State House Watch: January 6, 2024

By Maggie Fogarty, Grace Kindeke and Kathleen Wooten

Greetings, State House Watchers!

Welcome back for a new year, a new state legislative session, and new opportunities to work together for justice and peace. May we accompany and encourage each other throughout the coming months with wisdom, courage, compassion, good humor, and passionate hope for a world in which all of us can thrive.

We’re catching our breath after the full first week of votes and hearings in Concord. Read on for some of the highs and lows, and important actions needed for next week.

Representatives and senators returned to Concord for opening day on Wednesday, January 3 to vote on the bills that were retained or re-referred during the 2023 session. House members returned on January 4 to finish their work. Senate committees met for public hearings.

There are no session days next week, but there’s a packed calendar of committee hearings. Many issues we care about are being considered, including worker rights, reproductive justice, public education, gun violence prevention, and the human rights of incarcerated people. Take some time to sign in online, contact committees and your own legislators, submit testimony, and/or join the visibility actions at the State House. We believe in people power!

We’re excited to bring you this State House Watch newsletter every week throughout the session, so remind your friends, colleagues, and networks to subscribe here to stay on top of what’s going on so that we can make our voices heard at key moments.


Show up for worker rights: On Wednesday, January 10, the House Labor Committee will hold public hearings on two key bills. Please sign in and contact the committee to SUPPORT HB 1322, which would re-establish and raise the state’s minimum wage; and OPPOSE HB 1377-FN, the anti-union “Right to Work” bill. (Read more about “Right-to-Work” here.) Join NH Voices of Faith at the doors of the hearing room (206-208 LOB) on Wednesday starting at 12:45 PM for the minimum wage hearing, and starting at 2:30 PM for the “Right-to-Work” hearing. All are welcome!

Protect NH children from lead poisoning:
SUPPORT HB 1068, relative to establishing a blood lead level testing requirement for children entering day care and public schools. The bill has a hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, January 10 at 9:45 AM. Please sign in and contact the committee.
SUPPORT SB 392, relative to lead paint hazard remediation. This bill increases efforts to make New Hampshire homes and communities lead safe. The public hearing is in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, January 9 at 1:10 PM. Please sign in to show your support, and contact the committee.  

Protect Reproductive Rights: Three abortion related bills have hearings on Wednesday, January 10 in the House Judiciary Committee. Please sign in to support/oppose the following, and contact the committee.
SUPPORT CACR 23, relating to the right to abortion. Providing that all persons shall have the right to abortion prior to 24 weeks.
OPPOSE HB 1248, relative to restrictions on access to abortion.
OPPOSE HB 1541, relative to conditions for an abortion performed after viability or 15 weeks gestation.

Amend the NH Constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude: On Friday, January 12, the House State Federal Relations Committee will hold a hearing on CACR 13, a proposed amendment to the NH Constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude. The NH Constitution defaults to the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery except as punishment for a crime. Read more about the 13th Amendment here and here. Please sign in to SUPPORT this bill, and contact the committee.

Permanent Ceasefire Now!

The Israeli government’s bombardment of Gaza continues with a staggering human toll. Read this update from AFSC staff in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. AFSC and human rights organizations throughout the world continue to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and to implore our Members of Congress to stop funding the atrocities and to ensure humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza. Please sign and share this action alert. We also recommend AFSC’s recently-released report about who is profiting from the violence: The Companies Profiting from Israel’s 2023 Attack on Gaza. From AFSC’s Noam Perry, one of the authors of the report, "The scale of destruction and war crimes in Gaza would not be possible without massive weapon transfers from the US…. As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible.”

Here in New Hampshire, a coalition of peace groups including NH Peace Action, AFSC, NH Council of Churches, Community Church of Durham, Dover Friends Meeting, Palestine Education Network and Veterans for Peace has been holding solemn vigils every week at the offices of our Members of Congress to implore them to support a ceasefire, humanitarian aid to Gaza, and an end to US military aid to Israel. To join this ongoing effort, sign up for news alerts from NH Peace Action.

