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State House Watch: May 7, 2022


Photo: Cheryl Senter/AFSC

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies; our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, ‘Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.’ Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession. – Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation (excerpt)

May 7, 2022

Dear State House Watchers,

First, a deep breath. Let us be grounded and clear-eyed for these times. The leaked draft Supreme Court decision published early last week by Politico makes clear that fundamental rights of privacy and bodily autonomy will be dramatically eroded within a matter of weeks. The signs have been clear for some time, as anti-abortion justices were appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and state legislatures—including New Hampshire’s—enacted restrictions to abortion access. But last week’s news was still alarming and heart-wrenching.

There is so much at stake, writes Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary: “Overturning Roe v Wade is an attack on women’s freedom and right to choose. Poor women—and especially poor women of color—would once again shoulder the burden of this decision, and they would have their choices limited and freedoms taken away.” Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a leader with the national Poor Peoples Campaign, noted that “There’s nothing pro-life or pro-family about the movement that harnessed white rage to elect ‘traditional values’ candidates who consistently vote against living wages, access to healthcare, affordable housing, public education, immigrants & plans to address the climate crisis.”

Historically, AFSC has been on the side of abortion rights, and in 1971 joined with other religious organizations in a pro-reproductive rights amicus brief in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. Two years earlier, in a 1969 report titled, “Who Shall Live?” AFSC took a clear stance that “no woman should be forced to bear an unwanted child” and supported public funding for elective abortions. The report noted that abortion was readily available to women with money, so that the impact of outlawing abortion fell most heavily on low-income women. Read the full report.

Democratic lawmakers in the NH House and Senate attempted to codify abortion rights in the state legislature last week, but their efforts were defeated. Read more here. The NH Senate not only defeated the proposal, but passed a bill that eliminates the buffer zone at abortion facilities.

We look to the movement leaders for guidance and next steps, so that our own actions align with those who have been preparing for this moment for decades. We direct our readers to the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH, and to Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund, and to join the protest rally in Concord on May 13. You can also add your name to this petition sponsored by Daily Kos, AFSC, The Nation Magazine, United We Dream and many others.

 

Defend the Right to Asylum

Despite ongoing calls to listen to impacted immigrant community members, Congressman Pappas and Senator Hassan remain sponsors of the amendments to extend Title 42, which denies the rights of asylum-seekers at the southern border. The NH Immigrant Rights Network will send a letter to our Members of Congress next week. You can read the letter here and add your name as well. We are accepting signatures until 5 PM on Tuesday, May 10.

Please join us at Congressman Pappas’ office in Dover on Thursday, May 12 at 2:30 PM for Stronger Together: March & Rally to Support Immigrant Communities.

 

Free Them All  May Days of Action 

AFSC’s Free Them All campaign is celebrating May with a month full of activities across the country in solidarity with all who are incarcerated in jails, prisons and detention centers. AFSC-NH honored mothers impacted by incarceration with a card-writing event and community potluck on May 3. You can support this work by signing our petition to governors, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Prisons: Protect incarcerated people from COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and detention centers!

 

New Hampshire News  Public Education, Workers and Affordable Housing

There is great news out of Croyden today as community members’ efforts to restore funding for public education won by a landslide vote of 377-2. Here’s some background information from Granite State Progress and the Union Leader. Hooray for people power! 

If you want to raise your voice in defense of public education, students, teachers, staff and communities, please join us on Thursday, May 12 in Durham at the monthly meeting of the NH Board of Education for Voices of Faith Stand for Public Education. This event is sponsored by the New Hampshire Council of Churches, Kent Street Coalition, NH Faith & Labor Table, and Granite State Progress. We will meet at the Community Church of Durham at 7:30 AM and walk to the meeting which will take place at the Oyster River Middle School. The public comment period begins at 9 AM.

New Hampshire people celebrated International Workers Day last week, with rallies on May 1 and 2 in Manchester. Speakers included immigrant workers, union organizers, students and others calling for better wages, good benefits, safe working conditions and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States. Several speakers challenged Senator Hassan and Congressman Pappas to withdraw their support for Title 42; others urged Manchester aldermen to support a $15/hour resolution for city workers. Read more at NHPR and InDepthNH. “All workers deserve to be treated with dignity,” said Eva Castillo of the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, who led the organizing for the May 2 rally. “That means safety in the workplace, a living wage, and the right to organize unions.” 

We are delighted with the news that on May 3, the Manchester Board of Mayor & Aldermen voted in favor of the resolution to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour for municipal workers.

