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State House Watch: January 29, 2022

"The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”  - President Biden, January 27, 2022

Greetings during a blizzard, State House Watchers!

It was another busy week of hearings at the State House, with lots more to come.

We are happy to learn that this past week the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee agreed—despite ‘no’ votes from Representative Jess Edwards and Senator Bob Giuda—to accept $1.14 million in federal funds to help refugees living in New Hampshire, including the recently arrived Afghan people. Read more in the NH Bulletin about how that money will support newcomers to make a home here.

 

Drawing the Lines

In redistricting news, we want to alert you to the fact that on Monday, January 31 (at 1:45 PM), the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on two bills, HB 50 (with a proposed amendment), relative to the maps for state Representative seats, and HB 52, apportioning the Congressional districts. The Fair Maps Coalition urges as many of us as possible to sign in, attend and/or testify. Open Democracy has an RSVP link. See also the Fair Map Coalition’s testimony guidance and 2022 map analysis talking points.

 

Support Immigrant Rights and Safety

AFSC’s Grace Kindeke provided testimony on Tuesday for the House Health and Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee in support of HB 1578, a bill that would extend access to health care for immigrants who are pregnant as well as their children:

“The pandemic has made it very clear that our communities are better off when current, and future, residents have access to health care. With the passage of this bill, New Hampshire can join the 30+ other states who have passed similar legislation to close an unnecessary gap in insurance coverage for immigrant residents—a gap that was the result of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act which imposed a punitive 5-year waiting period to access coverage. We urge you to right this wrong.”

As you may remember, AFSC-NH testified previously in opposition to HB 1266, an anti-immigrant bill which would prohibit municipalities from adopting rules to limit the cooperation of police and others with federal immigration authorities. NHPR covered the hearing, and NH Latino News also reported on the bill. That bill has been assigned to a subcommittee, so there is still time for our voices to be heard. Please reach out to the subcommittee members—Representatives Terry Roy (Deerfield), Dennis Green (Hampstead), Scott Wallace (Danville), Casey Conley (Dover) and Nicole Klein-Knight (Manchester), or to the committee to urge them to recommend defeat of this bill. There is no fixing an anti-immigrant proposal that is intended to promote fear in immigrant communities and households. The subcommittee is scheduled to meet on Friday at 10 AM.

Another anti-immigrant bill has a hearing this coming week—HB 1124—which would require NH businesses to utilize the flawed federal E-Verify program. This program is highly prone to errors which harm immigrant workers and their families. The bill has a hearing in House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services on Thursday, February 3 at 10 AM. Please urge the committee to oppose this bill.

We also ask you to support three pro-immigrant bills coming up this week, with hearings in House Transportation on Tuesday, February 1:

HB 1463, relative to driver licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005. This bill makes sure that the NH Division of Motor Vehicles implements the federal Real ID Act with the broadest possible eligibility for immigrants residing in New Hampshire. Currently, the state’s eligibility for Real ID driver licenses has narrower eligibility criteria than the federal program allows.

HB 1666, relative to the application process for driver licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records. This bill would expand eligibility for a NH driver license to those who do not have a social security number but who meet the other criteria—proof of identification, proof of residency, and proof of capability to drive safely. Such a provision would make it possible for undocumented immigrants to drive legally and to purchase car insurance, without the threat of legal penalty for driving without a license.

HB 1093 relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire. This will would shorten the waiting period for asylum applicants to obtain a driver license.

Also on Tuesday, an earlier bill regarding driver licenses, HB 1100 is scheduled to be voted on by the House Transportation Committee. This bill would reduce the penalty for driving without a license from a misdemeanor to a violation for the first offense. Please contact the committee members in advance of that vote to show your support. You can email them at HouseTransportationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.

 

Affordable Housing Crisis Gets Attention

New Hampshire’s affordable housing crisis has intensified in recent years, and the problem is getting attention from legislators this year as they consider bills related to tenant rights, evictions, encouraging the development of affordable housing and attempting to ease obstacles to that development. New Hampshire Business Review provided a good overview in a January 12 story that’s still worth reading here.

Some of those housing-related bills have had hearings and are scheduled for a committee vote in the House Judiciary Committee on the morning of Thursday, February 3. We ask you to express your support for HB 1200, relative to notice of rent increases in residential rental property; and HB 1291, prohibiting discrimination against tenants who hold Housing Choice (aka Section 8) vouchers. NH Bulletin has more on this issue.

