State House Watch: April 1, 2023

By Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke

A budget is a moral document

The NH House will vote next week on the state budget. Join AFSC and the NH Campaign for a People's Budget to advocate for investments in education, housing, healthcare, state workers and more. AFSC

“We have been taught to fear the very things that have the potential to set us free.” ― Alok Vaid-Menon

April 1, 2023

Dear State House Watchers,

With joy, gratitude, solidarity, and resolve, we celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, which was observed internationally on March 31. We will keep showing up, today and forever, to say that transgender rights are human rights. And we’ll see you on April 18 at the State House. Here are some good resources for our ongoing learning and engagement.

The week began with another horrifying act of violence that shattered families, a school, and a community. What can we possibly say to those whose dear ones died in Nashville? Or in any of the 130 mass shootings so far in 2023? Or the 648 mass shootings in 2022, or the 692 in 2021? When will our anguish transform the chaos of violence into collective actions for peace and safety, including commonsense gun laws? We are grateful for the ongoing work of GunSense NH, the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, and all who labor at the state and federal level for an end to these preventable tragedies.

Many NH municipalities met for Town Meeting on March 28, having had to postpone due to winter storms on the original date of March 14. You can find the results of the 2023 town meeting votes here, and a summary of the good news for public education here. To learn more about the history of this important democratic tradition, we recommend this resource on the NH Municipal Association website.

State Budget News

After multiple days of executive session, the House Finance Committee voted to approve their proposed state budget (HB 1 and HB 2). On April 6, the full House will vote on the proposal. We are relieved to see some positive news, including that the much needed 10% pay raise for state workers proposed by the governor is still in, and that committee members reduced the funding for a new state prison by $40 million. There is bad news, however, including funding for the harmful and unnecessary Northern Border Alliance, increases for ‘education freedom accounts,’ inequitable changes to school funding formulas, a faster repeal date for the interest & dividends tax, and significant reductions in funding for affordable housing.

Read more here:
NH House Budget Writers Approve $15.7 Billion Biennium Budget (InDepthNH, March 29, 2023)
House budget plan clears committee along party lines (Union Leader, March 30, 2023)
Citing a surplus, House Republicans propose dramatically reducing Education Trust Fund revenues (NH Bulletin, March 30, 2023)
Dems oppose budget headed to the House. Will that risk state pay raises? (NH Bulletin, March 29, 2023)
Repeal of Interest and Dividends Tax disproportionately benefits wealthy NH households (Phil Sletten, NH Bulletin, March 30, 2023)

Here are some opportunities to learn more in advance of Thursday’s vote:
Monday, April 3, 12 noon to 1 PM: What’s Next for Public Education – Unpacking the House Finance Committee’s Recommended Budget, hosted by Reaching Higher NH. Registration is required.
Tuesday, April 4 at 10:30 AM: Examining the State Budget: Understanding the House Finance Committee’s Proposal, hosted by the NH Fiscal Policy Institute. Registration is required.
Tuesday, April 4 at 1 PM: Budget briefing for House members in Reps Hall. We expect that we’ll be able to watch it here.


Join the NH Campaign for a People’s Budget to call for a state budget that invests in affordable housing, public education, health care and state workers, and divests from prison expansion and misuse of police for immigration enforcement. We are still finalizing details, but please mark your calendars to join us at the State House on Tuesday, April 4 (12:30 PM to 1:30 PM), Wednesday, April 5 (time TBD), and especially Thursday, April 6 (8 AM to 9 AM, and 12 noon to 3 PM). Your presence is important for this key moment in state budget negotiations.

We will send a separate state budget action alert on April 3 with more information and ways to engage, but you can reach out now to your own Representatives to share your concerns and priorities for the state budget vote on April 6.

Support SB 263-FN, extending the New Hampshire granite advantage health care program and reestablishing the commission to evaluate the effectiveness and future of the New Hampshire granite advantage health care program. This bill would permanently reauthorize expanded Medicaid, a program which, since its inception in 2014, has helped more than 219,000 people access vital health care services. Public hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, April 4 at 11:15 AM in LOB, 205-207. Sign in here to support.

Support HB 49-FN-A, relative to postponing the closure of the Sununu Youth Services Center. This bill would replace the 144-bed Sununu Center with a smaller therapeutic facility. Read more here and here. Public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 4 at 1 PM in Room 100, State House. Sign in here to support.

