State House Watch: April 6, 2024

By Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke, and Kathleen Wooten

I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. – Audre Lorde

April 6, 2024

Greetings, State House Watchers!

On Monday, April 8 a solar eclipse will occur across North America and will be visible in total or in part all over New Hampshire. Celestial events mean different things for different cultures. For some Native American nations, a solar eclipse marks a sacred time. Learn more about some of these traditions and practices from ICT News. Read more about the eclipse from NPR. However you choose to observe this celestial event, let it be a reminder that we all exist under the same sun and moon, and all of us deserve a chance to live our lives fully, not fighting to survive violence and exploitation.

A heavy snowstorm disrupted business at the State House on Thursday, April 4. Multiple House committees rescheduled their hearings, and the Senate postponed their voting session until the following day. Lawmakers and the General Court staff are working hard to ensure that all bills are finalized in their originating chamber by the deadline of ‘Crossover Day’ on Thursday, April 11.

Last week, the NH Board of Education heard public testimony on the proposed ‘306 Rules,’ the minimum standards that govern all public schools in the state. It is a highly consequential process. From In Depth: “Longtime educator Dean Cascadden said he has lived in lakefront communities and in property poor communities and also worked in both and there is no comparison to the opportunities for the students in the property wealthy communities. ‘The disparity is one reason you should not lower the standards or make them voluntary because they are the baseline for all school districts’, he said. ’The 306 rules are critical in making an unfair system work,’ Cascadden said.”

Last Sunday, we recognized International Transgender Day of Visibility, an important opportunity to acknowledge the contributions to society by transgender persons, and to renew our solidarity in the ongoing struggle to protect their rights and humanity against dehumanizing attacks. Read more from the Human Rights Campaign. We are angered and saddened by the high number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being considered this session, and we are grateful for the leadership of 603 Equality and others, including New Futures, who are organizing the opposition to these harmful bills. At a news conference last Tuesday, NH Child Advocate Cassandra Sanchez – “a state-appointed watchdog charged with protecting the interests of children” explained that anti-LGBTQ+ bills endanger young people’s health and safety. “From limiting inclusive athletic participation or use of gender-aligning bathrooms to bans on affirming health care and forced outing of students to their parents, these bills not only dehumanize our LGBTQ plus residents, but they also single out an already vulnerable population.” Read more at NHPR.

On Thursday, Senators approved SB 341, relative to mandatory disclosure by school district employees to parents. This ‘forced outing’ bill passed 13-10 despite recognition in the floor discussion that children do in fact have rights and that youth homelessness is a real problem that severely impacts LGBTQ+ youth. Earlier in the week, Unity House, the first group home for LGBTQ+ youth in NH, opened in Keene. Read more here.  

In more bad news for LGBTQ+ rights, the Senate majority also passed SB 375, relative to biological sex in student athletics, and SB 523, relative to the regulation of public school library materials. Thankfully, two harmful bills have been referred to interim study, which means that they will not be approved this year: SB 524, which would block trans students from participating in school sports, and SB 304, which would increase medical providers’ liability for providing gender affirming care.

Thinly veiled xenophobia was rampant during the Senate floor debate on SB 358, relative to invalidating out-of-state driver licenses issued to undocumented immigrants. We thank Senator Rosenwald for her remarks about the needless cost of this bill to NH’s economy and spirit. And we thank Senator Chandley for making it clear that invalidating drivers licenses doesn’t make NH safer. Senators approved the bill on a party-line vote. Punishing immigrants doesn’t make us stronger. We know we are stronger together when we recognize our interdependency. We’ll keep you updated as we work to defeat this bill in the House. 

More anti-immigrant sentiment was on display in the Senate when SB 406, a good bill giving additional resources to shelter programs was amended to add language prohibiting the funded programs from knowingly providing services to undocumented people. It passed on a voice vote and is headed to Senate Finance. 

Read more here and here for a roundup of some of the bills passed by the Senate. 


We’ll close this section with some good news: The Senate tabled (effectively defeating) the anti-worker and anti-union bill, SB 516-FN. Union members and their allies can be proud to have once again demonstrated that “right-to-work” is wrong for New Hampshire.


Protect Tenants
OPPOSE HB 1115, relative to the termination of tenancy at the expiration of the tenancy or lease term. This bill has already passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing in Senate Commerce on Tuesday April, 9 at 10:40 AM, in Room 100, SH. Please contact the committee, and sign in to oppose and share testimony. Read more here

Support Immigrant Communities 
OPPOSE SB 504-FN, relative to land in current use. We believe that this bill is intended to be a tool for local law enforcement to arrest unauthorized immigrants near the northern border. This bill has a public hearing in House Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Room 202-204 LOB on Wednesday, April 10 at 10 AM, quickly followed by an executive session at 1 PM. Please contact the committee, and sign in to oppose and share testimony.

