“The majority of people who are in prison are there because society has failed them.”
― Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle
March 12, 2022
Dear State House Watchers,
This week began with loss – our beloved friend, mentor, and co-conspirator Renny Cushing passed away on Monday, surrounded by his dearest ones in his childhood home. It became a week filled with testimonies – wonderful stories of gratitude and admiration for Renny’s loving and purposeful life, and for the opportunities we had to be in the work with him. We are thankful for his compassion and humor, his moral clarity, his persistent ability to treat even his opponents with respect, demonstrating his sincere belief that we must always make it possible for others to change, to become convinced of the rightness of justice. May our shared grief draw us closer to each other, and may these memories nourish us for the sacred work of building and being Beloved Community.
Arnie Alpert’s piece for InDepthNH this week was an inspiring gift. He describes how Renny could transform what was possible in a situation with “an unexpected message in the right place at the right time to the right audience.” In 1998, “with his infant daughter, Grace, in her mother’s lap in the House gallery, Renny told a rapt audience of lawmakers, ‘If we let those who murder turn us to murder, it gives over more power to those who do evil. We become what we say we abhor. I do not want the state of New Hampshire to do to the man who murdered my father what that man did to my family.’” Read it here. And thank you, Arnie, for finding the perfect song….
"[We'll] keep pluggin' on,
Your face will shine through all our tears.
And when we sing another little victory song,
Precious friend, you will be there." - Pete Seeger, “Precious Friend”
Mixed News from Congress
A $1.5 trillion federal funding bill passed the U.S. House and Senate last week and was signed by President Biden on Friday night. The bill increases Trump-era spending levels for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and keeps Customs and Border Protection (CBP) funding levels roughly the same, failing to cut funding for the border wall, failing to provide funding for immigrant protections, and expanding surveillance technology. We’re appalled to see Congress continue to fund – and at such high levels – the agencies that were created to criminalize, abuse, and inflict violence upon immigrant communities. From the Defund Hate Campaign: “All along, this federal funding bill has been kept secret, negotiated in backroom deals and left out of sight from the public and the majority of lawmakers. This was no mistake. It was Congress’ blatant attempt to conceal and quickly pass a bill that continues funding the violence of immigration enforcement at obscene levels, all while hoping to evade public scrutiny and backlash.” Please sign AFSC’s petition calling on Congress to stop wasting money on the abuse, incarceration and deportation of immigrants, and urging them to invest in better healthcare and education for all.
We celebrate that the Biden Administration has approved TPS for Ukrainians in the US. A recent report from Border Watch notes, however, that the protection is temporary, limited to individuals who have continuously resided in the country since March 1, 2022, leaving many who are still attempting to cross the border to safety without adequate protections. Asylum seekers from Ukraine and many other countries including Haiti and Cameroon continue to be turned away or expelled at the border under the MPP and Title 42 programs. The US must honor international law and offer protections for people fleeing conflict no matter their ethnic or racial background. Join us and sign AFSC’s petition calling on the Biden administration to re-open our borders and ensure that all who seek it can find safety in the US.
Interested in learning more about Title 42 and asylum rights at the US border? Register here for a March 15 webinar hosted by UUSC and UUSJ: Welcome with Dignity at the U.S. Border: How We Can End the Abuse of Title 42 Powers and Restore Asylum Access for All.
Finally, after over 100 years and 200+ failed attempts, Congress has passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, the country’s first anti-lynching law. From NPR: "’Lynching is a longstanding and uniquely American weapon of racial terror that has for decades been used to maintain the white hierarchy,’ Rep. Bobby Rush said in a statement Monday evening. ‘Unanimous Senate passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act sends a clear and emphatic message that our nation will no longer ignore this shameful chapter of our history and that the full force of the US federal government will always be brought to bear against those who commit this heinous act.’"
Good News from Town Meetings
There is a lot to celebrate from last week’s town meetings, including decisive wins by dozens of progressive school board candidates who pledge to defend public education from attacks on curriculum, public health and school funding. Read more from Ethan Dewitt. We are also happy to see that efforts to eliminate ballot counting machines were defeated in every municipality where the question was considered. Read more at NHPR. And one more bit of positive news - 74% of Durham voters decided to remove the Mill Pond dam and allow the Oyster River to flow freely (more here). This effort was supported by members of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki people. March 8 was a good day for New Hampshire.