Support HB 224-FN, repealing the criminal and civil penalties from the fetal life protection act. Public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, April 6 at 1 PM in Room 100, State House. Sign in here to support.

Support HB 88, relative to reproductive rights. Public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, April 6 at 1:30 PM in Room 100, State House. Sign in here to support.

Support HB 430-FN-LOCAL, relative to applications for the education freedom accounts program. This bill limits applications for the Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) to students who are presently enrolled in public schools for at least one year or who will be entering kindergarten or first grade. The House passed this bill on February 23, and referred it to the Finance Committee which has recommended ITL. The full House will vote again on April 6. Please contact your Representative and urge them to pass the bill once again.

Support HB 639-FN-A, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor. The full House will vote on this measure on April 6. Please contact your Representative and urge them to pass the bill. And you can sign and share this action alert from ACLU as well.

Immigration News

We’re sorry to see that the NH Senate voted (again) to approve SB 132, an anti-immigrant proposal that would require local law enforcement to engage in immigration enforcement activities. Read more here. If it becomes law, the bill will undo more than a decade of work by immigrants, faith leaders and others with law enforcement to reduce racial profiling and support community safety. We’ll need your support to defeat this bill when it gets to the House.

In addition, NH Commissioner of Safety Robert Quinn headed to Washington, DC this week to testify at a Congressional hearing about a so-called “northern border crisis” and to talk about Governor Sununu’s proposal for a Northern Border Alliance. You can watch the hearing here, and his interview with Fox News the day before. Read more at InDepthNH: Safety Commissioner Quinn Wants Immigration Power for State Police.

The Boston Globe reported yesterday on the fact that neither the governor nor the NH Department of Safety has been able to produce any data in support of their claim that border crossings or apprehensions of unauthorized migrants have increased at NH’s northern border: Sununu’s proposal to increase border patrol under fire. We urge our Representatives to eliminate the funding ($1.4 million) for this ill-conceived, unnecessary, and xenophobic proposal in the state budget.

We are grateful to all who submitted comments in opposition to the Biden Administration’s proposed asylum ban. The public comment period ended on March 27, but we can still let our Members of Congress know that the lives of migrants and their right to seek asylum must be protected. You can use the public comments we submitted as messaging guidance: NH Immigrant Rights Network, and AFSC. The terrible news of at least 41 deaths at an immigration detention center in Ciudad Juarez earlier this week is a heart-wrenching reminder of the cruelty of our current policies. Read more here.

Join the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network for an interfaith prayer vigil and Jericho walk on Tuesday, April 4 at 9 AM at the Norris Cotton Federal Building (ICE headquarters), 275 Chestnut Street, Manchester. The vigil will be followed by a Network meeting at Blessed Sacrament, 14 Elm Street, Manchester. All are welcome.

Beyond the Dome

Concerns continue to mount regarding the lack of affordable housing in the state, an issue that impacts everyone, especially low-income households and people currently living in homeless shelters and hotels. Read more here. We appreciate the message from Max Latona, head of the Center for Ethics and Society at St. Anselm College, who spoke last week at an annual breakfast hosted by Neighborworks Southern NH: “I would submit to you today that the affordable housing problem is indeed deserving of widespread moral outrage and that the reason that it deserves widespread moral outrage is that the affordable housing problem is not just a lamentable unfortunate state of affairs, but is rather a moral wrong, an injustice that is causing a vast amount of unnecessary suffering.Read more here. We reiterate the importance of restoring the affordable housing funds to the state budget next week.

Dartmouth College revealed a painful truth this week that the skeletal remains of Native Americans were among their collection and had been utilized until recently in some of their college courses: Native American remains wrongfully used in teaching labs, says Dartmouth College. From university president, Philip Hanlon: “I am deeply saddened by what we’ve found on our campus. On behalf of Dartmouth, I sincerely apologize to our entire community…This is an extremely painful discovery, especially for Native American and Indigenous students and alumni, and for the faculty and staff who believed in good faith that they were not teaching with ancestral remains in their classrooms and labs.” Read more about the ongoing work to repatriate the remains of Indigenous peoples as investigated by ProPublica.

Last Week at the State House

The Senate passed the Child Care for NH Working Families Act (SB 237), which will expand eligibility for the child care scholarship program, establish a child care workforce program, and provide vital funding for child caregiver supports and early childhood education scholarships. As this bill requires state funding, the Senate has decided to hold onto it and work to include this important priority into the state budget. Learn more and take action here.