No Money for War 
OPPOSE SB 439-FN, relative to prohibiting discriminatory boycotts of Israel in state procurement and investments. This bill has 18 senators as cosponsors, and it’s a bipartisan list. It has already passed the Senate on a voice vote and its House hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 at 2:30 PM in the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee, Room 306-308, LOB. Please contact the committee, and sign in to oppose and share testimony.

Protect Gender Autonomy 
OPPOSE SB 562, relative to state recognition of biological sex. This harmful bill has come out of committee with a recommendation of OTP (3-2) and will be voted on in the full Senate on Thursday, April 11. Please contact your own Senator and urge them to defeat this bill.

Honor Our History
SUPPORT SB 481, relative to establishing Juneteenth, June 19, as an annual holiday. Committee recommends OTP-A. The full Senate will vote on this bill on April 11 at 10 AM. Please contact your own Senator and urge them to pass this bill.

Protect Homeless Youth
SUPPORT HB 1199-FN-A, relative to services of the office of the child advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and making an appropriation therefor. This bill directs the office of the child advocate to identify and develop programs to support youth experiencing homelessness and makes an appropriation to the office for this purpose. Unfortunately, the committee recommends ITL. The full House will vote on this bill on Thursday, April 11. Please urge your Representatives to support this bill.

Protect Our Environment 
Sign on to this action letter from our friends at 350NH to send a message to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging our regional energy grid operators, ISO-NE, to stop sending taxpayer dollars to fossil-fueled power plants. 

Protect Public Education 
Attend and testify at the Board of Education’s public comment period on proposed changes to the 306 Rules (the minimum standards for public education) on Thursday, April 11 at 12 PM in the Department of Education building at 25 Hall Street in Concord.

Ceasefire Now
We mourn with the families of the World Central Kitchen aid workers and all of the humanitarian workers who have been killed by Israel while delivering essential services in Gaza. "Over the last six months, the Israeli military campaign has brought relentless death and destruction to Palestinians in Gaza," [U.N. Secretary-General Antonio] Guterres added. "Lives are shattered. Respect for international humanitarian law is in tatters." Read more here

We grieve with the Palestinian people living under siege, with the hostages being held by Hamas, and the political prisoners being held in Israel, and all of the loved ones praying for their safe return. We stand with people of conscience and faith all over the world to call for a permanent ceasefire, an end to US arms sales to Israel, and immediate food and medical aid to all who are struggling to survive. 

We are grateful for the wise words of our coworker, Fisto Ndayishimiye, in his recent letter to the editor: “Having personally experienced the horrors of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I have witnessed firsthand losing loved ones and being forced to leave everything behind, searching for a safe space. This is a pain I still carry, and one that I will never forget. It is truly heartbreaking that people continue to lose their lives, and I am disheartened that our government continues to send weapons to perpetuate this conflict. What is the future of our safety when our country continues to destroy the world? More war is not the answer.” Concord Monitor

Join AFSC and other human rights organizations to call for an immediate restoration of life-saving funding. Learn more here and take action to  call for a cease-fire and humanitarian access for Gaza now

Immigration News
When we talk about securing the border and sending military aid, we must understand the far-reaching consequences of our security policies, the conflicts they fuel, and the disasters they exacerbate which force people to undertake dangerous journeys in search of safety. New Hampshire is home to immigrants from all over Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan. As we strive to stem the tide of anti-immigrant bills in our state, urgent action is also needed to prevent continued atrocities in these countries. 

Millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been displaced due to armed conflicts that have gone on for decades. At the heart of this conflict is the exploitation of the country’s vast mineral reserves fueled by corporate greed and backed by US interests. Learn more here and here. It is time for this war to end. Individuals can add their name to this action letter calling on our Congressional delegation to end US support for this war. Groups and organizations can add their name to this letter calling on the Biden administration to designate TPS  and protective student relief for Congolese people.

Sign AFSC’s petition to President Biden to mobilize international support for Sudan. 

Closer to home, Senate Finance held a public hearing this week on HB 1054-A, which would remove the phrase "non-lapsing" from the funding for the Northern Border Alliance program and HB 1528, which would require additional data points from the Northern Border Alliance Program. Both bills have not been exec’d yet so there is still time to contact the committee and urge them to pass both bills. Read more here.  