The House and Senate will meet next week for multiple days of voting - March 15, 16 and 17 for the House, and March 17 for the Senate. There are many consequential proposals on the docket, and we urge you to communicate with your state legislators so that they know what matters to you. Find your Representatives’ contact information here, and your Senator’s information here. Scroll down for a complete list; here are our priorities:
Protect Bail Reform - One of our top priorities for next week is to defeat HB 1476, a harmful proposal that will undo recent progress in the area of bail reform and which will, if enacted, exacerbate racial injustice, mass incarceration, the criminalization of poverty, and discrimination against the lowest-income members of our communities. For talking points, we recommend this resource prepared by the ACLU-NH. Please urge your Representatives to defeat this bill.
Protect Immigrant Communities – We also need to defeat HB 1266, an anti-immigrant bill that would prevent local communities from prohibiting police collusion with federal immigration enforcement. Here are some talking points from the NH Immigrant Rights Network. Please urge your Representatives to defeat this bill.
Protect Public Education – Several House bills to be taken up next week intend to expand the Banned Concepts Act and to otherwise erode or disrupt the work of teachers in our public schools, including HB 1015, which would require teachers to post classroom materials in advance so that parents can opt out of what they find objectionable; HB 1255, the ‘teacher loyalty’ bill; and HB 1431, establishing a parental bill of rights, which has been amended to be more damaging. Please urge your Representatives to defeat these bills.
Another bill, HB 1671, which would have removed art, languages and physical education from the core curriculum, was amended to save these courses and to expand the list of core domains to include financial literacy, logic and rhetoric, so now it’s a good bill! Please urge your Representatives to pass this bill as amended.
For additional guidance related to the well-being of public education, we recommend the legislative action alerts from NEA-NH and AFT-NH. And for some important insight from Representative Marjorie Porter about the influence of Libertarians and Free Staters in the campaign to defund public education, read her commentary at InDepthNH.
Protect LGBTQ+ Rights and Reproductive Rights – Given the high number of bills in these areas, we direct you to the Planned Parenthood of NH Action Fund’s legislative action toolkit for clear and concise summaries and recommendations. We need to act now to defeat HB 1077, which would roll back the ban on conversion therapy for minors, and HB 1180, which would allow for discrimination of transgender students. Please urge your Representatives to defeat these bills.
Protect Democracy – The Senate will vote next week on HB 52, relative to congressional district maps. This bill gerrymanders NH’s two congressional districts to favor a Republican candidate in CD 1. Senators will also vote on SB 241, apportioning executive council districts. The bill maintains the wildy gerrymandered ‘dragon district.’ Please urge your Senators to defeat these bills.
It is also time to contact Governor Sununu to urge him to veto gerrymandered maps, including HB 50 which apportions state legislative districts and is already headed to his desk. Readers can track what stage each map is in using Open Democracy's Redistricting Tracker. We recommend this messaging toolkit from the Fair Maps Coalition and this op-ed by Corinne Dodge and Celia Randall. Contact the governor by calling (603)271-2121, or by submitting a written comment here.
Join Kent Street Coalition for visibility actions at the State House on all three session days:
March 15, 8:45 AM - 10 AM, focus - school voucher overruns & the need for accountability;
March 16, 8 AM to 9 AM, focus - defending the rights of LGBTQ+ community members;
March 17, 8 AM to 9 AM, focus - opposition to gerrymandered maps.
Bring your own signs for your own priorities as well! We’ll see you there!
In This Issue
* Last week in the House
* Coming up in House sessions – March 15, 16 & 17
* Coming up in Senate session – March 17
* Coming up in Senate committees
* State House Watch on the radio
* Upcoming Events and Programs
Last Week in the House
The Senate returned to committee work after being on break the prior week. The House had a session day on Thursday, March 10. House committees continue their executive sessions in preparation for the upcoming session days. Here are some outcomes from the March 10 House session:
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.
From the Consent Calendar
CHILDREN & FAMILY LAW
HB 1651-FN, adding sexual reassignment to the definition of child abuse. Tabled. From the committee report: The committee believes this is a decision between the parents, child, doctor and mental health professionals. The legislature should not be making already difficult and trying times in a child’s life even more difficult.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1025-FN, relative to impeding, provoking, or harassing law enforcement officers. The prime sponsor of the bill asked to find the bill inexpedient to legislate before it was even introduced because it was agreed that the bill was unnecessary and obstructing a police officer from carrying out their official duty is already a crime. Voted ITL by a voice vote.
CACR 22, relating to elections. Providing that all elections in New Hampshire shall be by ranked-choice voting. Voted ITL.