Please ask the committee to recommend defeat for HB 1216, repealing the Housing Appeals Board and HB 1254, making unnecessary changes to the Housing Appeals Board. These bills are opposed by Housing Action NH, which has testified to the success and importance of the board providing a more streamlined process to deal with conflicts between developers and communities related to housing proposals. Housing Action offers the following talking points.

We also want to encourage you to follow and support SB 400, a so called “toolbox” bill aimed at addressing some of the underlying issues that make affordable housing so challenging to build. It has broad bi-partisan support and is being championed by Housing Action NH. The bill has had its initial public hearing but the committee hasn’t voted yet so there’s still time to weigh in.

Other housing related bills deserving of our support include HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots. This would prevent local boards from adopting requirements for large lot sizes for single family homes when municipal or community sewer and water services are available. This bill will be heard before the House Municipal and County Government Committee on Friday at 9:30 AM.

You will see other bills in the calendars below and in the weeks to come that seek to address housing issues, including expanding the time required for eviction notices and other protections for renters. We hope you can take the time to voice your support or opposition as they come up.

 

Protecting Our Children from Lead Exposure

An important bill for child safety gets a hearing on Tuesday. SB 452 would establish a health-based standard for lead in drinking water in schools and childcare centers. According to the Conservation Law Foundation of NH, this legislation represents an important primary prevention measure to protect children from being exposed to lead in drinking water. While NH law currently requires schools and childcare centers to test for the presence of lead, it requires remediation only if the lead concentration exceeds the federal standard—a limit that’s 15 times greater than the limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The hearing is February 1 at 9:30 AM in the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. Please let the committee know that you support this bill. Talking points can be found here.

 

In This Issue

  • Last Week at the State House
  • Coming Up in the House and Senate
  • State House Watch on the Radio
  • Upcoming Events

 

Last Week at the State House

Last week featured hearings on several major issues, including access to abortion. NH Bulletin has this summary of the abortion bills considered in both the House and Senate. Of particular note is SB 399, which started as a bill to repeal the fetal health protection act. The bill title is now inaccurate, as the bill was gutted with an amendment that makes only a minor change to the ultrasound requirement. The Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2 and the full Senate votes on the bill this week.

COVID and vaccinations also continue to take up a lot of time in the legislature, and this week was no exception. InDepthNH has an update on some of the many bills that came up last week.

You may also be interested in this coverage from NH Bulletin regarding HB 1014, a bill which would add language to the state’s Right to Know law to allow for local governments to conduct remote meetings. The bill had a hearing in House Judiciary last week.

 

Coming Up in the House and Senate

Next week, House members will continue to meet in committees with public hearings, subcommittee and full committee work sessions, and executive sessions (during which the committee members vote on bills that have had hearings). The Senate will gather as a body of the whole to vote, mostly on non-controversial bills – but also some bills of note, which we address below.

Coming Up in the Full Senate

The Senate meets in full session on Thursday, starting at 10 AM, in Representatives’ Hall. Among the items on their agenda are the following.

On the Consent Calendar

COMMERCE
SB 216, establishing a commission to study the landlord and tenant mediation program in circuit courts. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
HB 549, relative to the systems benefits charge and the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This bill has the support of 350NH.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 279, establishing a committee on harm reduction and overdose prevention programs. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. The amendment clarifies this is a Senate-led study committee.
SB 403, re-establishing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.

On the Regular Calendar

COMMERCE
SB 217, relative to eviction notices. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. Expands notice of evictions to a minimum of 60 days under some circumstances.

EDUCATION
SB 236, establishing a committee to study New Hampshire teacher shortages and recruitment incentives. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0.

FINANCE
SB 273, relative to broadband infrastructure funding. Recommended OPT/A by a vote of 6-0.
SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 6-0. New Future supports, arguing it strengthens substance use prevention by allowing opioid abatement funds, received through legal settlements from manufacturers, to be used on evidence-based prevention programs.
SB 371, making an appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund. Recommended OTP by a vote of 7-0.
SB 412, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates. Recommended OTP by a vote of 6-0.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 319, relative to vaccination status and wellness incentives. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.
SB 329, establishing a commission to study barriers to housing development in New Hampshire including workforce and middle-income housing. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-0.
SB 404, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-1. NH Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) has this issue brief about the value of the program.
SB 407, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0. New Future supports.

