NH Legislature This Week—May 14, 2018
Brought to you by the Brookline Democrats
Quotes of the Week
“Governor Sununu remains opposed to HB1264 and HB372 and believes that the bills should undergo a strict review by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in order to determine any potential unintended consequences.” Benjamin Vihstadt, Governor Sununu’s spokesman on the bills to discourage college students from voting by essentially creating a poll tax.
We are winding down! The House and Senate will meet on Wednesday, May 23rd to take up all remaining bills where the House and Senate have not come to an agreement. Those bills have been sent to committees of conference to work out a compromise. No further changes are allowed once the committees report out. The only voting options available are to pass or defeat.
These meetings of May 23rd (and, if necessary, May 24th) will be the last before the summer. After that, all bills will have been either defeated or sent to Governor Sununu. Several bills have already been sent to the Governor and he has yet to officially take action on the ones that we are following.
If the Governor vetoes a bill, it will go back to the legislature where a 2/3 supermajority is required in both the House and the Senate to override. There is no word yet on when such a session may be held.
We will not be publishing an issue next week. We will be back in a couple of weeks.
Senate create a mini-budget bill out of the blue
HB1817 started as a simple bill to create the position of a state demographer. However, the senate has added on several amendment to authorize spending on a wide range of areas – salary increases for state employees, red listed bridges, hospital payments, and Medicaid. It is not clear how much spending would be authorized by these changes, but it is in the tens of millions. The House has taken exception to this and asked for a conference committee to work out a compromise.
Legislature hands Governor an embarrassing defeat on the national stage
Governor Sununu has been advocating taking funds from public schools to give to private schools, religious schools and homeschooling families very publicly and nationally. He was set to make himself a national figure on this issue by inviting President Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos to NH just as the legislature was expected to pass a bill doing just this. However, Republicans were not able to get their House members in line and the bill was defeated despite making several attempts. The House defeated SB193 on a razor thin 172-165 vote. State Democrats point out that recent special elections which have given seats to Democrats may have made the difference. Another issue is several Republican House Representatives have missed many legislative sessions – including Brookline/Mason Rep. John Carr, as has been noted here on many bills.
The Senate decided to make another attempt by tacking the language from SB193 onto an unrelated House bill – HB1636. However, the House again rejected the amendments and defeated the underlying bill 168-173. Rep. Ammon and Lewicke voted in favor of the Senate amendment. Rep. Belanger and Gargasz votedagainst the amendment. Rep. Carr had an excused absence.
Republicans keep opposition to marriage equality in their platform
For many years now, NH Republicans have included in their state platform a statement opposing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Now that the issue has been settled and polls show overwhelming support for equality, one would expect the GOP to remove this embarrassing position, but not so much. This weekend, the party bosses met to hammer out the next iteration of the state party platform and former Chair Jennifer Horn proposed to remove the statement in favor of a general statement in support of all families. This still generated significant opposition among Republican leaders and in the end, the anti-gay statement was kept by a technical maneuver that stripped Horn of her status as a delegate, in effect punishing her for even proposing to support civil rights.
How to contact Governor Sununu
There are many bills heading to the Governors desk that he should be encouraged to sign or veto. You can contact the Governors office through the state web site here: https://business.nh.gov/
Bills sent to Governor Sununu
HB587 would prohibit “conversion therapy” on gay minors.
HB1264 would essentially create a poll tax by requiring students registering to vote to register their cars in NH.
HB1319 would add “gender identity” to NH’s civil rights laws, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.
HB1575 would permit hunting with air rifles.
HB1586 would provide direction to judges approving marriages for under aged individuals.
HB1587 would set the minimum age for a marriage at 16 for all couples.
HB1686 would divert some education funding from public schools to private schools.
HB1816 would keep the expanded Medicaid program for another 5 years.
SB170 would allow towns to issue bonds to expand broadband infrastructure.
SB500 would allow loaded guns in stationary vehicles.
SB593 would repeal the death penalty. Senator Avard is the primary sponsor.
Bills in Conference Committees
HB1354 would make the Speaker of the House and Senate President voting members of the University System Board of Trustees.
HB1415 would provide a health benefit for teachers killed while performing their jobs.
