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 New Hampshire House and Senate are ready to begin the new legislative session. Newly elected members met in early December to elect their leadership. Shawn Jasper (R) was elected as House speaker; Steve Shurtleff (D) is Senate minority leader. Chuck Morse (R) is Senate president; Jeff Woodburn (D) is Senate minority leader.

Legislators will submit wording of proposed legislation in early January 2015.

Next Senate session is January 7, 2015. Next House session is January 7, 2015.

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 has been appointed. The committee earlier 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 will be issued by Nov. 1, but without a quorum it will be 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.

Voting Rights Act call for action 5/23/14

Call to immediate action: In January, a bipartisan group of Representatives did something that is rare nowadays: they put aside politics to govern. By introducing H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA), Representatives Sensenbrenner, Conyers, Scott and Lewis came together to forge workable, common sense solutions that would modernize the elections process and protect voting rights against discrimination.

But months later we are still waiting for Congress to finish what it started. Urge your Representative to move H.R. 3899 forward by holding a hearing in the House.

The League was hopeful Congress would move quickly to repair the damage caused by the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby v. Holder, but four months later we are still waiting for action to be taken. H.R. 3899 modernizes the coverage formula for preclearance to ensure it is based on recent acts of discrimination and provides narrow mechanisms to prevent discrimination in voting nationwide. It also provides a national notification system to keep voters up to date on changes to upcoming elections. The VRAA is an important step forward for our democracy, where the right to vote is not about politics or the outcome of elections; it is about equality and justice.

The time for waiting is over. Tell your Representative to call for a hearing on the VRAA.

Through the support of League members and supporters like you we've already generated over 35,000 letters to Congress on this legislation. But we need to keep the pressure on! If we are to ensure that each and every eligible voter is treated fairly at the ballot box and has an equal right and equal access to vote, we must continue to make our voices heard.

Please join the League in calling for a hearing on H.R. 3899. Let's move forward and modernize the Voting Rights Act to protect our most fundamental right: the right to vote.

NH members of Congress

Here are the Washington DC phone numbers and websites of the current New Hampshire US Senators and Representatives. Emails may be sent using the webforms.

This list will be updated in January 2015 when the new Congress is sworn in and offices/phones are reassigned.

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 (Shea-Porter will be replaced by Republican Frank Guinta. Website will be posted in January.)