Skip to content Skip to navigation

State House Watch: March 18, 2022

Photo: Cheryl Senter/AFSC

“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”
– Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents

March 18, 2022

Dear State House Watchers,

Spring is in the air but frustration is thick after this week’s marathon of session days in the House and Senate. A host of bad bills we had hoped would be defeated have been pushed through and others we support have been tabled or defeated. A fuller accounting can be found below but here are some lowlights, as well as a few highlights.

We’ll start with some good news.
Two anti-LGBTQ+ bills were halted: HB 1077, which would roll back the ban on conversion therapy for minors, was tabled; and HB 1180, which would allow for discrimination against transgender youth, was defeated by a vote of 175-167. 

More good news: HB 1671, which would have removed art, languages and physical education from the core curriculum, was passed with an amendment to save these courses and to expand the list of core domains to include financial literacy, logic and rhetoric.

The 'teacher loyalty bill,' HB 1255, and HB 1015, the proposal to require that teachers post their curriculum materials two weeks in advance so that parents could opt their children out of what the parents find objectionable, were both defeated.

HB 1477, the six-week abortion ban, was tabled in the House.

SB 210, a bill which, in its original form, would have devastated an essential segment of affordable housing in the state, was amended to remove the troublesome provision and was passed in the Senate. Read more at NH Business Review.

And now the bad news.
Among the worst news of the week was the passage—with a bipartisan vote in the House—of HB 1476, which will roll back the recent progress made with bail reform, resulting in greater racial injustice, mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty. We recommend this commentary by Ronelle Tshiela and Clifton West from Black Lives Matter. Please contact your Senator to let them know that this dangerous bill must be defeated. From AFSC staff: 

“As an expression of our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people, the American Friends Service Committee works to end racism, poverty, mass incarceration and other forms of violence ... This proposal is a drastic step in the wrong direction and will cause immeasurable harm to our most vulnerable community members—those whose needs for mental health care, substance use treatment and affordable housing go unmet for lack of political will. We are particularly horrified by the notion that jails and prisons be considered appropriate stop-gap measures until some future time when real solutions are implemented. It is community care—not over-policing or mass incarceration—that brings real safety. We call upon NH legislators to defeat this inhumane proposal and to work instead to create systems grounded in healing, accountability, and transformation.” – Maggie Fogarty

“It is unconscionable that our lawmakers would even consider rolling back bail reform when the data shows that instances of crime across the state have decreased over 14 percent since bail reform was implemented. This legislation uses fear in order to rationalize and expand unjust control over low income and Black communities that already experience disproportionate rates of arrest. Our communities need stronger social support, not dangerous laws that are based in fear, not evidence. We need investments in social infrastructure that guarantees affordable housing, equitable access to healthcare and a livable wage. To expand the punishment arm of the state time and time again instead of investing public resources to build and strengthen the social safety net is reprehensible and will not make our communities safer.” – Grace Kindeke

The Senate voted to approve gerrymandered maps for the two NH congressional districts (HB 52). Read more here. Governor Sununu immediately issued a statement indicating that he will veto the bill. We hope he does, and we encourage our readers to call and remind him of his promise (603-271-2121). The executive council maps, SB 241, were voted Interim Study; if they remain in this status, the current (gerrymandered) executive council map will remain in place for the next decade.

The Fair Maps Coalition issued their own statement: “While the congressional maps are clearly unfair and should rightfully be vetoed, Republican lawmakers also drew the state House and state Senate maps with the express goal of giving their party an advantage at the expense of fair elections. Governor Sununu must commit to vetoing all of the legislature’s partisan redistricting proposals up and down the ballot.”

A majority of legislators voted to defeat HB 1261 which would have prohibited the use of racist mascots in public schools, colleges and universities; as well HB 1357, which would declare an official NH state land acknowledgment that honors the Abenaki people.

House members also passed HB 1266, an anti-immigrant bill that would prevent local communities from prohibiting police collusion with federal immigration enforcement.

HB 1337, which reduces the number of weeks someone can collect unemployment, was passed in the House.

A majority of House members also passed HB 1035, which will make it easier for families to send their children to school unvaccinated against preventable diseases such as hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio and many others.

Bills to require accountability and oversight of the Education Freedom Accounts were defeated, and HB 1393, which allows municipalities to impose caps on school budgets, passed the House on a voice vote. (Speaking of education, did you see what Free Staters did in Croyden? Read more here.)

