Making Democracy Work

Hot Legislation

State legislation requiring quick action.

NH House and Senate bills in which the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire is interested, is taking a position, and/or has determined action is needed.

Occasionally we post action alerts from the national League here as well.

NH Legislative Alerts 2020

NH LEGISLATURE SUSPENDS ALL ACTIVITIES. League has no further information.

A few committees have held zoom meetings. As of May 9, we have no specifics about possible resumption of the Legislature.

Legislative alert for March 16-20. The House is not in session but the Senate is. Some committee hearings are scheduled. Read the 2 pages pdf here.

Here are the results of votes in the House and Senate on March 11 and 12, 2020, of the bills highlighted in our legislative alert below.

Legislative alert for bills being voted on in the NH House and Senate on March 11-12, 2020. The House will meet in voting session on March 11 & 12 on a long list of bills. The Senate meets March 11 afternoon and March 12. We highlight bills of broad public interest or League priorities in this alert. Of major importance: our priority bill to create an independent advisory redistricting commission is up for a vote in the House on March 11. We urge a YES vote. Read the pdf here.

A note of success from last week: NH's House on March 5 approved a bill that would allow residents to register to vote when they get or renew a driver's license. The bill would implement a system named the Secure Modern Accurate Registration Technology Act (SMART). When someone applies for or renews a driver's license at the state Division of Motor Vehicles, they would automatically be registered to vote. A person could opt out of being registered. The House voted 202 to 146 for the bill. It heads back to the Senate, where it originated last year. League is smiling!

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for early March 2020. The House will meet in voting session on March 5, 11, & 12. The Senate meets March 5. We highlight bills of broad public interest or League priorities. Read the pdf here.

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for Feb. 18-20, with a peek at the following weeks. The House will meet in voting session on Feb. 19 & 20. The Senate meets March 5 (no list of bills for them yet.) Read the pdf here.

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for Feb. 11-13, with a peek at the following week. The House and Senate will each meet in voting session on Feb. 13. Governor Sununu's "State of the State" speech (postponed from Feb. 6) will be heard in joint session on Feb. 13 at 2 pm. Read the pdf here.

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for Feb. 4-6, with a peek at the following week. The House and Senate will each meet in voting session on Feb. 6, following Governor Sununu's "State of the State" speech in joint session. Committee hearings are scheduled for Feb. 4 & 5. Read the pdf here.

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for Jan. 28-Feb. 6. Important bills having public hearings include the League's top priority bill this year, the creation of an independent redistricting commission to end gerrymandering in NH! That's on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 10:30 in LOB room 308 (and maybe moving to Reps Hall if there's a crowd. Read the pdf here.

Legislative alert for hearings in the NH House and Senate for Jan. 21-Jan. 29. Important bills having public hearings include a proclamation commemorating the 19th amendment, another honoring campaign finance reformer Granny D, and bills on environment, election law including campaign finance, prescription drugs, and reproductive freedom. Read the pdf here.

The House and Senate will hold committee hearings on a number of bills over the next several weeks. Our Legislative Alert for Jan. 14-28, 2020 includes Senate hearings for Jan. 14-16 and House hearings for Jan. 14-28. Click here for the 4 pp pdf.

The House and Senate met in session on Wed., Jan. 8, and the House also on Jan. 9, to vote on bills carried over from last year. Here is the alert we sent for that session updated to include the resulting votes.

Our weekly emailed Legislative Alerts have begun for 2020. They will be posted here and emailed to LWVNH members, usually on Friday afternoons to alert you about upcoming hearings on bills of particular interest to League.

Legislative Alert for Jan. 8 & 9 Selective list of bills the House and Senate will vote on, carried over from 2019. 4 pp pdf Read the Alert here. or here

NH Legislature--How It Works, How You Can Learn More

The public is welcome to observe any legislative meeting or hearing.

Every week or two during the NH legislative session the League of Women Voters NH will send email to our members and friends and also post here a list of selected upcoming hearings in the NH Legislature. If you wish to advocate for or against any of the bills, either in person or by contacting your representative or senator, you will do so as an individual, not in the voice of the League.