HB 1010-FN, requiring municipal voter history to be made accessible in the statewide centralized voter registration database. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1157, relative to electronic ballot counting devices. Voted OTP. According to the committee, this proposes to put in law what is current practice. It amends RSA 656:42 to prohibit electronic ballot devices from being connected to the internet.
HB 1174, relative to election challengers. Voted OTP/A. According to the committee, this bill provides for qualified election observers to observe the process of tabulating the votes from a distance of not more than six feet.
HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES & ELDERLY AFFAIRS
HB 1003, prohibiting health care providers from refusing to provide care or services based on patient vaccination status. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1099, prohibiting the department of health and human services from requiring vaccine passports for services. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1147, relative to governmental records available upon request. Voted ITL.
HB 1181-FN, allowing the biological father of an unborn child to petition the court for an injunction prohibiting the biological mother from having an abortion. Voted IS.
HB 1195, relative to public comment periods at public meetings. Voted OTP/A. According to the committee, the bill requires a public comment period at the beginning of each public meeting of a school board or school administrative unit (SAU) board. The period would need to be no longer than necessary to hear all those who wish to speak.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
HB 1124, requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verify system of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-1. According to the committee, the majority found the E-Verify system for determining an employment candidate’s eligibility to work in NH is unreliable and an unnecessary mandate on employers. Voted ITL.
RESOURCES, RECREATION & DEVELOPMENT
HB 1167, establishing a maximum contaminant level for perfluorinated chemicals in surface water. Voted IS.
HB 1185, relative to treatment of water contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals. Voted OTP/A. According to the committee, this allows plants to test for PFAS – and reject PFAS-contaminated wastewater -- prior to accepting industrial or commercial waste so taxpayers aren’t stuck with the treatment costs.
HB 1602-FN, relative to perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water. Voted IS. This bill would require testing for PFAS in drinking water of childcare facilities and schools.
HB 1447, prohibiting state agencies from using face recognition technology. Voted IS. More on the flaws in this technology here.
From the Regular Calendar
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1151-FN, prohibiting the display of a deadly weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, march, rally, vigil, or demonstration. Voted ITL, 192-141. The bill would ban the open carry of firearms within 100 feet of a protest, rally, march, or any First Amendment-related activity on public property. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project—a group that collects data and reports on political violence worldwide—armed demonstrations are 6.5 times more likely to turn violent or destructive than demonstrations where no firearms are present.
HB 1175, relative to recording interactions with public officials. Tabled.
HB 1483, relative to the use of physical force by a law enforcement officer. Voted ITL.
HB 1636, relative to prohibitions on carrying a loaded firearm on an OHRV or snowmobile. Voted OTP 204-134.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS & ADMINISTRATION
HB 1159, recognizing November 7 as Victims of Communism Memorial Day. Tabled.
HB 1257-FN, requiring the retirement system to divest from investment in companies located in China. Voted ITL 312-25.
HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES & ELDERLY AFFAIRS
HB 1126, permitting minors over the age of 16 to obtain a vaccination without parental consent. Voted ITL 184-151.
HB 1021, prohibiting regulation of religious land use based on the religious nature of the assembly or speech taking place on the land or in the structure. According to the committee, the bill requires that land use laws be applied equally to all permitted uses without additional requirements based on religious use of the property. Voted OTP by VV.
HB 1216-FN, repealing the housing appeals board. Voted ITL by VV.
HB 1254, relative to the housing appeals board. Voted ITL by VV.
HB 1260, making immunization status a protected class. Voted ITL by VV.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL & REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
CACR 14, relating to unions. Voted ITL 182-159.
HB 1385, prohibiting the use of credit history in employment decisions. Voted ITL.
STATE-FEDERAL RELATIONS & VETERANS AFFAIRS
CACR 32, relating to independence. Providing that the state peaceably declares independence from the United States and proceeds as a sovereign nation. Voted ITL 323-13.
HB 1411-FN, relative to transparency of federal agency operations within New Hampshire. Voted OTP/A 204-134.
Coming Up in House Sessions - March 15, 16 & 17
The full House will be in session at Representatives Hall on March 15, starting at 10 AM, and again on March 16 and 17, starting at 9 AM. You can watch via livestream here.
On the Consent Calendar
COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
HB 1162, relative to requiring insurance coverage for vaccinations, devices, and medications authorized for emergency use by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Recommended for IS by a vote of 17-1.
HB 1378, relative to inspection of public lodging houses. Recommended for IS by a vote of 18-0. HB 1422-FN, requiring warning labels on consumer products containing perfluorinated chemicals. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-0. Bill found to be a commendable goal but unwieldy because products are made many places.