HB1817 would provide new funding for state employee raises, red listed bridges, hospitals and Medicaid.
SB438 would create a process to allow elections to be postponed in the event of an emergency.
Where to find more information
The New Hampshire legislature web site is www.gencourt.state.nh.us. Here, you can find the full text of all bills, find the full list of sponsors of bills and see more detailed status. If you have questions about how to use the state website, we would be glad to help. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch and listen to House and Senate sessions live and archived
Terms and Abbreviations
ITL means “Inexpedient To Legislate”. If the full House or full Senate votes to ITL a bill, then the bill is defeated.
OTP means “Ought to Pass” meaning that a committee is recommending that a bill be passed.
Consent Calendar: If a bill receives a unanimous recommendation from a committee, the committee may place the bill on the Consent Calendar. When full House meets, the first vote taken is to approve all recommendations on all bills in the consent calendar. This allows the House to quickly dispense with non-controversial bills and move on to topics that need discussion. If any legislator requests that a bill be removed from the consent calendar, then it will be removed and it will be brought up for discussion and a vote along with the other non-consent calendar bills.
Resolutions: Sometimes the House, the Senate or both will pass resolutions. These are just public statements of opinion or interest, but they have no legal standing. It is similar to issuing a press release. HCR is a House resolution. HJR is a joint resolution (both House and Senate) that originates in the House.
LOB refers to the Legislative Office Building, which is immediately behind the statehouse. Most committee hearings are held in this building.
Reps Hall refers to Representatives Hall in the Statehouse where the House of Representatives meetings. This room is used for hearings that are expected to be very large.
“Retained” means that a Committee has voted to keep a bill until next year. Next year, any bills that have been retained must be sent to the full House/Senate for a vote. Any bill that does not get retained must be sent to the full House/Senate for vote by Crossover or the end of the session.
“Crossover” is March 31st. The House will vote on all bills introduced in the House by this date except for bills that have been retained until next year. Similarly, the Senate will vote on all bills introduced into the Senate by this date except for bills that are being retained until next year.
“Tabled”: The full House or full Senate can “table” a bill which means that the bill is kept in “limbo” without being passed or defeated. For tabled bill to be brought back up for a vote again (to pass it) requires a 2/3 majority. If the bill has not been passed when the legislature adjourns at the end of the year, it is defeated. Tabling a bill usually happens when the legislature wants to defeat a bill but doesn’t want to directly oppose it. It can also sometimes happen if there are not enough votes to pass, but leadership hopes to be able to come up with enough votes later—but this then requires a 2/3 majority.
A brief guide to how legislation becomes law
Bills introduced in the House:
For Senate bills, the process is the same except that it goes through the Senate before it goes to the House.
For Constitutional Amendments (CACRs) the process is slightly different.
CACRs introduced in the House:
Where to Send Letters to the Editor:
Hollis Brookline Journal
The Journal welcomes letters from its readers that are exclusive to this newspaper. Letters must be 400 words or fewer and are subject to editing either for content or for length. Letters must be received no later than noon on Monday. The Journal does not publish anonymous letters, those written under an assumed name or containing only the writer’s initials. Nor does it publish form letters, or those written as part of an orchestrated campaign. Letters must be in good taste and free of libel or personal attacks. Important: Letters must contain the writer’s name, home address and day/night telephone numbers and e-mail for confirmation purposes. Only the writer’s name and hometown will be published. The deadline for submitting letters is noon on Monday. The Journal is published every Friday.
The Mason Grapevine
Residents of Mason can submit letters to the Mason Grapevine at TheMasonGrapevine@yahoo.com
Hollis, Brookline, Mason Reps:
Nashua Wards 1, 2, 5, Hollis, Brookline, Mason, Greenville, New Ipswich, and Rindge
Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Boston
Brookline and Mason
Rep. John Lewicke (R) P: (603) 878-2610 Lewicke@yahoo.com
Brookline and Mason
Congratulations to Ben Clemons, Zandra Rice Hawkins, and Byron Champlin on their victories!
We celebrated HUGE wins last Tuesday night with victories in three special elections in Concord and Nashua. Tomorrow we have the chance to continue our momentum by electing Democrats at every level during Town Meeting Day! These local town elections take place in over 200 towns and give voters across the state the chance to elect Selectman, Supervisors of the Checklist, Moderators, and other incredibly important local roles.