HB 1431, establishing a ‘parental bill of rights’ and removing community protections for children, passed the full House on a roll call vote of 181-157. Based on ALEC model legislation, this bill is part of a nationwide effort by the far-right to further target our public schools, undermine an honest education, and target diversity, equity, and inclusion justice.

We found several good recaps of last week’s session days, including at NHPR and multiple articles at NH Bulletin:
House votes deliver setbacks to abortion access, other reproductive health services;
Lawmakers in House vote for repeal of Sununu’s paid family leave program; and
Lawmakers pass voting-related bills during Tuesday House session.

And we recommend these articles at InDepthNH:
House Rejects School Voucher Program Repeal, Public School Breakfast For All; and
House Tackles Gun Rights, Bail Reform and More During Tuesday’s Session.


In This Issue

Last Week in the House

Here are some outcomes from the House sessions on March 15, 16 and 17. 

First, a key:
OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment.
OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment.
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment. “ITL” can also be used as a verb.
IS – Referred for interim study.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote. Individual legislators’ votes are not tallied.

On the Consent Calendar

HB 1162, relative to requiring insurance coverage for vaccinations, devices, and medications authorized for emergency use by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Voted IS.
HB 1378, relative to inspection of public lodging houses. Voted IS.
HB 1422-FN, requiring warning labels on consumer products containing perfluorinated chemicals. Voted ITL.
HB 1582-FN, repealing the granite state paid family leave plan. Voted IS.

HB 1027-FN, establishing the crime of undermining legislative process by false claim of emergency. Voted ITL.
HB 1215-FN, relative to the definition of “residual amount” in the controlled drug act. Voted ITL.
HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners. Voted OTP. 
HB 1349-FN, decriminalizing the possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms. Voted ITL.
HB 1360-FN, relative to penalties for controlled drug violations. Voted OTP/A.

HB 1015, relative to school district policies regarding objectionable material. Voted ITL.
HB 1169, relative to public comment and inquiry during school board meetings. Voted ITL.
HB 1198, relative to rules of the Department of Education concerning culture and climate in schools. Voted ITL.
HB 1255, relative to teachers’ loyalty. Voted ITL. 
HB 1263, relative to physical education in schools. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1313, relative to rights to freedom from discrimination in higher education. Voted IS. This would extend the “banned concepts” rules now applied to K-12 schools to state colleges and universities. 
HB 1371, relative to school district policies on facial masks of students in schools. Voted ITL. The bill was considered superfluous since other bills prohibit mask mandates.
HB 1399, relative to school district withdrawal from a cooperative school district. Voted IS.
HB 1530, relative to bachelor degrees offered by the community college system of New Hampshire. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1588-FN, relative to students attending public schools that mandate the wearing of face masks without an emergency order in place. Voted ITL.
HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1671-LOCAL, relative to the content of an adequate education. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1678, relative to the administration of the education freedom accounts program. Voted ITL.
HB 1679-FN, relative to the dissolution and repeal of cooperative school districts. Voted IS.

CACR 17, relating to ballot measures. Providing that upon petition by voters, a question may be placed on the ballot of a statewide election. Voted ITL.
HB 1064-FN, requiring the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in elections. Voted ITL.
HB 1163, relative to overvoted ballots. Voted OTP/A. 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. Voted ITL.

HB 1035, relative to exemptions from school vaccine mandates. Voted OTP/A. 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. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1271, limiting the authority of the department of health and human services to mandate vaccinations; and relative to quarantine costs. Voted for IS.
HB 1488, expanding the prohibition against discrimination based on an individual’s election not to participate in the state vaccine registry. Voted OTP.
HB 1606, making the state vaccine registry an opt-in program. Voted OTP/A. 

The following proposed constitutional amendments would make significant changes to the functioning of state government and the legislature. They were all voted ITL, including CACR 13, relating to legislator compensation, providing that compensation for elected members of the general court shall be amended; 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. Voted for IS.

HB 1179, relative to zoning protest petitions. Voted ITL. 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. Voted ITL. Per the committee, the bill disallows local control of zoning powers normally reserved for local communities. 

HB 1546-FN, limiting air emissions of perfluorochemicals. Voted OTP/A by a voice vote. 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. 

HB 1565-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Voted IS. 