The Senate also passed, then tabled, SB 145, which would create a housing champion designation and launch a new municipal technical assistance, recognition, and grants program within the Department of Business and Economic Affairs. From Housing Action NH: The program would incentivize improvements to zoning and regulations, local land use board members training, water/sewer and other infrastructure improvements through grant opportunities. As with other budget priorities, the Senate tabled the item after passage and will be reintroduced as an amendment to the budget.

LOB – Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St. Concord)
SH – State House (107 N. Main St. Concord)
TABLED – Laid on the table. A vote to put the bill ‘on the table’ means that no further action will be taken until the bill comes off the table. A 2/3 vote may be required to remove the bill from the table. After Crossover, tabled bills cannot be acted on for the remainder of the legislative year.
OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment

OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment.
ITL can also be used as a verb.
RE-REFER – When a Senate committee wishes to hold onto a bill for further consideration. The recommendation to re-refer must be approved in the full Senate. The committee will have until the end of the calendar year to meet about the bill and make a recommendation for further action.
RETAIN – When a House committee wishes to hold onto a bill for further consideration. The committee makes this decision for themselves; approval in the full House is not needed. The committee has until the end of the calendar year to make a recommendation for further action.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote. Occurs when the speaker listens for whether yay or nay is louder (no votes are counted).
DV – Division vote. Votes are counted but names aren't recorded.
WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION - This indicates that the committee vote was a tie for both ITL and OTP.  During the House session, these bills will be considered first as Ought to Pass.

Last week in the Senate

The Senate was in session on Thursday, March 30. Here are the outcomes on the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar


HB 365, relative to a statewide facility condition assessment for school buildings. As introduced this bill encourages school districts to provide the Department of Education with long range capital improvement program outlines. This bill’s intent is to enhance school facility projects and school capital expenditure through recommending that each district has a long-range capital improvement plan, which would be reviewed and updated by the district every 2 years, that can be provided to the department of education in order to assess priority and to plan anticipated capital construction and renovation expenditures, relative to the state building aid program. OTP by VV.
HB 466, relative to water bottle filling stations in schools. OTP by VV.

SB 224, relative to housing opportunity zones and inclusionary zoning. This bill would have done two things: allowed municipalities the option of drafting their own zoning ordinances to require affordable units as part of new construction and update the criteria for the adoption of housing opportunity zones by a municipality to ensure that the economic viability of a development is maintained and housing units for low- and moderate-income families are available. The Committee determined that some further development of the language would be helpful to ensure these tools are effective for our towns and cities. Re-referred to Committee by VV.

SB 54-FN, relative to purchased power agreements for electric distribution utilities. This bill encourages the development of reliable, low-cost electricity by allowing investor-owned electric distribution utilities to enter into long-term power purchasing agreements with producers. OTP-A by VV.
SB 62, relative to landowner liability under RSA 147-B, the hazardous waste cleanup fund. This bill clarifies when a landowner is liable under RSA 147-B for hazardous waste and substances on their land. OTP by VV.
SB 165, relative to the online energy data platform. This bill would require electrical utilities to jointly file with the Department of Energy, the Office of the Consumer Advocate, and a commission created by the bill, a proposal for an online platform which would publish information on New Hampshire energy prices. This platform would make the energy market more transparent to consumers. Re-referred to Committee by VV.

SB 82, relative to prompt payments for managed care. OTP by VV.
SB 116, relative to discharge from the secure psychiatric unit of the state prison. Re-referred to Committee by VV.

CACR 9, relating to the New Hampshire presidential primary. Providing that the New Hampshire presidential primary will be the first presidential primary of a presidential election cycle.
OTP by RC, 23-0.
SB 133-FN, relative to changing the date of the state primary election and creating runoff election for federal primary election. Re-referred to Committee by VV.
SB 222, relative to the definition of broadband infrastructure as a revenue-producing facility eligible for municipal revenue bonds. OTP-A by VV.

