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 recommended actions–

A slew of bills related to the environment are up for a vote in the Senate this week. The important policy changes would include factoring in climate change as a concern in the state’s energy strategy, banning single-use plastic bags and plastic straws, and increasing electrical energy storage capacity to lessen the electricity system’s negative impacts.

Please call or email your Senator before Wednesday and ask them to support the following bills:

HB 568 Relative to the New Hampshire energy strategy.

HB 715 Relative to electrical energy storage.

HB558 Restricting the distribution of plastic straws.

HB 560 Relative to single-use carryout bags.

HB 582 Relative to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions.

Thank you!

Other bills we are following:

Gender Non-discrimination

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 10:00 AM.

HB 446 Relative to initiating amendments and corrections to birth records. This bill provides a procedure for a person to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect a sex designation other than that which was assigned at birth. The bill was amended in the Senate to stipulate that the person will surrender any prior birth record and that it will be retained by the city or town of birth. The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.

HB 669 Relative to gender identity information included on driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. This bill allows applicants for driver licenses and nondriver ID cards to indicate their gender as male, female, or other. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-1.

HB 520 Relative to availability of diaper changing stations in public restrooms. This bill requires certain places of public accommodation to install and maintain at least one diaper changing station that is accessible to all genders. The committee finds that the State Building Code Review Board will be taking up this issue at an upcoming meeting, and so they are recommending re-referral to allow them the chance to address this issue.

House Committee Meeting – Tuesday, May 14, Judiciary, Room 208, LOB, 10:30 AM SB 263 Relative to anti-discrimination protection for students in public schools.

Minimum Wage 

The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing yesterday on HB 186,  a bill that would increase the minimum wage in three steps to $12/hour by 2022. The other minimum wage bill SB 10, which is pending in the House Labor Committee. The two bills have considerable similarity, but Senators and Representatives will have to reach agreement on the details before they can put a bill on the governor’s desk.  Call or email your Senator and ask them to support HB 186.

Workers Rights

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 10:00 AM.

HB 272 Relative to temporary workers. This bill would establish notification and disclosure provisions for the hiring of temporary workers.  The committee feels more time is necessary to address the concerns of unnamed stakeholders and is recommending re-referral by a vote of 5-0.

 

Voting Rights

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 10:00 AM.

HB 345 Relative to certification of devices for the electronic counting of ballots. This bill requires the ballot law commission to approve new, secure electronic ballot counting devices at regular intervals, thereby guaranteeing constant updating of equipment. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 3-1.

 

Criminal Justice Reform

Death Penalty repeal – If you don’t know how your Representatives and Senator voted, find the roll calls here. Then call or email them to thank them for their vote to repeal the death penalty. We must ensure that they vote the same way after Gov Sununu’s likely veto!

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 10:00 AM.

HB 518 Repealing certain statutes concerning reimbursement of cost of care by inmates. This bill would repeal the statutes that allow the state to bill former prisoners for the cost of their stay. This can place a heavy financial burden on those who have been out of the workforce for years and are trying to rebuild their lives. The bill was amended in the House to exclude agreements already in place, which means that the state can continue to bill John Brooks, the millionaire serving a life sentence for murder-for-hire.

 

Immigrant Rights

The Senate will be in session on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 10:00 AM.

HB 397 Relative to driver licenses for New Hampshire residents who do not possess a Social Security card. This would authorize the issuance of driver licenses to those residents. The committee recommends re-referral, by a vote of 4-0.

HB 291 Establishing a committee to study certain findings and other initiatives regarding end-of-life care. The committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 3-1.

 

Health Care

Relative to federally-qualified health care centers and rural health centers reimbursement. House Committee Hearing Tuesday, May 14, Finance, Division III, Rooms 210-211, LOB, 11:15 AM

 

**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!