Information on state issues and live bills upon which the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire is interested, is taking a position, and/or has determined action is needed.
The House will meet on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. and on Thursday, March 13, at 9:00 a.m.
WEDNESDAY, March 12 special ordered
HB 1570-FN, establishing a paint stewardship program. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT,MINORITY: REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY. Rep. Scott A Burns for the Majority of Environment and Agriculture. The committee believes the adoption of the paint stewardship program is good for the state. The amendment replaces the entire bill, including the fiscal note, since it was placed under the wrong RSA. Oil-based paint comprises 48% of the hazardous waste collection days. Latex paints are now 75-80% of paint sales, but cannot be included in hazardous waste collections, though disposal is still not easy. Homes have many unused paint cans in basements and garages across NH with an average of 17 cans per household. This program will make disposal of paint more accessible and convenient than the collection once a year now in many towns and cities. This bill will dispose of an estimated 278,000 gallons of paint and generate about $1 million from the program. There is no cost to the state and will save an estimated $2.2 million for municipalities that now collect some paint through the hazardous waste collection days. The NH Municipal Association, Statewide Regional Planning Commissions, Northeast Resource Recovery Association, the Department of Environmental Services, Sherwin Williams, Aubuchon & Ace Hardware stores, plus Casella and Waste Management are supporting this initiative. The Retail Merchants and Retail Lumber Association also approve of the language in the bill...
REGULAR CALENDAR PART I + continuation , March 6
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1170-FN, repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire. OUGHT TO PASS.WE SUPPORT OTP
HB 1392-FN-L, removing the restriction on the number of pupils eligible to transfer to a chartered public school. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
HB 1403-FN, establishing a state minimum hourly wage. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY:INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. Rep. Sally H Kelly for the Majority of Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services. HB 1403 reinstates NH minimum wage and does it with a moderate, gradual and sustainable increase. In January, 2015 it would increase from the Federal level of $7.25 per hour to $8.25 per hour. In 2016, it would become $9.00 per hour and in 2017 and going forward it would be indexed according to the Consumer Pricing Index (CPI).
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
HB 1376, requiring the department of environmental services to examine the potential harm to the public and the environment of New Hampshire from the transportation of bituminous tar sands through Coos county by the Portland-Montreal pipeline. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. Rep. Marjorie J Shepardson for Science, Technology and Energy. The bill as amended would study the safety of moving gas and oil by train, road and pipeline and would also develop an emergency plan to deal with leaks and spills, including clarifying financial obligation for cleanup. Vote 14-1.
HB 1456, relative to the issuance of certificate for energy facilities by the site evaluation committee. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. Rep. Robert A Backus for the Majority ofTechnology and Energy. This bill would make modest changes to the current law governing the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. The majority believes that changes to the siting criteria or procedures of the SEC should reflect the full stakeholder process recently completed under SB 99.
HOUSE REGULAR CALENDAR Part III
WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1626-FN-A-L, establishing up to 6 gambling establishments in the state and a gaming oversight authority and continually appropriating a special fund. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.WE SUPPORT ITL
HB 1628-FN-A-L, relative to games of chance and establishing a gaming regulatory commission and video lottery gaming. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. WE SUPPORT ITL
HB 1633-FN-A-L, relative to expanded gaming in New Hampshire. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. WE SUPPORT ITL
STATE FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
HR 21, expressing support for the right of residents of the District of Columbia to be fully represented in the Congress of the United States of America. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENTO LEGISLATE. WE SUPPORT OTP
SENATE REG CALENDAR
ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
SB 200-FN-A, relative to energy infrastructure development. Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 3-2. This bill: I. Requires the department of transportation to designate corridors on state-owned rights-of-way for the burial of transmission facilities. II. Requires the site evaluation committee to develop a process for evaluating infrastructure proposals for the use of designated corridors. III. Requires the department of transportation to negotiate lease agreements for the use of designated corridors. SB 245-FN, relative to procedures and authority of the site evaluation committee. Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 4-1. An example of one of the proposed changes - (h) In the case of projects proposing overhead transmission facilities, present underground alternatives and site alternatives.
SB 281-FN, relative to the siting of wind turbines. Ought to Pass with Amendment, This amended bill establishes non-specific general guidelines for the site evaluation committee in adopting rules to govern the siting of large wind energy systems in New Hampshire.
WEDNESDAY SENATE HEARINGS
PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, Room 102, LOB Sen. Boutin (C), Sen. Forrester (VC), Sen. Lasky, Sen. Pierce, Sen. Stiles
10:30 a.m. HB 466-FN, relative to determining qualifications of voters This bill eliminates the qualified voter and domicile affidavits and permits voters to prove qualifications by swearing to a statement on the voter registration form.
The League appreciates the votes of those Representatives and Senators who supported the new bill.
There is a study committee to review election law that will be working in the summer and fall. Perhaps better laws will be proposed after that work.
The League of Women Voters New Hampshire continues to oppose restrictions on the right to vote, especially those that seem to target students, the elderly, and the poor.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (202) 224-3324 website
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (202) 224-2841 website
Representative Ann McLane Kuster (202) 225-5206 (district 2) website
Representative Carol Shea Porter (202) 225-5456 (district 1) website