Recommended Reading
On the work of the Manchester Community Action Coalition, from Amara Phelps on InkLink: “ The spaces that empower and nourish community bonds, connection, relationships and joy the most are those where one can simply just exist without the pressure of forking up cash.”  

On food insecurity from Phil Sletten on InDepth: “Food insecurity declined during the worst years of the pandemic, as did poverty, based on a key measure of poverty that accounts for tax credits. Adjusting for after-tax income incorporates key forms of federal pandemic-related aid, such as the enhanced child tax credit paid directly to families monthly. However, both after-tax poverty and food insecurity rose substantially nationwide between 2021 and 2022, after most temporary aid to households expired.” For additional information read NHFPI’s February 2024 Issue Brief - Poverty and Food Insecurity in New Hampshire During and Following the COVID-19 Crisis

Last Week at the State House

LOB – Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St. Concord)
SH – State House (107 N. Main St. Concord)
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.
“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.
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. 
VV – Voice vote. Votes are not counted.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
DV – Division vote. Votes are counted but not attributed to individual legislators.

Last week in the House
The full House did not meet in session last week.

Last Week in the Senate 
The Senate met in full session on April 5. Here are the outcomes of the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar

SB 534-FN, relative to campaign finance. This bill makes various changes to the laws that regulate the financing of political campaigns. OTP-A by VV.
SB 537-FN, allowing the processing of absentee ballots. This bill allows for the preprocessing of absentee ballots. Committee recommends OTP-A by VV.

SB 411-FN, relative to emergency mental health services for persons 21 years of age and younger. This bill requires insurers to provide certain emergency behavioral and mental health services for enrollees 21 years of age and younger. OTP-A by VV.
SB 558-FN, relative to employer notice of veterans' benefits and services. This bill directs the labor commissioner, in consultation with the department of business and economic affairs, to create and distribute a veterans' benefits and services poster for employers to display in the workplace. OTP by VV.

SB 304-FN, creating a cause of action for medical injuries resulting from the administration or prescription of gender transition surgery, cross-sex hormones, or puberty-blocking drugs and providing protections for individuals who receive medical detransitioning. Referred to interim study.
SB 413-FN, relative to civil actions for PFAS contamination. OTP-A by VV.

On the Regular Calendar

SB 436-FN, relative to maximum benefits payable in unemployment compensation. This bill establishes the minimum and maximum amounts of weekly benefits based upon the statewide average weekly wage and national cost of living adjustments. ITL by VV.
SB 516-FN, relative to prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union. Laid on table.
SB 519-FN, relative to evictions based on the owner's intent to renovate the property. This bill adds evidentiary requirements to evictions based upon renovation and permits a discretionary stay of eviction for up to 6 months. Laid on table.

SB 341, relative to mandatory disclosure by school district employees to parents. This bill requires all school employees to respond honestly and completely to written requests by parents regarding information relating to their children. OTP-A by RC, 13-10.
SB 375, relative to biological sex in student athletics. This bill requires school sports teams to be expressly designated as male, female, or coed, and prohibits biologically male students from participating in female designated sports or entering female locker rooms. OTP-A by RC, 14-10.
SB 523-FN, relative to the regulation of public school library materials. This bill prohibits material that is obscene or harmful to minors in schools, requires vendors of school library materials to develop appropriate ratings, and creates a procedure for removal and cause of action. OTP-A by RC, 14-10.
SB 524, relative to women's sports. This bill requires any interscholastic, intercollegiate, or club athletic team, sport, or athletic event that is sponsored or sanctioned by a school, school district, an activities association or organization under the control of the state board of education, or an institution of higher education under either the university system or the community college system to be designated based on the biological sex at birth of the participating athletes, and restricts those participating in sports designated as "female" to biological females. Referred to interim study by VV.
SB 525-FN, relative to administration of the education freedom accounts program. This bill changes income eligibility and reporting requirements for the education freedom account program and modifies the program's administration and oversight. ITL by VV.

SB 538-L, relative to zoning procedures concerning residential housing. This bill establishes a tax relief program for office conversion to residences; enables municipalities to allow its governing body to adopt certain zoning ordinance changes; and adds additional authority in zoning powers for parking requirements and lot size requirements related to sewer infrastructure. OTP-A by VV.

