with the same level of financial transparency that we expect from our public schools and our private and religious colleges and universities that receive public funds. Today’s vote by Senate Republicans was a vote against transparency, accountability, and consumer protection for taxpayers.’” Read more here.

And to add to the bad news from the Senate session, the gerrymandered district maps were approved. “Unless he vetoes these bills, Governor Sununu can no longer say there are just a few examples of gerrymandering in New Hampshire, as he did in his 2019 and 2020 vetoes of an independent redistricting commission. In fact, all the proposed maps have so far been gerrymandered for partisan advantage, making districts uncompetitive and locking in incumbents,” said Open Democracy Action Executive Director Olivia Zink in a written statement following the vote.

For more on this and other news from the session days, see the NH Bulletin: Energy efficiency, vaccines, and beyond: A roundup of House and Senate action.


Take Action to Support Public Education

Action Alert: The House Education Committee has yet to vote on HB 1015, relative to school district policies regarding objectionable material, and HB 1255, relative to teachers’ loyalty, two bills which intend to suppress truth-telling and punish teachers for doing their jobs. This means we still have time to contact committee members! The bills could be voted on during executive sessions this coming week, so the time is now to be heard. Please reach out today to urge defeat of these dangerous and harmful proposals. We also learned that the full Senate has not yet voted on SB 298 and SB 304 which would repeal the Banned Concepts Act, so please call your own senator and urge them to pass these bills.

For some weekend reading, we recommend two excellent columns, one by Arnie Alpert which provides valuable historical context, New ‘Red Scare’ in N.H. Has Roots a Century Old (InDepthNH), and another by Mary Willke, Slandering teachers to undermine public education (NH Bulletin).


No Justification for Conversion Therapy

A horrible bill, HB 1077, which would repeal the state’s prohibition on conversion therapy for minors, was proposed this year by Representative Dave Testerman (R-Franklin). The public hearing was held last week, and was covered by WMUR. Please urge the House Health & Human Services Committee to defeat this bill decisively. For more information, here’s an overview from 2018. Over the past 20 years, multiple professional bodies, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Counseling Association have denounced conversion therapy and determined it to be deliberately harmful and abusive to clients who are subjected to the practice.


In This Issue

  • Last Week at the State House
  • Next week in the Full Senate
  • Coming Up in the House and Senate Committees
  • State House Watch on the Radio
  • Recordings
  • Upcoming Events and Programs


Last Week at the State House

Here are the results from the voting sessions in the House and Senate. We notice that not all bills that were due to be voted on have been updated at the General Court website, but we report on those for which an outcome is noted (including by the media).

Before we begin, 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.

Last Week in the Full House

From the Consent Calendar

HB 1623-FN, relative to cost of living adjustments for foster parents. Voted ITL.

HB 1589-FN, prohibiting the sale of products containing intentionally-added PFAS. Voted IS.
HB 1591-FN, eliminating the enforcement division of the liquor commission. Voted IS.
HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.

HB 1176-FN, relative to reducing the penalty for sex work within one’s own home. Voted ITL by a vote of 319-28. The bill was considered problematic because of the risk that this could be used to conceal sexual exploitation of children.
HB 1310, prohibiting the discharge of a firearm in the direction of a building, livestock, or pets. Voted ITL.
HB 1388-FN, relative to the unsolicited disclosure of an intimate image. Voted OTP.
HB 1392-FN, relative to penalties for nonviolent drug offenses and repealing the criminal penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia. Voted ITL.
HB 1493, relative to the drug forfeiture fund. 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 and referred to Finance.

HB 1058, relative to the time allowed for public school students to eat lunch. Voted ITL.
HB 1125, relative to school emergency plans. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1144, requiring public schools to teach labor history. Voted ITL.
HB 1218-FN, relative to the merger of Granite State College with the University of New Hampshire. Voted OTP.
HB 229, establishing a committee to study school meal programs in New Hampshire’s public schools and non-sectarian schools that accept public funds. Voted IS.
HB 1421-FN, relative to lead in school drinking water. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1574-FN, prohibiting the university system and community college systems of New Hampshire from charging out-of-state tuition to students voting in New Hampshire. Voted ITL.
HB 1676-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to making incentive grants for school districts that improve in certain assessment scores. Voted IS.
HB 1680-FN, establishing a foundation opportunity budget program for funding public education. Voted IS.