HB 1582-FN, repealing the granite state paid family leave plan. Recommended for IS by a vote of 18-0.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1027-FN, establishing the crime of undermining legislative process by false claim of emergency. Recommended ITL by a vote of 19-0.
HB 1215-FN, relative to the definition of “residual amount” in the controlled drug act. Recommended ITL by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners. Recommended OTP by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1349-FN, decriminalizing the possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-2.
HB 1360-FN, relative to penalties for controlled drug violations. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 18-0.
HB 1015, relative to school district policies regarding objectionable material. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-1. Committee members took issue with the bill’s timelines that might preclude certain teaching opportunities (the teachable moment) that might pop up on short notice, such as a visit from a congressperson, a similarly high-profile individual, or a current even occurring in the Ukraine or elsewhere in the world.
HB 1169, relative to public comment and inquiry during school board meetings. Recommended ITL by a vote of 19-0. The bill requires that board members cite statutes or rules for board authority to take certain actions and required the board to respond to public comment questions either immediately or within 5 days.
HB 1198, relative to rules of the department of education concerning culture and climate in schools. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-0.
HB 1255, relative to teachers’ loyalty. Recommended ITL by a vote of 19-0.
HB 1263, relative to physical education in schools. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-0. This bill, as amended, further prescribes health, physical education, wellness, and personal finance literacy to be taught in schools.
HB 1313, relative to rights to freedom from discrimination in higher education. Recommended for IS by a vote of 18-1. This would extend the “banned concepts” rules now applied K-12 to state colleges and universities.
HB 1371, relative to school district policies on facial masks of students in schools. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-0. The bill was considered superfluous since other bills prohibit mask mandates.
HB 1399, relative to school district withdrawal from a cooperative school district. Recommended for IS by a vote of 19-0.
HB 1530, relative to bachelor degrees offered by the community college system of New Hampshire. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-0. This bill, as amended, establishes curricular transfer pathways between the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) and the University System New Hampshire (USNH).
HB 1588-FN, relative to students attending public schools that mandate the wearing of face masks without an emergency order in place. Recommended ITL by a vote of 15-3.
HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-0.
HB 1671-LOCAL, relative to the content of an adequate education. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 18-1. This bill, as amended, replaces the entire bill as introduced and better identifies specific learning areas for an adequate education. The following skills shall be integrated: computer use, digital literacy, logic, and rhetoric.
HB 1678, relative to the administration of the education freedom accounts program. Recommended ITL by a vote of 19-0.
HB 1679-FN, relative to the dissolution and repeal of cooperative school districts. Recommended for IS by a vote of 18-1.
CACR 17, relating to ballot measures. Providing that upon petition by voters, a question may be placed on the ballot of a statewide election. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-0.
HB 1064-FN, requiring the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in elections. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-0.
HB 1163, relative to over voted ballots. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-1. The bill requires machines to immediately return overvoted ballots to the voter so that the voter can deposit the ballot in a separate box of ballots that will be counted by hand.
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. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-0.
HB 1473-FN, authorizing a forensic audit of the November 3, 2020 election results in Merrimack County for president, governor, and US Senate races. Recommended for IS by a vote of 20-0.
HB 1542-FN, relative to documentation required to prove a voter’s eligibility to vote. Recommended ITL by a vote of 20-0.
HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS
HB 1035, relative to exemptions from school vaccine mandates. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 20-1. This bill would change the process so that parents simply have to sign a form stating the child has not been immunized because of religious beliefs.
HB 1045, requiring legislative oversight of the emergency powers of the department of health and human services. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1271, limiting the authority of the department of health and human services to mandate vaccinations; and relative to quarantine costs. Recommend for IS by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1488, expanding the prohibition against discrimination based on an individual’s election not to participate in the state vaccine registry. Recommended OTP by a vote of 21-0.
HB 1606, making the state vaccine registry an opt-in program. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 20-1.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
HB 1529-FN, requiring prospective employees and volunteers of public libraries to obtain a background check prior to commencing employment or volunteer service. Recommended ITL by a vote of 21-0.
The following proposed constitutional amendments would make significant changes to the functioning of state government and the legislature. They were all recommended for defeat (ITL), including CACR 13, relating to legislator compensation, providing that compensation for elected members of the general court shall be amended; CACR 24, relative to the attorney general, providing that the attorney general be elected by a majority vote of the members of the general court in a joint session; CACR 25, relative to legislative term limits, providing that no person shall serve more than 15 terms in either the house of representatives or the senate; CACR 26, relating to the house of representatives, providing that 100 of the representatives are elected using party list proportional representation; CACR 27, relative to 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; CACR 29, relating to the general court, providing that the number of representatives be no more than 150 and the number of senators be no more than 35; CACR 31, relating to changing the minimum age requirement for state senator from 30 to 25, providing that persons at least 25 years of age shall be eligible to be elected to the state senate; CACR 33, relating to recall elections, providing that the general court may authorize recall elections.
