State House Watch: February 3, 2024

By Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke, and Kathleen Wooten

“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.” - James Baldwin

February 3, 2024

Greetings, State House Watchers,

Happy Black History Month! We plan to find many ways to celebrate in the coming weeks, and to enjoy special programs such as these on NHPR and with the Black Heritage Trail of NH. We applaud the young leaders in Manchester who successfully advocated for the creation of an AP African-American culture course (read more here). And we’re delighted that on February 1 the NH House of Representatives approved – by a vote of 366 to 5 – an amendment to the NH Constitution to abolish slavery and involuntary servitude. On to the Senate and then (hopefully) the ballot!

Sadly, an effort to reconsider an anti-transgender bill – HB 396, which would exclude transgender people from spaces and activities that align with their gender identity – failed by a narrow margin in the House on Thursday. The effort to defeat this discriminatory bill moves to the Senate.

On Wednesday, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) settled a lawsuit with the ACLU-NH and finally released data about encounters with migrants at the Northern Border. From the ACLU-NH: “No state official has been able to show any evidence to support claims of an increase in unauthorized border apprehensions in New Hampshire–and now we know why: because for 15 months, there were only 21 CBP encounters that occurred in New Hampshire. During the time period in which state officials suggested that there was a crisis at the New Hampshire-Canada border from October 2022 to January 2023, there was only one encounter in New Hampshire,” said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “The dangerous policies they justified through fear-based rhetoric have been shown in study after study to have negative impacts on public safety. It’s time to stop funding the unnecessary and harmful expansion of policing and surveillance at New Hampshire’s northern border and instead focus on the real needs of the north country, like housing, substance use treatment, and mental health resources.” You can see the month by month data here.

This data confirms what we and other immigrant rights advocates have been saying all along – that the Northern Border Alliance is not justified by data, is a waste of taxpayer funds, and is the result of a toxic campaign to promote fear of migrants in order to score political points. Read all about it – including the testy responses from the governor, his appointees and GOP leaders – in the Boston Globe, InDepthNH, the Concord Monitor, the Union Leader and at NHPR.


Remember that while signing in to support or oppose bills is the quickest way to express your opinion, it’s also helpful to contact the Senate and House committees directly, even with just one or two lines about who you are, where you live and why the issue matters to you.

Support Immigrant Communities
SUPPORT  HB 1528, which would require the semi-annual report issued by the Northern Border Alliance program to include additional reporting statistics. The public hearing is on Friday, February 9 at 10 AM in House Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Room 202-204, LOB. Please sign in and contact the committee, and join us for a strong show of support at the hearing. It’s another opportunity to remind our legislators that the Northern Border Alliance is not wanted or needed in NH.

Here's our spreadsheet of immigration-related bills for the 2024 state legislative session.

Support Workers’ Rights
HB 1377-FN – This “right to work” bill is an attempt to diminish the power of unions. This bill has a continued public hearing in the House Labor Committee on Wednesday, February 7 at 9:30 AM in Room 307, LOB. Please sign in and contact the committee, and join us for a strong show of opposition at the hearing.  For some history about the efforts of faith leaders to defeat this anti-worker proposal, we recommend this 2021 blog post from Arnie Alpert.

Protect Public Education
Three bills that would dramatically expand an already extremely costly voucher program will be voted on during the House session on February 8. Please contact your Representatives and urge them to OPPOSE the following bills: HB 1634-FN, relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program; HB 1561-FN, relative to qualifications for student eligibility in the education freedom accounts program; and HB 1665-FN, relative to student eligibility for the education freedom accounts program. You can also sign and share this action alert from Granite State Progress.

OPPOSE HB 1473, relative to social-emotional learning in public schools. This bill prohibits the teaching of curriculum for social emotional learning in public schools. From New Futures: “Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps children build healthy relationships, succeed in schools and future workplaces, and contribute to our communities. HB 1473 looks to ban SEL programming from public schools, putting NH students at risk of losing out on an education that will help them succeed in school and in life.” Read more here. This bill has a public hearing in the House Education Committee on Monday, February 5 at 10:15 AM in Room 205, LOB. Please sign in and contact the committee to express your opposition.

