State House Watch: June 3, 2023

By Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke


“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Baldwin

June 3, 2023

Happy Pride Month, State House Watchers!

Today, President Biden signed into law the “Fiscal Responsibility Act,” lifting the debt ceiling in exchange for a two-year freeze on spending for some domestic programs and more restrictions on food and cash assistance programs. While the agreement included some hard-fought compromises, once again, poor, vulnerable, working-class community members walked away from these negotiations with the shortest end of the stick. The negotiated deal essentially leaves the already massive military budget untouched.

If we have a debt crisis, it is because we have spent decades borrowing to pay for endless wars – inflating an already bloated military budget. Low-income communities nationwide should not be forced to pay for the debts that unbridled military spending and tax breaks for wealthy corporations and individuals have caused our country to owe. We should not be stripping families of vital social safety net benefits like food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by imposing time limits disguised as work requirements while protecting military spending.

The deal also includes dirty fossil fuel projects and guts bedrock environmental laws, silencing the voices of communities who’ve been fighting to protect their health and neighborhoods from polluting projects for years. Gutting core environmental protections, slashing social safety nets, and punishing the working class do nothing to help our communities in the long run.

Our budget should prioritize investments in affordable housing and health care and help low-income families and individuals with the rising costs of necessities. To balance the budget, we must instead divest from approaches that decrease our wellbeing: out of control military spending, abusive immigration enforcement and “border security” that separate families, and policing systems that dehumanize our neighbors. We must also end tax breaks for the oil and gas industries and other practices that negatively impact our climate and planet.

Check out John Nichols’ commentary in The Nation, and an analysis of the budget deal from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

State Budget

Closer to home, NH lawmakers continue their work on the state budget. Senate Finance Committee members amended and finalized their proposed budget bills - HB 1 and HB 2 – last week, in preparation for debate and a vote in the full Senate on Wednesday, June 7. The committee’s vote was unanimous in support of HB 1 and divided along party lines (5-2) for HB 2.

For a briefing on the committee’s proposed budget, you can tune in to the Senate Finance Committee’s presentation on Tuesday, June 6 at 10 AM (watch here). You can also register for a webinar with the NH Fiscal Policy Institute on Monday, June 12 from 10:30 AM to 12 noon.

The Senate Finance Committee’s proposal includes some good news – the wage increase for state workers remains, as does the reduction in funding for a new state prison; Medicaid reimbursement rates are increased, as is state aid for the university system; and the education trust fund is restored. But there is much to oppose, including that the Northern Border Alliance has returned; the repeal of the interest and dividends tax remains; the committee removed funding for retirement benefits for Group II retirees, and expanded eligibility for school vouchers. Read more herehere and here.

Here’s more from NH Bulletin on the retirement issue: “The Senate Finance Committee voted to approve establishing a commission with legislators, public employers and public employees to review the long-range impacts of additional benefits to retirees in the state retirement system. The commission would replace $50 million in funding over the next biennium for Group 2 workers who were members of the retirement system, but not vested when major changes were made to how benefits were determined in 2011. The House had included the money to help law enforcement and firefighters who receive reduced benefits due to lowering the multiplier in the formula. The change affects 1,824 firefighters and law enforcement personnel who are Group 2 members…. Those affected by the change say without restoring benefit eligibility to what it was when they entered the system, many employees will leave their positions and recruitment will be difficult.”

Committee members also agreed to reauthorize expanded Medicaid for seven years, which is a significant improvement over the 2-year reauthorization approved in the House but short of the permanent reauthorization which had previously received unanimous support in the Senate.

We are hearing that Senate and House leadership are considering how to finalize a Senate budget proposal with amendments that would satisfy House members. In a normal process, the Senate would approve their version of the budget and then a Committee of Conference (CoC) would be formed to reconcile key differences between the House and Senate versions. Then the CoC version would face an up or down vote in each chamber. If approved, the budget would pass to the governor for signature.

What appears to be under consideration at this time, however, is that the Senate could approve amendments that would make the Senate version palatable to the House. If the Senate approves an amended budget on June 7, it could be presented to the full House during their session on June 8 and the House could concur, instead of requesting a CoC. If all of that happens, the budget would head to the governor for signature much earlier than usual. This means that our work to improve the state budget is on a shorter timeline, and that any hope for important changes rests with amendments to be considered in the Senate on June 7.