It is so important that great voters, like you, talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about Town Meeting Day!
The NHDP is also looking for volunteers to report results tomorrow night.
Can we count on you to turn out to vote and help us collect these results? Contact our Political Team at email@example.com to learn more.
Please continue to use this regular newsletter as a tool for your local committee meetings or as a supplement to your own regular newsletter.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have.
Slate Goodwin is now the Party’s Outreach Director after serving as a Regional Organizing Director during the Coordinated Campaign and will be the point of contact for Coos, Grafton, and Merrimack Counties and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Ernst is the former State Senate Campaigns Director and is the NHDP’s new Political Director. He will be the point of contact for Cheshire, Rockingham, Strafford, and Sullivan Counties and can be reached at email@example.com.
Starting 10 AM, Thursday, March 14th, Senate Chamber
SENATE -Education and Workforce Development – SB 266, relative to funding for kindergarten pupils, keno revenues, and school building aid.
Why this matters: Keno revenues have fallen millions of dollars short of estimates creating an underfunded Kindergarten program in New Hampshire. Kindergarten education should not be tied to an unreliable funding source.
Starting 10 AM, Thursday, March 14th, Senate Chamber
SENATE – Election Law and Municipal Affairs – SB 7, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART ACT).
Why this matters: The SMART ACT would allow people to register to vote at the DMV, making registering to vote easier and more accessible for all eligible voters in New Hampshire. Democrats view it as our responsibility to encourage an engaged and active electorate, and this bill will help do just that. Currently, a majority of states across the country have taken steps to encourage voter registration. The SMART Act is a New Hampshire solution that will modernize how people can register to vote.
Reversing Tax Cuts to Corporations
Starting 10 AM, Thursday, March 14th, Senate Chamber
SENATE – Ways and Means – SB 301, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax, and relative to revenue sharing with cities and towns.
Why this matters: In Sununu’s 2017 budget, he pushed through a $100 million tax cut for the wealthiest 3% of corporations that they didn’t need and didn’t want. Democrats want to make sure Granite Staters are the ones who get tax cuts not Sununu’s highest dollar donors. This bill would rectify Sununu’s disastrous budget and give relief to those who deserve it immediately.
Starting 1 PM, Thursday, March 14th, House Chamber
HOUSE – Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services – HB 186, establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage.
Why this matters: This bill will establish a minimum wage here in New Hampshire. Democrats firmly believe that all Granite Staters should be paid a living wage, which is why they’ve been fighting this fight for years. Now, with Democratic majorities in the State Senate and State House, they’re working hard to make that happen. This bill will establish the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour- there are several bills in the legislature this session addressing this critical issue, each at varying levels.
Inaugural Committee Accountability
Thursday, March 7th, Senate Chamber
SENATE -Election Law and Municipal Affairs – SB 105, relative to contributions to inaugural committees.
Why this matters: After the jarring reports of Governor Sununu’s inappropriate use of inaugural funds, this legislation will bring some much-needed transparency to the inaugural committee. No Granite Staters should worry how the governor is using these funds. SB 105 will end the lack of transparency and make sure Sununu isn’t engaging in pay to play operations.
PASSED: Senate 22-2
Minor Primary Voting
Thursday, March 7th, House Chamber
HOUSE – Election Law – CACR 5, allowing 17 year olds to vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election
Why this matters: Currently, 21 states allow 17 year olds to vote if they will be 18 by the general election. Our democracy only works when people participate and wherever possible we should encourage young eligible voters to get involved. 17 year olds should be allowed to have a say in which candidates they will be supporting in the general election.
Did Not Pass: 217-151 (Needed 2/3 to Pass)
No Excuse Absentee Voting
Thursday, March 7th, House Chamber
HOUSE – House Election Law – HB 611, allowing voters to vote by absentee ballot.
HOUSE – House Election Law – CACR 6, relating to elections. Providing that any inhabitant who so desires may vote by absentee ballot in primary and general elections.
Did Not Pass: 208-151 (Needed 2/3 to Pass)
Why this matters: Currently, in order to vote absentee, a voter must have an “excuse” to cast their ballot absentee. This law will remove any judgment calls by local officials and any barrier of entry to the absentee voting process. This law will make voting easier for Granite Staters.