SUPPORT HB 1162, which provides that no education law of this state shall be construed to bar any school employee from teaching the historical or current experiences of any group that is protected from discrimination. This bill would also repeal provisions of the law relating to the right to freedom from discrimination in public workplaces and education. The public hearing is on Tuesday, February 6 at 11 AM in House Education, Room 205-207, LOB. Please sign in and contact the committee to express your support.

There are hundreds of bills this session that would impact public education. We’ve highlighted some key ones coming up soon but urge you to bookmark the Action Alert page at NEA-NH and follow their guidance each week. We also recommend this resource hosted by the NH School Funding Fairness Project and this one from Reaching Higher NH. For good analysis of the education funding bills, you can follow Andru Volinsky’s blog.

Permanent Ceasefire Now!

Palestinians in Gaza are facing starvation, disease outbreaks, displacement, and continued bombardment. Read the latest update from AFSC staff in Gaza and the West Bank. The people of Gaza are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, but the US and several other countries have suspended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main provider of aid in Gaza. The decision came in response to Israel's allegations that 12 of UNRWA's 13,000 employees in Gaza were involved in the October 7 attack in Israel. Stopping UNRWA funds is a form of collective punishment that could lead to a humanitarian and financial crisis in multiple countries. Read more here. Sign our petition here to urge the US to restore this essential funding.

Join the NH Congress of Workers’ Organizations on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 PM at Manchester City Hall, 908 Elm Street to support a ceasefire resolution that will be presented to the Board of Mayor and Alderman. Activists will urge city leadership to recognize the widespread demand for a just peace and an end to the occupation.

To connect with local actions for a just peace in Israel and Palestine, sign up for news alerts from NH Peace Action and join weekly vigils at the offices of our Members of Congress in Dover and Concord, and other events.

We also recommend this webinar from the Movement for Black Lives exploring South Africa’s case charging Israel with genocide at the International Court of Justice.

Recommended Reading

The NH Fiscal Policy Institute has issued a new report, Proposed Tax Reductions Would Deeply Diminish Revenues for Public Services: “The New Hampshire House of Representatives is considering several pieces of legislation that would substantially reduce revenue available for public services…. While the benefits to most Granite Staters from the tax reductions would likely be limited, the reductions in revenue would require substantial adjustments to services relative to the tax rates under current law.”

From InDepthNH, Ruger in Mexican Gun Trafficking Lawsuit Crosshairs: “A lawsuit brought by the Mexican government linking Sturm Ruger and several other gun makers to illegally trafficked guns is going forward after the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston reversed a lower court ruling to dismiss the case. Mexico blames gun makers Ruger, Glock, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Beretta USA, Barrett Firearms, and Century International Arms for making guns that appeal to buyers in the drug cartels, and then knowingly turning a blind eye to dealers and distributors who get those guns to Mexico. The result is hundreds of thousands of military-grade guns flowing to Mexico’s violent cartels, a skyrocketing murder rate, and hundreds of millions in profits for the gun makers, at least. The lawsuit estimates gun makers are pocketing as much as $170 million a year.”

Last Week at the State House

It was a consequential week, with key votes in the House and dozens of public hearings related to abortion, transgender rights, immigrant justice, minimum wage, worker rights, anti-discrimination, gun violence prevention, and funding for a new men’s prison. Here’s a news roundup:

NH Republicans revive bills restricting transgender students and athletes (NHPR)
House Republicans recommend extending education freedom accounts to all (NH Bulletin)
Senate panel debates anti-sanctuary city bill (Union Leader)
House defeats 15-day abortion ban, constitutional right to abortion (NH Bulletin)
N.H. lawmakers consider multiple bills targeting transgender students and athletes (Boston Globe)
Bills Targeting School Library Books and Gender Definitions for School Sports Opposed (InDepthNH)
Money For New Men’s Prison Design, State Library Pass Senate Capital Budget Panel (InDepthNH)
Bill seeks to offer protection from discrimination for hairstyle on the job (NHPR)