SB 342-FN, relative to school building aid funding. This bill establishes a new school district building aid funding program using state funds allocated to each district and makes an appropriation therefor.  Laid on table.
SB 358-FN, relative to invalidating out-of-state driver's licenses issued to undocumented immigrants. This bill invalidates out-of-state driver's licenses issued specifically to undocumented immigrants. OTP-A by RC, 14-8.
SB 362-FN, relative to body-worn cameras. This bill clarifies the circumstances in which body-worn cameras may be copied, distributed, or used in certain criminal, juvenile, or administrative proceedings. OTP by VV.
SB 404-FN, relative to expanding child care professionals' eligibility for the child care scholarship program. This bill establishes eligibility criteria for childcare professionals to receive childcare scholarships. OTP-A by VV.
SB 508-FN, relative to the duties of the superintendent of the county department of corrections concerning mental health and substance use disorder screening of inmates and coordination for services upon reentry into the community. This bill requires the superintendent of the county department of corrections to require his or her contracted behavioral health treatment providers to use validated screening tools for mental health and substance use disorder and to, where such providers exist, permit licensed community-based treatment providers who meet the security criteria for access to the facility to have contact with people in custody for the purpose of coordinating services upon reentry into the community. OTP by VV.
SB 518-FN, relative to incentivizing landlords to accept housing choice vouchers. This bill establishes a landlord housing incentive program and fund.  This bill makes an appropriation to implement the fund. Referred to interim study.
SB 522-FN-A, relative to establishing an early childhood education scholarship account and making an appropriation therefor. This bill requires rulemaking by the department of health and human services on childcare early education and establishes an early childhood education account program to provide funds for an education freedom accounts scholarship organization to administer grants to eligible New Hampshire pre-kindergarten children for qualifying expenses. OTP by VV.

SB 406-FN-A, relative to emergency housing assistance and making an appropriation therefor. This bill directs the department of health and human services to establish a homelessness prevention pilot program, to be administered through municipalities and community action programs.  The bill also makes an appropriation to the department of health and human services to assist municipalities in providing emergency housing assistance and preventing homelessness. OTP-A by VV.

SB 562-FN, relative to state recognition of biological sex. This bill provides a definition for "biological sex" and provides that certain designations by biological sex do not constitute unlawful discrimination. OTP by VV.
SB 593, relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones. This bill prohibits carrying a firearm in a safe school zone. ITL by VV.

Next Week in the House
The full House will meet next on April 11 at 10 AM, which is “Crossover Day.” Here are the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar

SB 359, raising the age of marriage to 18 years of age. This bill changes the minimum age for marriage from 16 to 18 years of age. Committee recommends OTP.
SB 498-FN, relative to the department of health and human services, division for children, youth and families. This bill provides that under RSA 169-B, relative to delinquent children, and RSA 169-D, relative to children in need of services, a child may be placed with fictive kin or a childcare institution, psychiatric residential treatment program, or other program certified by the department of health and human services. Committee recommends OTP.

SB 535, relative to absentee ballot forms. This bill updates the absentee ballot request form to match state statute that enables a person who would otherwise vote in person but has concerns about traveling during a winter storm warning to receive an absentee ballot. Committee recommends ITL.

HB 1465-FN,  relative to studies of nuclear energy technologies and renaming the office of offshore wind industry development. This bill requires the department of energy to coordinate the continuing studies by various state agencies on the uses and development of nuclear energy, including advanced nuclear reactors. Committee recommends OTP