JUDICIARY
SB 393, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state or county correctional facility. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 399, repealing the fetal health act. Recommended OPT/A by a vote of 3-2. This amendment drastically changes the intent of the bill.
SB 436, relative to access to abortion care. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2. Seeks to limit the state’s ability to restrict access to abortion as state policy.

 

Coming Up in House and Senate Committees

We recommend that readers use the House and Senate digital calendars, which tell you everything you need to know about what is coming up on any given day and provide the online links for each committee. The House digital calendar can be found here. The Senate digital calendar is here. You can sign in to indicate your position on a bill or sign up to testify here for the Senate, and here for the House. You can also submit written testimony or check on what testimony has been submitted to any House committee by using the link Online Testimony Submissions. You have until midnight (11:59 PM) on the day of the hearing to submit written testimony online; if you miss that deadline, you can still submit your testimony by email directly to the committee.

Coming Up in House Committees

Monday, January 31

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB

9:30 AM HB 1409, relative to the age at which a minor may receive mental health treatment without parental consent
10:00 AM HB 1126, permitting minors over the age of 16 to obtain a vaccination without parental consent
11:00 AM HB 1654-FN, relative to termination of pregnancy statistics
1:00 PM HB 1180, relative to state recognition of biological sex
2:00 PM HB 1536-FN, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services. New Future supports this bill.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301-303, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1374, relative to the membership of local land use boards
10:30 AM HB 1057, relative to the tax exemption for the elderly
11:00 AM HB 1342, relative to municipal charter provisions for tax caps

Tuesday, February 1

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 302-304, LOB

10:00 AM HB 1357, relative to land acknowledgment. This bill recognizes that NH is located on N'dakinna, which is the traditional ancestral homeland of the Pennacook, Abenaki, and Wabanaki Peoples past and present. New Hampshire acknowledges and honors with gratitude the spiritual and physical connection to the aki (land), nebi (water), lolakwikah (flora), and awwaasak (fauna) of the alnobak (people) who have stewarded N'dakinna throughout the generations and who continue to carry forward the traditions of their ancestors.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 210-211, LOB
9:30 AM 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
10:45 AM HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations.
1:00 PM HB 1003, prohibiting health care providers from refusing to provide care or services based on patient vaccination status
2:30 PM HB 1099, prohibiting the department of health and human services from requiring vaccine passports for service

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY, Room 306-308, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1546-FN, limiting air emissions of perfluorochemicals. This bill is supported by 350NH
3:30 PM HB 1635-FN, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers and including qualifying storage system. This bill is supported by 350NH.

TRANSPORTATION, Room 201-203, LOB
10:50 AM HB 1463, relative to driver licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005
1:00 PM HB 1666-FN, relative to the application process for driver licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records
2:00 PM HB 1093, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire
3:00 PM Executive Session on HB 1100-FN, relative to changing the penalties for driving without a license, and other bills

Wednesday, February 2

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302-304, LOB

9:00 AM Subcommittee Work Session on HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity and other bills. New Future supports this bill.
10:00 AM HB 1028-FN, relative to the form of individual health insurance policies. New Futures opposes this bill, arguing it would diminish the quality and affordability of health care by allowing unlimited renewals of short-term, low coverage insurance plans.
1:15 PM Executive Session on HB 1523-FN, establishing a New Hampshire child care fund; HB 1589-FN, prohibiting the sale of products containing intentionally added PFAS; HB 1591-FN, eliminating the enforcement division of the liquor commission. New Futures opposes this bill. HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity. New Future supports this bill.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote
9:45 AM HB 1233, prohibiting higher education institutions receiving state funds from requiring face masks and COVID-19 vaccinations for attendance
10:30 AM HB 1332, excepting public universities and colleges from requirements under medical freedom in immunizations
12:45 PM HB 1115, relative to record of educational attainment under the educational freedom account program
1:15 PM HB 1376, relative to participation in the education freedom accounts program by students with disabilities
2:00 PM HB 1670-L, relative to funds of the education freedom account program after termination of a student’s participation and responsibilities of the scholarship organization
2:30 PM HB 1669-FN, requiring the department of education to administer the education freedom account program 

ELECTION LAW, Representataives' Hall, SH
9:30 AM HB 1484-FN, requiring a forensic audit of the 2020 election results
10:30 AM 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
11:00 AM HB 1467-FN, requiring partial audits of additional offices on ballots involved in recounts
11:45 AM HB 1008, establishing a commission to study the structure and election calendar of New Hampshire municipal government
12:00 PM HB 1082, prohibiting certain state officers from forming political action committees 12:15 PM HB 1242, relative to filing deadlines for candidates seeking election to charter commissions and relative to the dates of such elections

RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT, Room 305-307, LOB
10:00 AM Executive Session on 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; and other bills. 