HB 1049, establishing a committee to study landfill siting criteria and methods for reducing pressure on landfill capacity. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1121, relative to new solid waste sites. Voted IS.
HB 1420-FN, prohibiting the issuance of new landfill permits until the state’s solid waste plan is updated. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1547-FN, setting maximum contaminant levels for perfluorochemicals in the soil. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.
HB 1652-FN, relative to the recycling of beverage containers. Voted IS.

HB 1294, requiring the commission on demographic trends to consider data on race and ethnicity for the purpose of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in New Hampshire. Voted ITL.
HB 1557, relative to survivor benefit optional allowances under the retirement system. Voted IS.
HB 1566-FN, relative to the New Hampshire prescription drug affordability board. Voted IS.

HB 1224-FN, prohibiting state and local governments from adopting certain mandates in response to COVID-19; and prohibiting employers and places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of vaccination status. Voted IS and referred to Criminal Justice & Public Safety.
HB 1390, relative to access to language translation services in telemedicine. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1391, establishing a secure psychiatric hospital advisory committee. Voted ITL.
HB 1526-FN, relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance. Voted OTP and referred to Finance.
HB 1642-FN, relative to lead testing in children. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1654-FN, relative to termination of pregnancy statistics. Tabled by a vote of 275-65.

HB 1304, establishing a committee to study the impacts of outdoor working conditions in heat and cold. Voted ITL.
HB 1386, establishing a committee to study the effects of heat and high temperature on employee working conditions. Voted ITL.

HB 1486-FN, relative to an income-based public assistance stipend for legislators. Voted ITL.

HB 1618-FN, adding several perfluorinated chemicals to the list of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances with maximum contaminant levels and establishes a cumulative total for the maximum contaminant level of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Voted IS.

HB 1464, establishing a committee to study the feasibility and implementation of furthering electric vehicle adoption in New Hampshire. Voted IS.

From the Regular Calendar

HB 1469-FN, prohibiting banks or businesses from using social credit scores. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 187-168. The bill prohibits a type of discrimination “occurring in China,” that scores people based on ideology involving everything from social media posts to group affiliations down to the use of racial epithets.

HB 1468-FN, relative to the legalization of cannabis. Voted ITL by a vote of 238-114.
HB 1598-FN, legalizing the possession and use of cannabis. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 235-119. ACLU supports.

HB 1516, relative to the source of funds for education freedom accounts. ITL by a vote of 181-174.
HB 1627-FN-A, establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP.
HB 1657-FN-A, establishing a New Hampshire farm to school reimbursement program. Voted OTP.
HB 1660-FN, relative to school lunches and establishing the meals for students fund. Voted ITL by a vote of 177-174.
HB 1684-FN-A-LOCAL, limiting education freedom account funding to budgeted amounts. Voted ITL.

HB 1484-FN, requiring a forensic audit of the 2020 election results. Tabled by a vote of 273-76.
HB  1496-FN, requiring political subdivisions to make voter checklists available in spreadsheet form to any resident. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 183-169.

HB 1417-FN-LOCAL, relative to payment by the state of a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. Voted OTP by a vote of 182-169 and referred to Finance.

HB 1536-FN, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services. Tabled by a vote of 183-161.
HB 1578-FN, relative to including certain children and pregnant people in Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program. Tabled by a vote of 187-161.
HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 176-174 and referred to Finance.
HB 1609-FN, relative to the scope of the fetal protection act. Voted OTP in a close vote (179-174) after an amendment that gutted the bill failed (175-177). Referred to Finance. The bill, as passed, adds certain exceptions (sexual assault, incest and fetal anomalies incompatible with life) to the fetal life protection act, removes the ultrasound requirement and requires the department of health and human services to publish an annual statistical report of pregnancy terminations.