Immigration News

Last year Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) with two expiration dates in the new year – January 19 and February 2. The spending bills that would include immigration funding need to be passed by February 2. Currently Congress is debating whether to attach border security funding in exchange for sending additional military aid to Ukraine.

Separate from the appropriations process, negotiations between the Biden Administration and the Congress continue, with the President seeking increased border enforcement funding, including more border patrol and drug enforcement agents as well as additional military and humanitarian funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. As Congress considers new funding bills for FY24, we urge them to move away from funding state violence and focus on investing in our collective humanity. Sign our petition to send a message to the President and Congress that our tax dollars cannot be spent on harming and killing people. And please urge our Members of Congress to refuse to negotiate away the basic rights of migrants, including asylum seekers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Mark your calendars for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15, and join the celebrations that will be held throughout the state, including one hosted by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Coalition from 1 PM to 4 PM at Memorial High School in Manchester. More information here and in the Union Leader. Also visit the Racial Unity Team website for details about a seven-day celebration in Stratham, NH. Scroll down to the events section for more opportunities.

Last week at the State House

The 2024 state legislative session was gaveled in on Wednesday, January 3. The agenda in both the House and the Senate was consideration of bills that were held over from the 2023 session and received additional work in committees in recent months. Here are some key outcomes:

In terrible news, the NH House voted against the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ people four times last week. A narrow majority of representatives approved a ban on gender affirming care for minors (HB 619), and to undermine protections for LGBTQ+ people (HB 396). They also defeated positive proposals related to protecting healthcare access (HB 368) and making it easier to update a gender marker on a birth certificate (HB 264). Read more at NH Bulletin, The Hill, the Boston Globe, and the Union Leader.  

From Linds Jakows of 603 Equality, “Today’s failure by the N.H. House to protect LGBTQ+ rights is a shameful beginning to 2024 in a state that has historically made overwhelmingly clear that it supports and respects LGBTQ+ identities. Trans kids and their families need to make private healthcare decisions that are best for them, and they shouldn’t be discriminated against and segregated in schools, carceral settings, or other spaces. We will continue to fight to ensure the rights of LBGTQ+ people are not violated by these dangerous, discriminatory bills as they make their way through the legislative process. When today’s anti-transgender bills get to Governor Sununu’s desk, he should promptly veto them, because ‘it’s the right thing to do,’ as he said when he signed New Hampshire’s transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law in 2018.”

The Senate Education Committee held hearings on LGBTQ+ issues last week. Read more here (InDepthNH).

We’re disappointed to see that the NH House defeated SB 263, which would have permanently authorized the Granite Advantage program, also known as ‘expanded Medicaid.’ The program is authorized for seven years, so there is no immediate risk to those who are enrolled, but the case for permanent authorization is unassailable and it will be important to ensure that the program endures. Read more at the NH Bulletin.

There was also some good news, including that the House passed HB 229, which will limit the activation of the NH National Guard to deployments authorized by a vote of the US Congress. Read more here at InDepthNH.

More good news – The House passed HB 470, which seeks to remove “drug-checking equipment” entirely from the state’s definition of drug paraphernalia. Read more here at NH Bulletin.

After a long period of bipartisan negotiations, the House passed a package of bail reform bills which enact some meaningful reforms while avoiding the harmful impacts of prior proposals. There’s a good summary in the Boston Globe, including an important perspective from the ACLU’s Devon Chaffee: “For months, politicians and law enforcement across the state have claimed that New Hampshire’s bail reform laws were making communities less safe, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The facts are crystal clear: data continues to show that since bail reform was implemented in 2018, crime and arrest rates have dropped each year, including in Manchester.”

Three good bills were tabled - HB 570, which would expand immigrant access to REAL ID driver licenses, in conformance with the federal guidelines; HB 375-FN, which would enable asylum applicants to apply for a temporary driver license, and HB 232, which would adopt OSHA standards to public sector workers in New Hampshire.

Read more about opening day in the Senate at InDepthNH.

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.