SB 36-FN, relative to systems of care for healthy aging. Tabled by VV.
SB 86-FN, relative to health care workforce development and making appropriations therefor.
Tabled by VV.
SB 104-FN-A, to regulate online gambling and direct net proceeds to a community college education scholarship fund. OTP/A by RC, 12-11.
SB 132-FN, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies. OTP by RC, 13-10.
SB 140-FN, relative to establishing a program for the recruitment of educators. Tabled by VV.
SB 145-FN, relative to New Hampshire housing champion designation for municipalities and making appropriations therefor. Voted OTP and then Tabled by VV, to be reintroduced later as an amendment to the state budget.
SB 218-FN-A, establishing an early educator professional development grant. OTP by VV.
SB 237-FN, relative to the childcare scholarship program and making an appropriation therefor.
Voted OTP and then Tabled by VV, to be reintroduced later as an amendment to the state budget.
SB 239-FN, relative to the use of harm reduction services to treat alcohol and other substance misuse. OTP by VV.
SB 241-FN, relative to graduated public assistance programs. Tabled by VV.
SB 242-FN, relative to Medicaid direct certification. Tabled by VV.

SB 238-FN, relative to the use of telemedicine to treat mental health conditions. After votes on floor amendments, Senator Soucy moved to divide the question on the motion of Ought to Pass as Amended: Sections 2, 4, 6, and 7 and then the remainder of the bill; the Chair ruled the question Divisible. Both sections were voted OTP/A by RC (23-0 and 13-10).

SB 58, relative to arrests without a warrant while in the care of a medical professional on the premises of a residential care or health care facility. OTP/A by RC, 14-9.
SB 246, relative to disclosure of post-arrest photographs under the right to know law. Re-referred to Committee by VV.
HB 151, establishing a committee to study the issue of unmarried cohabitants, domestic partnerships, and common law marriage. OTP by VV.
HB 240, relative to equal access to marriage. OTP by VV.

Coming up in the House

The House will meet on Thursday, April 6 at 9 AM, which is Crossover Day, the deadline to act on all House bills. A budget briefing from the Finance Committee for House members is also scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 at 1 PM. in Representatives Hall.

On the Consent Calendar


HB 269-FN, relative to limiting the authority of New Hampshire delegates to policymaking conventions. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 25-0.
HB 379-FN, (New Title) requiring notice be provided to tenants during residential eviction proceedings regarding legal counsel. This bill adds a sentence to eviction notices that legal assistance may be available to indigent tenants and how to seek assistance. No fiscal impact. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 25-0.

HB 445-FN, relative to the operational funds of OPLC. Committee recommends OTP-A by a vote of 18-1.

On the Regular Calendar

HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures (the state budget trailer bill). Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 14-11.
HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025 (the state budget). Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 14-11.
HB 46-FN, (New Title) establishing a committee to study replacement of bail commissioners with court magistrates. This creates a committee of three representatives and one senator to review whether bail commissioners should be replaced or supplemented by court magistrates and assess the following: What are the benefits and problems with the current bail commissioner system? How could a court magistrate system be structured? Should court magistrates be used to replace bail commissioners? Should court magistrates be used to supplement bail commissioners? No financial impact. The amendment fixes a typo. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 21-3.
HB 74-FN, relative to an employee’s unused earned time. This bill would mandate that employers with 15 or more employees offering vacation time pay employees for unused vacation time at the termination of their employment. The main reason this bill is needed is to prevent an employee from losing time they’ve earned under circumstances that may be beyond their control. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 13-11.
HB 234-FN, relative to renewable energy credits. This bill is designed to end the practice of Renewable Energy Credit (REC) sweeping, a provision in statute that authorizes state seizure of renewable energy property, without the knowledge of, or any compensation to, NH businesses and residents. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 13-12.
HB 250-FN, relative to the accidental death benefit payable to a group II member. For over 50 years government employees’ beneficiaries have received a pension of 50% when the employee dies accidentally or is killed on the job. This bill doubles that to 100% and expands the benefit to all government employees. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 25-0.
HB 330-FN-A, relative to the national guard recruitment incentive program and its funding and rulemaking. This bill raises the enlistment bonus from $500 to $1,000. The rulemaking for recruitment is removed, so that recruiters can make changes more quickly. Also, the fines collected in the military court will be dedicated to the enlistment incentive fund to minimize state costs. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 25-0.
HB 337-FN, relative to directing the office of professional licensure and certification to provide notice of public meetings and an opportunity for comment from the public. This bill requires more transparency by boards, councils and commissions associated with the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC). They will give two weeks’ notice of meetings, and one week notice of meeting materials, and will take written and oral comments from the public. No significant financial impact. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 25-0.
HB 364-FN, relative to transportation for students attending career and technical education centers. This bill authorizes the Department of Education to reimburse from its regular budget the full cost of transportation in an amount based upon a formula using type of vehicle, mileage, and number of trips made for (a) regional career and technical education (CTE) students who attend regional career and technical centers; and for (b) at-risk students who attend alternative education programs located at a regional career and technical education center or other comprehensive high school. The sending district shall be responsible for providing transportation and paying the transportation costs and shall then be reimbursed from state funds. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 25-0.
HB 430-FN-LOCAL, relative to applications for the education freedom accounts program. This bill limits applications for the Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) to students who are presently enrolled in public schools for at least one year or who will be entering kindergarten or first grade. Information from the NH Department of Education reports 3,200 students currently enrolled in the EFA program and of that number, only 100 students made the decision to leave a public school because of the availability of an EFA. The vast majority of children securing an EFA already are attending a private school or an alternative. The existing law has enabled a taxpayer-funded private tuition rebate program and this bill would restore the original purpose of providing choice only for children in public schools. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 13-12.
HB 504-FN, relative to the adult parole board and making an appropriation therefor. This bill contains two sections. The first section creates a process and a remuneration policy to allow prior parole board members to serve as substitutes when the need arises. The compensation was $300/day. The second section increases the pay rate from $20,000 to $30,000 for general members and from $20,000 to $40,000 for the vice chair. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 20-5.
HB 534-FN-A, relative to water assistance for natural disasters. This bill creates a new fund administered by the Department of Environmental Services (DES) to help repair drinking water facilities affected by natural disasters and seeds the fund with $5 million. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 13-12.
HB 576-FN-A-LOCAL, (New Title) relative to administration of a commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program in a clean energy efficiency and clean energy district. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 21-4.
HB 626-FN, requiring the department of education to administer the education freedom account. Under current law, EFAs are administered by a private contractor that retains 10% of each EFA allocated to an individual student account. Most students with an EFA were not even attending public schools when they applied to the program and instead were already going to private or home schools at no cost to taxpayers. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 13-12.