CACR 28, relating to the minimum wage. Providing that all workers have a right to a minimum wage that provides them with well-being and a dignified existence. Voted ITL.
HB 1207-FN, requiring an employer to provide paid time off for an employee to vote. Voted ITL.
HB 1538-FN-LOCAL, requiring prevailing wages on state-funded public works projects. Voted ITL.

Last Week in the Full Senate

From the Consent Calendar

SB 211, relative to an injured employee’s right to reinstatement to a former position for purposes of workers’ compensation. Voted IS.
SB 345, relative to youth employment. Voted OTP/A.
SB 385-FN, relative to financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. Voted OTP/A.

SB 381-FN-A, establishing an office of the advocate for special education. Voted OTP and referred to Finance.

SB 366-FN, requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.

SB 268-FN, relative to the approval of power purchase agreements for offshore wind energy resources from the Gulf of Maine. Voted OTP and referred to Finance.
SB 270, establishing a low-moderate income community solar savings program and relative to statewide energy efficiency programs. Voted OTP/A.
SB 440-FN, relative to approval of offshore wind energy contracts. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.

SB 391, relative to the operation of a state forensic psychiatric hospital. Voted OTP.

SB 301-FN-L, relative to the procedure for violations under the right to know law. Voted OTP/A.

SB 308, relative to driver’s licenses for certain visa holders. Voted OTP/A.
SB 447-FN, establishing the electric vehicle and infrastructure fund. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.

On the Regular Calendar

SB 209, relative to electronic wage payments. Voted OTP/A.
SB 249, prohibiting planning and zoning ordinances that prohibit short-term rentals. Voted OTP/A.

SB 237-FN, relative to participation in the education freedom account program. Voted ITL by a vote of 14-9.
SB 351, relative to annual performance and financial reporting by private and religious schools that receive public funds. Voted ITL 14-9.
SB 432-FN-L, repealing the education freedom account program. Voted ITL by a vote of 14-9.

SB 240, apportioning state senate districts. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 14-10.
SB 253, apportioning state senate districts. Tabled.
SB 328, relative to the date of the state primary election. Special ordered to next session.
HB 50, apportioning state representative districts. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 14-10.
HB 54, apportioning county commissioner districts. Voted OTP after floor amendment from Sen. Soucy failed 11-13.
HB 55, apportioning delegates to state party conventions. Voted OTP/A.

SB 258-FN-L, relative to the graves of African Americans alive during the period of American enslavement. Voted OTP/A.
SB 455, requiring the commissioner of the department of environmental services to adopt ambient groundwater quality standards for certain per and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Voted ITL.

SB 319-FN, relative to vaccination status and wellness incentives. Voted OTP.

SB 326-FN, establishing the office of early childhood. Voted OTP/A.
SB 413-FN-A, requiring an independent audit and needs assessment regarding COVID-19 preparedness at long term care facilities, nursing homes, and the New Hampshire veterans’ home, and making an appropriation therefor. Voted IS by a vote of 13-10.
SB 422-FN, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Unanimously approved.
SB 430-FN-A, relative to health and human services. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 24-0 and referred to Finance. Makes multiple changes to the provision of health and human services including establishment of a special fund for administration of opioid treatment programs and a pilot program for people with developmental disabilities.

SB 294-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial. Voted OTP by a vote of 20-4. ACLU opposes.
SB 298, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. Special ordered to next session.
SB 304, relative to discrimination in public workplaces and education. Special ordered to next session.
SB 322, relative to remote meetings under the right-to-know law. Special ordered to next session.

SB 435-FN, relative to the net operating loss carryover under the business profits tax. Voted OTP/A.


Coming Up in the Full Senate

The full Senate will meet for votes on Thursday, February 24 at 10 AM. They will take a break the following week. Here is what we notice on the calendar.

On the Consent Calendar

SB 410, relative to school district transparency. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This bill requires public comment periods at school board meetings and would require local school boards to adopt a code of ethics developed by the state board of education.
SB 426-FN, relative to the adequate education grants for fiscal year 2023. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2. This is a bill from the Democrats that tweaks adequacy aid for 2023.