Last Week in the House

Here are last week’s House votes on the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar

HB 353-FN, establishing an interstate compact for universal healthcare.  ITL by VV 
HB 544-FN, legalizing cannabis for retail sale. Refer for Interim Study by VV 

HB 38-FN, relative to the conditions for release of a defendant pending trial. OTP-A by VV 
HB 144-FN, restoring firearm ownership rights to ex-felons. This bill provides that a person convicted of a non-violent felony who has completed the term of incarceration, and all other conditions of the sentence, shall have the right to possess and use a firearm. ITL by RC (297-63) 
HB 318-FN-A, eliminating bail commissioners, and relative to the release of a defendant pending trial and establishing new circuit court judge positions. OTP-A by VV 
HB 593-FN, relative to the forfeiture of assets in connection with a drug offense. OTP-A by VV 
HB 653-FN, prohibiting personal recognizance bail for violent crimes. OTP-A by VV 
SB 252-FN, relative to release of a defendant pending trial. OTP-A by VV 

HB 352, relative to excused absences due to a student’s mental or behavioral health. ITL by VV 
HB 623-FN, establishing a teacher candidate loan forgiveness program. Refer for Interim Study by VV

HB 243, requiring the tabulation of votes in elections to be done in public. OTP-A by VV 
SB 156-FN, relative to voter registration and verification of voter identity. ITL by VV 
SB 158, relative to absentee ballot outer envelopes. ITL by VV 

HB 110, prohibiting the use of state funds for new passenger rail projects. Refer for Interim Study by VV
HB 606-FN, requiring construction of state buildings or state-funded projects to contain electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Refer for Interim Study by VV

HB 398, relative to notice of PFAS and other groundwater contamination prior to the sale of real property. OTP-A by VV

HB 100-FN-A, to repeal the interest and dividends tax. Refer for Interim Study by VV
HB 133-FN, relative to repealing the communications services tax. Refer for Interim Study by VV
HB 569-FN, relative to the state education property tax and the low- and moderate-income homeowners property tax relief program. Refer for Interim Study by VV

On the Regular Calendar 

HB 227, relative to fair access to financial services. ITL by VV 

HB 470-FN, relative to fentanyl test strips and other drug checking equipment. OTP-A by RC (212-161)
SB 249-FN, relative to the release of a defendant pending trial. OTP by DV (631-7), and referred to Finance 

HB 267, relative to criminal records checks in school employment. Tabled by VV
HB 354, relative to chartered public school eligibility for state school building aid. OTP-A by RC (190-177)
HB 439-FN, relative to the duty to provide an education and contracts with private schools. Tabled by VV 
HB 505-FN, relative to comprehensive mental health education in schools. Tabled by VV 
HB 577-FN-L, relative to state aid for special education pupils. Tabled by VV 
SB 151-FN, relative to mental health education. ITL by VV 

HB 115, relative to changing the date of the state primary election. OTP by DV (281-82)
HB 345-FN, enabling ranked-choice voting for state party primary elections and municipal elections. ITL by VV 
HB 350, relative to ranked-choice voting. ITL by RC (248-128)
HB 447-FN, relative to the purchase of election equipment. OTP-A by DV (311-62)
HB 463-FN, relative to the establishment of an election information portal. OTP-A by DV (195-172)

HB 602-FN, relative to landfill siting. The bipartisan majority felt that this bill, as amended, addressed a critical piece that has been absent from the landfill application permitting process in NH. OTP-A by DV (226-145)

HB 559-FN, establishing a state retirement plan group for new state employee members of the retirement system. Indefinitely Postpone by RC (201-174)

HB 601-FN-L, relative to state participation in the Medicaid direct certification program for free and reduced price school meals. ITL by RC (189-188)
HB 620-FN, (New Title) establishing a division of early learning in the department of education and relative to a pre-kindergarten pilot program. ITL by RC (188-185)
SB 239-FN, (New Title) relative to the use of harm reduction services to treat alcohol and other substance misuse. Refer for Interim Study by DV
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. ITL by RC (183-193)
SB 267-FN, (New Title) requiring the commissioner of the department of environmental services to consider “cumulative impacts analysis” in rules and statutes. ITL by DV (189-188)
HB 264-FN, relative to amendments and corrections to birth records. ITL by DV (191-185)
HB 368-FN, relative to protections related to receiving gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care. ITL by DV (190-185)
HB 619-FN, prohibiting gender transition procedures for minors, relative to sex and gender in public schools, and relative to the definition of conversion therapy. OTP-A by RC (199-175)