HB 25-A, making appropriations for capital improvements. The capital budget provides bonded funding for statewide capital improvements including construction, repairs, and investments in state-owned buildings, state facilities and parks. Such improvements aim to maintain and strengthen our state’s non-highway transportation, building, and technological infrastructure. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 17-1.

HB 639-FN-A, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 16-4.

Coming up in House Committees

Monday, April 3

Room 302-304, LOB
9:30 AM SB 40, relative to participation in net energy metering by small hydroelectric generators.
10 AM SB 68-FN, relative to municipal host for purposes of limited electrical energy producers. 10:30 AM SB 69-FN, relative to allowing certain nonprofits to participate as a customer-generator group hosts under net energy metering
11 AM SB 79, relative to the participation of customer generators in net energy metering.

Tuesday, April 4

Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM SB 32-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund.
10 AM SB 34-FN, relative to the controlled drug prescription health and safety program.
11:15 AM SB 263-FN, extending the New Hampshire granite advantage health care program and reestablishing the commission to evaluate the effectiveness and future of the New Hampshire granite advantage health care program.

Wednesday, April 5

Room 202-204, LOB
9:30 AM SB 249-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial.
10 AM SB 252-FN, relative to release of a defendant pending trial.
11 AM Executive Session on SB 249-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial, SB 252-FN, relative to release of a defendant pending trial; continued Executive Session on SB 244-FN, relative to false public alarms; SB 245, relative to the inspection of hotel guest records

10 AM SB 203, relative to the composition and jurisdiction of the manufactured housing board.
11 AM SB 208, relative to online access to state information on economic relief disbursements.

Coming up in the Senate

The full Senate will not be in session next week. The next voting day is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, 2023.

Coming up in Senate Committees

Tuesday, April 4

Room 100, SH
9:20 AM HB 595-FN, relative to the oversight of the public deposit investment pool.

9:15 AM HB 275-L, relative to schools approved for a school tuition program by a school board. 9:30 AM HB 349, relative to a special purpose school district for Bridgewater, Hebron, and Groton.
9:45 AM HB 452, relative to the department of education procedures for school building aid applications.
10 AM HB 207-FN, relative to school district unanticipated funds.

, Room 103, LOB
9 AM HB 203, relative to publication of annual county budgets.
9:30 AM HB 284, relative to financial information regarding requests for bids and proposals and to raise the minimum value of county purchases of equipment or materials which are subject to competitive bidding.
9:45 AM HB 392-FN, relative to constitutional convention procedures for delegates.