CACR 36, regarding residency for the purpose of voting, providing that one is eligible to vote in NH “only if that person is domiciled in and has primary residence” in the town and ward where they wish to vote. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.
SB 328, relative to the date of the state primary election. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-1 and carried over from the last Senate session. Original bill would change the primary date to the third Tuesday in June. As amended, it just gives the Secretary of State the power to adjust the primary date by a week under limited circumstances.

SB 259, relative to the definition of “municipal host” for purposes of limited electrical energy producers. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.
SB 269-FN, relative to the New Hampshire weatherization program. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-0.
SB 370-FN, allowing the university system and community college system to be municipal host electric customer generators. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-0.

SB 419-FN, relative to public health networks. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-0. As amended, this would set up a commission to study regional public health networks for NH.

SB 298, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2. Please contact your senator and ask them to support this bill (by voting against the ITL recommendation.)
SB 304, relative to discrimination in public workplaces and education. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2. Please contact your senator and ask them to support this bill (by voting against the ITL recommendation.)
SB 322, relative to remote meetings under the right-to-know law. Recommended for Interim Study by a vote of 3-2.


Coming Up in House and Senate Committees

State House offices are closed on Monday in recognition of President's Day.

Coming Up in House Committees

Tuesday, February 22

10:30 AM Subcommittee work session on HB 1454-FN, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills.

9:30 AM HB 1180, relative to state recognition of biological sex. AFSC-NH opposes this bill as an attack on transgender people.
1:00 PM HB 1487, relative to the procedure for withdrawal from the vaccine registry.
1:30 PM  HB 1488, expanding the prohibition against discrimination based on an individual’s election not to participate in the state vaccine registry.
3:00 PM Public hearing on proposed non-germane Amendment #2022-0729h on HB 1271, limiting the authority of the department of health and human services to mandate vaccinations; and relative to quarantine costs. An act repealing a statute relative to COVID-19 and health facilities. The amendment repeals RSA 21-P:42-a, relative to health facilities’ compliance with orders, rules, and directives issued during the state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19.

9:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots; HB 1098, limiting the number of parking spaces required per occupied dwelling; HB 1119, relative to the regulation of single-use bags and other bills.

Wednesday, February 23

Room 306-308, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1163 relative to over voted ballots.
10:00 AM Public Hearing on non-germane amendment #2022-0735h to CACR 15, providing that only residents of the state may vote in elections. The amendment establishes that a voter must be a citizen of the United States and a citizen of New Hampshire who is domiciled and whose primary place of residence is in the state and he or she may only vote in place he or she is domiciled.
11:00 AM Executive Session on CACR 22, relating to elections. Providing that all elections in New Hampshire shall be by ranked-choice voting; HB 1264, establishing ranked-choice voting for state party primary elections and municipal elections; HB 1324, establishing a formula to allocate presidential electors to presidential nominees; HB 1153, relative to absentee ballot requests; HB 1166, requiring certain voters to declare a party affiliation prior to a state primary election and requiring candidates to be members of political parties for a certain amount of time prior to an election in which such candidates seek office; HB 1326, relative to permissible campaign contributions by business organizations and labor unions; HB 1394, relative to the reporting of certain campaign contributions and relative to political contributions made by limited liability companies.

9:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1177, relative to permissible residential units in a residential zone; HB 1179, relative to zoning protest petitions; HB 1194, relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap; HB 1219, relative to parking requirements for religious institution-affiliated housing development projects; HB 1223, relative to meeting attendance requirements for elected members of budget committee and school board and other bills. (This bill would require in-person attendance for members of a budget committee or a school board except under extenuating circumstances, with members automatically losing their seats if they fail to attend 2 or more meetings.)

1:00 PM. Full Committee Work Session on HB 1602-FN, relative to perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water.

Thursday, February 24

Room 302-304, LOB
1:45 PM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1582-FN, repealing the granite state paid family leave plan.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1533, relative to health education curriculum in schools. This bill requires that health education instruction in schools include the meaning of consent, respect for personal boundaries, and sexual violence prevention.

10:00 AM Division III Work Session joint with Division I on HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program (New Futures supports); HB 1677-FN, relative to the administration and settlement of claims of abuse at the youth development center and making an appropriation therefor.