HB 283, to limit application fees charged to prospective residential tenants. OTP-A by VV 
HB 314-FN, relative to the expectation of privacy in the collection and use of personal information. OTP-A by VV 
HB 396, relative to state recognition of biological sex. OTP-A by RC (192-184)

HB 190-FN, relative to the duration of unemployment benefits. ITL by VV 
HB 232-FN, adopting section 1910 OSHA standards for public sector employees in New Hampshire. Tabled by RV (190-182)

HB 301, relative to recusal by members of the general court for conflicts of interest. Tabled by DV (359-13)

HB 229-FN, relative to requiring an official declaration of war for the activation of the New Hampshire national guard. OTP-A by RC (187-182)

HB 375-FN, relative to the licensure of nonresident aliens temporarily residing in New Hampshire. Tabled by DV (185-179)
HB 570, relative to Real ID compliant New Hampshire driver’s licenses. Tabled by DV (187-180)

Last Week in the Senate

Here are the outcomes of last week’s Senate votes on the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar

HB 379-FN, requiring notice be provided to tenants during residential eviction proceedings regarding legal counsel. Refer to Interim Study by VV
HB 400-FN, relative to certain assault offenses, bail eligibility for commission of certain assault offenses, and making a false report to a law enforcement officer. Refer to Interim Study by VV

On the Regular Calendar

HB 261, authorizing residential tenants to terminate their lease in instances of domestic violence or following a disabling illness or accident. Special ordered to next session.

SB 214-FN-A, establishing a department of early childhood education and relative to a pre-kindergarten pilot program.  Refer to Interim Study by VV
SB 217-FN-A, establishing a rural and underserved area educator incentive program for higher education and making an appropriation therefor. OTP by VV
SB 219-FN-L, relative to a salary floor for public school teachers. OTP-A by VV 
HB 572-FN, relative to eligibility for free school meals. Tabled by RC (13-11)

SB 133-FN, relative to changing the date of the state primary election and creates runoff election for federal primary election.  Refer to Interim Study by VV
SB 224, relative to housing opportunity zones and inclusionary zoning. Refer to Interim Study by VV

SB 173-FN, relative to surprise medical bills.  Refer to Interim Study by VV
SB 176-FN, relative to insurance coverage for pelvic floor therapy. OTP by VV

SB 248-FN, relative to bail for a defendant. OTP by VV
HB 135-FN, prohibiting no-knock warrants. OTP-A by VV
HB 596-FN, prohibiting the use of racial profiling in law enforcement activities and in sentencing. OTP-A by VV

Next Week at the State House

There are no House or Senate session days next week, but lots of committee hearings.

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, January 8, 2024

Room 205-207, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1014, relative to the registration of high school students to vote.
10:30 AM HB 1048, relative to the commission on Holocaust and genocide education.
11:15 AM HB 1163, relative to review of public school minimum standards by the legislative oversight commission.
12:45 PM HB 1107, relative to public school curriculum frameworks.
1:15 PM HB 1066, relative to the graduation requirement of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
2:30 PM HB 1206, relative to prohibiting educator indoctrination.

11:00 AM HB 1294-FN, relative to prohibiting the state of New Hampshire from enforcing the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.
1:00 PM 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.

9:15 AM HB 1047, relative to establishing a committee to study the effectiveness of state outreach to residents without computer access. 
10:00 AM  HB 1230, relative to establishing a committee to examine weatherization initiatives for homes in New Hampshire.
10:30 AM HB 1289, establishing a commission to study the replacement of the peaker plant in Bow with a clean energy baseload generator and storage. 
1:00 PM HB 1499, establishing a committee to study the civilian clean energy, community resilience, and conservation corps. 
2:00 PM HB 1398, relative to utility recovery of costs associated with net energy metering.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Room 206-208, LOB
2:00 PM HB 1199-FN-A, relative to services of the office of the child advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and making an appropriation therefor.

