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 email@example.com.
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
Today we’re entering into the 24th day of the government shutdown. This frustrating and devastating shutdown has kept 800,000 out of a paycheck and millions from receiving the services they deserve from the government. It’s also proven that Trump and the Republicans are far more concerned with partisan victories than by actually helping their constituents.
Our delegation has been hard at work trying to reopen the government and mitigating the effects of the government shutdown on all Granite Staters and Americans.
But someone who’s been notably silent on this shutdown? Governor Chris Sununu.
Sununu seems to love talking up his close relationship with the White House, but whenever there’s a moment for him to stand up and demand Trump act in the best interests of all of us, he shies away.
That’s simply not ok. Call Governor Sununu today at 603-271-2121 to demand he call on the White House to reopen the government today! Let’s also make sure to show our support for our delegation who, as always, are fighting for our best interests.
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.
Emma Tyler is the NHDP’s new Deputy Executive Director after serving as Organizing Director for the Coordinated Campaign. She will also be the point of contact for Belknap and Carroll Counties and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Turmelle, following her incredibly successful run as Coordinated Campaign Director in New Hampshire, will be the point of contact for Hillsborough County and the cities of Manchester and Nashua and can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
Up until January 15, 2019 at 5PM, New Hampshire Democrats can file to run for State Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and 6 NHDP Rules Committee positions.
To run for this position, please deliver a dated statement with which office you wish to run for with your complete contact information to Amy Kennedy via email, letter, or in person. Emails should be sent to AKennedy@NHDP.org and letters should be addressed to Amy Kennedy, Executive Director, NH Democratic Party, 105 North State Street, Concord, NH 03301. Letters and emails MUST be received by the date above.
Elections will take place at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester NH on Sunday, March 9th at 10AM.
Click HERE for more information.
Minor Primary Voting
Tuesday, January 15th / Election Law Committee / Room 308, Legislative Office Building
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.
Withdrawal from the Voter Crosscheck Program
Tuesday, January 15th, 11AM / Election Law Committee / Room 308, Legislative Office Building
HOUSE – Election Law – HB 315, ending New Hampshire’s participation in the Crosscheck program
Why this matters: This legislation intends to end New Hampshire’s involvement in the Crosscheck Program, founded by voter fraud conspiracy theorist, former Kansas Secretary of State, and failed Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach. This program’s purpose is to identify individuals registered in two different states, but in reality the program has a 99% false positive rate.
Annulling Marijuana Convictions
Tuesday, January 15th, 2:30PM / Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee / Room 204, Legislative Office Building
HOUSE – Criminal Justice and Public Safety – HB 399-FN, relative to annulment of arrests or convictions for possession of 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana, or less
Why this matters: Two years ago, New Hampshire decriminalized possession of a 3/4 ounce or less of marijuana. This legislation seeks to expunge the records of those previously arrested or convicted for this now-decriminalized act. This is a common-sense step to ensure those who’ve been previously affected by this law, no longer have to be penalized for it.
Establishing a FITN Commission
Thursday, January 17th, 1:30PM / Election Law Committee / Room 308, Legislative Office Building
HOUSE – Election Law – HB 452, establishing a commission on the First in the Nation Presidential Primary
Why this matters: New Hampshire’s status as the First in the Nation Presidential Primary state is incredibly important. This bill would establish a commission that would work to ensure New Hampshire maintains this status as the FITN state for years to come.
35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast – Hollis
On MLK Day on Monday, January 21st, celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King with keynote speaker, Rev. Eric Jackson and Youth Speaker, Jamila- Ashanti Scales.
The breakfast is at Alpine Gove Banquet Facility in Hollis, from 8:30AM-11:30AM. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children and students. Children four and under can enter for free. Tickets at the door are $40.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration – Manchester
On MLK Day on Monday, January 21st, the NH Martin Luther King Coalition is sponsoring this annual event at the Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester to celebrate the continuation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.
The event starts at 2PM with a social hour, followed by a 2 hour celebration and awards ceremony beginning at 3PM. More details will be provided closer to the event.
Town meeting day is just a few short months away! At the beginning of each year Granite Staters vote on important local elected officials such as Selectman, Supervisors of the Checklist, Moderators, etc. These non partisan elections don’t get the attention that they deserve, and many positions go unopposed. If Democrats are not recruited to run for these positions, they cannot win! It us up to us to make sure we are recruiting Democrats to run for each and every position. In 2018 we elected over 600 Democrats to these critical offices. Let’s keep it going!
April Town Meeting – 4/9/19
Filing Period: February 20 – March 1, 2019
November Municipal Elections – 11/5/19
Filing Period: Varies by City
If you are interested in filing for office or have any questions about Town Meeting Day please reach out to our Political Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to even more Democratic victories in 2019, 2020 and beyond!
President Trump’s State of the Union will take place on Tuesday, January 29th at 9PM. And while his speech will definitely be filled with frustrating lies and his radical agenda, we hope you’ll join us by having some fun with it…
NHDP staff have compiled a State of the Union Watch Party in a Box to help Democratic committees and activists hold their own events! We have sample invitations, agendas, Trump bingo cards, and other planned activities to help make the event fun and memorable.
If you’re interested in getting these supplies, email email@example.com and we’ll set you up with everything you need!
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:
Kamala Harris (CA)
Beto O’Rourke (TX)
Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Joe Biden (DE)
Cory Booker (NJ)
Bernie Sanders (VT)
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Julian Castro (TX)
John Delaney (MD)
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/
Nashua Democratic City Committee
PO Box 632
Nashua NH 03061