League's choice of bills to highlight is determined by our priorities and areas of interest as expressed by members. League board members or designees may testify on some of the bills. We also try to track bills that are of broad public interest, even if we don't have a position on them.

Complete lists of the next week's legislative hearings can be found on the General Court's website Click on either the "House Calendars and Journals" or the "Senate Calendars and Journals" link near the bottom right of the page. The newest Calendar will be at the top of each list and will list hearings in the coming week (or two). Calendars come out each Friday during the session. Room numbers and times are given for the hearings (SH = State House and LOB = Legislative Office Building, across the street behind the State House).

Borrowing freely from our AFSC friends, an explanation of how bills come out of hearings with committee recommendations: "Bills will come to the floor with one of several possible recommendations: OTP (ought to pass); OTPA (ought to pass with amendment, in which case you can review the wording of the amendment); ITL (inexpedient to legislate, in other words "defeat it"), or Interim Study. Sometimes they vote to keep a bill in the committee until the next year. Bills that go to interim study will have to be brought up again in committee before the end of the year, but except in rare situations, these bills will not get floor votes in 2019. In some cases, an "interim study" or "retain" recommendation can be a sincere statement that a bill with merit needs additional work before it is ready for a vote. In other cases, "interim study" is a gentle way for a bill to be killed.

In May, 2019: For those interested in how the Committees of Conference work, we have borrowed this description from the NH Municipal Assn's newsletter May 2018:

So What Is A Committee of Conference? Every year, when a House bill has been amended by the Senate, and a Senate bill has been amended by the House, those bills go back to the originating body for a review of the amendment and a determination of whether the amendment is acceptable or not. If the amendment is acceptable, the originating body accedes (ack-SEEDs) to the amendment. If it is not acceptable, the originating body can nonconcur and request a committee of conference or it can simply nonconcur, in which case the bill dies. If both bodies agree to form a committee of conference, then 3 members of the Senate and 4 members of the House are appointed to meet for the purpose of ironing out the differences. Some committees meet several times over the one week period provided before agreement must be reached and "signed off on" by all parties. The Senate members and the House members vote separately, but must unanimously approve the committee of conference resolution. Sometimes, committee members are removed and replaced if they are unwilling to go along with the rest of the committee. If the report is not fully signed by the deadline, the bill dies. Needless to say, it is a very fluid process!

For information on other social justice issues in the legislature, you may want to read the weekly postings on the American Friends Service Committee's website as well: https://www.afsc.org/action/nh-state-house-watch

Another source of non-partisan information about NH issues is Citizens Count: https://www.citizenscount.org/

Redistricting Commission bills 2019

HB706 was vetoed by the Governor, despite bi-partisan support. A veto override attempt in Sept. 2019 failed to get the required 2/3 vote in each body.

June 12, 2019--bi-partisan support for independent redistricting commission from national figures. In an editorial in today's Concord Monitor Democrat Eric Holder (former US Atty General) and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger (former CA governor) voice support for independent redistricting commissions, to let voters choose their elected officials rather than the other way round. Midway thru the article they urge support for New Hampshire's HB706, passed in the House and Senate with bi-partisan support. Read the article here then urge Governor Sununu to sign it when it reaches his desk!

May 23, 2019 The Independent Redistricting Commission bill (HB706) just passed the NH Senate on a voice vote, with no dissenters! A true bi-partisan effort to create fair districts with public input and transparency! Surely the Governor will sign this important bill.

Here is the NHPR report of May 23: https://www.nhpr.org/post/bill-create-commission-redraw-legislative-maps-clears-nh-senate#stream/0

May 1, 2019 update on redistricting bill HB706 Bi-partisan efforts produced an amendment to the independent redistricting commission bill that is a League priority this session. League and others testified in support of the amended bill. Read the Concord Monitor article that gives the details. Smiley faces all around!

April 30, 2019 Op Ed in Concord Monitor by Henry Klementowicz of the ACLU, one of our partners in the push for an independent redistricting commission. "We must draw fair lines for redistricting." Read the op ed here: https://www.concordmonitor.com/We-must-draw-fair-lines-for-redistricting-25109797

April 4, 2019 Op Ed in NH Union Leader by LWVNH president Liz Tentarelli. Learning From the Past: Why we need an independent redistricting commission. Or you can read the pdf here.