1:15 PM HB 1207-FN, relative to single-use disposable plastic foodware accessories.
1:45 PM HB 1636-FN, relative to creating the New Hampshire container deposit, refund, recycle, and reuse system.
2:15 PM HB 1649-FN, relative to prohibiting certain products with intentionally added PFAS.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:15 AM 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. 
10:15 AM  HB 1305-FN, relative to freedom of speech and association at public institutions of higher education.
11:15 AM HB 1657-FN, relative to prohibiting hazing at educational institutions.
1:30 PM HB 1436, relative to requiring institutions of higher education to maintain certain statistical information on their website.
2:15 PM HB 1690-FN, relative to hiring, promotion, graduation, or admission in higher education.
3:00 PM HB 1534-FN, relative to establishing a program to earn tuition credits for state of New Hampshire higher education institutions through community service.

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202-204, LOB
10:00 AM CACR 15, relating to taxation. Providing that a 2/3 vote is required to pass legislation imposing new or increased taxes or license fees, or to authorize the issuance of state bonds and providing that the general court shall appropriate funds for payment of interest and installments of principle of all state bonds.
10:30 AM CACR 18, relating to the tax exempt status of churches. Providing that churches shall not be exempt from state taxes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Room 302-304, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1406-FN, relative to gender-based pricing of goods and services.

9:30 AM HB 1021, relative to body-worn cameras and exculpatory evidence.
10:00 AM HB 1022-FN, relative to decriminalizing certain acts between consenting adults.

EDUCATION, Room 205-207, LOB
9:00 AM HB 1583-FN-A, relative to the per pupil cost of an opportunity for an adequate education.
9:30 AM HB 1656-FN-L, relative to increasing the adequacy grant for pupils receiving special education services.
10:30 AM HB 1586-FN-A-L, establishing a foundation opportunity budget program for funding public education.
1:00 PM HB 1675-FN-A-L, relative to adjusting education adequacy grants based on pupil proficiency.
2:00 PM 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.

9:45 AM HB 1068, relative to establishing a blood lead level testing requirement for children entering day care and public schools.
1:45 PM HB 1520-FN-A, establishing a family assistance car ownership pilot program in the department of health and human services

10:00 AM CACR 23, relating to the right to abortion. Providing that all persons shall have the right to abortion prior to 24 weeks.
1:30 PM HB 1248-FN, relative to restrictions on access to abortion.
2:30 PM HB 1541-FN, relative to conditions for an abortion performed after viability or 15 weeks gestation.

11:15 AM HB 1178-FN, relative to an employee’s unused earned time.
1:00 PM HB 1322-FN, relative to the state minimum hourly rate.
2:00 PM HB 1668-FN, relative to establishing a 4-day work week.
3:00 PM HB 1377-FN, relative to granting workers free choice to join or refrain from joining labor unions.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Room 202-204, LOB
10:00 AM HB 1404-FN, relative to criminal procedure and the right to a jury trial.
10:30 AM HB 1438-FN, criminalizing interference with a whistleblower.
11:00 AM HB 1455-FN, relative to photography, audio recordings, and video recordings in public buildings and on public lands.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Room 206-208, LOB
10:45 AM HCR 10, urging Congress to increase federal funding for special education services to reduce property taxes in New Hampshire.
1:30 PM. HB 1338, relative to New Hampshire’s enforcement of the Military Selective Service Act.
2:30 PM HR 28, urging for the compensation for injuries from PFAS and for the closure and cleaning of sites affected by PFAS.
3:00 PM CACR 13, relating to slavery and involuntary servitude. Providing that slavery and involuntary servitude shall be prohibited in the state of New Hampshire.

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, January 9, 2024

Room 101, LOB 
10:00 AM SB 529, relative to the definition of “teacher.”

9:10 AM SB 489-FN, relative to election audits. 

FINANCE, Room 103, SH 
1:10 PM SB 392-FN-A, relative to lead paint hazard remediation.