HB 1368, relative to recusal by members of the general court for conflicts of interest. Recommended for IS by a vote of 13-0.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
HB 1179, relative to zoning protest petitions. Recommended for ITL by a vote of 17-1. Per the committee, the bill was considered contrary to local control of zoning requirements as determined by the local planning board.
HB 1238, relative to zoning powers and the supply of workforce housing. Recommended ITL by a vote of 16-0. Per the committee, the bill disallows local control of zoning powers normally reserved for local communities.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
HB 1546-FN, limiting air emissions of perfluorochemicals. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 22-0. As amended, this bill defines per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and automatically adds new contaminants to the list of regulated toxic air pollutants as they become known.
WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1565-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Recommended for IS by a vote of 21-0. There were some on the committee who wanted to let this program get off the ground as originally outlined in statute before the legislature starts to tamper with a statute that was a very delicate compromise.
On the Regular Calendar
CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW
HB 1280, prohibiting a parent’s refusal to vaccinate a child pursuant to an order of the state or federal government to be used as a basis for terminating parental rights. Recommended OTP by a vote of 8-7.
HB 1286, relative to the modification of parental rights and responsibilities. Recommended ITL by a vote of 8-7.
HB 1382, relative to the presumption of shared parenting in the determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 8-7. Opponents say in cases of domestic violence, the bill lacks proper consideration of the safety of the child, the abused parent or both.
HB 1396-FN, relative to the payment of child support. Recommended ITL by a vote of 8-7.
HB 1416, relative to consent for mental health treatment in parenting cases with shared decision-making responsibility. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 14-1. The minority of the committee argue this could cause further mental health harm to a child by pitting parents against each other.
HB 1431-FN-LOCAL, establishing the parental bill of rights. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 8-7. This bill poses risks to child protective investigations and children's educational programs and supports. AFSC-NH opposes.
HB 1614-FN, requiring the recording and storing of digital video in all state-funded juvenile detention facilities. Recommended OTP by a vote of 12-3.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1072, establishing a criminal penalty for denying an elected school district official access to any school district facilities, documents, or events. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1096-FN, prohibiting open carrying or display of a deadly weapon within 100 feet of a polling place. Recommended ITL by a vote of 13-7.
HB 1127, relative to posthumous exonerations and annulments. Recommended for IS by a vote of 16-5. This was Renny Cushing’s bill that would have annulled the unjust convictions of Willard Uphaus and Eunice "Goody" Cole. We hope that House members will pass it.
HB 1178, prohibiting the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Recommended OTP by a vote of 12-7.
HB 1266, relative to restrictions on enforcement of federal immigration laws. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10. This bill prohibits cities or towns from adopting policies that would prohibit law enforcement from working with federal immigration enforcement. Per the minority of the committee, this bill may make the job of law enforcement harder, if people are afraid to talk, and afraid of being deported after assisting law enforcement. Defeating this bill is a priority for AFSC and the NH Immigrant Rights Network.
HB 1361-FN, establishing a penalty for any person who transports a controlled drug into New Hampshire with the intent to distribute. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 12-8.
HB 1476-FN, relative to persons arrested while out on bail. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 13-7. According to Rep. Ray Newman speaking for the minority of the committee, individuals charged are deprived of their access to due process during non-court hours because they will no longer have access to bail commissioners. A large percentage of people who find themselves in this predicament have mental illnesses, homelessness, or substance abuse problems, and jail time is not the proper solution. Defeating this bill is a priority of ACLU-NH and AFSC.
HB 1512-FN, relative to the parole of certain prisoners. Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-8.
HB 1600, relative to the use of body cameras by law enforcement during an interview or interrogation. Recommended for IS by a vote of 17-3.
HB 1668, requiring a background check prior to any commercial firearm sale. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.
HB 1090, relative to teaching on discrimination in the public schools. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9. This bill repeals the prohibition on “banned concepts” and replaces it with language that ensures that the instruction of both historical facts and current experiences of protected classes is permitted in NH classrooms, and that teachers may teach without fear of civil liability.