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
9:00 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 1221-FN, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax; HB 1430-FN-A, repealing the tax on rentals of motor vehicles under the meals and rooms tax; HB 1478-FN-A, relative to the business profits tax applicable to certain large, low-wage employers; HB 1565-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund; and other bills.

Thursday, February 3

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302-304, LOB
2:00 PM HB 1582-FN, repealing the granite state paid family leave plan. This is one of two bills with the same description. The other is HB 1165 in Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services and involves some of the same sponsors. The bills appear to unravel separate aspects of the paid family leave plan in statute.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
2:45 PM HB 1588-FN, relative to students attending public schools that mandate the wearing of face masks without an emergency order in place

ELECTION LAW, Room 306-308, LOB
9:45 AM 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
10:00 AM HB 1174, relative to election challengers
10:15 AM HB 1197, relative to the definition of “party” for election purposes
10:30 AM Executive Session on HB 1423-FN-A, relative to campaign contributions and expenditures, and making an appropriation therefor; HB 1482-FN, relative to ranked-choice voting; HB 1484- FN, requiring a forensic audit of the 2020 election results; HB 1496-FN, requiring political subdivisions to make voter checklists available in spreadsheet form to any resident; CACR 15, relating to elections. Providing that the age to vote in the primary election be reduced to 17 for those who will be 18 by the general election; CACR 19, relating to paper ballots, providing that all elections shall be conducted through paper ballots; HB 1009, requiring the date a person registers to vote to be included with other voter information; HB 1010-FN, requiring municipal voter history to be made accessible in the statewide centralized voter registration database; HB 1442-FN, relative to access to election and voter information; HB 1157, relative to electronic ballot counting devices.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB
9:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1014 allowing public meetings to be conducted virtually. New Futures supports this bill. HB 1216-FN, repealing the housing appeals board; HB 1260, making immunization status a protected class; HB 1254, relative to the housing appeals board; HB 1291, prohibiting discrimination against tenants holding certain vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings; HB 1490-FN, relative to equal access to places of public accommodation regardless of vaccination status; HB 1519-FN, defining “religious belief” and protecting it from discrimination; HB 1603-FN, defining certain school information as governmental records under the right to know law; and other bills.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 305-307, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1124, requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verify system of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The NH Immigrant Rights Networks opposes this bill.
10:45 AM HB 1165, repealing the Granite State paid family leave plan
11:45 AM HB 1304, establishing a committee to study the impacts of outdoor working conditions in heat and cold
1:00 PM HB 1337, relative to the duration of unemployment benefit
2:30 PM HB 1472, prohibiting anti-union activities by employers
3:15 PM HB 1403, establishing a commission relative to the minimum wage

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, 301-303 LOB
9:30 AM HB 1161-FN-L, relative to ethics obligations of elected local and county officials
10:30 AM HB 1183, relative to the calculation of property taxes for residents 75 years of age and older
11:30 AM HB 1219, relative to parking requirements for religious institution-affiliated housing development projects
12:00 PM HB 1223, relative to meeting attendance requirements for elected members of budget committee and school board

PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, Room 201-203, LOB
9:30 AM Full Committee Work Session HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan

Friday, February 4

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 202-204, LOB
11:30 AM HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners
1:30 PM HB 1476-FN, relative to persons arrested while out on bail
2:15 PM HB 1105, relative to earned time credits
3:00 PM HB 1512-FN, relative to the parole of certain prisoners

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1607-FN, prohibiting unlawful discrimination in public and nonpublic schools
1:00 PM HB 1678, relative to the administration of the education freedom accounts program
1:45 PM HB 1120, relative to education service providers under the education freedom accounts program
2:30 PM HB 1683-FN-L, repealing the education freedom account program

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301-303, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1070, relative to the default budget in official ballot jurisdictions
9:30 AM HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots
12:00 PM HB 1617, relative to housing projects of the community development finance authority and establishing a committee to prevent state subsidies for housing development that is not income-sensitive

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS JOINT MEETING WITH HOUSE FINANCE, SENATE WAYS & MEANS AND SENATE FINANCE, Representatives’ Hall, SH
9:00 AM Joint Economic Briefing. The committees will hear from various experts on conditions impacting the state and national economies.