9:15 AM HB 56, relative to permits for the siting of new landfills.
9:30 AM HB 219-FN, relative to certain public utilities statutes.

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
1 PM HB 555-FN-A, appropriating state general fund surplus toward the retirement system unfunded accrued liability.

1 PM HB 49-FN-A, relative to postponing the closure of the Sununu Youth Services Center.
1:45 PM HB 497-FN, relative to the confidentiality of records within the division of children, youth, and families.
2:30 PM HB 135-FN, prohibiting no-knock warrants

1:20 PM HB 198-FN, modifying the new resident drivers’ license transfer requirement.

Wednesday, April 5

Room 103, SH
10 AM HB 461-FN, relative to elimination by political subdivision employers of a retirement system position.

9 AM HB 342-FN, relative to lead testing in children.
9:30 AM HB 613-FN, relative to regulation of the individual health insurance market under RSA 404-G.
9:45 AM HB 642-FN, relative to wait list registry and budget flexibility for services for the developmentally disabled.

Thursday, April 6

Room 103, SH
10:20 AM HB 127, relative to the declaration of a state of emergency.

1 PM. HB 224-FN, repealing the criminal and civil penalties from the fetal life protection act. 1:30 PM. HB 88, relative to reproductive rights.

Job Opportunities

City Year New Hampshire is recruiting young adults to serve as tutors and mentors in Manchester schools! Student Success Coaches provide students with critical support and receive incredible benefits themselves. Application deadline is May 5. Apply here or nominate someone.

Coalition Meetings

Much of the work we do happens through coalitions which enable us to stay informed, deepen our analysis, build power, grow our capacity and creativity and sustain our engagement.

NH Campaign for a People’s Budget – Meets monthly via Zoom on the first Friday at 10 AM. Hosted by AFSC. A diverse coalition of activists, advocates, faith leaders and others dedicated to realizing a state budget that invests in our communities’ health, education, recovery, opportunity, and vitality, funded by fair and adequate taxation that invites all of us to contribute to the common good in accordance with our ability to pay. Contact us at to learn more or to join.

NH Immigrant Rights Network – Meets monthly via Zoom on the third Tuesday at 9 AM. Hosted by AFSC. A network of New Hampshire organizations and individuals working to promote humane immigration policies at the federal, state, and local level, including the Drive Safe NH team which is leading the advocacy for driver license access for immigrants. Contact us at to learn more or to join.
NH Abolition Network – Meets monthly on the third Monday of the month at 6 PM.  Gathers monthly to build relationships with partners across the state, deepen our understanding of abolition, and collaborate for justice in different parts of the criminal legal system, including with state legislative advocacy. Contact us at to learn more or to join.

NH Care Over Cost Monthly MeetingMeets monthly on the third Thursday of the month, 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by RAD. Join our New Hampshire Healthcare team for a monthly virtual meeting, where we'll discuss denials of medical treatments and medications and the appeals process to overturn denials of care. Find out ways we can help in your approach, learn to help others, and come together in a unifying mission to expose the greedy practices of large corporations that are profiting from our healthcare needs when we need a helping hand the most.

NH Medicaid Patients Community Meeting - Meets monthly on the first Thursday of the month, 6 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by RAD. Do you use Medicaid health insurance in New Hampshire? With the end of the federal Public Health Emergency, changes are coming that may impact what you need to do to maintain your coverage. Join us for a monthly meeting for anyone trying to keep continuous Medicaid coverage. We will talk about the latest updates and rule changes and listen to the issues that are arising for folks, both in general and with new programs rolling out. We will do our best to get your questions answered and will share helpful resources for more information.

GSOP Tenant Clinic (for NH Residents) – Meets weekly on Wednesdays, 1 PM to 4 PM. 1045 Elm Street, Suite 201 in Manchester. Hosted by Granite State Organizing Project. Anyone experiencing housing issues is welcome to stop by for info on renters' rights, how to apply for emergency assistance, help with conditions issues, tenancy concerns, questions and more. Call Jessica Margeson at 603-668-8250 for more information.

Umokuumani – Meets bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 6 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Black & African immigrants’ circle to connect, learn, collaborate, and share important information about immigration in the US and NH, and opportunities for action. Open to Black & African immigrants only. Contact us at to learn more or to join.

Change for Concord – Meets weekly on Fridays at 6 PM. Hosted by C4C. A diverse group of young adults, ages 18-30, who are working together to improve the quality of life for young adults in the Concord community. Contact us at, to learn more or to join.