11:30 AM Executive Session on HB 1053, relative to the hourly rate paid to an employee for hours worked but not previously scheduled; HB 1088, relative to employee protections from COVID-19 in the workplace; HB 1124, requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verify system of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; HB 1143, relative to medical mandates adopted by employers; HB 1251, prohibiting payment of subminimum wages; HB 1351, prohibiting certain employers from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment; HB 1358, requiring public and private employers to establish procedures and exceptions for the use of  mandatory intrusive testing as a condition of new or continued employment; HB 1377, relative to unemployment benefits for employees terminated for refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate; HB 1472, prohibiting anti-union activities by employers.

9:30 AM Continued Executive Session on HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
9:30 AM Full Committee Work Session on HB 1097, relative to taxation of income of New Hampshire residents when working remotely for an out of state employer; HB 1565-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund and other bills.

Friday, February 25

Reps Hall, SH
9:00 AM HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools.
10:00 AM HB 1371, relative to school district policies on facial masks of students in schools.
11:00 AM HB 1141, Public hearing on proposed Amendment #2022-0119h, relative to special education services for children in chartered public schools. The amendment establishes requirements for individualized education program meeting and procedures, including those of students in chartered public schools.

Coming Up in Senate Committees

Tuesday, February 22

Room 103, SH
9:00 AM SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy.
9:15 AM SB 321, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers in intrastate commerce and including qualifying storage systems.

1:00 PM SB 456-FN-A, establishing a law enforcement conduct review committee in the police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor.

Wednesday, February 23

9:00 AM SB 332, relative to the retention of long-term care workers and other front line employees, providing temporary stabilization funding to incentivize frontline workers to remain in or rejoin this workforce during the COVID-19 emergency. The program is repealed on January 1, 2023.
9:15 AM SB 335, relative to collaborative pharmacy practice agreements.


State House Watch on the Radio

State House Watch radio airs next week on February 21. Grace and Maggie talk with Frank Knaack, Policy Director at the ACLU-NH about legislative priorities related to public safety including bail reform, cannabis legalization, an anti-shackling bill for incarcerated pregnant people and more. 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, and find podcasts of our past shows here, including last week’s with Lidia Yen and Steven Kidder from Change for Concord who speak with Sarah Jane Knoy from the Granite State Organizing Project and Dawn McKinney from NH Legal Assistance about housing issues in the state.



Information session: Emerging Leaders for Liberation – AFSC is launching a new hands-on learning program, Emerging Leaders for Liberation! Applicants must be 18-25 years old as of April 1, 2022 and have a relationship to an AFSC program, a Quaker college/organization, or a Quaker meeting. The first cohort will begin meeting in May 2022. Applications will open January 31. The program is eight months long and includes in-person gatherings and online sessions. Two in-person gatherings are planned on weekends in spring and fall 2022. Online sessions will be monthly for three hours. Watch our information session to learn more about the program and how you or a young adult you refer can apply.


Upcoming Events & Programs

Building Community Alternatives to Police Response – Every other Saturday March 12 to June 18. 1 PM to 3 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join our new Study into Action Group. In this 8-week virtual participatory workshop, we will develop an understanding of current community-based responses to emergencies in communities across the country; do an assessment of the assets and needs for emergency response in our own community; receive concrete training in de-escalation and mental health crisis response; and develop a plan to take concrete action toward building community alternatives to police response. IMPORTANT: Please sign up for this workshop series with a partner from your community (i.e., your school, neighborhood, workplace, congregation, family, etc.). This will help you to bring the knowledge gained in this workshop into concrete action!

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, 2022, during Black History Month, until Paul Robeson’s birthday on April 9, 2022 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, 5 PM to 6 PM. 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.

Sunday, February 20

The Myth of the Model Minority – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH at the Portsmouth Middle School and on Zoom. The mass shooting in Atlanta last year and the rise in anti-Asian attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought to the forefront the long history of discrimination and injustice toward Asian Americans. Since the end of World War II, the perceived success of Asian Americans—who have been wrongly portrayed as a monolithic group—has led white apologists to cast this group as the “model minority.” This panel will address how this idea has been used to drive a racial wedge between Asian Americans and African Americans, and to allow some white Americans to continue to ignore the ravages of racism and racist policies.