The Executive Council approved a plan to spend $100 million of federal funds for affordable housing development in New Hampshire, once councilors were satisfied that the plan included greater specificity with regard to the affordability provisions. “Housing developments of more than 15 units that benefit from the money must demonstrate that they have other funding grants lined up that include affordability standards, and they must target at least 20 percent of units toward families making at or below 80 percent of the area median income, according to [Department of Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor] Caswell’s new guidelines. Grants will be capped at $3 million per project, and the affordable units must adhere to a rent cap for at least five years after completion.” Read more here.

This is an important step forward, but the urgent, unmet needs of houseless people in New Hampshire will require even greater investments in housing for people with extremely low or no incomes. A sobering report released this week by the NH Coalition to End Homelessness notes that the number of unsheltered people in New Hampshire has doubled since 2020. Read more at NHPR.

Related to this important topic, we recommend two new blog posts from the NH Fiscal Policy Institute: Worsening Housing Shortage Reduces Access to Affordable Homes in New Hampshire; and Newly Expanded Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program Open for Applications.

 

At the State House

The full House met in session on Wednesday and Thursday, and the full Senate met on Thursday. The outcomes were mixed.

First, the good news…

We are delighted that the House voted to table SB 294, one of the anti-bail reform measures proposed this year. Unfortunately, the Senate joined the House to approve another anti-bail reform proposal, HB 1476, but the amended versions will need to be reconciled if the bill is to survive the session. We’re watching closely and urging our elected officials to defeat the measure.

An anti-immigrant bill, HB 1266, was defeated in the Senate this week by a vote to refer it for Interim Study. Thank you all who took action to oppose this bill and to protect immigrant communities.

In more good news, HB 1080, relative to the rights of conscience for medical professionals, was defeated in the Senate; and Senators unanimously passed HB 103, authorizing the creation of an adult dental benefit for Medicaid recipients.

There’s also bad news…

An unconstitutional voter suppression bill, SB 418, passed the House again last week. Now is the time to call upon Governor Sununu to veto the bill when it arrives to his desk. You can call (603-271-2121), email (governorsununu@nh.gov) and tweet. Here’s a toolkit with resources for your own messages. 

The Senate passed HB 1431, a bill that removes protections for children in public education. Advocates for child welfare and LGBTQ+ rights oppose the bill, including Emma Sevigny, Children’s Behavioral Health Policy Coordinator, New Futures: “HB 1431 undermines the important work our state lawmakers, community agencies, and state officials have put toward building a comprehensive system of care for children with behavioral health needs, and could put our children at risk. This legislation would erect barriers, preventing authorities from identifying children and families in need of intervention and resources to prevent abuse and neglect. Further, it could prevent many students from discussing and exploring important issues, including gender and sexual identities, at school. Denying a child the ability to maintain their individuality at school in this way is detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing, and could put children at risk of abuse when parents do not approve of their chosen self-expression.” If the House concurs with the Senate version of the bill, it will head to Governor Sununu’s desk. Please contact Sununu today to urge him to veto it.

And with regard to redistricting, there’s more bad news. The full House approved SB 200, which has been amended to offer a new Congressional district map that orients the first Congressional district around the lower half of Interstate 93. And the governor has signed SB 240 and SB 241, the bills which gerrymander the NH Senate and Executive Council districts, creating packed districts which will favor Republican majorities for the next ten years. Read more at NH Bulletin.

We were sad to see that the poison pill amendments to SB 400—which added school budget caps and restrictions on town health officers—worked to ensure that the ‘community tool box’ of incentives for affordable housing development would not move forward in the House last week. The bill was tabled on a division vote. We do notice, however, that the language of SB 400 has been added to HB 1661 by the Senate, so it may not be over yet! Welcome to ‘shenanigans season’ at the State House.

Lastly for now, we note with sadness that HB 238, prohibiting provocation based on a victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation (also known as the ‘panic defense’) from being used as a defense in manslaughter cases, was tabled in the Senate.

 

Non-Germane Amendments and Committees of Conference

At this point in the session, you have to watch closely, as the House and Senate will tack certain priorities onto other bills as amendments when those priorities appear to run into challenges in the other body. SB 407 is a good example. The House this week tacked onto the bill (which would expand Medicaid to include postpartum care paid for under ARPA) broad anti-vaccine language from an earlier House bill. In response, the Senate then took its postpartum care language and added it as an amendment to HB 1661, a House priority as it advances plans for a new parking garage for House members. The Senate also added to HB 1661 language from its workforce housing bill (SB 400) after the House tabled SB 400 this week.

These maneuvers generally allow proposed legislation to advance to the committee of conference level where final negotiations take place. Since no new language is supposed to be added in the committee of conference stage, this is a way of ensuring priorities can be included in any final negotiations between the two bodies.