Coming Up in Senate Committees

Monday, January 31

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, Representatives’ Hall, SH

1:20 PM SB 255, establishing redistricting criteria
1:45 PM HB 50, apportioning state representative districts, with Amendment #0339s
1:45 PM HB 52, apportioning congressional districts

Tuesday, February 1

EDUCATION, Room 100, SH
9:00 AM SB 237-FN, relative to participation in the education freedom account program
9:30 AM SB 432-FN-L, repealing the education freedom account program

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Room 103, SH
9:00 AM SB 341-L, relative to treatment of PFAS contaminants in the drinking water of the Merrimack Village Water District
9:30 AM SB 452-FN, relative to lead in drinking water in schools and licensed child care facilities. The Conservation Law Foundation of NH supports this bill.

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
1:20 PM SB 298, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education

TRANSPORTATION, Room 101, LOB
1:00 PM SB 447-FN, establishing the electric vehicle and infrastructure fund

Wednesday, February 2

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 101, LOB
9:00 AM SB 422-FN, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. (HB 103 calls for the same and is scheduled to be voted on by the House Finance Committee on February 11.)
10:00 AM SB 391, relative to the operation of a state forensic psychiatric hospital
10:45 AM SB 373, relative to coverage for certain mental illnesses

 

State House Watch on the Radio

State House Watch radio airs next on January 31; Maggie and Grace interview Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath of the NH Council of Churches. 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 in which Change for Concord leaders Lidia Yen and Steven Kidder interview Christina Pretorius and Asma Elhuni about education and equity.

Recordings from Last Week’s Events

New Futures Legislative Preview Recording – On January 24, New Futures policy staff shared their priority health and wellness bills coming up in the 2022 legislative session, including what's to come regarding public health and COVID-19 initiatives; behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery; children's behavioral health services; early childhood supports; and health equity; among other areas.

The Biden Administration on Immigration: Year One – The election of Joe Biden to the US Presidency signaled the promise of change after four years of draconian, inhumane, and overtly racist policies. One year later, the Biden administration has a long way to go to deliver on this promise. AFSC staff discuss the obstacles and opportunities presented by the Biden administration’s approach to immigration policies, what advocates hope to see in 2022, and how you can get involved.

 

Upcoming Events

Workplace Racial Equity Learning Challenge – January 28 to February 11. Hosted by NH Businesses for Social Responsibility and NAACP. The Workplace Racial Equity Learning Challenge will provide participants with daily emails, each with a theme and links to resources. Weekly dialogues will allow participants to share challenges, ideas, and inspirations each Friday.

Monday, January 31

Peace & Justice Conversations: Priorities for Peace Discussion – 7 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join us for a discussion of the question: What are your peace priorities? Rather than a speaker, this will be a facilitated dialogue on the topic where all can share, reflect, and listen. This program will not be recorded so people can feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts. NH Peace Action recently solidified our 12 organizational Peace Pillars—the areas we see as critical to work on to bring about a peaceful and just world. They include: the US military budget, Middle Eastern wars, racism, climate, poverty and others. In this discussion, we can tell you more about NHPA's Peace Pillars and we want to hear what issues you think need to be addressed so that we can build peace in the world. Maybe they will be the same ones we've identified, maybe you will have other ideas. Let's talk!

Tuesday, February 1

2022 NHYM Kickoff Call – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Youth Movement. Join our first State of the Movement Call to kick-off 2022! Our right to non-censored education, to abortion, to vote, to a livable future, and so much more is at stake this Spring and when we come together, we can make sure our elected officials are actually representing us and our needs. On this call we will talk about what is going on the NH Legislature, how we can make our voices heard in the State House and connect with people in our area! This call is for anyone and everyone, whether you have never come to an NHYM event before, come all the time, or maybe it's been a while!