Monday, February 21

Liberation Flick: Judas and the Black Messiah – 6 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Party for Socialism and Liberation, Southern NH. Join us for a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) followed by group discussion. We look forward to this opportunity to watch and discuss the film with you. We will begin the evening at 6 PM and conclude the film around 8 followed by about 30 minutes of reflection and discussion. Join us for what promises to be a powerful and engaging evening. Then meet with us again the following Saturday, February 26 for another event centering the Black Panther Party!

Tuesday, February 22

Tuesdays Phonebanks for Justice! – 5 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by RAD. Join Rights & Democracy for our weekly phone banks! Every Tuesday, we're making calls to move our supporters to action, build a stronger progressive movement in New Hampshire, and put pressure on our elected officials to advance the policies our people and planet need. We are organizing for change across many critical issues, including climate, racial, healthcare, housing, and economic justice. Jump in and join us to make calls on the issues that matter most to you, for as long as you can! RSVP for one or more sessions—we'll be meeting on Zoom to create the connection that we all need in these times of social distancing.

Wednesday, February 23

Property Taxes 101 – 12 PM. Hosted by Granite State Progress & NH School Funding Fairness Project. Join us for a presentation that sheds light on the often complicated world of education property taxes in New Hampshire. Property Taxes 101 is a presentation being offered for current school board members, school board candidates, and anyone who wants to learn more about the intersection of property taxes and education funding. There will also be time for a question & answer session. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to gain a richer understanding of education funding in the Granite State. By the end of this presentation, you will be able to articulate to your constituency the mix of funding used to support your district’s budget, why your property taxes continue to rise, why it becomes harder every year to raise the funds your district needs, and what policy efforts are happening at the state level that could further affect your property taxes.

GSOP Tenant Clinic (for NH Residents) – 2 PM to 4 PM. 1045 Elm Street, Suite 201 in Manchester. Hosted by Granite State Organizing Project. The Eviction Clinic has gone through a name change to reflect that we are here for all tenant needs, from answering questions about renters’ rights to emergency rental assistance and living conditions.

Manchester Housing Alliance Meeting – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. This meeting we will be discussing the upcoming Code-Palooza being put on by the City of Manchester on March 7 & 8. This will be a great opportunity to give public input about how the city will be shaped in the coming years

Climate Deep Canvassing in New Hampshire – 6 PM. Hosted by Rights & Democracy. Come learn how to deep canvass and change hearts and minds on climate justice, right here in New Hampshire! Deep canvassing is a highly skilled form of communication through which canvassers form personal connections with people by straying away from conversations about facts and opinions and focusing instead on meaningful conversations that involve sharing personal stories. Rights & Democracy is talking to people in our communities who are concerned about climate change and moving them towards action, with the realization that together, we can win changes to address this crisis. No prior experience is needed—we offer a training at the beginning of the phone banking session. Join us!

A Virtual Moderated Discussion on Democracy & Civil Engagement with Angela Davis – 7 PM to 8 PM. The Aulbani J. Beauregard Center – OMSA.  Join us for a virtual moderated discussion on democracy and civil engagement with political activist, scholar, and author Angela Davis! The Q&A will be moderated by Dr. Sherri Simmons-Horton from the Social Work department. No registration is required to attend.

Thursday, February 24

Solidarity Town Hall for the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth – 6 PM. Hosted by New Hampshire Faith & Labor, Church of Christ at Dartmouth College (United Church of Christ). Join NH Faith and Labor Coalition and the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth for a Solidarity Town Hall! Learn about the struggles of Dartmouth's student dining services workers and their union movement. Hear from faith, labor and community leaders who stand with the student workers in their quest for dignity, respect, safety and fair compensation on the job! Express your support for the dedicated student workers doing the essential work in service to the Dartmouth community. Need more info? Contact

Marnita’s Table – 6 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Marnita’s Table and the Endowment for Health. Inspire New Hampshire: Catalyzing Relationships Across Difference, a digital Intentional Social Interaction series to inspire authentic connection, trust, and peer-to-peer engagement throughout New Hampshire. The Marnita’s Table team are experts at social capital building, having welcomed almost 100,000 people from around the world and around the way to find common ground while breaking bread—in person or online. Get ready to leverage our collective energy to collaboratively motivate and bring people together to create meaningful change and more equitable systems. Together we will begin to cultivate a joyful and civically engaged community of practice. Expect to be enlivened and engaged as we come together in community to share our experiences, catalyze connections across difference and support one another.