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 met on Thursday, February 1.  You can watch the session here. Here are the outcomes on the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar

HB 1011, relative to prohibiting male genital mutilation. This bill establishes a new crime of male genital mutilation and amends the definition of "abused child" to include any child subject to male genital mutilation. ITL by VV
HB 1022, relative to decriminalizing certain acts between consenting adults. This bill reduces the penalties under the prohibition against prostitution and related offenses, including decriminalizing certain conduct. ITL by VV
HB 1026, relative to resisting arrest. This bill establishes an affirmative defense to the crime of resisting arrest that the arrest was unlawful or constitutional. ITL by VV
HB 1035, relative to limitations on extradition. This bill prohibits the extradition of an individual charged solely with violating a firearm licensing regulation of another state. ITL by VV
HB 1064, relative to penalties for violation of protective orders. This bill repeals the provision directing peace officers to seize any firearms, ammunition, and certain deadly weapons subsequent to an arrest for a violation of a protective order issued under the chapter. ITL by VV
HB 1404, relative to criminal procedure and the right to a jury trial. This bill provides a right for a jury trial in any criminal offense or for a violation where there is a fine of $20 or more. This bill further provides new processes for appeals of circuit court verdicts to the superior court for jury trials. This bill also requires courts to allow criminal defendants to present any evidence to their proffered defense. ITL by VV
HB 1438, criminalizing interference with a whistleblower. ITL by VV
HB 1455, relative to photography, audio recordings, and video recordings in public buildings and on public lands. This bill amends the prohibition on wiretapping and eavesdropping to except out any photographing, audio recording, or visual recording in any publicly accessible areas of any public buildings or on public lands in the state. This bill further adds a section that prohibits the prohibition of photography, audio recordings, or video recordings in public buildings or on public lands in the state, and provides a penalty for violations. ITL by VV
HB 1619, relative to the status of convicted persons. This bill makes various amendments to the uniform act on the status of convicted persons, including clarifying that former felons shall have the right to possess firearms and repealing the prohibition on those serving certain sentences from having the right to vote, and instead allows them to apply to vote in the place they last had as a domicile. ITL by VV

HB 1160, relative to school assessments of statewide academic areas. This bill requires local assessments for critical areas of study that are within the purview of the local school board. OTP by VV
HB 1163, relative to review of public school minimum standards by the legislative oversight commission. OTP by VV

HB 1278, relative to qualifying medical conditions for purposes of therapeutic cannabis. This bill adds debilitating or terminal medical conditions to the qualifying medical conditions for therapeutic cannabis if a health care provider certifies the potential benefit to the patient. OTP by VV. Referred to Ways and Means.

HB 1003, relative to name changes for inmates, parolees, and convicted violent felons. This bill increases the individuals who are subject to notice requirements and a showing of a compelling reason before he or she will be permitted to change his or her name to include those convicted of certain violent felonies.  This bill also requires that notice be provided to the initial prosecuting jurisdiction of both the petition and the probate court's order. OTP-A by VV
HB 1541, relative to conditions for an abortion performed after viability or 15 weeks gestation. This bill requires an abortion performed after viability or 15 weeks gestation to be performed in a hospital with an intensive care unit and in the presence of a second physician. The bill requires the second physician to make all reasonable attempts to preserve the life of the unborn child, provides that a child born under such circumstances shall be considered a person, and provides that failure to comply with the requirements of the section may result in criminal prosecution.  ITL by VV
HB 1707, relative to liability for the cost of PFAS blood testing. This bill provides that any person who owns or operates a PFAS facility where a release of PFAS has resulted in total combined concentrations of PFAS in groundwater or surface water of a specified amount shall be strictly liable for the costs of blood tests for affected individuals. ITL by VV
HB 1710, relative to civil actions regarding the prohibited use of synthetic media. This bill creates a civil cause of action for distribution of misleading synthetic media, and creates certain requirements and remedies for the use of synthetic media in election contexts. ITL by VV