On the Regular Calendar

HB 318-FN-A, relative to bail commissioners and making appropriations to the judicial branch. This bill eliminates bail commissioners; provides that judges shall set bail; amends the procedure for the release of a defendant pending trial; and requires the judicial branch to include in its budget funding for 3 new full-time circuit court judges. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1005-FN, relative to judicial training. This bill inserts a new chapter to establish a judicial training coordinator and provides responsibilities thereto.  This bill further establishes initial and continuing training and educational requirements for judges. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1178-FN, relative to an employee’s unused earned time. This bill requires an employer to pay an employee for unused earned time. Committee recommends interim study. 
HB 1199-FN-A, relative to services of the office of the child advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and making an appropriation therefor. This bill directs the office of the child advocate to identify and develop programs to support youth experiencing homelessness and makes an appropriation to the office for this purpose. Committee recommends ITL.
HB 1202-FN, relative to the issuance of permits for the alteration of driveways exiting onto public ways. This bill establishes certain deadlines for issuance of permits for the alteration of driveways exiting onto public ways. Committee recommends OTP-A
HB 1212-FN-LOCAL, relative to eligibility for free school meals. This bill increases the eligibility for free school meals to household incomes up to 350 percent of federal poverty guidelines and provides funding from the education trust fund for the additional costs. Committee recommends ITL.
HB 1288-FN, relative to establishing certain due process rights for students, student organizations, and faculty members facing disciplinary actions by state institutions of higher learning. This bill establishes certain due process rights for students, student organizations, and faculty members facing disciplinary actions by state institutions of higher learning. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1307-FN, providing a supplemental appropriation for members of the retirement system receiving an accidental disability retirement allowance. This bill makes a one-time supplemental allowance to members of the retirement system who are receiving an accidental disability retirement allowance, and provides for future supplemental allowances and cost of living adjustments for accidental disability beneficiaries to be granted without regard to years of creditable service. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1339-FN, relative to background checks during motions to return firearms and ammunition. This bill requires the department of safety to be responsible for conducting the required firearm background checks for federal firearm licensees through NICS for all firearm transfers. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1355-FN, relative to the New Hampshire National Guard recruitment and reenlistment incentive program. This bill allows the New Hampshire National Guard to offer a reenlistment bonus of up to $6,000 to members of the New Hampshire National Guard who reenlist and are not eligible for a federal reenlistment bonus. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1363-FN, relative to allowing members of the general court to participate in the department of health and human services employee assistance program. This bill allows members of the general court to participate in the New Hampshire employee assistance program operated by the department of health and human services with the cost paid by the legislative branch. Committee recommends ITL.
HB 1466-FN, relative to providing disaster relief funding to municipalities after a natural disaster. This bill authorizes disaster relief aid for municipalities that suffer certain damage in natural disasters. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1570-FN-A-LOCAL, (New Title) requiring the department of education to conduct a facility assessment of public schools and public chartered schools. This bill transfers moneys from the education trust fund to a new building aid fund.  It also directs the department of education to contract with a vendor to conduct a facility assessment of public schools and public chartered schools. Committee recommends OTP-A
HB 1573-FN, relative to oversight of and criteria for residential placement of children. This bill revises criteria for the out-of-home placement of children and increases oversight and certification criteria for out-of-state residential treatment programs.  The bill also expands the definition of abuse or neglect under RSA 169-C to include a child in certain residential placements. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1577-FN, relative to digital images of ballots. This bill enables the viewing of digital images of ballots under certain circumstances. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1583-FN-A, relative to the per pupil cost of an opportunity for an adequate education. This bill increases the base annual cost of providing an opportunity for an adequate education. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1588-FN, relative to court jurisdiction over persons receiving special education. This bill updates statutes relating to court jurisdiction of children in need of services to reflect that special education is offered to students up to the age of 22 years if the student has not yet exited special education based on receipt of a high school diploma. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1589-FN, establishing a veterans treatment court. This bill establishes a veterans treatment court. This bill establishes a veterans treatment court. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1633-FN-A, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor. This bill establishes procedures for the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis; the licensing and regulation of cannabis establishments; and makes appropriations therefore. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1649-FN, relative to prohibiting certain products with intentionally added PFAS. This bill restricts the use of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances in certain consumer products sold in New Hampshire. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1656-FN-LOCAL, (New Title) relative to adequate education grant amounts for pupils receiving special education services. This bill increases the annual cost of an adequate education for each pupil in ADMR receiving special education services. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1666-FN, relative to income reporting requirements for lobbyists. This bill requires lobbyists to identify clients and income received from lobbying activity.  The bill also authorizes the secretary of state to enforce lobbyist statement requirements. Committee recommends OTP.
HB 1669-FN, relative to restricting data sharing through the state immunization registry. This bill prohibits the department of health and human services from sharing data from the state immunization registry with other organizations unless the department can assure withdrawals from the registry will be honored by the organization. Committee recommends OTP-A.
HB 1678-FN, establishing a New Hampshire farm to school local food incentive pilot program. This bill establishes a New Hampshire farm to school local food incentive pilot program. Committee recommends ITL.
SB 252-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial, directing the establishment of an electronic monitoring program for criminal defendants released on bail, and making an appropriation therefor. Committee recommends ITL.

Next Week in House Committees
You can watch the House hearings here. You can sign in for House bills here. And you can contact House committees here.

Tuesday, April 9

10:00 AM SB 476-FN, making a capital appropriation to the department of corrections toward the replacement of the New Hampshire state prison for men.

Wednesday, April 10 

10:00 AM SB 504-FN, relative to land in current use.
1:00 PM Executive session on SB 504-FN, relative to land in current use.

2:30 PM SB 439-FN, relative to prohibiting discriminatory boycotts of Israel in state procurement and investments.