A Flock of NH Poets – For Those Who Love Poetry and Those Who Aren’t So Sure: A Conversation with L.R. Berger – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by Hopkinton Town Library. Local poet L.R. Berger, will bring poems to share by contemporary NH poets to inspire conversation. We’ll read each poem, learn a bit about each poet and discover what moves or puzzles or delights us. All are welcome. RSVP: 603-746-3663 or

Virtual Lecture: “New Hampshire Abolitionist Nathaniel Peabody Rogers” – 7 PM. Hosted by New Hampshire Historical Society. Historian Rebecca Noel tells the story of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, the feisty Granite State native—one of the so-called New Hampshire Radicals—who devoted himself to the cause of abolitionism in the mid-19th century and became the editor of antislavery newspaper, the Herald of Freedom. Rogers worked with the leading figures of the abolitionism movement in the United States, including William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. He sheltered fugitive slaves, co-founded the integrated Noyes Academy in Canaan, and wrote passionate, searing essays against slavery and racism. Henry David Thoreau admired Rogers' political zeal, and abolitionist poet John Pierpont called Rogers the best newspaper writer in the United States. Rogers’ story shines a light on this lively reform era, and his contributions to the crusade for social justice still resonate today.

Friday, February 25

The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire 1st Anniversary Celebration! – 6 PM. Hosted by the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire. Repro Fund is turning 1! We'll be celebrating our birthday on Friday, February 25th from 6-7 PM. Join us for music, comedy, speakers, a raffle, and more! Details will be announced closer to the event. We have so much to celebrate this year, despite the difficult state of reproductive rights. Last week, we officially hit 200 patients supported, totaling over $70,000 in direct abortion funding. No matter what happens, we'll be here to make sure the need is met.

Saturday, February 26

Liberation Forum: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Fascism – 6 PM. Hosted by Party for Socialism and Liberation, Southern NH. Join PSL-SNH for February’s liberation forum! We will take a deep dive to define fascism as well as the strategies and tactics necessary to not only fight back but to win. We will spend time clarifying the core features of fascism as a historic process, its ties to capitalism and the history of the struggle against it. The anti-fascist struggle in the US is necessarily Black and Indigenous led. The Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement and their praxis shows us that Black and Indigenous history in the US is also the history of the anti-fascist struggle.

All NH Friends Gathering – 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Join New Hampshire Quakers online for a discussion about the work we are doing in our Meetings and communities to work toward right relationship with Indigenous peoples. 

Sunday, February 27

The Lingual Divide: ¿Y Tu Abuela Donde Esta? – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH at Portsmouth Public Library, Levenson Room and on Zoom. Traditionally, Black and Brown American populations have seen themselves in a natural alliance in a country historically dominated by whites—an alliance of mostly poorer, darker-skinned minorities whose struggles are similar. However, in recent times the Black/Brown coalition has grown more and more strained with the influx of immigrants into neighborhoods that were, in many cases, previously dominated by Blacks. Many Blacks resent what is seen as Hispanics leapfrogging them up the socioeconomic ladder and point to the strong skin-color prejudices and colorism that divides the two communities. “¿Y Tu Abuela Donde Esta?” (Where is Your Grandmother?) by the Puerto Rican poet Fortunato Vizcarrondo explores this tension within the Black/Brown community. This panel will explore the issues of colorism, for people within this vast group of ethnicities that although joined together by a common language and culture, experience racism within their own group.

Beyond Roe: A Reproductive Justice Primer – 4 PM. Hosted by Granite State Progress and the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH. As the 49th and potentially final anniversary of Roe v. Wade passes, Granite State Progress and the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire are presenting a collaborative teach-in about the future of abortion justice and how to talk about reproductive rights in a post-Roe America. This is part of a larger series that will continue until June.