HB 1047, relative to establishing a committee to study the effectiveness of state outreach to residents without computer access. OTP by VV
HB 1289, establishing a commission to study the replacement of the peaker plant in Bow with a clean energy baseload generator and storage. ITL by VV

CACR 20, relating to declaring independence from the United States of America. Providing that if the national debt reaches $40 trillion, New Hampshire shall declare independence and proceed as a sovereign nation. This constitutional amendment concurrent resolution amends the constitution to provide that if the US national debt reaches $40 trillion, New Hampshire shall secede from the union.  Indefinitely Postponed, by DV (341-24)
HB 1130, establishing a commission to study the economic, legal, and sociological aspects of New Hampshire exerting its sovereign state rights. ITL by VV
HCR 10, urging Congress to increase federal funding for special education services to reduce property taxes in New Hampshire. This house concurrent resolution urges Congress to fully fund special education services for New Hampshire under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and provide property tax relief to New Hampshire taxpayers. OTP by VV

On the Regular Calendar

HB 1199, relative to services of the office of the child advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and making an appropriation therefor. OTP by VV. Referred to Finance

HB 1237, relative to the use of unmarked or stealth police vehicles for traffic enforcement. This bill establishes a requirement that any police vehicle purchased after January 1, 2025 must be clearly marked and labeled as a police vehicle in order for it to be used in traffic law enforcement. OTP by VV
HB 1372, relative to prohibiting torture. This bill establishes a criminal prohibition against torture, which is defined as an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within the person's custody or control, other than the pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions. This bill is intended to supplement the federal law located at 18 U.S.C. sections 2340, 2340A, and 2340B, which apply to torture committed outside of the United States. ITL by RC (319-58)

HB 1068, relative to establishing a blood lead level testing requirement for children entering day care and public schools. ITL by VV
HB 1520, establishing a family assistance car ownership pilot program in the department of health and human services for participants in the New Hampshire employment program and family assistance program. ITL by VV

CACR 23, relating to the right to abortion. Providing that all persons shall have the right to abortion prior to 24 weeks. This constitutional amendment concurrent resolution establishes the right to abortion prior to 24 weeks. Ought to Pass by RC (193-184), lacking necessary 3/5 vote
HB 1005, 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. OTP-A by VV. Referred to Finance
HB 1248, relative to restrictions on access to abortion. This bill prohibits abortion, other than for a medical emergency, if the gestational age of the fetus is more than 15 days. Indefinitely Postponed by RC (363-11)

HB 1230, relative to establishing a committee to examine weatherization initiatives for homes in New Hampshire. ITL by DV (240-130)
HB 1398, relative to utility recovery of costs associated with net energy metering. Referred for Interim Study by VV
HB 1499, establishing a committee to study the civilian clean energy, community resilience, and conservation corps. This bill requires that costs of net energy metering be assessed under a stranded cost recovery mechanism by electric distribution utilities. OTP-A by VV

CACR 13, relating to slavery and involuntary servitude. Providing that slavery and involuntary servitude shall be prohibited in the state of New Hampshire. This constitutional amendment concurrent resolution adds an article that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. OTP by RC (366-5)
HB 1338, relative to New Hampshire's enforcement of the Military Selective Service Act. This bill prohibits state or local enforcement of the Military Selective Service Act except in times of foreign military invasion or declared war.  This bill further repeals the state penalty provisions for lack of compliance with the Military Selective Service Act, and allows for the marking of "conscientious objector" when registering with the division of motor vehicles. ITL by RC (266-101)

Last Week in the Senate
The Senate did not meet in session last week.

Next Week in the House

The House will meet on Thursday, February 8 at 10:00 AM. Representatives will be joined by Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the US, Arun Alexander and Canada’s new Consul General to New England, Bernadette Jordan.