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH 
1:20 PM SB 421-FN, relative to felony criminal threatening.
1:35 PM SB 577-FN, relative to imposing a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.
2:00 PM SB 571-FN, relative to requiring a background check prior to any commercial firearm sale.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Room 101, LOB 
9:00 AM SB 409-FN, relative to reimbursement for ambulance services under the state Medicaid plan.
9:30 AM SB 403-FN, relative to health care workforce investments. 
9:45 AM  SB 410-FN, establishing a mental health community and transitional housing fund.
1:15 PM SB 351-FN, relative to statewide work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents on food stamps.

9:00 AM SB 364-FN, relative to establishing a historic housing preservation tax credit and making an appropriation to the Invest NH fund.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Room 100, SH 
9:15 AM SB 316-FN, establishing a penalty for a person who transports fentanyl class drugs into New Hampshire with the intent to distribute.
9:45 AM SB 414-FN, relative to establishing a mandatory minimum sentence for the crime of distribution of a controlled drug with death resulting.
10:00 AM SB 415-FN, relative to the penalty for certain fentanyl-related offenses.
1:30 PM SB 426-FN, relative to the possession of controlled drugs in motor vehicles.
1:45 PM SB 570-FN, establishing a misdemeanor for first-offense controlled drug possession.
2:00 PM SB 416-FN, relative to the penalties for certain driving offenses while released on bail for certain offenses.

Upcoming Events

Every Friday

AFSC Action Hour for a Ceasefire 12 PM. 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.

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.
January 10: Senator Shaheen -340 Central Avenue, Suite 205, Dover, NH 03820
January 17: Rep Pappas -Dover District Office, 660 Central Avenue Suite 101, Dover, NH 03820
January 24: Senator Shaheen -340 Central Avenue, Suite 205, Dover, NH 03820
January 31: Rep Pappas -Dover District Office, 660 Central Avenue Suite 101, Dover, NH 03820

Saturday, January 6

Our Freedoms, Our Vote: Jan. 6 Rally - 1:30 PM (Rally) & 3 PM (Visibility). Hosted by Open Democracy NH. State House Plaza, Concord. Concern over the state of democracy, people across the U.S. will rally in observance of the three-year mark since the attack on the U.S. Capitol to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. Please join us at the State House - we might walk to the intersection of Loudon Rd, Main St. and Center Streets in Concord after the rally. We'll bring the signs!

One Concord DEIJB Community Forum - 3 PM to 6 PM. Hosted by One Concord. Mill Brook School – 53 S Curtisville Rd. Concord. We strongly believe that this Community Forum will educate our new council and the entire community. Through collaboration and open dialogue, we hope to create a more equitable and inclusive city for all. We have invited speakers from all backgrounds and experiences who know what our community needs and will provide space for individuals from different backgrounds and experiences who have been directly impacted by the lack of diversity within our community to share their stories.

Wednesday, January 10

Free Anas Abu Srour, Palestinian Political Prisoner – 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join Rasha Mahmoud, Janet Simmon and Sandra Yarne who will tell us more about Anas Abu Srour and the Aida Youth Center, Palestinian political prisoners and how people in the U.S., especially New Hampshire, might be able to intervene to free Anas.

Thursday, January 11

7th Annual Legislative Overview -  6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Kent Street Coalition.

Stop Cop City webinar series: The Dangers of Private Police Foundations8 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Across the country, for-profit corporations are funding private police foundations. With this dark money, these police foundations pour millions of dollars into militarized policing that harms Black and Brown communities.  That includes the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), the largest police foundation in the U.S. which is building Cop City. APF's funders include big corporate names like Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and Cox Enterprises. Join our webinar to learn about the history of police foundations and the threat they pose to democracy. We'll take a close look at the funding behind APF—and explore how people can organize to stop them through collective corporate divestment.

Saturday, January 13

Tools of Independence: Community Resources for Young People  – 4 PM. Hosted by AFSC NH & the SNHU Center for New Americans. YWCA - 72 Concord St. Manchester. Join us for this community resource event for young people learn more about the tools and information that are available to help them succeed as a young person in NH. Connect with community resources in Manchester and beyond  and enjoy free dinner, fun presentations and activities! 

Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Sunday, January 14

1 PM - America the Dream: Keynote Address – Hosted by the Jaffrey-Rindge MLK Committee. Cathedral of the Pines, Rindge. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr.  Michael Klarman, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a distinguished expert in civil rights and constitutional law.  Commemorating the 60-year anniversary of the signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Professor Klarman will speak on “Brown v. Board, the Civil Rights Movement, and Where We Are Today on Race.”  A question-and-answer session will follow along with a meet-the-professor reception.

Monday, January 15

11 AM to 3 PM - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Hosted by the Currier Museum, Manchester. Join us for a special celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a variety of free programming and community building. Visitors are invited on curator-led tours of our diverse collection, and to collaborate on art-making activities including paper bead creation and responsive exercises rooted in the teachings of Dr. King. There will also be special spoken word performances by The Racial Unity Team of NH, as well as a screening of Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

1 PM - 42nd Annual MLK Jr Community Celebration at Memorial High School, Manchester. Our annual MLK Jr Community Celebration returns for its 42nd year! This year, the theme is “Connect for Action, Act for Justice.” The program will include breakout groups to connect you with groups living MLK Jr's vision here in New Hampshire. You can learn how they embody his legacy and also join their work. Our celebration will include food, music and also recognize individuals with our annual awards presentation.

1 PM - America the Dream: Community Celebration – Hosted by the Jaffrey-Rindge MLK Committee. Cathedral of the Pines, Rindge. Join us for this free community event.

4 PM - At the Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth, a public reading of "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in its entirety, followed by a reflection/discussion. So often we experience the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s eloquence in truncated quotations. This is an opportunity, on his 94th birthday, to experience one of his masterpieces from start to finish, out loud, from many voices, and then briefly reflect on it together. The reading will take about an hour, and then we’ll allow half an hour for discussion. For more info, call Andy Davis at 603-452-4446.

7 PM  - Peace & Justice Conversations: Connecting Across the Racial Divide - Hosted by NH Peace Action. Join Kimberlee Yolanda Williams, author of “Dear White Woman, Please Come Home”, for a night of discovery, authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy. Come put your heart on the line and entrust it to the care of Kimberlee’s healing words and compassionate approach to the systemic divides that keep us from truly seeing and honoring one another.

Saturday, January 20

#VoteTogetherNH Meetup – 6 PM to 12 AM. Hosted by AFSC NH. Boards & Brews – 941 Elm Street, Manchester. Did you know that the primary election is coming up in 2 weeks on Jan 23rd? Learn more about voting and why the votes and voices of young people matter in NH!  Come hangout with us for a night of games, food & drinks. Meet other young people to connect, have some fun and get ready for the primary together! Free to join and play, food and drinks must be purchased separately.  See you there!

Saturday, January 27

Manchester Housing Alliance 2024 Summit - 10 AM – 12:30 PM. Hosted by Manchester Housing Alliance. City Library, Winchell Room – 405 Pine St. Manchester. We are pleased to announce our first ever in person Manchester Housing Alliance summit. We will: Give a state of housing in Manchester and how we got here; Identify new supporters of affordable housing; and Figure out what specific issue we want to fight for this year. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Monday, January 29

Peace & Justice Conversations: Making a World Beyond War - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by NH Peace Action. In this webinar, World BEYOND War advisory board member Rivera Sun will offer stories and examples of how people used alternatives to war, including nonviolent campaigns, creative resistance, peacebuilding strategies, violence de-escalation teams, and mass movements. We will look at case studies from Liberia, Algeria, Colombia, United States, Canada, and beyond. Together, they reveal how a World BEYOND War is not only possible, it is already on its way.

Wednesday, January 31

Raising Culturally Competent, Anti-Racist Kids – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Zoom. Hosted by Portsmouth Public Library.  As parents and caregivers, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to foster the skills and compassion our children need to thrive in a diverse world. Many parents and caregivers are looking for ways to engage effectively around such topics as injustice, bias, prejudice, valuing difference, marginalization and more. While it may appear challenging, there are many wonderful ways to bring age-appropriate learning into the home and raise children who can be part of making this a more equitable, just world. In this three-part online program, we will establish a “safe/brave space” to: Identify what, where and how racism exists in our society; Consider our own “racial awareness journey” and how it informs our parenting; Explore best practices, provide resources and encourage “active, antiracist parenting.”

February - 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.

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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