On the Regular Calendar

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. Voted OTP with floor amendment.
HB 1286, relative to the modification of parental rights and responsibilities. Voted ITL, 176-155.
HB 1382, relative to the presumption of shared parenting in the determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Voted OTP/A. Opponents say in cases of domestic violence, the bill lacks proper consideration of the safety of the child, the abused parent or both. 
HB 1416, relative to consent for mental health treatment in parenting cases with shared decision-making responsibility. Voted OTP/A. 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. Voted OTP/A 181-157.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. Voted OTP.

HB 1072, establishing a criminal penalty for denying an elected school district official access to any school district facilities, documents, or events. Tabled 169-161.
HB 1096-FN, prohibiting open carrying or display of a deadly weapon within 100 feet of a polling place. Voted ITL 190-153.
HB 1127, relative to posthumous exonerations and annulments. Voted for IS, 251-88. This was Renny Cushing’s bill that would have annulled the unjust convictions of Willard Uphaus and Eunice "Goody" Cole.
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. Voted OTP 190-147.
HB 1266, relative to restrictions on enforcement of federal immigration laws. Voted OTP/A, 172-162. 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. Voted ITL 207-131.
HB 1476-FN, relative to persons arrested while out on bail. Voted OTP/A 199-134. 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. Voted ITL 182-127.
HB 1600, relative to the use of body cameras by law enforcement during an interview or interrogation. Tabled.
HB 1668, requiring a background check prior to any commercial firearm sale. Voted ITL 179-144.

HB 1090, relative to teaching on discrimination in the public schools. Tabled 165-153. 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. Voted ITL 166-154.
HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools. Voted OTP/A 166-157.
HB 1233, prohibiting higher education institutions receiving state funds from requiring face masks and COVID-19 vaccinations for attendance. Tabled.
HB 1261, prohibiting the use of Native American mascots in public schools, colleges, and universities. Voted ITL 170-143. AFSC strongly supported this bill.
HB 1367, relative to civics instruction in schools. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1376, relative to participation in the education freedom accounts program by students with disabilities. Tabled.
HB 1434-FN, relative to the availability of school curriculum materials. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1576-FN, repealing the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. Tabled.
HB 1607-FN, prohibiting unlawful discrimination in public and nonpublic schools. Tabled 189-155.
HB 1632-FN, relative to civil rights education in public elementary and secondary schools. Tabled.
HB 1683-FN-LOCAL, repealing the education freedom account program. Voted ITL 189-166.

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. Voted ITL 190-165, failing to meet 2/3rds requirement for passage.
CACR 19, relating to paper ballots. Providing that all elections shall be conducted through paper ballots. Voted ITL 195-160, failing to meet 2/3rds requirement for passage.
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.” Voted OTP/A.
HB 1264, establishing ranked-choice voting for state party primary elections and municipal elections. Tabled.

HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Voted OTP/A .
HB 1677-FN, relative to the administration and settlement of claims of abuse at the youth development center and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.

HB 1077, repealing the prohibition on conversion therapy for minors. Tabled 197-147. AFSC strongly opposes this dangerous bill.
HB 1080, relative to the rights of conscience for medical professionals. Voted OTP 175-165. Planned Parenthood NH urges defeat of this bill.
HB 1379, relative to the department of health and human services’ rulemaking authority regarding immunization requirements. Voted OTP/A 169-164.
HB 1409, relative to the age at which a minor may receive mental health treatment without parental consent. Tabled 171-163.
HB 1455, relative to state enforcement of federal vaccination mandates. Voted OTP 174-159.
HB 1481, repealing the statute relative to medical freedom in immunizations. Tabled 175-156.

CACR 18, relating to reproductive medical decisions, providing that the state shall not infringe or unduly inconvenience the right of reproductive medical decisions. Tabled 175-157.
HB 1200, relative to notice of rent increases in residential rental property. Tabled.
HB 1291, prohibiting discrimination against tenants holding certain vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings. Tabled 179-148.
HB 1477-FN, prohibiting abortions after detection of fetal heartbeat. Tabled.
HB 1519-FN, defining “religious belief” and protecting it from discrimination. Voted ITL.
HB 1625, repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility. Voted OTP 168-162.
HB 1673-FN, relative to women’s health privacy and repealing the fetal health protection act. Voted OTP but amendment failed 163-165. Amendment would have repealed the worst parts of the law, adding fetal anomaly exception, dropping criminal and civil penalties against doctors and would limit use of ultrasounds.
HB 1674, relative to reproductive rights. Tabled 306-19.

