NH Legislature This Week—April 16, 2018

NH Legislature This Week—April 16, 2018

Brought to you by the Brookline Democrats

www.BrooklineDemocrats.org

Quote of the Week

I’m runninDebora Pignatelli, who announced that she is running for Executive Council District 5.

Corrected Quote of the Previous Week

We do our best here to provide accurate and truthful reporting of the news at the state legislature, but, being humans, we sometimes make mistakes. In our last newsletter, we provided a quote from Senator Avard, but given the censored nature of our source material, we incorrectly ascribed the entire text to Senator Avard when only part of it should have been attributed to him. The correct quotation should have read:

<unknown person>: “The bureaucracy failed so perfectly it looks like it was planned right down to the ready to go crisis actors.” referring to the recent Parkland school shooting.

Senator Avard: Something surely stinks.

We regret the error, although we also note that the corrected version still seems to show Senator Avard agreeing with the statement.

Legislature is in the home stretch

The House will be meeting on Thursday to continue to vote on bills passed by the Senate. May 3rd is the deadline by which each chamber would like to complete voting on the bills proposed and passed by the other chamber. After this date, the only remaining bills will be those that were passed by both the House and the Senate in some form. If the same language is passed, then they go directly to Governor Sununu. However, if the language passed is different, then the House and Senate must come to an agreement or the bill dies. After May 3rd, the legislature will be dealing only with these bills where there are disagreements. May 24th is the final deadline, after which the legislature essentially goes home for the rest of the year.

Deb Pignatelli to run for Executive Council

Debora Pignatelli has publicly announced that she will be running against David Wheeler for the District 5 seat. District 5 includes Merrimack, Litchfield, Hudson and Nashua to the east, Weare and Hillsborough to the north and Swanzey and Richmond to the west. In her announcement, the former Executive Councilor pointed to her eight years on the Council as a strong advocate for the people, businesses and communities of the district. She advocated against unnecessary no-bid contracts and in favor of rail service to Nashua, open government and highly qualified judges. Emphasizing the need for Councilors with good judgment, Pignatelli criticized Wheeler for his votes against rail service, federal funding for Planned Parenthood and against a contract to provide funding to develop a 10-year Mental Health Plan. Voters can find out more and contact her through her campaign website, debpignatelli.com.

Governor’s race heats up

Former State Senator Molly Kelly has announced that she plans to run for Governor. She joins Steve Marchand in campaigning for the Democratic nomination to face off against Republican Governor Chris Sununu in November. Readers can find more information about the candidates at their campaign web sites, mollykelly.com and stevemarchand.com.

Hearing on voting domicile well attended

HB1264, which some argue is a poll tax in disguise, had a well attended hearing last week. The Senate Republicans had scheduled the hearing for a small room. When large, overflow crowds showed up, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn had to insist that the hearing be moved to a larger room. Testimony was almost entirely opposed to the bill except for testimony from Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who supports the changes.

Gender identity civil rights hearing scheduled Monday

HB1319, which would add “gender identity” to the state civil rights laws, will have a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday afternoon at 1:30 in room 100 of the Statehouse. If passed, it would prohibit discrimination against transgendered individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations. Twenty states already provide such protections and New Hampshire is the only state northeast of Pennsylvania without such protections. If all Democrats support the bill along with the Republican Senators who are sponsoring the bill, it should easily pass the Senate. As it has already been passed by the House, it would then go to Governor Sununu.

Two weeks ago, the House voted on the following bills:

SB313 extends the Medicaid expansion program under the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health insurance to millions of Granite Staters, for another 5 years. The House passed the bill with some amendments 222-125. Rep. Belanger voted in favor of the bill. Rep. Ammon and Lewicke voted against the bill. Rep. Carr and Gargasz had excused absences for the day.

This week, the House will vote on the following bills:

SB170 would allow towns to pass bonds to build broadband Internet access infrastructure. The bill was passed by the Senate on a voice vote. The Municipal and County Government Committee recommends that the bill be passed 16-0. The bill is on the consent calendar.

This week, the Senate will vote on the following bills:

HB1315 would prohibit University System funds from being spent to oppose the formation of unions and collective bargaining units. The bill passed the House 204-118. The Senate Finance Committee recommends that the bill be defeated 4-2.

HB587 would prohibit so called “conversion therapy” to change gay people into heterosexuals in “patients” under age 18. The “practice” is universally rejected by the professional medical associations as causing significant psychological damage. The bill was passed by the House 179-171. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recommends that the bill be passed 3-2.

HB1627 would prohibit the transmission of images or sounds of another person who is on private property or to conduct surveillance activity. The bill was passed by the House 175-159. The Senate Judiciary Committee recommends that the bill be sent to study, effectively defeating it, 2-1.

Senate Hearings for this week:

Senate Judiciary Committee (Statehouse room 100)

HB1319 would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Monday 1:30. A rally outside the Statehouse be held starting at 12:30.

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 brooklinedemocrats@gmail.com.

Watch and listen to House and Senate sessions live and archived

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/media/default.htm

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:

The bill is assigned to a committee and the committee holds a public hearing.

The committee either retains the bill or votes to recommend that the bill be passed (OTP), changed (OTPA), or defeated (ITL).

Except for retained bills, all other bills go to the full House which can pass, defeat, change a bill or send it to a second committee.

If sent to a second committee, the committee must then retain or recommend to pass, change or defeat the bill. It then goes back to the full House for a second vote.

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

The bill is assigned to a Senate committee which then holds a public hearing

The Senate committee either retains the bill or votes to recommend that the bill be passed (OTP), changed (OTPA), or defeated (ITL).

Except for retained bills, all other bills go to the full Senate which can pass, defeat, change a bill or send it to a second committee.

If sent to a second committee, the committee must then retain or recommend to pass, change or defeat the bill. It then goes back to the full Senate for a second vote.

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

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

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

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:

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

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

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.

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

Assigned to a Senate committee which then holds a public hearing

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

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.

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.

Where to Send Letters to the Editor:

Nashua Telegraph

letters@nashuatelegraph.com

Hollis Brookline Journal

cabnews@cabinet.com

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:

Sen. Kevin Avard (R) (603) 271-4151 Kevin.Avard@leg.state.nh.us

Nashua Wards 1, 2, 5, Hollis, Brookline, Mason, Greenville, New Ipswich, and Rindge

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

Hollis

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

Hollis

Rep. Keith Ammon (R) P: (603)296-9879 Keith.Ammon@leg.state.nh.us

Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Boston

Rep. John Carr (R) P: (603)673-3603 john.carr@leg.state.nh.us

Brookline and Mason

Rep. John Lewicke (R) P: (603) 878-2610 Lewicke@yahoo.com

Brookline and Mason