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 SENATE will meet in session on Thursday , January 29, 2015 AT 10:00 A.M.

REGULAR CALENDAR REPORTS

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES

SB 38, establishing a commission to develop a land conservation plan.Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 5-0.

Committee Hearings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SENATE EDUCATION, Room 103, LOB Sen. Reagan (C), Sen. Stiles (VC), Sen. Avard, Sen. Kelly, Sen. Watters

9:00 a.m. SB 81, relative to the powers of the state board of education. This bill limits the authority of the state board of education to the department of education and the commissioner of the department of education and ends it over local school boards.

9:20 a.m. SB 82, relative to the authority of the commissioner of the department of education. This bill prohibits the commissioner of the department of education from initiating or assuming any managerial, supervisory, or operational function, or directing action with district superintendents, principals, or CIA (curriculum, instruction, and assessment), and prohibits the commissioner from initiating or establishing district oversight through an extended cabinet of regional liaisons.

9:40 a.m. CACR 3, Relating to public education. Providing that the general court shall define standards and funding for public education. IV. That the wording of the question put to the qualified voters shall be: "Are you in favor of amending the second part of the constitution by inserting after article 5-b a new article to read as follows:

[Art.] 5-c [Public Education]. In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the Legislature shall have the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education and to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity. In furtherance thereof, the Legislature shall have the full power and authority to make reasonable standards for elementary and secondary public education and standards of accountability and to determine the amount of, and the methods of raising and distributing, state funding for public education."

EXECUTIVE SESSION MAY FOLLOW

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

1:00 p.m. Informational Briefing by the Legislative Budget Assistant's Office.

2:00 p.m. SB 13, relative to the disposition of dedicated funds. This bill requires 2/3 approval of the general court to expend or transfer funds from a dedicated account in a manner contrary to its statutory purpose.

HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB

11:00 a.m. HB 245, establishing a committee to study state and county departments of corrections.

HOUSE ELECTION LAW, Room 308, LOB

10:00 a.m.CACR 4, Relating to the right to vote. Providing that 17-yearolds who will be eligible to vote in the general election be permitted to vote in the election's primary election.

10:30 a.m. HB 328, relative to delivery of absentee ballots. This bill allows an absentee voter to have a family member deliver the marked ballot to the city or town clerk.

10:45 a.m. HB 340, relative to appointing undeclared voters as inspectors of election. This bill authorizes selectmen to appoint undeclared voters as inspectors of election if the full complement of appointments cannot be made from party members.

11:15 a.m. HB 112, relative to domicile for voting purposes. This bill deems a declaration of domicile for voting purposes to establish an address for motor vehicle law purposes. WE OPPOSE since the bill tries to redefine what domicile for voting means, and would make it more difficult for students, the homeless and citizens new to NH to vote.

1:00 p.m. HB 320, relative to removal of certain campaign materials at the polling place. This bill would empower the moderator to order the removal of any campaign materials within the designated corridor or the building where the election is being held that the moderator determines to be vulgar or sexual in nature or visibly disturbing to minors who accompany their parents to the polls.

1:15 p.m. HB 312, relative to registration of voters. This bill establishes a deed or lease as presumptive evidence of domicile for persons registering to vote.

1:30 p.m. HB 304, establishing a committee to study public access to political campaign information. The committee shall evaluate the merits and viability of having the state establish or endorse:

I. A system of online campaign finance reporting.

II. An online clearinghouse of information for voters, including voter registration and polling place information and information filed by candidates and political committees

1:45 p.m. HB 228, relative to showing or specially marking a ballot. This bill repeals the prohibition on showing or specially marking a ballot.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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

9:00 a.m. Presentation by Anne Ross and Commissioner Bob Scott of the Public Utilities Commission(PUC) on regional energy issues.

9:30 a.m. SB 196-FN-A-L, appropriating funds to the department of environmental services

Thursday, January 29, 2015

JUDICIARY, Representatives' Hall, SH Sen.Carson (C), Sen. Cataldo (VC), Sen. Daniels, Sen. Lasky, Sen. Pierce

1:00 p.m. SB 116-FN, repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. This bill:

I. Increases the length of time for which a license to carry a pistol or revolver is valid.

II. Allows a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license unless such person is otherwise prohibited by New Hampshire statute.

III. Requires the director of the division of state police to negotiate and enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license to carry issued in this state.

IV. Repeals the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. WE OPPOSE eliminating a requirement for a license.

EXECUTIVE SESSION MAY FOLLOW

RULES, ENROLLED BILLS AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS, Room 100, SH Sen. Prescott (C), Sen. Avard (VC), Sen. Bradley, Sen. Soucy, Sen. Fuller Clark

12:30 p.m. The committee will meet for the introduction of late bills.

1:00 p.m. SB 136, relative to assessing the consequences of the Citizens United decision. This bill requires legislative hearings assessing the consequences of the Citizens United decision and evaluating related proposals to amend the United States Constitution.

HOUSE EDUCATION, Rooms 206-208, LOB

1:00 p.m. HB 276, providing that school districts shall not be required to adopt the common core standards.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB

11:40 a.m. HB 288-L, relative to the code for energy conservation in new building construction. This bill permits municipalities to decide whether or not to enforce the code for energy conservation in new building construction.This bill also permits an individual to refuse to have the code for energy conservation in new building construction enforced against him or her.

LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION, Room 104, LOB

10:45 a.m. HB 338, relative to nomination of candidates for United States senator.

This bill requires members of the general court to nominate candidates for United States senator. No other people would be accepted for the ballot.

11:15 a.m. HB 371, relative to assessing the consequences of the Citizens United decision This bill requires legislative hearings assessing the consequences of the Citizens United decision evaluating related proposals to amend the United States Constitution and calls upon New Hampshire's congressional delegation to support an amendment to the United States Constitution.

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