Upcoming Events

Sign up for the DEI workplace innovation challenge hosted by NH Businesses for Social Responsibility.

The Refugee Leadership Development Program provides monthly workshops to refugee and immigrant organizers across the United States. Led by refugees for refugees, this training series is an opportunity to learn more about advocacy tactics being used to advance pro-refugee / pro-immigrant policy on the state and national level, story-telling and narrative shifting, and connecting with resources and local networks to build more welcoming and inclusive communities. Participants who attend a minimum of 3 workshops will receive a Certificate of Participation by We Are All America. Similarly, those who attend every training will be gifted a Certificate of Completion, where the alum of our program will be invited to co-facilitate or propose future workshops.

Monday, April 3

What's Next for Public Education: Unpacking the House Finance Committee's Recommended Budget - 12 PM to 1 PM. Hosted by Reaching Higher NH. Join us for a briefing on the House Finance Committee's recommendations for the state budget. The House Finance Committee has finalized their recommendations for the 2024-2025 state budget, which include an expansion of the school voucher program, changes to the newly proposed school funding formula that Governor Sununu introduced in February, as well as a new section that would reduce the state's contribution to the Education Trust Fund. Join us to learn more about what's in the House Finance Committee's proposal and how it will affect students and schools next year and beyond.

Tuesday, April 4

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Justice – 9 AM, Manchester. Join the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network for an interfaith prayer vigil and Jericho walk at the Norris Cotton Federal Building (ICE headquarters), 275 Chestnut Street, Manchester. The vigil will be followed by a Network meeting at Blessed Sacrament, 14 Elm Street, Manchester. All are welcome.

2023 Survey Results of Young Granite Staters - 7:30 AM to 9 AM. Bank of New Hampshire Stage, Concord. Hosted by Stay Work Play. The world is a very different place than it was in 2017, when Stay Work Play first commissioned a survey of young Granite Staters. How has the pandemic and all that has resulted from it changed how young people feel about New Hampshire? What do they say that they like most about New Hampshire? What might cause them to leave? And perhaps most importantly, what can we do about it? Join us to learn more about the data-rich results of a quality of life survey of under-40 Granite Staters conducted on Stay Work Play's behalf in January 2023 by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center.

Women's Leadership in Public Service – 5:30 PM to 7 PM. UNH MUB Strafford Room (level 2), 83 Main Street, Durham. Hosted by New Hampshire Women’s Foundation and UNH Political Science. Join us for a roundtable discussion with elected leaders at UNH in Durham. New Hampshire Women’s Foundation CEO Tanna Clews will be joined by Representative Jess Gill, Assistant Mayor Joanna Kelley and Representative Marjorie Smith to discuss on how women can lead in their communities through public service.

Milk with Dignity Organizing Tour Stop - 6 PM to 8 PM. Memorial Union Building (3rd floor room 338/340), University of New Hampshire, Durham. Hosted by Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante. Immigrant dairy workers are traveling across the northeast this spring to connect with supporters and take action for Milk with Dignity! Farmworker organization Migrant Justice is calling on grocery chain Hannaford supermarkets to source its store-brand milk from farms where workers' human rights are independently monitored and protected, and the long-term interests of farm owners are supported. Join us to learn more about the rampant abuses that workers face on dairy farms and the powerful organizing they are doing to improve conditions and protect their rights. During this organizing meeting, you will hear directly from farmworkers, learn about the Milk with Dignity Program, take collective action, and gain the tools you need to join this inspiring struggle for human rights.

Friday, April 7

Walking Stations of the Cross – 12 noon, in Manchester. A walking Stations of the Cross service on Manchester's West Side. Fourteen stations that follow Jesus' journey to crucifixion are physical locations that show the suffering of our neighbors. This memorable, experiential service will begin at noon on Good Friday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 102 Main Street, Manchester, and end around 2:30 PM. The walk is 1.4 miles.

Good Friday Vigil: Stop Making Assault Weapons - 4 PM. 2 Pease Boulevard, Newington. Hosted by Community Church of Durham, UCC. On Good Friday, we gather in prayerful protest, to call on Sig Sauer and other manufacturers to stop making and selling the deadly assault weapons that cause such pain, suffering and chaos in American schools, public places and communities. Join us for prayer and protest, as we remember the suffering of Christ and so many of our siblings and families across the country. "No more!"