When the House and Senate meet on May 12, they will meet in joint session to hear from distinguished visitor Lech Walesa, former President of Poland, labor activist and Nobel Laureate. Following the joint session, each body will take up bills that have passed both chambers but with different language. Members will decide either to concur with changes made in the other body (and the bill passes), to non-concur (and the bill dies), or to non-concur and form a Committee of Conference (CoC). For those bills headed to a Committee of Conference, legislators will approve the CoC members and alternates. Each body will then have one week to report on their outcome. When the House and Senate meet on May 26, they will vote on the CoC reports, and the 2022 session will formally draw to a close.

 

In This Issue:



The House and Senate met this past week; here are some reports of bills we’ve been tracking. But 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.

Last Week in the House

On the Consent Calendar

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW
SB 446-FN-A, (New Title) directing the department of health and human services to develop a plan relative to fostering sustainable childcare opportunities for working families and businesses. Voted OTP.

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SB 373, relative to coverage for certain mental illnesses. Voted OTP.
SB 385-FN, relative to financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. Voted OTP. This bill will allow banks and credit unions to place a hold on disbursement of funds from an account for 15 days, if they suspect financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
SB 393-FN, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state or county correctional facility. Voted OTP/A.

EDUCATION
SB 236, establishing a committee to study New Hampshire teacher shortages and recruitment incentives. Voted OTP/A.
SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools. Voted OTP/A.
SB 386, relative to the determination of state adequate education grants and chartered public school tuition amounts. Voted OTP. This bill makes technical changes to the determination of tuition amounts paid to chartered public schools and to the determination of adequate education grants to municipalities.
SB 410, (New Title) relative to public comment periods at school district meetings and meetings of the state board of education. Voted OTP. This bill codifies the expectation that school boards shall clearly establish public comment periods at every public session and also requires public comment periods at meetings of the State Board of Education.

ELECTION LAW
SB 364, relative to the use of electronic poll books. Voted OTP.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
SB 226-FN, establishing a recruitment and retention program for state employment. Voted OTP.
SB 357-FN, relative to mental health training for first responders. Voted OTP/A.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS
SB 288, (New Title) establishing a committee to study the listing of immunizations for children. Voted OTP.
SB 390, relative to telemedicine and telehealth. Voted OTP/A.
SB 419-FN, (New Title) establishing a commission to study the delivery of public health services in New Hampshire through regional public health networks. Voted OTP/A.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
SB 296, relative to complaint procedures in cases before the commission for human rights. Voted IS.
SB 301-FN-LOCAL, relative to the procedure for violations under the right to know law. Voted OTP/A. The amendment completely replaces the bill with the text of HB 481 which the House recently passed. HB 481 establishes the Right-To-Know Office of the Ombudsman in the NH Secretary of State’s Office.
SB 399-FN, (New Title) relative to certain provisions of the fetal life protection act requiring an ultrasound examination. Tabled 177-156. This bill clarifies that the ultrasound requirement of the Fetal Life Protection Act is applicable only when there is good reason to believe the fetus may be 24 weeks gestation or more. It is identical to HB 1673 as amended and passed by the House.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
SB 249, prohibiting planning and zoning ordinances that prohibit short-term rentals. Voted IS.
SB 273-A, relative to broadband infrastructure funding. Voted OTP.

RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SB 452-FN, relative to lead in drinking water in schools and licensed child care facilities. Voted ITL. This bill covers the same subject matter as HB 1421 as amended by the Senate and the committee determined that this bill was not needed.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
SB 261-FN, relative to net metering participation. Voted OTP/A. This bill changes the payment interval for net metering credits from yearly to quarterly.
SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy. Voted OTP/A.
SB 264, (New Title) relative to certain references to the department of energy and transferring authority over the low-income electricity assistance program to the department of energy. Voted IS.
SB 268-FN, relative to the approval of power purchase agreements for offshore wind energy resources from the Gulf of Maine. Voted OTP.
SB 270, (New Title) establishing a low-moderate income community solar program. Voted OTP.
SB 321, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers in intrastate commerce and including qualifying storage systems. Voted OTP/A. This bill allows for pilot projects by utilities for limited electrical energy producers.
SB 395, relative to the broadband matching grant initiative. Voted OTP/A. This bill is enabling legislation to allow cellular service providers to work with municipalities to expand service to areas that are presently unserved or under served.

TRANSPORTATION
SB 308, relative to driver licenses for certain visa holders. Voted IS. This bill would allow H-2A visa workers to drive in New Hampshire using their out of country license or an international driving permit.
SB 449, relative to the retention of social security numbers by the division of motor vehicles. Voted ITL.

WAYS AND MEANS
SB 379-FN, (New Title) establishing the solid waste management fund and grant program. Voted OTP.

On the Regular calendar

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW
SB 144-FN, relative to child care scholarships. Voted ITL. This bill establishes a 3-month child-care scholarship pilot program using federal funds.
SB 326-FN, (New Title) relative to developing a plan to create the office of early childhood. Voted ITL 178-151.
SB 431-FN, relative to child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting schedules. Voted OTP/A 178-151.