On the Consent Calendar  

HB 1340, relative to exclusion of incarceration as voluntary unemployment for purposes of calculating child support. This bill provides that incarceration shall not be considered voluntary unemployment for purposes of calculating gross income under the child support guidelines. OTP

HB 1066, relative to the graduation requirement of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).This bill changes the requirement for school districts, public academies, and chartered public schools to provide information to students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and repeals the reporting requirement on the number of students provided in-person school assistance on completing the FAFSA. OTP
HB 1107, relative to public school curriculum frameworks. This bill defines "curriculum frameworks" and requires the department of education to institute procedures for maintaining them. OTP-A
HB 1161, relative to use of the public school infrastructure fund for energy efficient school buses. This bill prohibits the use of the public school infrastructure fund from funding energy efficient school buses or other student transportation vehicles. OTP-A
HB 1165, relative to procedures for school facilities under the department of education. This bill revises requirements for school district receipt and use of school building aid and clarifies rulemaking and administration of the school building aid and public school infrastructure fund. OTP-A
HB 1471, declaring the total solar eclipse a school holiday. This bill designates April 8, 2024, the day of the total solar eclipse, as a school holiday and authorizes local school districts to organize viewing events. ITL
HB 1555, relative to special meetings for changes in education funding. This bill establishes a maximum warrant reduction or increase for special school district meetings for changes in education funding. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1570, AN ACT relative to administration of school building aid funds by the department of education and making an appropriation therefor. OTP-A
HB 1657, relative to prohibiting hazing at educational institutions. This bill establishes reporting and education requirements and criminal penalties for hazing violations.  This bill also establishes an anti-hazing fund. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1670, relative to including all special education costs under state education grants. This bill adds the full amount of state aid for special education services to the grants made for adequate education and assesses the costs under the statewide education tax. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1690, relative to hiring, promotion, graduation, or admission in higher education. This bill prohibits any institution of higher education that discriminates in admission, hiring, promotion, graduation, or admission to any program on the basis of sex, race, sexuality, national origin, ethnicity, or ideology, including but not limited to permitting diversity, equity, and inclusion statements, from accepting funds from the state or any local government or any subdivision thereof.  This bill further establishes procedures for enforcement of this prohibition. ITL

HB 1267, relative to prohibiting environmental, social, and governance standards in the selection of government investments. This bill prohibits the investment of funds of the state treasury, executive branch agencies, and the state retirement system in investments which consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. ITL
HB 1333, relative to prohibiting state agencies from buying or leasing fleet electric vehicles for 10 years. This bill prohibits state agencies from buying or leasing any type of electric vehicle for its vehicle fleet for a 10-year period. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1451, relative to mandatory overtime and the calculation of base rate of compensation. This bill provides that mandatory overtime shall be reported as part of the full base rate of compensation. OTP

HB 1034, relative to enabling municipalities to adopt a homestead property tax exemption. This bill enables municipalities to adopt a homestead property tax exemption. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1461, relative to live-streaming all properly noticed meetings and hearings of elected and appointed municipal bodies. This bill requires all meetings and hearings conducted by all elected and appointed municipal bodies to be live-streamed or recorded. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1544, relative to indemnification for municipalities adopting policies to address homelessness. This bill allows public property to be used to aid and shelter the homeless and indemnifies the government units in charge. Refer for Interim Study
HB 1641, relating to requiring large parking lots to have a solar power canopy. This bill requires that large parking facilities, whether existing or new, utilize photovoltaic solar canopies over at least 50 percent of the open asphalt surface. ITL

HB 1477, relative to environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources. This bill directs the commissioner to develop a program requiring environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources. ITL

On the Regular Calendar

HB 1048, relative to the commission on Holocaust and genocide education. This bill extends the date of the issuance of the final report of the commission on Holocaust and genocide studies from 2024 to 2027. OTP-A
HB 1206,  relative to prohibiting educator indoctrination. This bill prohibits educators and school administrators from pushing or asserting, advocating for, or otherwise compelling belief in, any particular theory or ideology. ITL
HB 1561, relative to qualifications for student eligibility in the education freedom accounts program. This bill expands the definition of who is an eligible student qualifying under the education freedom accounts program. Without Recommendation
HB 1634, relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program. This bill removes the household income criteria from eligibility requirements for the education freedom account program. Without Recommendation
HB 1665, relative to student eligibility for the education freedom accounts program. This bill changes the annual household income limit to qualify for the education freedom account program. Without Recommendation

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.