Reimagining Self-care: A Community Conversation - 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Arlington Street Community Center, 36 Arlington Street, Nashua. Hosted by the Chewlin Group. A free community conversation around redefining self-care and applying a critical lens to the ways we that take care of our minds and bodies. This three-session series begins April 7. Each date is its own stand-alone session. Registration can be found here.

Saturday, April 8

Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival & Forum – Finale! – 1 PM. Hosted by The Black Quaker Project. Final Saturday of the 2023 Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival & Forum, a groundbreaking exploration of Black Friends who made a difference throughout both USA and world history. Paul Robeson - Tribute to an Artist (1978) and The Proud Valley (1940) – Celebrating Paul Robeson’s 125th Birthday

Monday, April 10

The Beauties & the Beasts of NH Environment, Energy & Climate Bills  - 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM. Hosted by NH Network for Environment-Energy-Climate. Join us for an evening with three prominent NH legislators and two scientists to discuss “the Beauties” and “the Beasts” – the environment, energy and climate bills that have survived committee, House or Senate to “cross over” to the other chamber of the Legislature. Of special concern this year is the threat of toxic pollution from “Advanced Recycling.”  Scientists Walter and Ellickson will explain the science of measuring cumulative effects, which could make a difference in legislation to provide safeguards for new (and old) technologies. We’ll discuss bills that should be supported, those to oppose, and why.

The Newly Passed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP Act: What State & Local Partners Need to Know - 3 PM. Hosted by A Better Balance. Join us for a webinar about the newly passed federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act. This webinar is designed for state and local partners and allies in the gender & women’s rights, racial justice, economic justice, maternal and infant health, labor, and social services spaces (among others!). Come learn what you should know about these new laws, including what they do, how they work, the significance of the laws, interaction with other federal/state/local laws, what’s next, and more!

Tuesday, April 11

Meeting Global Skills and Talent Needs in Changing Labor Markets - 10 AM. Hosted by Migration Policy Institute. As demographic pressures, technological advances, economic shifts, and pandemic disruptions rapidly reshape labor markets in the United States and globally, the resulting labor shortages and skills gaps are sparking conversations about the role that immigration could serve.

Sunday, April 16

Love’s Gonna Carry Us: A Singalong Concert – 4 PM. 11 Oxbow Pond Road, Canterbury. Hosted by Concord Friends Meeting. Join us for a benefit concert for the Asylum Seeker Support Fund featuring Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, creators of “Rise Up Singing” and “Rise Again” songbooks. Annie & Peter’s songbooks have created a quiet revolution of group singing across North America. This concert offers a rare opportunity to meet the creators of these popular songbooks and experience their gifts of nurturing community and resilience through song.

Tuesday, April 18

Testify against forced outing (SB 272)! - 9 AM. Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St. Concord. Hosted by 603Equality, Granite State Progress. Join us to hold signs in front of the State House at 9 AM, then sign in to testify against SB 272, the other so-called "parental bill of rights" that passed the Senate. This is now the last anti-LGBTQ bill standing, and it will take a lot to defeat it in the House. Now that the bill has gone from the Senate to the House, the whole process (public hearing, committee recommendation, full house vote) starts all over again. LBBTQ+ children matter and need safe and trusted adults. Forcing anyone to come out to anyone before they're ready is wrong. Full stop.

Defining a Faithful Farm Bill to Protect our Climate - 1 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join AFSC and partners for the latest in our series of webinars on the Farm Bill. This month we will focus on advocating for a faithful Farm Bill that protects our climate. We will also learn how faith communities can urge Congress to champion a climate-conscious, faithful, and just transition in our food and agriculture system.

Saturday, April 29

Unitarian Universalist Action of New Hampshire Annual Gathering: Equity and Justice in a Changing Climate – 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. 274 Pleasant St Concord. Hosted by Universalist Church of Concord. Join fellow Unitarian Universalist from around the state as we gather for our annual meeting, morning keynote and panel open to all. The day will include: morning worship, a plenary discussion, congregation showcase, keynote speaker, fellowship, food, and more.

Be well,

Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke 

AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord which relate to racial, social, and economic justice. Bookmark: to read current and past newsletters. 

The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change. Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke staff the New Hampshire Program which publishes this newsletter. You can support our work by donating to the NH Program online or by sending a check payable to: AFSC-NH, 4 Park Street #304, Concord NH 03301. Thank you!