Monday, February 28

Peace & Justice Conversations – This Current Moment: US Nuclear Weapon Policy and Back from the Brink – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Please join NH Peace Action for a discussion about the danger this current moment presents with regard to nuclear weapons, and the ways in which Back from the Brink serves as a vehicle for effective grassroots organizing to eliminate the threat that they pose, with Michael Klare and Denise Duffield.

Seacoast Outright Volunteer Facilitator Training – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Seacoast Outright. We are looking for support for our Tuesday Game Nights (currently held on Zoom) and Friday Support Group (held at Portsmouth's South Church). The next two-part facilitator training will be held via Zoom on Monday, February 28 and Monday, March 7. Sign up for the training here. Contact Roula at with any questions!

Swimming Upstream, Indigenous Environmental Justice for Our Waterways – 7 PM. Hosted by Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People, Indigenous NH, Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, Community Church of Durham, UCC. Join this event for the premiere of a new short film, Swimming Upstream Indigenous Environmental Justice for Our Waterways, as well as a live Q&A with the creative team. The film takes an in-depth look at the history of the Great Bay, and its many tributaries while exploring how current inhabitants can steward the land for the future. The live Q&A panel will include Denise Pouliot, Sag8moskwa, and Paul Pouliot, Sag8mo, of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People, Rev. Zachary Harmon of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, and filmmaker Catherine Stewart. The event will run roughly 60 minutes, with a brief intermission between the film screening and the panel.

Saturday, March 5

Punishment is not Accountability: Quakers exploring police, prison abolition, and futures of justice – 3 PM to 5 PM. Hosted by Beacon Hill Friends House. Join us on Saturday March 5, March 19 and April 2 for a three-part workshop series. In this series, participants will explore the spiritual dimensions of police and prison abolition, the carceral system, and healing-focused visions of justice. Through three workshops, an online community, and opportunities to interact in between sessions, participants will be given space to connect to abolitionist frameworks and movements, with a goal of collectively generating movement and next steps together in this work.

Sunday, March 6

Conflicted by Race: Family Structures & Racial Identities – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Levenson Room, Portsmouth Public Library and on Zoom. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of NH. According to the 2020 Census, the fastest-growing group in the United States is the multiracial community, and nationwide studies show that 44% of adoptions in America are transracial. Coming from households reflecting more than one race or ethnicity, these individuals face a variety of stresses that demonstrate how far we are as a nation from embracing multi-culturalism. This panel will address the issues facing transracial adoptees and mixed-race Americans and explore how their circumstances help us to understand the social construction of race and what it is like to discover, cope with, and overcome barriers to developing a strong sense of one’s self and one’s cultural identity/identities.

Monday, March 7

Seacoast Outright Volunteer Facilitator Training – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Seacoast Outright. We are looking for support for our Tuesday Game Nights (currently held on Zoom) and Friday Support Group (held at Portsmouth's South Church). Sign up for the training here. Contact Roula at with any questions!

Thursday, March 10

Women's Work: The Legacy of Women in America's Oldest Bird Conservation Organization – 5:30 PM. Hosted by Harris Center for Conservation Education. In 1896, 25 years before women had the right to vote in the United States, Minna Hall and Harriet Hemenway organized to end the wholesale slaughter of birds for feathers used in the fashion trade, founding the Massachusetts Audubon Society for the Protection of Birds in the process. Hall and Hemenway not only saved millions of birds, they also launched the world into a whole new conservation ethic. Join Joan Walsh, Gerard Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon, for a special Women's History Month talk on the enduring legacy of women in America's oldest bird conservation organization—from the founding mothers to modern-day scientists, activists, and educators. For more information, contact Brett Amy Thelen.

Sunday, March 13

Shades of Black: Connected by Color, Culture & Community – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Levenson Room, Portsmouth Public Library and on Zoom. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of NH. Black folk in predominantly white environments have often found it “exhausting” to continually describe for others the negative impact of racism on them. They have also felt it a burden to serve in the position of “teacher” representing the wider Black community, instead of being viewed as individuals with their own unique stories and needs. For this panel, Black Americans from diverse backgrounds will share their stories on what it means to live in and love their own skin.

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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