Making Democracy Work

Hot Legislation

State legislation requiring quick action.

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.

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

The next House session will be Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. The House will also meet on Wednesday, March 11th, and most likely on Thursday, March 12th, in order to meet the deadline for action on non-budget House bills which are not in second committees

THE SENATE WILL MEET IN SESSION ON THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2015 AT 10:00 A.M.

Senate Consent Calendar

SB 237-FN, establishing a reporting requirement for gubernatorial inauguration contributions. Re-refer to committee, Vote 5-0. The bill requires the governor-elect to appoint an inaugural treasurer and report expenditures and contributions related to the inauguration. This bill was re-referred to committee for additional work.

Senate Regular Calendar

COMMERCE

SB 42, relative to employee notification of contraceptive coverage. Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 4-1. This bill requires employers offering insurance or self-funded health coverage to its employees to specify the details of the contraceptive coverage to prospective employees and to notify current employees if it alters such coverage.

SB 47, repealing the payment of subminimum wages to persons with disabilities. Ought to Pass, Vote 5-0.

SB 107-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union. Ought to Pass, Vote 3-2.

SB 156-FN, prohibiting discrimination against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Ought to Pass, Vote 5-0.

FINANCE

SB 28-FN, establishing the transitional housing unit maintenance fund and authorizing the commissioner of the department of corrections to make deposits into the fund. Inexpedient to Legislate, Vote 5-1.

House Committee Hearings

Monday, March 2

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB

10:00 a.m. HB 571-FN-A, relative to taxation of trusts under the interest and dividends tax.

Tuesday, March 3

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB

10:30 a.m. Executive session on HB 242, relative to the statewide improvement and assessment program, HB 276, providing that school districts shall not be required to adopt the common core standards, HB 303, relative to statewide assessment standards and relative to parental consent for psychological services to students, ..HB 471, relative to the powers of the state board of education and the duties of school boards, This bill removes the requirement that school boards comply with the rules and regulations of the state board of education. The bill also adds certain specific duties to school boards.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY, Room 304, LOB

10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 382, establishing a committee to study facilitating private investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy, ..HB 431, relative to the placement of all new elective electric transmission lines in New Hampshire,.. HB 544, allowing the general court to deny a utility the use of the power of eminent domain, HB 574-FN, relative to regional greenhouse gas initiative distributions to residential Customers. This bill eliminates regional greenhouse gas initiative distributions to residential electric ratepayers from the sale of allowance. HB 614-FN, implementing goals of the state 10-year energy strategy, The Office of Energy and Planning states this bill requires the development of an incentive plan for the private construction of public charging stations for alternatively-fueled vehicles. The Office states it will need to hire a contractor to help it develop the plan, and anticipates the cost will be as much as $100,000. This will be a one-time expenditure in FY 2016 only. HB 626-FN-A, authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.

SENATE COMMITTEE HEARINGS

Tuesday, March 3

FINANCE, Room 103, SH Sen. Forrester (C), Sen. Little (VC), Sen. Morse, Sen. Reagan, Sen. D'Allesandro, Sen. Hosmer

2:05 p.m. SB 261-FN, establishing a state minimum wage

Wednesday, March 4

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Room 100, SH Sen. Bradley (C), Sen. Little (VC), Sen. Sanborn, Sen. Fuller Clark, Sen. Feltes

9:00 a.m. SB 251, relative to regulations for commercial composters. This bill permits composting facilities to use meat and dairy products in their composting operations.

Thursday , March 5

HOUSE EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB

9:45 a.m. Executive session on ...HB 611-FN, requiring legislative approval of all agreements, contracts, grants, or waivers involving the department of education or the state board of education.

Juvenile Justice

August 2014: NH Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Signed

NH Kids Count and its partners in the NH Juvenile Justice Coalition celebrated passage of a sweeping juvenile justice reform bill (HB 1624) during the 2014 legislative session.

Both the House and Senate enacted HB 1624 with wide margins and Governor Hassan signed the bill into law. Effective July 1, 2015, HB 1624 raises the age at which juveniles are treated as adults in the courts from 17 to 18 and ensures other protections for youth.

Based on our study of incarceration issues in NH, the League testified in support of this bill.

Death Penalty Repeal

May 22, 2014: The NH Senate did not pass SB202, a burglary clarification bill with the death penalty repeal attached as an amendment, by a 2 to 1 vote.

The House had passed that bill earlier in May by a 2 to 1 margin. The death penalty in NH stands.

Casino Gambling

Leading the effort to defeat expanded gambling 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

The casino bills have been defeated in the House in this legislative session.

Update on voting rights

A legislative study committee to review election law with a goal of improving voter participation was appointed in 2014. The committee initially announced its intention to begin public sessions around the state in April 2014. A meeting was held in Ossipee on July 29, 2014. A final meeting (though without a quorum) was held in late October. A report was issued by Nov. 1, but without a quorum it was unofficial.

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.

State Legislature Calendar

To see the complete calendar of New Hampshire State Senate sessions and committee meetings, click here. To see the complete calendar of New Hampshire State House sessions and committee meetings, click here.

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.

This list has been updated in January 2015.

Senator Kelly Ayotte (202) 224-3324 website Manchester NH office: 622-7979

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (202) 224-2841 website Manchester NH office: 647-7500

Representative Ann McLane Kuster (district 2) (202) 225-5206 website Concord NH office: 226-1002

Representative Frank Guinta (district 1) (202) 225-5456 website Manchester office: 641-9536