Transgender Anti-Discrimination Expansion
Thursday, March 7th, House Chamber
HOUSE – Judiciary – HB 608, expanding the law against discrimination based on gender identity to other areas of the law prohibiting discrimination.
Why this matters: Following the vitally important HB 1319, which passed last year and protected transgender civil liberties, HB 608 will continue this work and further block discrimination against Granite Staters because of their gender identity. Nothing should stand in the way of Granite Staters’ ability to live their lives free of prejudice and bigotry and this legislation will help the transgender community do just that.
Report Results from Town Meeting Day!
The NHDP is looking for volunteers to report results to us on the night of Town Meeting Day. Please reply to this email or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re able to help with the numbers.
REMINDER: All town and county committees who have expenses or contributions of over $500 in that two-year cycle must re-register the committee with the NH Secretary of State. The first financial report is due on June 5, 2019- get ahead of this now by re-registering your committee. Please let us know how we can help.
Every two years, Democrats from all 10 counties as well as the cities of Manchester and Nashua gather to elect their Chairs, Vice Chairs, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Delegates At-Large for the state convention. The following is the list of dates for these caucuses. All registered Democrats are welcome to attend and run for positions within our county leadership.
April 1st, 7 PM
Nashua Senior Center
The NDCC website is maintained by the following volunteers:
Rich Green – Webmaster. Software Project Manager by trade.
Jan Schmidt – Technical consultant and former webmaster. Web Designer by trade.
Michael Pedersen – Caretaker of the calendar and NDCC First Vice-Chair
Cat Tanguay – Web Assistant
The Nashua Telegraph considers the following to be the top 10 candidates so far (mid-March). Check for local candidate visits in the calendar!
1-5 are the leaders based on a NH March poll
Bold italics = officially declared
3. Kamala Harris – CA Senator
5. Beto O’Rourke – TX – former US Representative
2. Joe Biden (DE)
1. Bernie Sanders -VT Senator
Amy Klobuchar – MN Senator
4. Elizabeth Warren – MA Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand – NY Senator
4. Cory Booker – NJ Senator
Andrew Yang – NY – Entrepreneur – Founder of Venture for America
Julian Castro – TX – Former HUD Secretary
But wait, there’s more!
John Delaney – MD – Former US Representative
Pete Buttigieg – IN – Mayor of South Bend
Tulsi Gabbard – HI – US Representative
Marianne Williamson – CA – Entrepreneur
John Hickenlooper – CO – former Governor
Jay Inslee – WA Governor
Tim Ryan – OH – US Representative
Eric Stallwell – CA – US Representative
Bridges has been serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Greater Nashua area since 1977. In addition to supporting women and families as they transition out of abusive relationships and households, they run a crisis line that relies heavily on volunteers to both field calls and accompany victims to the hospital to help provide resources and information about Bridges Services.
To learn more about how you can make an impact–– go to http://bridgesnh.org/
The NHDP Annual Convention will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the SNHU Center (formerly Verizon Center), Manchester, NH. Times will be determined in the next few weeks. To keep up with information and details go to www.NHDP.org.
This will likely be the largest and most comprehensive—and interesting—convention in the state party’s history. It will be the closest many of us get to attendance at a National Democratic Convention, including speeches by numerous Presidential Candidates, and the energy of the unfolding Democratic Primary.
Nashua Democrats are entitled to 100 delegates*, the second largest delegation in the state. Nashua Delegates and their eligibility are determined as follows:
Four NDCC Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
Four At-Large NDCC Elected Members of the Executive Board
29 Legislative Members from Nashua, two Senators and 27 State Representatives
(The rules call for 29 “candidates” for office in the last election, but in 2018, they all won.)
63 Ward Officers, divided as follows for all nine wards:
Ward Chairs, Vice Chairs, Secretaries, Treasurers, and three at-large delegates
These positions will be elected at the NDCC Annual Meeting/Caucus on April 1.
*Some positions are duplicated: for example, where one of the NDCC Officers is also an elected legislator.
Please see “Our Officers” for details on election and description of each office.
Nashua Democratic City Committee
PO Box 632
Nashua NH 03061