NH Legislature This Week—January 24, 2011

NH Legislature This Week—January 24, 2011

 

The Senate met last Wednesday but did not give notice in advance of what was on the agenda.   They passed SB1 which repeals the evergreen clause for state and local employees (Sen. Jim Luther is a cosponsor).  They also passed SB16 which would prevent SB2 towns from changing the intent of warrant articles except to zero the funding.

 

On Wednesday, the full House will be in session for the first time to vote on bills that came out of committee last week.  The full Senate is not scheduled to meet this week.

 

As always, there are many bills with hearing and votes, these are only the bills most likely to be of interest to a wide audience.

 

For anyone that is not familiar with the process of how a bill becomes law, we’ve written a summary at the end.

 

Hot Topics This Week:

Warrant articles, education, hemp, loaded weapons in vehicles, clean energy districts, tenure for judges, removing the pledge of allegiance to the US from the oath of office

 

Votes Cast Last Week:

 

SB1 (repeal of evergreen) was passed by the Senate by 19-5 along party lines with all Republicans votes in favor and all Democrats against (Sen. Jim Luther is a cosponsor).  This bill now goes to the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee (Rep. Jack Flanagan sits on this committee).

SB16 (warrant articles) was passed by the Senate by a voice vote.  The bill now goes to the House.

HB77 (no drastic changes to warrant articles for SB2 towns) passed  the House Municipal and County Government Committee 12-0.  (Rep. Jim Belanger sits on this committee)

 

House Session—Wednesday Jan 26h

 

The following bills will be voted on by the full House.

 

HB77— For SB2 towns, prevents deliberative sessions from changing the intent of a warrant article before it goes to the town for a vote, except that articles that attempt to fund something can have the dollar amount changed to zero.

 

Hearings and committee votes—Tuesday Jan 25th

House Education Committee (Rep. Carolyn Gargasz sits on this committee)

  • HB39 (common core standards).  Currently, the law specified certain core subject areas as being part of an adequate education.  This bill would remove “arts education”, “world languages”, “health education” and “technology education, and information and communication technologies” from the list.  10:30am LOB room 207.
  • At 2:00pm, the committee may vote on HB34 (education funding for 2012 and 2013). LOB room 207

 

House Environment and Agriculture Committee

  • At 1:00pm, the committee may vote on HB101 (industrial hemp)  LOB room 303.

 

House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee

  • HB194 (guns in cars) This bill repeals the law that makes it illegal to have a loaded gun or a cocked crossbow in a car, snowmobile, boat or aircraft.  2:30pm LOB room 308

 

House Municipal and County Government Committee (Rep. Jim Belanger sits on this committee)

  • HB144 (repeal of clean energy districts).  This bill repeals the law that allows towns to set up special funds for creating energy efficiency and clean energy districts.  Note that the committee may vote on this bill on Thursday—see below.  11:15am LOB room 301

 

Hearings and committee votes—Thursday Jan 27th

House Judiciary Committee

  • At 1:30pm, the committee may vote on CACR2 (tenure for judges)  LOB room 208

 

House Municipal and County Government Committee (Rep. Jim Belanger sits on this committee)

  • At 1:00pm, the committee may vote on HB144 (repealing clean energy districts)  LOB room 301

 

House State Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee

  • CACR4 (allegiance to the US) This bill changes the oath of office of state officers to remove the pledge of allegiance to the United States.  It also requires members of Congress from NH to take the oath of office specified for state officers, which includes a pledge to uphold the NH Constitution as well as the US Constitution. 9:30am LOB room 203

 

Note: “LOB” refers to the Legislative Office Building, which is immediately behind the statehouse.  Most committee hearings are held in this building.

 

Coming Up Next Week

Expanding the death penalty, setting a minimum size for a local union

 

A Brief guide to how legislation gets made

 

Bills introduced in the House:

1. Assigned to a committee and the committee holds a public hearing.

2. The committee votes to recommend that the bill be passed, changed, killed or sent to study

3. Regardless of the committee recommendation, all bills go to the full House which can pass, kill or change a bill or send it to study

4. If passed by the House, the bill goes to the Senate

5. Assigned to a Senate committee which then holds a public hearing

6. The Senate committee votes to recommend that the bill be passed, changed, killed or sent to study

7. Regardless of the committee recommendation, all bills go to the full Senate which can pass, kill or change a bill or send it to study

8. If passed by the Senate, the bill goes to the Governor who may sign the bill into law or veto it.

9. If the Governor vetoes the bill, it goes back to the House

10. If 2/3 of the House votes to override the veto then the bill goes back to the Senate

11. If 2/3 of the Senate votes to override the veto then the bill becomes law.

 

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:

1. Assigned to a committee and the committee holds a public hearing.

2. The committee votes to recommend that the CACR be passed, changed, killed or sent to study

3. Regardless of the committee recommendation, all CACRs go to the full House which can pass, kill or change a bill or send it to study.  Passing a CACR requires 60% of the House members present to vote in favor.

4. If passed by the House, the bill goes to the Senate

5. Assigned to a Senate committee which then holds a public hearing

6. The Senate committee votes to recommend that the bill be passed, changed, killed or sent to study

7. Regardless of the committee recommendation, all bills go to the full Senate which can pass, kill or change a bill or send it to study.  Passing a CACR requires 60% of the Senate members present to vote in favor.

8. If passed by the Senate, the CACR will put on the ballot at the next election (November 2012).  If 2/3 of the voters vote in favor of it, then it becomes part of the NH Constitution.

 

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.

 

Hollis, Brookline, Mason Reps:

 

Sen. Jim Luther   P: (603)271-2246   Jim.luther@leg.state.nh.us

Rep. Jim Belanger   P: (603)465-2301   Jim.belanger@leg.state.nh.us

Rep. Dick Drisko   P: (603)465-2517   driskorb@aol.com

Rep. Jack Flanagan   P: (603)672-7175   Jack.flanagan@leg.state.nh.us

Rep. Carolyn Gargasz   P: (603)465-7463   cgargasz@cs.com