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 2 recommended actions–

In the coming days, our Senators will be deciding what changes to make to the State budget. This is our last to have our voices heard on the critical issue of education funding.

Please call or email your Senator and ask them to keep the following in the State Budget:

>>Public education stabilization grants to 2016 levels

>>An independent commission to study school funding long-term

>>A capital gains tax to ensure we have can secure adequate revenue for schools funds without continuing to rely heavily on local property taxes

And while you’re at it, please also ask your Senator to support raising the minimum wage (HB 186) which will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2022 and ensure that working people have a fighting chance at a higher quality of life in New Hampshire.

Other bills we are following:

Going in person to a hearing about a bill you care about is an excellent way to make your voice heard. You can testify or just sign in and show that you were there.

Public Education

Tuesday, May 7, 1:00 -5:00 PM, resuming from 6:00-8:00 PM  – Public hearing by the Senate on the budget at the State House (Representatives Hall) from. The hearings will be streamed on the General Court website, for those who can’t attend.

Wednesday, May 8, 7:00 PM – Second public hearing by the Senate on the budget at Manchester City Hall Aldermanic Chambers, 3rd Floor, 1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester

 

Raising the Minimum Wage

Thursday, May 9, 9:30 AM, Commerce, Room 102, LOB – HB 186 establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage. This bill establishes an hourly rate that will increase annually: $9.50 in 2020, $10.75 in 2012, and $12.00 in 2022. Tipped employees would receive 50 percent of the applicable minimum rate (it’s currently 45 percent).  Also, it establishes a youth minimum wage for employees 17 and under of a dollar per hour less than the current state minimum wage. Raise Up NH has a Facebook page for the hearing.

 

Health Care For All

Tuesday, May 7 1:45 PM  Commerce, Room 100, SH – HB 277 establishing a commission to study a public option for health insurance.

Wednesday, May 8, at 10 AM and Thursday, May 9, at 10 AM if necessary – House Floor Vote  SB 293 relative to reimbursement to federally-qualified health care centers and rural health centers. This bill addresses an unintended consequence of way the Granite Advantage Health Care Program was written. Under current law, a Medicaid enrollee not in compliance with the plan’s work requirements will be suspended before being terminated. The health care centers are required to treat Medicaid enrollees, but they cannot be reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries who are on suspension. The bill ensures the health centers will be reimbursed for services they provide, by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 16-4.

 

Voting Rights

The NH Youth Movement is calling on Governor Sununu to sign HB 106, the full repeal of last year’s bill that threatened voting rights by tying registration of automobiles to registration of voters.  They’ll be rallying at the State House on Tuesday, May 7, starting at 2 PM. More info on Facebook.

 

Energy & Climate

Tuesday, May 7, 10:00 AM, Senate Science, Technology and Energy Committee, Room 304, LOB – Executive sessions on SB 165 relative to net energy metering by low-moderate income community solar projects; SB 166 relative to competitive electricity supplier requirements under net energy metering; SB 168 relative to Class 2 obligations under the electric renewable portfolio standards; and SB 124 relative to renewable portfolio standards after 2015.

Wednesday, May 8, at 10 AM and Thursday, May 9, at 10 AM if necessary – House Floor Vote – SB 205 relative to energy efficiency programs funded from the systems benefit charge and the duties and members of the energy efficiency and sustainable energy board. This bill recognizes the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) and authorizes funding for EERS through the systems benefit charge through two planning periods ending in 2020 and 2023. It also requires that 20 percent of the EERS funding be expended on low-income energy efficiency programs, includes necessary workforce development to implement the programs, and requires arranging for low cost financing for homeowners. The bill also updates and enlarges the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board and restores its role in assisting energy efficiency programs, serving as a public stakeholder forum to observe and make recommendations regarding those and other energy related programs.

Wednesday, May 8, at 10 AM and Thursday, May 9, at 10 AM if necessary – House Floor Vote – SB 275 requiring that all of the state’s motor vehicles will be zero emissions vehicles by the year 2039. The goal is to set a 20-year target to update the state purchase and leased vehicle fleet to zero emissions vehicles to the extent feasible and practicable by the year 2041.

Wednesday, May 8, at 10 AM and Thursday, May 9, at 10 AM if necessary – House Floor Vote – SB 204 relative to distributed energy resources and consumer energy storage. This bill modifies the regulation of distributed energy resources of electric utilities and provides for electric consumer energy storage systems. Storage technology allows the electric grid to accommodate more supply than demand at times when electricity can be produced by lower-cost generating units (including intermittent renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydro) and then discharged back onto the grid later when demand is greater than what can be supplied without resort to higher cost “peaking units.” This is all about encouraging the development of new and evolving energy storage technology.

 

Wednesday, May 8, at 10 AM and Thursday, May 9, at 10 AM if necessary – House Floor Vote –  SB 206 excluding the cost of lobbying and political activity from the rates of public utilities. This means that utility companies like Eversource can’t pass their huge lobbying expenses on to you, the customer.

 

Criminal Justice Reform

Tuesday, May 7, 9:00 AM, Judiciary, Room 100, SHHB 481 relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefore.

 

Immigrant Rights

Tuesday, May 7, 1:00 PM Transportation, Room 103, LOB – Executive session on pending legislation, possibly including HB 397, relative to drivers’ licenses for New Hampshire residents who do not possess a social security card.

 

**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!