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SB 210, relative to the sale of manufactured housing parks. Voted OTP. This will help residents, who may benefit from buying the park as an association, become better informed about the terms and conditions of the sale.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
SB 294-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial. Tabled 209-121. This bill designates roughly a dozen serious crimes where someone cannot be bailed out by a bail commissioner, and instead must go before a judge, imposing delays.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
SB 450, relative to the prescription drug affordability board. Voted OTP 173-161.

FINANCE
SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. Voted OTP/A.
SB 366-FN, requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election. Voted OTP.
SB 371-FN-A, making an appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund. Voted OTP.This bill makes a $3 million appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund, used to provide interest free loans to the owners of rental units for lead paint remediation.
SB 376-FN, (New Title) relative to creating a board to review police incidents involving citizens affected by mental health issues. Voted OTP/A.
SB 381-FN-A, establishing an office of the advocate for special education. Voted OTP/A 170-155.
SB 394-FN, (New Title) relative to the definition of a child with a disability under special education laws and establishing a commission to study special education eligibility. Voted OTP/A. This bill will change the definition of a “child with a disability” to include students through the school year in which they turn 21 until their 22nd birthday.
SB 407-FN, relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services and making an appropriation therefor. Floor amendment requiring exemptions from vaccine requirements passed 162-153. The bill as amended then passed 295-28. The original part of the bill takes advantage of the American Rescue Plan Act provision allowing NH to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for up to 12 months after birth to a narrow segment of women who currently only receive 60 days of coverage. The program sunsets when the federal program ends.
SB 412-FN-A, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates. Voted OTP/A.
SB 416-FN, relative to behavioral health assessment and treatment for children in out-of-home placements. Voted OTP/A.
SB 417-FN, establishing an electric school bus pilot program. Tabled 166-151.
SB 418-FN, relative to verification of voter affidavits. Voted OTP/A 164-155. The bill applies to those registering on election day without proof of identity. It creates provisional ballots and verification requirements that mean marking ballots in a way that identifies the voter and delays the counting of those ballots. The bill is likely unconstitutional.
SB 420-FN-A-LOCAL, (New Title) establishing an extraordinary need grant for schools and relative to additional adequate education grant amounts for pupils receiving special education services. Floor amendment passed 171-150, adding language expanding access to the education tax credit program by increasing the household income level to qualify. The bill as amended passed on a voice vote and would provide an extraordinary need grant for school systems with equalized evaluation under $6 million based on the number of children receiving free and reduced lunch.
SB 422-FN, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Voted OTP/A 205-109. This is similar to HB 103 that passed in the House, but this version includes changes agreed to with the Senate.
SB 430-FN-A, relative to health and human services. Floor amendment passed 167-147, adding language establishing an exemption from certain licensing requirements for health care facilities that operate on a membership-based or direct payment business model. Bill then passed as amended on a voice vote.
SB 438-FN-LOCAL, (New Title) establishing state procurement policies intended to promote the use of American materials. Floor amendment passed 170-129 changing cosmetology licensing requirements. Also adding language that exempts niche beauty services from occupational and shop license requirements. Bill as amended passed on a voice vote. This bill requires the use of American-made steel products in all public works projects where the state administers the contract and the contract involves at least $1 million in state dollars.
SB 444-FN, relative to childhood adverse experiences treatment and prevention. Voted OTP.
SB 445-FN, (New Title) relative to the broadband matching grant initiative. Voted OTP/A by a vote of 19-1. This bill appropriates $122.1 million of federal capital projects funds under the American Rescue Plan Act to provide matching grants to any broadband provider, political subdivision or communications district covering up to 75% of the total cost of the project.
SB 458-FN, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility. Voted OTP.
SB 459-FN, relative to a health care facility workplace violence prevention program. Voted OTP/A 220-87.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS
SB 404-FN, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance outreach program. Voted OTP/A 226-76. Up to 60% of eligible older adults and 1/3 of eligible children are not enrolled the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This bill authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop a state outreach plan. The outreach plan is revenue neutral due to federal funding and the local economic activity the funds generate.

