This week brought positive and negative developments, as bills came up for floor votes in the Senate on Thursday.
Two Democratic bills (SB 298 and SB 304) to roll back last year’s “divisive concepts” law were defeated by the Republican majority in party line votes. This is sad news, but will not deter us from organizing to ensure that honest, fully-funded education becomes a reality in New Hampshire.
In good news, the NH Senate took a major step toward improving healthcare access by unanimously passing SB 422 to expand dental coverage under the State Medicaid program. Medicaid currently only covers emergency dental care for low-income citizens, such as tooth extractions. This expansion would provide coverage for regular cleaning and other care that prevents more severe problems. This bill will now be introduced in the House, where a similar bill (HB 103) has survived a floor vote and is under consideration by the Finance Committee. Thank you to all who testified and contacted your legislators!
Finally, in case you haven’t seen, we have some very exciting news this week: Rights & Democracy is thrilled to welcome Kiah Morris as our new Executive Director! Kiah is the perfect person to lead our organization into its next phase. Read our full statement here.
See below for top actions you can take this week to support immigrant rights with bills HB579 and HB1463. As always, you can invite others to sign up here for these weekly updates.
Until next week, and in solidarity,
Asma Elhuni, Movement Politics Director, Rights & Democracy
Sign in to register your position on these RAD priority bills, and testify in writing and in person if you are able! See “Tips for Testifying” below.
This week, two of our priority immigration bills will be heard in committee. We believe that HB579, a bill to ensure communities can be informed when immigration checkpoints are set up, has a chance at passing, as it was introduced by a Republican Representative. Meanwhile, HB1463 would give immigrants more rights and increased safety as they navigate with a driver’s license.
Support HB 579, requiring notice to the public before immigration checkpoints are conducted. This bill has already passed in the House. Now, it is scheduled for its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
When: March 8th, 2pm
Where: State House, Room 100
Support HB1463, updating the requirements for issuing driver’s licenses, as the House Transportation Committee prepares to vote on their recommendation on Tuesday, March 1st. Contact committee members individually or as a group here.
Tips for Testifying
In person: Go early to the room assigned for the committee hearing early. There will be a form for you to sign your name and who you are representing. You may sign in as yourself if you are not representing an organization. The higher your name is on the list, the earlier you get to speak. You will be called on when they open the hearing to the public.
Online: If you cannot attend a hearing in person, you can register your position online up to a week out. (Registration is cut off 30 minutes before a hearing.) After signing in support of a bill, the confirmation page will list the email address where you can submit written testimony. Email committee members to let them know why you support or oppose a bill.
- Register your position and/or submit testimony on a Senate bill here.
- Find the Senate Calendar here (meeting links are in the Calendar Notice pdf)
- Find your Senator here.
- Register your position and/or submit testimony on a House bill here.
- Find the House Calendar here.
- Find your Representative(s) here.
Don’t know your district? Use this map.