Wednesday, February 2

Climate Deep Canvassing in New Hampshire – 5 PM to 7:15 PM. Hosted by RAD. 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. No prior experience is needed - we offer a training at the beginning of the phone banking session. Join us! If you are interested, ahead of the event we can send you some research about how effective this tactic of communication is for persuading people!

Friday, February 4

Lunar New Year Celebration – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by the NH Asian American and Pacific Islander Democrats. All are welcome to join and celebrate 2022, Year of the Tiger. Zoom link, Meeting ID: 912 9154 8334, Passcode: AAPI

Sunday, February 6

Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks Series: Courageous Conversations, Leaning in for Change – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Black Heritage Trail of NH. A virtual and in-person series, Sundays February 6 – March 13. For the 2022 Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks Series, together we will create a safe space for meaningful interchanges, grounded in history and lived experience between different segments of the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community. We will also investigate the current issues that continue to create tension in the community. The Winter Tea Talks are a series of participatory panel presentations and discussions related to New Hampshire’s Black history and African American culture.

Monday, February 7 

Ecosystems of Compassion Part II – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Ecosystems of Compassion Part II will be a continuation of the conversation that Becky Field began on November 15. We will explore the role of compassion in the pursuit of social justice, not only for those with whom we’re politically or spiritually sympatico, but for those with whom we vehemently disagree. With democracy fraying and our social fabric disintegrating, is it possible to embrace the humanity of our most zealous opponents without compromising our own values? Is there any point in trying? After sharing several of his own experiences with the power of compassionate listening to bridge ideological divides, our guest speaker Joel Berman will invite attendees to reflect on whether and how compassion has – or could – inform their own relationships with social justice.

Tuesday, February 8

Climate Change, Health Equity & Structural Racism – 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted NH Climate Action and NH Public Health Association. An interactive webinar to describe climate change’s intersections with health equity and structural racism; discuss examples of climate change’s impacts on patient’s health; and define possible roles health care professionals can take to be change makers. Featuring speaker Dr. Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH and moderated by Dr. Semra Aytur. Continuing education credits available.

Wednesday, February 9

H.E.A.L. Together NH Monthly Gathering – 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by RAD. Through H.E.A.L. Together New Hampshire (Honest Education Action & Leadership), we are working to help local communities organize toward a vision of honest, accurate and fully-funded public education, and a just, multi-racial democracy. Amid targeted attacks on public education by an elite that seeks to divide us, we are fighting to change the narrative and deepen commitments to truth and equity in our schools, so that our students can have the education they deserve. These monthly calls are an opportunity to come together to build concrete skills that will support this organizing, share and learn from each others’ experiences on the ground organizing for change in our local schools, and to discuss our broader collective goals and strategies on statewide campaigns related to education justice. 

A Fireside Chat - NH Legislation & It's Impact on DEIJ Efforts in the Granite State – 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Racial Unity Team and Oyster River Equity & Justice. Are you confused by some of the recent state legislation that aims to control what is taught in NH’s public schools? This event will feature the perspectives of local teachers, administrators, parents and that of Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of ACLU-NH. Participants will walk away with an increased awareness of what the pertinent legislation is, how it affects what children and youth experience both in and outside of our schools, and how we might push back on legislative efforts that threaten or delegitimize the accurate, comprehensive teaching of our nation’s history. Join us to learn what the legislation is, what it means for our communities, and how we might actively oppose it.

Saturday, February 12

Hold the date: #FreeThemAll V-Day Action – 2 PM. Hosted by AFSC. In front of the Valley Street Jail, Manchester. Love transcends walls, bars and cages. Hold the date to join us for a community art action to share messages of love, solidarity, and resilience. www.AFSC.org/FreeThemAll

Monday, February 14

Peace & Justice Conversations: China and the Nuclear Arms Race – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. We are in a classical Thucydides trap, the inevitable tensions between rising and declining powers, that too often across history have resulted in catastrophic wars. Today, dynamics that mirror the Cold War and many of those that triggered World War I could lead to war via accidents or miscalculations; they block cooperation that is essential to stanching the climate emergency; and they  fuel anti-Asian racism in the U.S. Our guest speaker Joseph Gerson will review the rise and enforcement of the U.S. Asia-Pacific empire; the self-defeating drive to manage or contain China’s rise, background to the Taiwanese and South China Sea flashpoints, and alternative common security policies that should be adopted by the United States and China.

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
DONATE NOW button on our web page to send a secure donation to support the work of the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program. Thank you!

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