Monday, February 5

Room 205-207, LOB 
9:30 HB 1185-FN, relative to sexual education instruction.
10:15 AM HB 1473, relative to social-emotional learning in public schools.
11:00 AM HB 1625-FN, relative to school health services.
12:45 PM HB 1298-FN, relative to the definition of part-time teachers.
1:15 PM HB 1458-FN, relative to authorizing parents to remove children from the English Language Learner Program.
1:45 PM HB 1496, relative to the state’s duty to protect children in public schools.
2:15 PM HB 1692-FN, relative to public high school graduation requirements.
3:00 PM HB 1682-FN, relative to the civics test graduation requirement.

Tuesday, February 6

Room 206-208, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1573-FN, relative to oversight of and criteria for residential placement of children.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:30 AM HB 1312, requiring parental notification of student health or well-being and certain curricula by school districts.
10:15 AM HB 1356, relative to the use of children’s names and pronouns by public school employees.
11:00 AM HB 1162, relative to teaching discrimination in public schools and discrimination in public workplaces.
1:00 PM HB 1671-FN, relative to the complaint process for teaching discrimination and allowing educators and school officials a right of action for damages and costs for false accusations.

ELECTION LAW, Room 306-308, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1146, relative to the removal of a voter from the checklist.
10:30 AM HB 1119, relative to absentee ballots.
1:30 PM HB 1442-FN, relative to penalties for failure of election officers to adhere to election law.

Executive session on HB 1294-FN, relative to prohibiting the state of New Hampshire from enforcing the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency; CACR 14, relating to the environment and natural resources. Providing that the state shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment for present and future generations

11:30 AM HB 1273-FN, relative to the protection of personal information in driver licenses

Wednesday, February 7

Room 302-304, LOB
1:15 PM Executive session on  HB 1406-FN, relative to gender based pricing of goods and services

10:30 AM HB 1339-FN, relative to department of safety firearm background checks.
11:00 AM HB 1462-FN, relative to requirements for reporting hate crimes.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
Executive session on HB 1583-FN-A, relative to the per pupil cost of an opportunity for an adequate education; HB 1686-FN, relative to requiring excess revenues raised through the statewide education property tax to be remitted to the education trust fund and prohibiting the department of revenue administration from setting negative local and county tax rates on real property; HB 1656-FN-L, relative to increasing the adequacy grant for pupils receiving special education services; HB 1509-L, prohibiting spending of special education moneys for any other purpose and requiring reporting of fund balances to the school board.

9:30 AM HB 1280, relative to informed consent and patient rights
10:15 AM HB 1300, relative to terminal patients’ right to try act.

1:00 PM HB 1663-FN, relative to the confidentiality of medical records and patient information.
2:00 PM HB 1067, relative to a patient’s right to sterilization treatment. 
2:45 PM HB 1607, relative to expanded safe haven protections

JUDICIARY, Room 210-211, LOB

10:00 AM HB 1283-FN, relative to end of life options.
1:00 PM HB 1020, relative to establishing a commission to study the legal implications of insanity and restoration of competency. 

2:30 PM HB 1089, relative to the statute of limitations on civil actions involving PFAS
3:15 PM HB 1104-FN, relative to the review of decisions in cases involving judicial misconduct.

9:30 AM Continued public hearing on HB 1377-FN, relative to granting workers free choice to join or refrain from joining labor unions.
1:00 PM Executive session on HB 1322-FN, relative to the state minimum hourly rate; HB 1668-FN, relative to establishing a 4-day work week; 

1:00 PM HB 1343, prohibiting the use by the governor of emergency orders concerning elections procedures without the written consent of the majority and minority leaders of the house of representatives and senate.

9:30 AM Executive session on HB 1362, relative to authorizing municipalities to stabilize rent increases in rental housing
1:30 PM HB 1210, relative to the election of Strafford county commissioners.

1:00 PM HB 1326-FN, relative to notification processes for large groundwater withdrawal applications.
3:00 PM HB 1415, relative to PFAS facility liability.