JUDICIARY
SB 216, establishing a commission to study the landlord and tenant mediation program in circuit courts. Voted ITL.
SB 217, relative to eviction notices. Voted ITL 178-140.
SB 222, permitting licensing boards to conduct remote meetings. Voted ITL.
SB 344, (New Title) relative to the electronic participation requirements of meetings open to the public under the right to know law. Voted ITL 176-155.
SB 392, (New Title) establishing a commission to study insanity and restoration of competency. Voted ITL.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
SB 209, relative to electronic wage payments. Voted IS.
SB 345, relative to youth employment. Voted OTP/A 185-152. The bill would repeal references to and limitations on night work by teens, opening them to later hours and longer days without regard for school start times.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT 
(Note the non-germane amendments added to these two affordable housing bills, derailing their intent.)
SB 329, establishing a commission to study barriers to housing development in New Hampshire, including workforce and middle-income housing. Voted OTP/A after a vote on the amendment passes 171-152. The amendment added language from HB 1194 relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap.
SB 400-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. Tabled 170-159. The bill was amended with language added limiting the authority of town health officers and providing for school district budget caps. The original bipartisan bill was intended to provide a set of tools allowing local jurisdictions to increase the supply of workforce housing.

RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SB 258-FN-LOCAL, relative to the graves of African Americans alive during the period of American enslavement. Voted IS 180-146.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
SB 259, relative to the definition of “municipal host” for purposes of limited electrical energy producers. Voted IS.
SB 269-FN, (New Title) establishing a commission to study energy saving weatherization programs. Voted IS 182-152.
SB 271, relative to the Burgess BioPower facility. Voted OTP/A.
SB 448-FN, (New Title) relative to energy reduction by state agencies. Voted ITL 181-148.

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REDISTRICTING
SB 200, relative to the election of district commissioners in Haverhill. Voted OTP/A 179-159. This is the gerrymandered Congressional redistricting bill that would create a new District 1 shaped like a fist around the I-93 corridor, placing NH’s current Congressional Representatives into the same district.

TRANSPORTATION
SB 447-FN, establishing the electric vehicle and infrastructure fund. Tabled 183-149.

WAYS AND MEANS
SB 435-FN, relative to the net operating loss carryover under the business profits tax. Voted OTP.

 

Last Week in the Senate

On the Consent Calendar

EDUCATION
HB 1135, requiring a performance audit of the department of education, education freedom account program. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1244-L, relative to parental consent to medical and dental treatments of children in schools. Voted OTP.
HB 1367, relative to civics instruction in schools. Voted OTP. This bill modifies the provisions enacted in 2021 that made a civics competency assessment a high school graduation requirement by requiring students to pass this assessment, with a grade of 70 percent or higher, on the 128-question civics naturalization examination developed by the 2020 U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
HB 1639, relative to the youth risk behavior survey in schools. Recommended OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. This bill would require that a parent or legal guardian be notified by their school district of the administration of the youth risk behavior survey to students, ensuring that parents are provided a timely opportunity to opt their children out of this survey if they so choose.
HB 1663, relative to requirements for home education students. Voted OTP.

ELECTION LAW AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
HB 144, relative to absentee ballot request forms. Voted OTP/A. This bill as amended modifies the absentee ballot request forms and the absentee ballot envelopes. Furthermore, language has been added to make clear that an “illness or other medical condition” is allowable for receipt of an absentee ballot.
HB 1194, relative to the procedure for overriding a local tax cap. Voted ITL.
HB 1307, modifying the authority and duties of the housing appeals board. Voted ITL. This bill would modify the authority and duties of the Housing Appeals Board by reducing the scope of its jurisdiction.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
HB 478, relative to treatment of PFAS contaminants in the drinking water of the Merrimack Village Water District. Voted IS.
HB 1258, relative to the implementation of the department of energy. Voted OTP/A. The Department and the Public Utilities Commission requested this legislation. The bill transfers several of the duties of Public Utilities Commission to the Department of Energy.

JUDICIARY
HB 254, relative to the placement of minors in secure settings. Removed from Consent Calendar and subsequently passed on a voice vote with an amendment adding language requiring that “Secure detention shall not be ordered for delinquency charges which may not form the basis for commitment under RSA 169-B:19, I(j) or RSA 169-B:19, I(m).”
HB 1266, relative to restrictions on enforcement of federal immigration laws. Voted IS.
HB 1382, relative to the presumption of shared parenting in the determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Voted ITL.
HB 1416, relative to consent for mental health treatment in parenting cases with shared decision-making responsibility. Voted IS.

On the Regular Calendar

COMMERCE
HB 1165, repealing the Granite State paid family leave plan. Voted IS.

EDUCATION
HB 1195, relative to public comment periods at school board or school administrative unit public meetings. Voted OTP/A.

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
HB 1049, establishing a committee to study landfill siting criteria and methods for reducing pressure on landfill capacity. Voted ITL.
HB 1148, relative to prohibiting government entities subordinate to the state from restricting the types of fuel sources that may be used for energy. Voted OPT/A.
HB 1185, relative to treatment of water contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals. OTP/A.
HB 1454-FN, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills. Floor amendment from Senator Hennessey passed 14-10, and the amended bill passed 16-8.