HB706 has passed the House, will be heard in Senate Election Law committee on April 24 (time TBA). League will testify in support--again.

Feb. 28, 2019--a positive step forward in redistricting in NH. Read this Brennan Center blog on yesterday's action in the NH House.

League supports creating an Independent Redistricting Commission to determine NH legislative districts. Several bills are in the works, on which League will testify in 2019. On Dec. 1, Ethan DeWitt of the Concord Monitor had an extensive article on the bills, which is available here, with League comments added in italics.

Casino Gambling--killed again in 2019

Update May 8, 2019: The NH House has once again defeated a bill to allow casino gambling in our state. They voted 289-63 to defeat SB310.

2019: Sen. Lou D'Allesandro has a casino bill in the Senate, SB310. League submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. It was voted Inexpedient to Legislate by the committee. Vote on March 7, 2019 to table. Then removed from the table and passed. Went to House Ways & Means committee April 18. League testified in opposition. Later committee voted 17-2 Inexpedient to Legislate.

The perennial casino bill was back in 2017 and was defeated: SB 242 calls for two casinos in NH, in spite of the construction soon to begin on casinos in Massachusetts. The League opposes relying on casino gaming income to support our state's needs, even more so now that proceeds are so uncertain. Click here for our testimony in opposition 4/18/17.

This 2017 bill passed the Senate 13 to 10 in March 2017 but not the House.

Defeated in the Senate March 24, 2016 is another expanded gaming bill, SB551, which would have allowed one casino at Rockingham Park in Salem. League continues to doubt the figures presented as potential state revenue, given that Massachusetts' plans for a casino less than an hour away are going forward. League opposes this bill. Our position on gambling is on our Positions page.

Leading the effort to defeat expanded gambling last year and this year is an organization dedicated to preventing casinos from gaining entrance into our state: Casino Free New Hampshire. (see the website and Facebook page

NH members of Congress

Here are the Washington DC phone numbers, state office phone numbers, and websites of the current New Hampshire US Senators and Representatives. Emails may be sent via the websites only.

Click on these links to find names and contact information for your United States Representative or United States Senators. This information was updated Jan. 2017. You can also sign up for weekly email newsletters from your Representative and Senators via their websites.

If you wish to contact your US Representative or Senator, be aware that paper mail is likely to be delayed significantly for security reasons. You may phone DC or NH offices, or you may send email via the Contact webform on each official's website.

View the Library of Congress' web page for comprehensive information on current and past federal legislation.

*Representative Chris Pappas (District 1)

Washington Office: 323 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-5456

Dover Office: 660 Central Ave., Dover, NH 03820 1-888-216-5373 ??

<https://pappas.house.gov/>

*Representative Annie Kuster (District 2)

Washington office: 320 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-5206

Fax: (202) 225-2946

Concord NH: 18 N. Main St., Concord 03301

(603)226-1002 FAX: (603) 226-1010

Nashua NH: 70 E. Pearl St., Nashua 03060

(603) 595-2006 FAX: (603) 595-2016

<https://kuster.house.gov/contact>

*Senator Maggie Hassan

Washington office: 330 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

DC office: (202) 224-3324

Manchester office: (603) 622-2204

<https://www.hassan.senate.gov/contact>

*Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Washington office: 506 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2841

Manchester NH: 2 Wall Street, Suite 220, Manchester, NH 03101

(603) 647-7500

Dover NH: 340 Central Avenue, Suite 205, Dover, NH 03820

Ph: (603) 750-3004

<http://www.shaheen.senate.gov/>

_______ VOTING RECORDS ON ROLL-CALL VOTES

For roll call votes and individual NH state senator / state representative voting records, click here

You can search a specific session to look up roll call votes during that session, and to check the records of specific members.

For the U.S. Congress to find out who voted on a particular bill click here

If you want to look up a particular U.S. Congressperson / Senator's voting record click here.