10:00 AM SB 409-FN, relative to reimbursement for ambulance services under the state Medicaid plan.
11:00 AM SB 496-FN, directing the department of health and human services to establish a climate and health protection program.
1:00 PM SB 567-FN, directing the commissioner of the department of health and human services to compile a report on the availability of mifepristone and misoprostol.

JUDICIARY, Room 206-208, LOB 
10:00 AM SB 185-FN, establishing a committee to study the various barriers to discharge for patients to be safely discharged from acute care facilities.

Next Week in the Senate
The full Senate will meet in session on April 11 at 10 AM, which is “Crossover Day.” Watch it here. Here are the bills we’re tracking. 

On the Consent Calendar

HB 322, relative to establishing a committee to study the New Hampshire board of medicine. This bill establishes a committee to study the New Hampshire board of medicine.  The Committee adopted a non-germane amendment to the bill, which will appropriate $750,000 to the Department of Health and Human Services for the purposes of supporting a long-term care facility which has recently come under new ownership after several years of neglect by corporate ownership. Committee recommends OTP-A.

On the Regular Calendar

SB 481, relative to establishing Juneteenth, June 19, as an annual holiday. This bill establishes Juneteenth as an annual holiday. Committee recommends OTP-A.

SB 392-FN-A, relative to lead paint hazard remediation. This bill makes an appropriation to the lead paint hazard remediation fund. Committee recommends OTP.
SB 394-FN-A, relative to the cyanobacteria mitigation loan and grant fund. This bill makes an appropriation to the cyanobacteria mitigation loan and grant fund.  Committee recommends OTP.
SB 407-FN, relative to direct pay for ambulance services. This bill requires insurers to directly reimburse ambulance service providers at the usual and customary rate for such services or at the rate negotiated by the insurer and ambulance service provider. Committee recommends OTP-A.
SB 417-FN, relative to out-of-home placements for children. This bill revises criteria for out-of-home placement of children under the child protection act and other juvenile statutes and establishes an order of preference based on placement with the child's siblings, when possible, and proximity to the child's community of origin. Committee recommends OTP-A.
SB 495-FN, relative to certification of alcohol and other drug use treatment facilities. This bill provides for certification of substance use treatment programs by the department of health and human services and establishes an office of the behavioral health ombudsman in the department. Committee recommends OTP-A.
SB 551-FN-A, relative to making an appropriation for rail trail project matching funds. This bill makes an appropriation to the department of transportation to be granted to the town of Warner as matching funds for a section of the rail trail in Warner. Committee recommends OTP.

Next Week in Senate Committees
You can watch the Senate hearings here. You can sign in for Senate bills here. And you can contact Senate committees.

Tuesday, April 9

COMMERCE, Room 100, SH 
10:20 AM HB 1400, relative to residential parking spaces. 
10:40 AM HB 1115, relative to the termination of tenancy at the expiration of the tenancy or lease term. 

9:00 AM  HB 1015-FN, relative to requirements for literacy skill development in elementary grades.
9:30 AM HB 1305-FN, relative to freedom of speech and association at public institutions of higher education. 
9:40 AM HB 1655, including in the commissioner of the department of education’s rulemaking authority the authority to make rules regarding collection of fees for criminal background check processing. 

10:00 AM HB 1399, allowing municipalities to permit 2 residential units in certain single family residential zones. 

9:20 AM HB 1314-FN, relative to the comprehensive state development plan. 
9:30 AM  HB 1697-FN, relative to forest carbon credit programs. 

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
2:00 PM HB 229-FN, relative to requiring an official declaration of war for the activation of the New Hampshire national guard

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH 
1:30 PM HB 1012-FN, exempting from criminal penalty certain parenting decisions intended to encourage a child’s independence and freedom. 

Wednesday, April 10

9:30 AM HB 1568-FN, relative to Medicaid reimbursement for non-transport emergency medical services calls.

9:45 AM HB 450-FN, relative to removing the net operating loss deduction limit on taxable income under the business profits tax.
10:00 AM HB 1533-FN, relative to the safe harbor compensation amount under the business profits tax.
10:15 AM HB 1536-FN, relative to increasing the amount of the expense deduction allowed against the business profits tax.
10:30 AM HB 1613-FN, establishing a trust fund for money from soil and water environmental contamination court settlements.