HB 1113, prohibiting the department of education and the state board of education from directing or limiting school instructional options, such as remote learning. Recommended for ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1115, relative to record of educational attainment under the educational freedom account program. Recommended for ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1120, relative to education service providers under the education freedom accounts program. Recommended for ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 10-8.
HB 1233, prohibiting higher education institutions receiving state funds from requiring face masks and COVID-19 vaccinations for attendance. Recommended for IS by a vote of 11-7.
HB 1241, prohibiting a school district from mandating a COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance. Recommended OTP by a vote of 10-8.
HB 1261, prohibiting the use of Native American mascots in public schools, colleges, and universities. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9. Rep. David Luneau, for the minority, said the committee heard from members of New Hampshire’s Indigenous People community as to the offensive nature of these mascots, monikers, and team names. This practice does not honor Native Americans, but instead invokes racism and is a blatant and shameful form of discrimination. AFSC strongly supports this bill.
HB 1367, relative to civics instruction in schools. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1376, relative to participation in the education freedom accounts program by students with disabilities. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-8.
HB 1434-FN, relative to the availability of school curriculum materials. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1576-FN, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1607-FN, prohibiting unlawful discrimination in public and nonpublic schools. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1632-FN, relative to civil rights education in public elementary and secondary schools. Recommended for IS by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1683-FN-LOCAL, repealing the education freedom account program. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
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. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.
CACR 19, relating to paper ballots. Providing that all elections shall be conducted through paper ballots. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.
HB 1203-FN, relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters, and relative to the terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency.” Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-9.
HB 1264, establishing ranked-choice voting for state party primary elections and municipal elections. Committee report is without a recommendation.
HB 1326, relative to permissible campaign contributions by business organizations and labor unions. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.
ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE
HB 1454-FN, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills. Recommended OTP/A. by a vote of 10-9.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
HB 1135, requiring a performance audit of the department of education, education freedom account program. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1173, proclaiming August 9 as Indigenous People’s Day. Recommended ITL by a vote of 14-5.
HB 1357, relative to land acknowledgment. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-8. Renny Cushing was the prime sponsor for this bill; we support it and hope that the House will pass it.
HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 14-5.
HB 1677-FN, relative to the administration and settlement of claims of abuse at the youth development center and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 19-1.
HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS
HB 1077, repealing the prohibition on conversion therapy for minors. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 13-7. AFSC strongly opposes this dangerous bill.
HB 1080, relative to the rights of conscience for medical professionals. Recommended OTP by a vote of 11-10. Planned Parenthood NH urges defeat of this bill.
HB 1379, relative to the department of health and human services’ rulemaking authority regarding immunization requirements. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 12-9.
HB 1409, relative to the age at which a minor may receive mental health treatment without parental consent. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1455, relative to state enforcement of federal vaccination mandates. Recommended OTP by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1481, repealing the statute relative to medical freedom in immunizations. Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-9.
CACR 18, relating to reproductive medical decisions, providing that the state shall not infringe or unduly inconvenience the right of reproductive medical decisions. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-8.
HB 1101, relative to a forfeiture of personal property. Recommended OTP by a vote of 17-4.
HB 1200, relative to notice of rent increases in residential rental property. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10. This is a commonsense proposal and AFSC supports it.
HB 1291, prohibiting discrimination against tenants holding certain vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10. Another commonsense proposal; AFSC supports.
HB 1477-FN, prohibiting abortions after detection of fetal heartbeat. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1519-FN, defining “religious belief” and protecting it from discrimination. Recommended ITL by a vote of 17-4.
HB 1625, repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility. Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-9.
HB 1673-FN, relative to women’s health privacy and repealing the fetal health protection act. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1674, relative to reproductive rights. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-8.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
HB 1053, relative to the hourly rate paid to an employee for hours worked but not previously scheduled. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-3.
HB 1076, relative to illegal productivity quotas. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-9.
HB 1088, relative to employee protections from COVID-19 in the workplace. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-9.
HB 1094, relative to employee work schedules and rest periods. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-3.
HB 1165, repealing the Granite State paid family leave plan. Recommended OTP by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1210, relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1251, prohibiting payment of subminimum wages. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1337, relative to the duration of unemployment benefits. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 11-10.
HB 1472, prohibiting anti-union activities by employers. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-10.
CACR 23, relative to the New Hampshire constitution. Providing that all references to persons in the New Hampshire constitution be gender neutral. Recommended ITL by a vote of 9-6.
HB 1041-FN, extending the public employees labor relations act to employees of the general court and relative to the duties of the joint committee on legislative facilities. Recommended ITL by a vote of 9-6.
