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State House Watch February 23
2015 Issue 7A

The legislature is taking the week off, and we thought we’d be taking the week off from State House Watch right along with them.  Then the Senate Calendar came out a few days late, and we wanted to give you a brief update while there was plenty of time for you to take action. There’s still time to call your Senator and urge them to vote the way you want them to.

Find your Senator here

The Senate will be in session on Thursday, March 5.

On the Consent Calendar:

SB 53, repealing the interagency coordinating council for women offenders and expanding the membership and duties of the interbranch criminal and juvenile justice council. This council would include a former female inmate. This bill comes out of committee with a 5-0 OTP/A recommendation. The amendment stipulates that the warden of the women’s prison would be a member of the council.  We support this bill.

SB 197 would eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing. The committee voted unanimously to refer it back to committee for further deliberation, because it would affect all statutes, including murder and DUI.

On the Regular Calendar:

SB 47, repealing the payment of subminimum wages to persons with disabilities. This comes out of committee with a 5-0 recommendation of OTP.

SB 107, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union. This is the Senate version of right-to-work. It comes out of committee with a 3-2 vote of OTP.

SB 156, prohibiting discrimination against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Comes out of committee with a recommendation of OTP on a vote of 5-0.

SB 62, allowing people without a permanent address to apply for driver’s licenses the same way they are allowed to apply to register motor vehicles. Committee recommends OTP on a vote of 4-0.

SB 118  Arnie testified against this bill, which would tie registering for the Selective Service System to applying for or renewing a driver’s license or non-driver ID. Comes out of committee with a 3-1 recommendation of ITL.

SB 1, reducing the rate of the business profits tax. This bill would reduce the rate of the business profits tax incrementally, over a 3 year period. The fiscal note finds that this bill will decrease state revenue by over $10,000,000 in 2017, and at least $20,000,000 in the following years. The committee recommends OTP/A on a vote of 3-2.

SB 2, reducing the rate of the business enterprise tax. This bill would reduce the rate of the business enterprise tax incrementally over a 3 year period. The fiscal note finds that the bill would decrease state revenue by an estimated $7.5 million in 2017, by $18,150,000 in 2018, and $22,770,000 in 2019. The committee recommends OTP/A on a vote of 3-2.

If both bills pass, the reduction of revenue to the state general fund and education trust fund will be significant, and negatively impact the frail safety net and the ability of our state to function.

SB 215 This bill allows a taxpayer the option to receive a rebate of the research and development tax credit against business profits taxes. The rebate is 65% of the amount of the credit awarded. The fiscal note finds that the bill would have an indeterminable impact on state revenue.

SB 217, establishing a job creation tax credit against business enterprise taxes. The fiscal note finds that this bill will decrease state revenues by unknown amounts.

Coming up in Senate Committees

Monday, March 2

Commerce, Room 100, State House
1:00 PM  SB 52, establishing a commission to study the issue of residential tenancies in foreclosed properties.

Tuesday, March 3

Commerce, Room 100, SH
1:40 PM  SB 255, establishing a low-wage service worker task force. The task force would look at the impact of low wage service jobs on children, families and communities, as well as study the demographics and rate of poverty of workers in this sector.

Finance, Room 103, SH
2:05 PM  SB 261, establishing a state minimum wage. This bill stipulates that the wage would increase incrementally over a 3 year period. The minimum hourly wage would increase from the current rate of $7.25 to $8.25 in 2016, to $9.00 in 2017, and to $10.00 in 2018. We strongly support increasing the minimum wage, and wish we were more optimistic about the likelihood of it happening in this political climate.

We said we’d keep it brief! We’ll be back with the extended play version of State House Watch on March 6.

-Arnie Alpert and Maggie Fogarty

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AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord including housing, the death penalty, immigration, and labor rights.  We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, corrections policy, and more.  Click here for back issues.

The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change.  Arnie Alpert and Maggie Fogarty direct the New Hampshire Program, publish the newsletter, and co-host the “State House Watch” radio show on WNHN-FM.  Susan Bruce helps with research and writing.  Addy Simwerayi produces the radio show.  

"State House Watch" is made possible in part by a grant from the Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust.

Your donations make our work possible.  Click the “DONATE NOW” button on our web page to send a secure donation to support the work of the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program.  Thanks!