Upcoming Events & Actions

Every Wednesday
Solemn Vigils for Ceasefire now! Humanitarian access to Gaza! No tax dollars for war crimes! – Join us from 2 PM to 3 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action, AFSC, & interfaith partners. 
April 10: Congressman Chris Pappas, Dover District Office, 660 Central Avenue, Dover

Every Thursday 
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Peace in Palestine & Israel - 5:30 PM. Hosted by AFSC.
Solemn Vigils for Ceasefire Now – 12 noon at City Hall Plaza, in front of the State House, Concord

Every Friday 
AFSC Action Hour for a Ceasefire 12 noon. Hosted by AFSC. Join AFSC staff every Friday at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT to hear updates from Gaza. Then, take action with us as we contact our elected officials and call for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian access to Gaza. Our elected officials need to keep hearing from us. 

Surveillance, Criminalization, and Punishment (Spring 2024 Speaker Series) - 4:30 PM. Hosted by Harvard Kennedy School. Will modern surveillance, AI, predictive policing, facial recognition, and more shrink the criminal legal system’s footprint or expand criminalization into new domains? On balance, will new technology improve our flawed systems or entrench existing and new harms? We’ll be joined by academics, practitioners, and impacted community members to unpack cutting-edge technological advancements in criminalization and punishment—exploring improvements to the administration of justice and the reproduction of hierarchies of control and domination.

April 10 - Digitally Mapping Social Networks: RICO, Electronic Monitoring, and Surveillance of Gangs and Protest Movements
April 17 - New Terrain for Surveillance in Prisons: Wearable Monitoring, Tablets, and Technological Limits on Human Contact 
May 8 - Toward Data Justice: Countermobilization and Community Control

Save the Dates 
Mark your calendar for these upcoming virtual events for AFSC’s “Protecting Immigrant Rights in an Election Year” webinar series to learn more about how our immigration system works and what we can do to protect and advance the rights of migrants. 

April 23 – Detention & Deportation 
May 28 – Employment & Worker Rights 
June 25 – Hard Conversations

Think Twice Toolkit: Building Skills for Police Alternatives - 8 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us for an empowering 4-part series designed to equip you with a comprehensive toolkit of police alternatives and personal skills. Register once for all 4 sessions and attend as many as you can
April 17 & 24 and May 1 & 8

Saturday, April 6
Ceasefire Now, End Genocide! - 4 PM to 5 PM. 8 Market Sq, Portsmouth, NH. Hosted by Occupy NH Seacoast. Join us to stand for Peace, and in honor of the poor souls lost in the Middle East, Ukraine and every where on Earth this week. Preach to the community, not the choir. We are stronger together.  

Monday, April 8
Peace & Justice Conversations: Connecting the Peace & Disability Rights Movements - 7 PM. Hosted NH Peace Action & Strategies for Disability Equity LLC. Join Lisa D. Beaudoin who will share a presentation discussing how intertwined and overlapping the shared struggles are for the Peace and Disability Rights movements. She will lay out an exploration of the following topics: Intersectionality; Violence and Trauma; Resource Allocation; Displacement and Refugees; Universal Human Rights.

Tuesday, April 9
HB 1569 Briefing – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy, League of Women Voters-NH and the NH Campaign for Voting Rights. Join us for a special, virtual grassroots briefing on HB1569, a massive threat to voting rights and elections in New Hampshire that would require demonstrated proof of citizenship in order to register and vote.

The Impact of Extremism on NH Public Schools - 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Anita Lang Burroughs. Learn how dark money from Texas and extremists in the State House are working to undermine public education. Our Zoom will feature education warriors Mel Myler and Dave Luneau of the NH House Education Committee.

Wednesday, April 10
NH Listens Local Lunch Box: Facilitating Through Conflict - 12 PM to 12:45 PM. Hosted by NH Listens. Join us for a 45-minute informative and interactive session aimed at sharing bite-sized tips and resources from our toolbox for community engagement and facilitation. The role of a facilitator in many spaces is to support the group in working with and moving through conflict. 

Sacred Poetry: Multifaith Perspectives. 7 PM. Nashua Public Library Theater. Hosted by Nashua Area Interfaith Council.  Join local poets and poetry-lovers from Greater Nashua faith communities for an evening exploring poetry inspired by our diverse faith traditions. 

Thursday, April 11
A Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Hosted by AFSC. AFSC is delighted to host Jose Antonio Vargas as our keynote speaker for the 2024 Corporation Program. Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Tony-nominated theatrical producer, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants.