HB 1076, relative to illegal productivity quotas. Tabled 169-152.
HB 1088, relative to employee protections from COVID-19 in the workplace. Voted ITL.
HB 1094, relative to employee work schedules and rest periods. Voted ITL.
HB 1165, repealing the Granite State paid family leave plan. Voted OTP 172-164.
HB 1210, relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates. Voted OTP/A 181-155.
HB 1251, prohibiting payment of subminimum wages. Tabled 187-149.
HB 1337, relative to the duration of unemployment benefits. Voted OTP/A 179-153.
HB 1472, prohibiting anti-union activities by employers. Voted ITL 181-149.

CACR 23, relative to the New Hampshire constitution. Providing that all references to persons in the New Hampshire constitution be gender neutral. Tabled 190-140.
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. Tabled 187-146.
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. Voted ITL 180-154.
HB 1370, establishing a committee to study childcare options for New Hampshire state legislators. Voted OTP/A 173-162.

HB 1087, relative to zoning for single family housing lots. Tabled.
HB 1119, relative to the regulation of single-use bags. Tabled 300-35.
HB 1177, relative to permissible residential units in a residential zone. Tabled 167-157.
HB 1194, relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap. Voted OTP 183-146.
HB 1307, modifying the authority and duties of the housing appeals board. Voted OTP. Housing Action NH opposes.
HB 1342, relative to municipal charter provisions for tax caps. Voted ITL.
HB 1393, relative to the adoption of school district budget caps. Voted OTP.

HB 1116, relative to renewable energy customer-generators accounts and credits. Tabled 168-127. 
HB 1250, requiring the public utilities commission to consider climate change in making rate-setting decisions. Tabled.
HB 1258, relative to the implementation of the department of energy. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1596-FN, relative to net energy metering limits for individual and business customers. Tabled 167-140.

HB 1284, establishing a committee to study the effects of deportation of primary earners on family members who are United States citizens. Tabled 172-135.

HB 1221-FN, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax. Voted OTP/A 177-141.


Last Week in the Senate

On the Consent Calendar

HB 1218-FN, relative to the merger of Granite State college with the University of New Hampshire. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance. 

SB 263, establishing the New Hampshire youth environmental education and conservation council. Voted OTP/A.
SB 448-FN, requiring the reduction of fossil fuel use across state facilities and establishing a state government energy committee. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.

HB 84 - Declaring May 21, 2022, as Ona Judge Staines Day. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1586-FN-A, relative to a likeness of Wentworth Cheswill at the State House. Voted OTP/A.

SB 401-FN, relative to Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospital birthing services. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance. 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. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance. 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. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.
HB 228, relative to the calculation of child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting time. Voted IS. 

On the Regular Calendar

SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks. Voted OTP/A.

SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools. Special ordered to March 24.
SB 426-FN, relative to the adequate education grants for fiscal year 2023. Special ordered to March 24.

CACR 36, relative to residency for the purpose of voting. Providing that only residents of the state may vote in elections. Committee voted in favor, but the motion fails, lacking a 3/5th majority and is laid on the table.
SB 241, apportioning executive council districts. Special ordered to next session.
SB 254, apportioning executive council districts. Voted for IS by a vote of 14-10.
SB 400-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. Voted OTP/A 13-11.
HB 52, apportioning congressional districts. Voted OTP 13-11.

SB 374-FN, relative to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Voted IS 18-6.
SB 458-FN, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility. Voted OTP/A and referred to Finance.


Coming Up in Senate Session – March 24

On the Consent Calendar

SB 365, relative to absentee ballot outer envelopes. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This process will allow the ballot affidavits to be reviewed for errors prior to Election Day.
SB 427-FN, modifying the absentee voter registration process, absentee ballot application, and absentee ballot voting process. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This bill as amended adds “illness or other medical condition” to the reasons for which a voter can apply for an absentee ballot.

SB 271, relative to the Burgess BioPower facility. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of of 5-0.

SB 287, relative to balance billing for certain health care services. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. 
SB 416-FN
, relative to behavioral health assessment and treatment for children in out-of-home placements. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. The bill requires children’s behavioral health assessments to include evidenced-based functional behav­ioral analysis, or similar assessment, and a behavioral intervention plan prior to an out-of-home placement decision.