FINANCE
HB 103-FN, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program. Voted OTP 23-0.
HB 214, relative to a public school facility condition assessment and school building aid grants. Voted IS.
HB 481-FN-A, establishing the office of the right-to-know ombudsman and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP.
HB 1221-FN, relative to the rate of the business profits tax, and relative to payment by the state to municipalities of an amount equal to a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers. Bill ruled divisible, and sections 1,3 and 7 passed 14-10. Bill as amended passed on a voice vote.
HB 1263, relative to prescribed studies on health, physical education, wellness, and personal finance literacy in schools. Voted OTP.
HB 1513-FN, relative to the definition of a child with a disability for purposes of special education. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1526-FN, relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1604-FN, including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations. Floor amendment added a reference to case management agencies, then the bill passed as amended on a voice vote.
HB 1624-FN-A, relative to students with disabilities participating in co-curricular activities and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP.
HB 1627-FN-A, establishing an education freedom account program administrator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. Voted OTP/A.
HB 275, relative to the declaration of a state of emergency. Voted OTP.
HB 1431-FN-L, establishing the parental bill of rights. Voted OTP/A 13-11.
HB 1476-FN, relative to release of a defendant pending trial. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1535-FN, relative to a one-time allowance for certain state retirees. Voted OTP 17-7.
HB 1547-FN, relative to per fluorinated chemical remediation in soil and procedures for certain hazardous waste generators. Voted OTP/A.
HB 1661-FN-L, relative to regional career technical education agreements and relative to an appropriation for preliminary work for a new legislative parking garage. Bill ws amended to add language from other bills involving extraordinary need grants for schools, the special fund for the administration of opioid treatment programs, release of defendants facing trial, and the SB 400 “toolkit” seeking to expand workforce housing. The amended bill then passed 24-0.
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 14-10. Read more here about advocates’ disappointment with the caps on compensation and categories of abuse not deemed eligible for compensation.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
HB 1080, relative to the rights of conscience for medical professionals. Voted IS 14-10.
HB 1099, prohibiting the department of health and human services from requiring vaccine passports for services. This bill was amended to add language from three other bills: providing for a SNAP outreach program, expanding postpartum coverage under Medicaid and allowing for an association health plans pilot program. Bill as amended then passed on a voice vote.
HB 1210, relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates. Voted IS 19-5.
HB 1455, relative to state enforcement of federal vaccination mandates. Voted OTP/A 13-10.
HB 1606, making the state vaccine registry an opt-in program. Voted OTP/A 13-10.

JUDICIARY
HB 238, prohibiting provocations based on a victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation from being used as a defense in manslaughter cases. Tabled by voice vote.
HB 1101, relative to a forfeiture of personal property. IS by voice vote.
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. OTP/A by a vote of 13-10.
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/A by voice vote.
HB 1625, repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility. OTP by a vote of 12-11.

 

Coming Up in the House and Senate  May 12

Both the House and the Senate will meet next on May 12 at 10 AM to act on bills that have passed each body but in different forms. Where needed, legislators will approve Committees of Conference. You can watch the House session here and the Senate session here.

Decisions must be made on House bills that were amended by the Senate. The House can concur with the changes made by the Senate, or it can non-concur and request a committee of conference. The House can also vote to non-concur without requesting a committee of conference, in which case the bill dies. The same process operates in the Senate with Senate bills amended by the House. Below is a list of bills, a few which already have concurrences, for which a decision will have to be made.