Saturday, April 13
Conversation Café: Who Decides What Our Kids Learn? – 2 PM to 4 PM. Hosted by MCAC. See Science Center, 200 Bedford St. Manchester, NH

“The Movement and the ‘Madman” Film Screening & Panel Discussion - 6 PM. Hosted by AFSC. “The Movement and the 'Madman” examines how two major antiwar protests in 1969 stopped President Nixon from escalating the U.S. war in Vietnam, including a threat to use nuclear weapons. The film draws from firsthand accounts from movement leaders, including AFSC alumni. Following the film, we'll host a panel discussion featuring Robert Levering, Michael Simmons, Jerry Elmer and Wendy Batson, who took the courageous stand to object to war.

Monday, April 15
United for Sudan - 12 PM to 4 PM. Hosted by AFSC & Partners. One year into the conflict in Sudan the international community's response remains woefully inadequate. Come to demand action and show solidarity with the people of Sudan.

Tuesday, April 16
NHLA Fair Housing Project Paid Virtual Training – 5 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by NH Legal Assistance. The Fair Housing Project (FHP) of NH Legal Assistance, a statewide non-profit law firm providing civil legal services to low-income New Hampshire residents, will be holding a virtual training for area people to become involved in this work as fair housing testers. Testers are individuals who are trained to act as prospective tenants seeking rental housing and to gather information on possible housing discrimination. Successful testers are committed to justice, detailed observers, good writers/typists, and punctual. Please contact Liliana at 603-261-2851 or to register.

Wednesday, April 17
Remaking the Economy: How to Change Our Stories About the Economy – 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by Non-Profit Quarterly. What are the stories that we need to tell to better understand our economy, and lay the groundwork for building a more inclusive, democratic world? Storytelling—the construction of spoken or written accounts of a series of events that we tell each other to understand our world—offers critical tools to build movements, upend myths that hold us back, and construct cultures that can sustain a democratic economy. This webinar conversation, a coproduction of NPQ and the BLIS Collective, takes a deep look at how to use storytelling to advance transformative change.

Friday, April 19
Manchester Center City Clean Up Day – 1 PM to 3 PM. Pocket Garden - 241 Cedar St. Manchester. Hosted by NeighborWorks NH & Granite United Way. Join us for an afternoon of cleaning up our neighborhood and organizing our public spaces. Together we can make a difference! All ages are welcome. Please RSVP: or 603-782-4416. 

Saturday, April 20
4th Annual BLM New Hampshire Excellence Awards - 5 PM to 8 PM. Currier Museum - 150 Ash St, Manchester. Hosted by BLM NH. Join us for our 4th Annual BLM New Hampshire Excellence Awards. We will be honoring Black, Indigenous and Person of Color community members older than 14 years old from all walks of life; artists, educators, activists, entrepreneurs, inventors, musicians, students, etc., that have made contributions to benefit New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts!

Sunday, April 21 
Envisioning the Future Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks 2024: A New Deal for a Great Society - , Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St, Nashua, NH. Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. This year's program will explore how two federal programs geared toward building a more just society -- Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" and Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" -- played out in New Hampshire. We will ask what impact these programs had on our state and what happens now when changing demographics meet programs designed during the New Deal and Great Society. 
Tuesday, April 23
A Tribute to Refaat Alareer: The Power of Telling the Story of Gaza - 1 PM to 2:30 PM. Hosted by AFSC and Haymarket Books. Months after Dr. Refaat Alareer was killed in Gaza by an Israeli targeted airstrike, authors, editors, and the publisher of the anthology Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire, will come together to honor Refaat’s life, memory, and legacy.

Detention and Deportation - 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us for the fourth of our webinar series on Migration Justice.  You will learn about the immigration detention and deportation systems and why AFSC believes they should be abolished. We will reflect on how detention and deportation feed a system that is based on everything but justice. In this webinar you'll hear from AFSC legal experts, organizers and community members on alternatives to detention and our vision for humane immigration policies.   

Thursday, April 25
Progress Through Policy: Advancing Birth Equity and Maternal Health in New England - 10 AM. Hosted by NH Perinatal Quality Collaborative. This webinar builds upon the September 2022 New England Maternal Health Summit, which showcased community triumphs on maternal health care that support birthing people having a safe, respectful, and empowering birth and postpartum experience.  This webinar will focus on maternal health policy to catalyze change

With best wishes,
Grace Kindeke, Maggie Fogarty, and Kathleen Wooten 

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, education, civil liberties, and labor rights. We also follow the state budget and tax system, voting rights, corrections policy, and more. Subscribe today to receive State House Watch news every week!

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. Read our 2023 highlights here. Kathleen Wooten is AFSC’s State House Watch researcher and database manager.

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