10:00 AM HB 1611-FN, relative to establishing a child care workforce fund.
10:30 AM HB 1056, relative to administration of the child care scholarship program.
 2:15 PM Executive Session on HB 1611-FN, relative to establishing a child care workforce fund.

Friday, February 9

Room 202-204, LOB
 9:30 AM HB 1566-FN, relative to the review of police investigations.
10:00 AM HB 1528, relative to reporting by the northern border alliance program.
10:30 AM HB 1658-FN, relative to developing a notification database for those individuals with orders of commitment or revocations of conditional discharges.
11:00 AM HB 1527-FN, relative to criminal trespass.
11:30 AM HB 1428-FN, relative to inmate illness or emergency.

9:15 AM HR 26, urging Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment to distinguish between corporate and individual rights. 
9:45 AM HR 23, calling upon the New Hampshire congressional delegation to support a national, universal health insurance program.
10:30 AM HR 27, calling for policymakers locally and nationally to fully consider all relevant information and factors pertaining to climate change before pursuing courses of action that could adversely affect any economy or environment.
11:30 AM Executive session on HR 22, urging Congress to remove the exception from the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

Next Week in the Senate
The Senators will not meet in session next week.

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, February 6

9:00 AM SB 526, relative to a public school facility condition assessment and school building aid grants for temperature control.
9:15 AM SB 524, relative to women’s sports.

9:15 AM SB 527, relative to student housing.
9:30 AM SB 532-FN, relative to requiring all municipalities and school governing bodies to post on their official town or school website within 30 days the amount of funds received by the state either by allocation or grant.
9:45 AM SB 491, relative to authorizing municipalities to enter into voluntary agreements with owners of private roads.

1:30 PM SB 422, changing several references and modifying language in parentage and birth records.

Wednesday, February 7

10:00 AM SB 401-FN, relative to removing the prospective repeal of the New Hampshire granite advantage health care program and trust fund.

Upcoming Events & Actions

Black Lives Matter NH Excellence Awards Nominations are now open until February 1. We are looking for Black, Indigenous and People of Color nominees from all walks of life – artists, educators, activists, entrepreneurs, inventors, musicians, students, etc. – that have made contributions to benefit New Hampshire and the Seacoast areas of Maine and Massachusetts! Do you know a Black, Indigenous and Person of Color leader in the community who deserves recognition? Nominate them using the link!

Are you, or do you know, a social justice minded young person, aged 18-22, who wants to learn about community organizing with AFSC? Consider applying for AFSC’s 3rd annual Emerging Leaders for Liberation cohort! Applications will be accepted from January 15 to March 1, 2024. You can read here about the recently concluded 2nd cohort, which included New Hampshire community leader Bol Nakdimo.

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.
February 7: Senator Jeanne Shaheen – Dover District Office, 2 Washington Street, Dover, NH
February 14: Congressman Chris Pappas – Dover District Office, 660 Central Avenue, Dover, NH
February 21: Senator Jeanne Shaheen – Dover District Office, 2 Washington Street, Dover, NH
February 28: Congressman Chris Pappas – Dover District Office, 660 Central Avenue, Dover, NH

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.

Tuesday, February 6
BMA Ceasefire Resolution  - 6 PM. Hosted by NH Congress of Workers’ Organizations. City Hall - 908 Elm St, Manchester. Join us to support a ceasefire resolution that will be presented to the Board of Mayor and Alderman. We urge city leadership to recognize the widespread demand for peace, justice, and an end to the occupation of Gaza and the Palestinian people. Please join us on the third floor at City Hall to demand that our city play no part in genocide.

The U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the Assault on Gaza - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by MA Peace Action. What military weapons are used today to devastate the lives of millions in Gaza? Which are the U.S. companies that profit from this catastrophe? How can we challenge this business of death and hold these companies accountable? This webinar will feature the staff of the Action Center for Corporate Accountability, a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), who will share their research and stories of intersectional creative divestment campaigns.