On the Regular Calendar

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.
SB 453-FN-A-L, relative to statewide pre-kindergarten funding. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-2.

SB 241, apportioning executive council districts. Recommended for IS by a vote of 3-2.
SB 405-FN, relative to fines and penalties for election law violations. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
SB 418-FN, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 3-2.

SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 4-1.
SB 341-L, relative to treatment of PFAS contaminants in the drinking water of the Merrimack Village Water District. Recommended for IS by a vote of 5-0.


Coming Up in House Committees

Monday, March 21

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
10:00 AM Full committee work sessions on HB 1598-FN, legalizing the possession and use of cannabis.

Wednesday, March 23

FINANCE, Room 210-211, LOB
10:00 AM Executive Session on HB 1496-FN, requiring political subdivisions to make voter checklists available in spreadsheet form to any resident; HB 1535-FN, relative to cost of living adjustments for retirees in the state retirement system; HB 1587- FN-A, relative to determination of average final compensation under the retirement system and making an appropriation therefor; HB 1547-FN, setting maximum contaminant levels for perfluorochemicals in the soil; HB 1624-FN-A, relative to students with disabilities participating in co-curricular activities and making an appropriation therefor; HB 1627-FN-A, establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor; HB 1682-FN-A, establishing the law enforcement conduct review committee in the New Hampshire police standards and training council and making an appropriation therefor; HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations; HB 1608-FN, relative to withdrawal from the state immunization registry; HB 1609-FN, relative to the scope of the fetal protection act; HB 1622-FN, relative to mental health parity; HB 1642-FN, relative to lead testing in children.


Coming Up in Senate Committees

Monday, March 21 

1:00 PM 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.

Tuesday, March 22

9:00 AM Presentation by the Community College System of New Hampshire
9:30 AM HB 1398, establishing a committee to study the feasibility of centralized criminal history records checks in education.
9:45 AM HB 1234, relative to criminal background checks for an applicant for a teaching credential.
10:00 AM  HB 1311, prohibiting persons charged with or convicted of certain assault or controlled drug possession violations from employment in a public school or being granted teaching credentials.

9:45 AM HB 1420-FN, prohibiting the issuance of new landfill permits until the state’s solid waste plan is updated.

1:30 PM HB 1577-FN, relative to exemptions from prosecution for victims of human trafficking.


State House Watch on the Radio

Join us for State House Watch Radio on Monday, March 21! Next week’s show is hosted by Rich Gulla from the State Employees Association talking with Senator Tom Sherman, District 24. 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 hosted by Lidia Yen and Steven Kidder of Change for Concord who speak 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.


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 ( and she will put you on the list. Group size limited to 24 people.

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.

Monday, March 21

Hooksett #ClimateTrial RSVP – March 21 to 23, 9 AM to 4 PM, at Merrimack Superior Court, 5 Court Street, Concord. You are invited to offer solidarity to Dan, Dana, Emma, Jay, and Johnny as they stand trial for blockading a coal train to shut down the Merrimack Generating Station. Use this form to let us know if you will be with us in-person at the courthouse and any other ways you can offer support for these defendants and the broader No Coal No Gas campaign.

Phone Zap In Support of Luis & Jude – 12 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us on Zoom to call ICE and local elected officials to release Luis Diaz and Jude Jeramiah. Luis Diaz has three young children and his whole family waiting for him to return in NJ. Please urge ICE to release him or transfer his case to Miami. Jude Sissinrin Jeremiah is a 32-year-old father from Grenada who has been in ICE custody for over two and a half years. He entered the United States over 23 years ago when he was nine years old and has never been convicted of an aggravated felony.

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 for 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

The Role of Gender & Poverty in Incarceration – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Co-hosted by the Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls. Join our dynamic panelists as they explore the role of gender and poverty in incarceration. Panelists: Catherine Sevcenko, Senior Legal Counsel, National Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls; and Danielle Metz, Community Health Worker, FIT (Formerly Incarcerated Transition) Clinic, Tulane University School of Medicine.

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 U.S. 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.

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 coalition work to stop the burning of coal, the systems of power that suppress our agency, their vision of a better future, and the work that seeks to connect these things.

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!

Your gift matched!

Your commitment makes a difference! Give monthly to help communities meet urgent needs and make systemic change. We’re seeking 125 new Partners for Peace by 2/14. Be one and get $100 match & FREE tote!

Give Now →