HB 1309, establishing a committee to study revising house rules to ensure that all sections of the budget trailer bill receive an adequate public hearing. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-7.
HB 1370, establishing a committee to study childcare options for New Hampshire state legislators. Recommended ITL by a vote of 9-8.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots. Recommended ITL by a vote of 11-8.
HB 1119, relative to the regulation of single-use bags. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1177, relative to permissible residential units in a residential zone. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-8.
HB 1194, relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap. Recommended OTP by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1307, modifying the authority and duties of the housing appeals board. Recommended OTP by a vote of 13-3. Housing Action NH opposes.
HB 1342, relative to municipal charter provisions for tax caps. Recommended OTP by a vote of 12-7.
HB 1393, relative to the adoption of school district budget caps. Recommended OTP by a vote of 10-9.
PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS
HB 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 21-2.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
HB 1116, relative to renewable energy customer-generators accounts and credits. Recommended ITL by a vote of 13-8.
HB 1250, requiring the public utilities commission to consider climate change in making rate-setting decisions. Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-10.
HB 1258, relative to the implementation of the department of energy. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 22-0.
HB 1596-FN, relative to net energy metering limits for individual and business customers. Recommended ITL by a vote of 13-9.
STATE-FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
HB 1284, establishing a committee to study the effects of deportation of primary earners on family members who are United States citizens. Recommended ITL by a vote of 13-8.
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.” Recommended ITL by a vote of 12-9.
AFSC-NH strongly supports the following three bills:
HB 1093, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1463, relative to drivers’ licenses issued in accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
HB 1666-FN, relative to the application process for driver’s licenses and the privacy of motor vehicle records. Recommended ITL by a vote of 10-9.
WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1221-FN, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 12-11.
HB 1478-FN-A, relative to the business profits tax applicable to certain large, low-wage employers. Recommended ITL by a vote of 18-1.
Coming Up in the Full Senate - March 17
The full Senate will meet in session on Thursday, March 17 at 9 AM in the Senate chamber. Here are some highlights of what’s on their calendar.
On the Consent Calendar
HB 1218-FN, relative to the merger of Granite State college with the University of New Hampshire. Recommended OTP by a vote of 5-0. This bill merges Granite State College into the University of New Hampshire and would support the promotion of online learning infrastructure in New Hampshire’s higher education system.
ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
SB 263, establishing the New Hampshire youth environmental education and conservation council. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 448-FN, requiring the reduction of fossil fuel use across state facilities and establishing a state government energy committee. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
HB 84 - Declaring May 21, 2022, as Ona Judge Staines Day. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
HB 1586-FN-A, relative to a likeness of Wentworth Cheswill at the State House. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 401-FN, relative to Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospital birthing services. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. The bill increases the Medicaid reimbursement rate for hospital birthing services by 25% in the aggregate.
SB 444-FN, relative to childhood adverse experiences treatment and prevention. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a pilot program for young children who have experienced adverse childhood events and other emotional trauma and makes an appropriation to the Department for this purpose. The bill also makes an appropriation to the Department to develop and implement a plan to increase child parent psychotherapy services for young children who have experienced severe emotional trauma.
SB 456-FN-A, establishing a law enforcement conduct review committee in the police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
HB 228, relative to the calculation of child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting time. Interim Study, Vote 5-0.
On the Regular Calendar
SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-1.
SB 426-FN, relative to the adequate education grants for fiscal year 2023. Recommended ITL by a vote of 3-2.
ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
CACR 36, relative to residency for the purpose of voting. Providing that only residents of the state may vote in elections. OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.
SB 241, apportioning executive council districts. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-2.
SB 254, apportioning executive council districts. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-2.
SB 400-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This bill is supported by Housing Action NH.
HB 52, apportioning congressional districts. Recommended OTP by a vote of 3-2.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 374-FN, relative to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-2.
SB 458-FN, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
Coming Up in Senate Committees
Tuesday, March 15
EDUCATION, Room 101, LOB
9:45 AM HB 1421-FN, relative to lead in school drinking water.
JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
1:15 PM HB 1388-FN, relative to the unsolicited disclosure of an intimate image.
Wednesday, March 16
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 101, LOB
9:15 AM HB 1390, relative to access to language translation services in telemedicine.
State House Watch on the Radio
Join us for State House Watch radio on Monday, March 14! Lidia Yen and Steven Kidder of Change for Concord talk with Catherine Corkery and Jerry Curran from the NH Sierra Club; and Rob Werner of the League of Conservation Voters about their priority climate bills and green energy alternatives. 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 when Maggie and Grace spoke with Kate Frey from New Futures about the Campaign for a Healthy NH and the many vaccine-related bills they are closely tracking.