2022 HOUSE BILLS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (not a complete or final list)

HB 50, apportioning state representative districts. (House Concurs 3/10/22)
HB 55, (New Title) apportioning delegates to state party conventions, and relative to the form for declarations of candidacy for delegates to state party conventions. (House Concurs 3/10/22)
HB 84, (New Title) declaring May 21, 2022 as Ona Judge Staines Day.
HB 292, relative to the absentee ballot application process.
HB 307, relative to the state preemption of the regulation of firearms and ammunition.
HB 440, (New Title) prohibiting the suspension of civil liberties during a state of emergency. (House Concurs 3/10/22)
HB 503, (Second New Title) codifying the council on housing stability and relative to telehealth and medically assisted treatment for substance use disorder.
HB 543, establishing a commission to study nuclear power and nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire.
HB 549, (New Title) relative to the system benefits charge and the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board. (House Concurs 2/16/22)
HB 624-FN, (Second New Title) relative to site evaluation committee monitoring and enforcement responsibilities, and relative to net energy metering by hydroelectric generators.
HB 1021, (New Title) prohibiting certain zoning regulation of land or structures used primarily for religious purposes.
HB 1125, relative to school emergency plans.
HB 1131, relative to facial covering policies for schools.
HB 1134, establishing a commission to study proper labeling and disposal of disposable wipes.
HB 1203-FN, (Second New Title) relative to voter registration and verification of voter identity.
HB 1335-FN, relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners.
HB 1388-FN, relative to the unsolicited disclosure of an intimate image.
HB 1390, relative to access to language translation services in telemedicine.
HB 1420-FN, prohibiting the issuance of new landfill permits until the state’s solid waste plan is updated.
HB 1421-FN, relative to lead in school drinking water.
HB 1431, establishing the parental bill of rights.
HB 1467-FN, (New Title) relative to recounts of state representative races during a general election.
HB 1476, relative to release of a defendant pending trial.
HB 1487, relative to the procedure for withdrawal from the vaccine registry.
HB 1495-FN, (New Title) prohibiting the state from requiring businesses to require vaccine or documentation related to vaccination or immunity status.
HB 1546-FN, (Second New Title) enabling the commissioner of the department of environmental services to adopt rules relative to airborne PFAS in certain circumstances.
HB 1586-FN-A, relative to a likeness of Wentworth Cheswill at the state house.
HB 1594, relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote.
HB 1599-FN, relative to customer generators who sell renewable energy certificates.
HB 1626, relative to the unique pupil identification system.
HB 1671-LOCAL, relative to the content of an adequate education.
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 2022, relative to the 10-year transportation plan.

2022 SENATE BILLS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
SB 200, (New Title) apportioning congressional districts.
SB 229, relative to pharmacist administration of vaccines.
SB 234, requiring student identification cards to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
SB 236, (New Title) establishing a committee to study New Hampshire teacher shortages and recruitment incentives, and relative to defining secondary school grades for teacher loan forgiveness programs.
SB 238, relative to special education services in chartered public schools.
SB 242, relative to the disqualification of certain persons from performing the duties of an election official.
SB 261, relative to net metering participation.
SB 262, relative to customer generators of electric energy.
SB 270, (New Title) establishing a low-moderate income community solar program.
SB 271, relative to the Burgess BioPower facility.
SB 275, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund.
SB 293, (New Title) establishing a committee to clarify the intent of RSA 644:9 relative to violation of privacy.
SB 299, (New Title) relative to the penalty for escape and relative to home cultivation of cannabis plants and the possession of certain cannabis-infused products.
SB301, (New Title) establishing the office of the right to know ombudsman and making an appropriation therefor.
SB302, establishing the personal privacy protection act.
SB 321, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers in intrastate commerce and including qualifying storage.
SB 329, (New Title) establishing a commission to study barriers to specific housing development in New Hampshire and establishing a procedure for overriding a local tax cap.
SB 333, (New Title) relative to licensure of case management service providers and relative to payment by the state of a portion of retirement system contributions of political subdivision employers.
SB 345, relative to youth employment.
SB 357, relative to mental health training for first responders.
SB 366, requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election.
SB 376, (New Title) relative to creating a board to review police incidents involving citizens affected by mental health issues.
SB 381, establishing an office of the advocate for special education.
SB 390, relative to telemedicine and telehealth.
SB 393, relative to the use of restraints on pregnant women in the custody of a state or county correctional facility.
SB 394, (New Title) relative to the definition of a child with a disability under special education laws and providing funding for special education costs for students over age 21 to age 22.
SB 397, (New Title) relative to the mental health counseling compact and the interstate compact for the placement of children.
SB 404, establishing a supplemental nutrition assistance program.
SB 405, (New Title) relative to fines and penalties for election law violations and relative to consequences resulting from election official misconduct.
SB 407, (New Title) relative to expanding Medicaid to include certain postpartum health care services and making an appropriation therefor and relative to exemptions from vaccine mandates.
SB 412, making an appropriation to the department of health and human services for nursing home reimbursement rates.
SB 416, relative to behavioral health assessment and treatment for children in out-of-home placements.
SB 418,  relative to verification of voter affidavits.
SB 419, (New Title) establishing a commission to study the delivery of public health services in New Hampshire through regional public health networks.
SB420, (New Title) establishing an extraordinary need grant for schools and relative to eligibility for the education tax credit.
SB 421, relative to dual and concurrent enrollment for career and technical education center students.
SB 422, establishing an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.
SB430, relative to health and human services.
SB 431, relative to child support in cases with equal or approximately equal parenting schedules.
SB 445,  (New Title) relative to the broadband matching grant initiative.
SB 458, relative to the Sununu youth services center and operation of a replacement secure facility.
SB 459, relative to a health care facility workplace violence prevention program.