Monday, February 12
Peace & Justice Conversations: Being Muslim in America c2024 - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join Robert Azzi a photojournalist, columnist and public speaker who lives in Exeter NH. An Arab American Muslim born in the Granite State, Azzi will present a program, “Being Muslim in America c2024” which is a variation of his popular program “Ask a Muslim Anything” which he has been presenting over the past few years, a program which in recent months has come to include issues on conflict, identity, and oppression between Palestinians and Israelis.

Thursday, February 15
Local Solutions Webinar Series: Our Housing Shortage - 12 PM. Hosted by ODP. This presentation will focus on the background of the housing shortage and the direction that housing development appears to be headed. This webinar will include an overview of OPD’s “New Hampshire’s Housing Supply: Current Estimates and Trends – 2023 Update”, a report on residential building permit activity throughout the state in 2022.

Emerging Leaders for Liberation (ELL) Information Call - 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us and learn about the Emerging Leaders for Liberation 2024 cohort, a program designed for Quaker young adults, students at Quaker colleges, and young adults in AFSC programs (ages 18-22) to hone their skills in leadership and community organizing. The application is open through March 1st, so apply today! Join us and learn more about this immersive development opportunity, and how you or a young adult you know can join. The call will feature an overview and comments by the ELL director Julián Andaya and Robert Andrew Stuart Fellow, Jasmin Diaz. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session.

Wednesday, February 21
Remaking the Economy: Building Regional Solidarity Economies - 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Hosted by NPQ. How do we build regional economies rooted in community ownership? In this webinar we take a deep look at movement growth and ongoing challenges— with participants from New Orleans, Los Angeles, Oakland (CA), Buffalo and Washington DC sharing their perspectives.

Monday, February 26
Peace & Justice Conversations: Iran & The Mid-East Turmoil - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. The current Israeli attacks on the Palestinians have already spilled over into neighboring countries. The U.S. has now bombed Yemen. The stark possibility that Iran will be pulled into this war is looming larger and larger. Over forty years of U.S.-Iran tensions may soon reach their breaking point, along with other political realities in the region. Jamal Abdi will join us to help us understand the history and implications of the current crisis.

Tuesday, February 27
Understanding our Immigration Process - 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC. In this session we'll look at what pathways exist for migrants to enter the U.S. lawfully under current laws, and discuss the challenges that arise for those in different situations. We will walk through the process and have a time for conversation about our vision for a process that would ensure that all migrants are treated with dignity and respect regardless of circumstance.

Thursday, February 29
Local Solutions Webinar Series: YIMBYism: A Different Approach to Development - 12 PM. Hosted by ODP. This presentation will focus on how two different communities worked to not only change their zoning ordinances, but also their approaches to development, focusing more on working with applicants to help them fit their proposals to their respective zoning ordinance.

February to March
Finding Your Place in the Climate Justice Movement – Hosted by 350 NH. We're calling this a training series but really what we want is to bring all of our community members together so we can make a greater impact on the climate justice issues we face. All are welcome to join us for one or all of the Zoom calls and the in-person sessions:

Feb 10 at 10 AM - Climate Justice 101 (Zoom)

Feb 13 at 6:30 PM - Legislative Advocacy and Climate Justice (Zoom)

Feb 24 at 10 AM - Climate Action Planning (Zoom)

Mar 5 at 6:30 PM - Climate and Militarism (Zoom)

Mar 23 at 10 AM - Finding Your Story in the Climate Movement (In person, Concord, TBA)

February to April 
Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks 2024: A New Deal for a Great Society - Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH in Portsmouth, Keene, Nashua. Registration is open for the 2024 annual Elinor William Hooker Tea Talks. 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. February talks will be held in Portsmouth, the March talk in Keene, and the April talk in Nashua. 

Feb  4 - New Deal or Raw Deal: Why It Matters 
Feb 11 - Home Sick: Attaining the American Dream 
Feb 18 - A Question of Access and Quality: Health Care in NH 
Feb 25 - Close to the Edge: Policing and Criminal Justice in NH 
Mar 10 - Equity and Adequacy: Public Education in NH 
Apr 21 - Envisioning the Future

With best wishes,
Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke 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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