Upcoming Events & 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 (email@example.com) and she will put you on the list. Group size limited to 24 people.
Sunday, March 13
Rally for Renewables - 1 PM. Virtual and in person at the NH State House, Concord. Hosted by 350NH, Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook People, Community Action Works and Rights & Democracy. Join us to demand renewable energy and a livable future now! We need to shut down the coal plant in Bow, NH and end the pollution of our communities. We need to invest in solar energy and wind energy to bring good jobs to NH! We need a just transition to renewable energy now, and we're going to be in Concord and online to make sure our legislators hear us.
Shades of Black: Connected by Color, Culture & Community - 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Levenson Room, Portsmouth Public Library. 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.
WFC Community Conversation: The Finances - Where are We? – 5 PM. Hosted by World Fellowship Center, on Zoom. We have so much to share! From our incredible fundraising success at the end of 2021 and where we landed in December, to how 2022 is fleshing out and the steps we’re taking for responsible budgeting. There’s deep gratitude to give as well as strong concerns which are worthy of consideration and conversation. We want you to be in the know with us and to share in the problem-solving process as well as the joy of community collaboration.
Monday, March 14
Peace & Justice Conversations: Mobilizing Youth for Peace with Friends Forever - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action and Friends Forever International. Friends Forever International works with communities around the globe to build the leadership abilities of their youth from diverse backgrounds to tackle local and global issues. Our speaker will be Úna from County Armagh in Northern Ireland. She first joined Friends Forever in 2017 and has stayed involved, feeling honored to help empower and encourage young people from all over the world.
Tuesday, March 15
No Coal No Gas Campaign Onboarding & Info Session - 7 PM. Hosted by 350 NH & No Coal No Gas. Join us for an Orientation/Loop-in Session where you can learn more about the No Coal No Gas campaign! This is a great chance for people who are new to the campaign OR folks who have been involved in the past and are looking to plug back in to learn what’s been going on lately and explore upcoming opportunities to get involved- from Nonviolent Direct Action to FERC comments periods to showing up for court support! Whether you are new to No Coal No Gas or looking to plug back in- this is a space for you!
Saturday, March 19
A Right to Safety: An Interactive Online De-escalation Training - 1 PM to 4 PM. Hosted by Creative Praxis. Open to all. What do you do when tensions rise and conflict erupts? Are you interested in learning how to de-escalate conflicts? Whether you are a teacher, community organizer, parent, or local leader, this training will equip you with skills and next steps for de-escalation. In this 3-hour training, you will be guided by Founder and Lead Facilitator Nia Eubanks-Dixon, who brings with her 20 years of professional education experience. Using an anti-racist, humanistic framework, participants will work through a variety of culturally-relevant methods for de-escalation.
Tuesday, March 22
Beyond Roe: Black Abortion & Maternal Health Experiences - 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH and BLM Seacoast. A panel discussion and Q+A with BIPOC leaders working around reproductive and maternal health. Register here. 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, March 28
Peace & Justice Conversations: Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Come learn more about the situation in Yemen and how you can join in the lobbying campaign. With critical support from the United States, the Saudi-led coalition’s war and blockade in Yemen have helped create the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, pushing over 16 million people to the brink of famine. On February 4, 2021, President Biden announced that the United States would end its support for the coalition’s offensive operations in Yemen, but important aspects of US complicity remain. Our speaker, Hassan El-Tayyab, is FCNL’s legislative director for Middle East policy. His passion for foreign affairs is rooted in his desire to make life better for people in the Middle East, including his extended family in Jordan, and for peace and stability worldwide.
Tuesday, April 5
Native Americans in NH - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Exeter TV & Exeter Historical Society. Event is in person at the Exeter Town Hall, 9 Front Street, Exeter, and can also be watched on Channel 98 or through our Facebook page. Every town and watershed in New Hampshire has ancient and continuing Native American history. From the recent, late 20th century explosion of local Native population in New Hampshire back to the era of early settlement and the colonial wars, John and Donna Moody explore the history of New Hampshire's Abenaki and Penacook peoples with a focus on your local community. This program is generously sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities and co-hosted by Exeter TV and is free and open to the public.
Friday, April 11
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 coalitional 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.
Monday, 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 Street, 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.
Tuesday, April 15
Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry: “Art, Conscience & Social Justice” – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, 17 Main Street, 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.
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!