 

State House Watch on the Radio

Join us for State House Watch radio on Monday, May 9 hosted by AFSC. We will be talking with Viola Katusiime of Granite State Organizing Project and David Holt from the State Employees Association, as well as Rev. Gail Kinney from the United Church of Christ and Kaya Çolakoğlu from Dartmouth College. The program airs on Mondays at 5 PM and is rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 8 AM. You can listen at 94.7 FM, WNHN in Concord, and online. You can find podcasts of our past shows here, including last week’s show with Keith Kuenning of Waypoint NH.

 

Upcoming Events and Programs

Red Hot Summer Tuesday nights from June 21 to July 26. Hosted by the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Join us for Red Hot Summer, a six-week program open to any young worker interested in organizing their workplace. The Red Hot Summer program will offer labor organizing training sessions and discussions on labor history led by student leaders of the labor movement with organizing experience at Starbucks, Amazon, and campus labor unions. The goal of this program is to give young workers the tools to organize their workplace and discuss how the labor movement can play a role in winning fights against racism, sexism, homophobia, climate change, and imperialism. 

Sunday, May 8

Mother’s Day Peace Gathering – 3 PM in Market Square, Portsmouth. After a too-long COVID hiatus, Seacoast Peace Response is again holding its annual reading of Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation. All are welcome. The first Mother's Day was a day of activism calling for women to say no to war. Please come celebrate Mother's Day and the possibility of peace. As before, you are encouraged to bring a poem or brief writing that laments war or honors peace and can be read to those assembled. We will also be sharing a peace statement on the war in Ukraine, and participants are also welcome to stay around for the weekly Peace Vigil for Ukraine at 4 PM in Market Square.

Monday, May 9

Peace & Justice Conversations: The Forgiveness Project 7 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. The Forgiveness Project (The F-WORD Exhibition) is a thought-provoking collection of arresting images and personal narratives, exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity. Drawing together voices from South Africa, America, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland and England, the exhibition examines forgiveness as a healing process, a path out of victimhood and, ultimately, a journey of hope.

Tuesday, May 10

Decolonizing Our Landscapes with Indigenous Knowledge  Past, Present, and Future 9:30 AM. Hosted by Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People. Join us to explore how the Indigenous Peoples of N’dakinna stewarded the region’s natural resource base in sustainable ways by following seasonal rhythms and developing extensive reciprocal networks. We will examine how settler colonialism’s extractive approach to the natural environment transformed such longstanding relationships and devastated healthy ecosystems and how these legacies continue to shape today’s social and ecological systems. Finally, we will consider how attendees can develop a decolonizing approach in their environmental research and activism to help build more just and sustainable futures.

Repro Readers Book Club: Reproductive Justice by Loretta Ross & Rickie Solinger 6 PM. Hosted by The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire. We’re very excited to dive into this classic primer from one of our heroes, Loretta Ross. Join us to discuss “Reproductive Justice”. Please let us know if you need help accessing a copy. It's more than fine to join us if you didn't finish the book or didn't read any of it, what matters is coming together as a community to discuss reproductive justice.

Thursday May 12

Protect Public Education at State Board of Education 9 AM. 1 Coe Drive, Durham, NH. Hosted by Granite State Progress. The NH State Board of Education has reinstated public comment periods for their meetings. This is the perfect opportunity to let the board, and DOE Commissioner Frank Edelblut, know how we feel about the commissioner's efforts to undermine and dismantle public education. This meeting is taking place in Durham, NH.

Stronger Together: March & Rally to Support Immigrant Communities 2:30 to 4 PM. 660 Central Ave. Dover. NH communities stand in solidarity with immigrant communities in NH and at the southern border! Join us for a march and rally to deliver our letters and an invitation to Congressman Pappas and Senator Hassan to stop hijacking covid relief funds, reverse their support for blocking asylum at the southern border and stand with us! We need real solutions, a pathway to citizenship and protections for vulnerable people not discriminatory policies based in fear not facts.

Friday, May 13

Abortion Is Not A Crime Protest Hosted by the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH. At 9 AM, join us for a rally outside the Concord District Court in solidarity with those arrested in protest of the state budget last year, which included Sununu's abortion ban. At 3 PM to 6 PM, join us in front of the New Hampshire State House in Concord to show our power, tell our stories, and demand change from our legislators.

Monday, May 23

Granite State Organizing Project Annual Meeting 2 PM to 4 PM. Hosted by Granite State Organizing Project. Join us for our annual membership meeting hosted on Zoom.

Peace & Justice Conversations: Moving Towards an Internationalist Future 7 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. With the crisis continuing to unfold in Ukraine, and ongoing violence and suffering in Yemen and Iran, join speaker Kury Petersen-Smith, the Michael Ratner Fellow for Middle East Policy at the Institute for Policy Studies, for an update on the world's hot spots and how we might shape a U.S. foreign Policy for the safety and security of all.

Save the dates! Juneteenth Celebration 2022 hosted by the Black Heritage Trail of 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
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