When we launched the New Hampshire People’s Platform on the first day of the 2019 legislative session, we pledged to work on issues that a majority of Granite Staters care about, including affordable health care, a stronger public education system, more rights for workers, and a healthy environment for future generations.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Can you take action on an issue you care about this week?
Top 3 recommended actions–
1. Fix Public Education Funding Crisis:
This week the House is set to vote on the two budget Bills, HB 1 and HB 2. Passing a good budget is import for many reasons, but this year the House has added significant funding for public education and they are paying for this investment by raising revenue through a capital gains tax. Raising revenue through capital gains is much more progressive than relying heavily on local property taxes. We expect the House to pass their version of the Budget this week. It’s important that the Senate not only keep the increase in public school funding but that they also keep the revenue from capital gains to pay for the investment in education.
Call your Senator by noon on Wednesday, April 10th, and ask them to keep the revenue from capital gains in the Senate version of the Budget.
2. Stop partisan gerrymandering:
SB 8 addresses partisan gerrymandering by establishing an independent redistricting commission.
Call your House Reps and ask them to support SB 8. Even better, attend the hearing on Tuesday, April 9, 2:00 PM, Election Law, Room 308.
3. Help make voter registration simple:
SB 7 would lower the barriers to voting for young people, new Americans, and those who don’t drive. It requires that any eligible person who applies for a driver license, non-driver ID, or a change to either of those forms of ID, automatically be registered to vote.
Call your House Reps and urge them to support SB 7, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART ACT). Even better, attend the public hearing on Wednesday, April 10, 10:00 AM, Election Law, Room 308, Legislative Office Building.
Other important bills we are following:
Criminal Justice Reform:
Senate Session is Thursday, April 11, 10am.
HB 455, relative to the penalty for capital murder. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 4-1. If this passes, it will go quickly to the governor’s desk.
Energy & Climate
Tuesday, April 9, 1:00 PM SB 206, excluding the cost of lobbying and political activity from the rates of public utilities. In other words, Eversource wouldn’t be able to pass its enormous lobbying spending on to ratepayers as part of its cost of doing business.
Tuesday, April 9, 10:30 AM SB 164, Resources, Recreation and Development, Room 305, LOB, establishing a committee to study unprotected drinking water sources and estimating the costs of protecting such sources.
Tuesday, April 9, 9:00 AM HB 582, relative to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions.
9:45 AM HB 568, Energy and Natural Resources, Room 103, SH, relative to the New Hampshire energy strategy.
Tuesday, April 9, 2:00 PM, Election Law, Room 308 LOB: SB 8, establishing an independent redistricting commission. The House passed a similar bill, HB 706, which crossed over, but does not yet have a hearing scheduled in the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee.
Wednesday, April 10, 10:00 AM, Election Law, Room 308, LOB SB 7, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART ACT). This bill would require that any eligible person who applies for a driver license, non-driver ID, or a record change to either of those forms of ID, would automatically be registered to vote, with the ability to opt-out if they wished.
Tuesday, April 9, 2:15 PM, Transportation, Room 103, LOB HB 669, relative to gender identity information on driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. Allows applicants to indicate their gender as male, female, or other, and requires the indication to be put on the ID card issued by the DMV.
Wednesday, April 10, Education, Room 207, LOB, 11:00 AM SB 263, relative to anti-discrimination protection for students in public schools.
Support for Working Families:
Tuesday, April 9, 2:30 PM HB 393, establishing a committee to study child care in New Hampshire. This committee would study child care costs, affordability, and accessibility.
**Budgets are Moral Documents
Learn about the details of our state budget – a budget briefing for Representatives will be held on Tuesday, April 9 from 10:00 –11:30 AM in Representatives Hall. You can watch from the House gallery or on your computer; the session will be live streamed at the General Court website.
**The above info was compiled with major help from American Friends’ Service Committee’s weekly State House Watch email, published by Arnie Alpert and Maggie Fogarty. Thank you AFSC!