Join the NH Campaign for a People’s Budget at the State House on Wednesday, June 7 at 9 AM for Love Our Neighbors: NH People’s Budget Visibility. We’ll be at the doors of the Senate chamber on the 2nd floor with our signs elevating key messages about our budget priorities. And please contact your senator immediately and let them know what is important to you.

Action Alerts

HB 315, prohibiting provocation based on the defendant’s religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, political beliefs or affiliation, sex, or gender identity. This bill would ban the "LGBTQ+ panic defense.” It passed the House but received an ITL recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please contact your Senator and urge them to override the committee’s recommendation and pass this important bill.

OPPOSE SB 132, the anti-sanctuary cities bill, which will be voted on in the full House on June 8. It comes out of committee without recommendation. Please contact your own Representatives to urge them to defeat this anti-immigrant bill that would require local law enforcement to act as immigration enforcement agents. And please join AFSC and partners at the door of the House chamber at 9 AM on June 8 to show our opposition to this bill.

Beyond the Dome

NH families are facing increased economic hardship and food insecurity caused by inflation and the end of COVID-era assistance programs for food and housing. Food pantries and legal services programs throughout the state are responding to increased utilization of their services. Read more here and here.

Last Week at the State House

Governor Sununu signed 17 bills on Thursday, including a repeal of the police matron program, creation of a pharmaceutical drug take-back program, expansion of national guard educational benefits, and inclusion of NH public defenders in the state employee health insurance program. He also vetoed two bills, one that would create a study commission for charitable gaming and horse racing, and another that relates to the participation of customer generators in net energy metering. Read more here.

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

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

Last week in the House

The House did not meet in session last week.

Last Week in the Senate

The Senate met in session on Thursday, June 1. Here are outcomes from the bills we’re tracking.

On the Consent Calendar
HB 251, relative to the cost of compliance with disclosure of electric renewable portfolio standards. This bill requires electric utilities to post the estimated annual cost for the average residential ratepayer for the compliance with the electric renewable portfolio standard under RSA 362-F on the December bill. The estimated cost for the compliance year shall be calculated once per year and shall be distributed through the mail or online. This new notice will increase transparency so that Granite Staters know what they are paying for in their utility bills. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0. Special ordered to June 8.

On the Regular Calendar


HB 46-FN, establishing a committee to study replacement of bail commissioners with court magistrates. OTP by RC, 14-9.
HB 337-FN, relative to directing the office of professional licensure and certification to provide notice of public meetings and an opportunity for comment from the public, and creating a new attorney II position. OTP by VV.
HB 435, relative to relief aid calculation in determining grants for adequate education. ITL by VV.
HB 440-FN, relative to the uses of education trust fund. ITL by VV.
HB 504-FN, relative to the adult parole board and making an appropriation therefor. OTP by VV.

Coming up in the House

The House will meet in session on Thursday, June 8 at 10 AM. Sessions are also scheduled for Thursday, June 15 and June 29.

On the Consent Calendar


SB 85-FN-A, relative to emergency behavioral health services and behavioral health crisis programs. This bill defines behavioral health crisis programs within the mental health treatment laws. It also creates a commission to study behavioral health crisis programs. Finally, it limits pre-authorization requirements for emergency behavioral health services to be in compliance with the mental health parity law. The amendment adds psychologists to the commission. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 19-0.

SB 102, relative to the Jones Act’s effect on New Hampshire’s heating and energy fuel market. This bill would create a study committee to study the effect of the federal Jones Act (the Act) on New Hampshire’s energy and fuel market. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 18-0.

SB 243, establishing a committee to study implementing a state-based health insurance exchange. Because of the commitment required for a successful exchange, the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee feels that if there is any desire for such an effort, it should be initiated by the Executive Branch and not the committee. None of the prime bill sponsors presented at the hearing nor did any constituents, hospitals, or insurance companies. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 18-0.

SB 136, prohibiting the employment or volunteering of a revoked or suspended educator. This bill states that an educator whose credential has been suspended or revoked cannot be employed or even volunteer at a public school or a non-public school. There are exceptions provided such as employment to begin after the suspension. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 19-1.

CACR 9, relating to the New Hampshire presidential primary. Providing that the New Hampshire presidential primary will be the first presidential primary of a presidential election cycle. The committee felt that enshrining this right into the New Hampshire Constitution was not appropriate and should not share the space with such valued institutions such as the right to keep and bear arms and the right to free speech. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 19-0.

SB 53-FN, (New Title) permitting the use of certain refrigerants that are in compliance with the Clean Air Act. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 19-1.

SB 105-FN, relative to information collected by the division of vital records administration as part of the live birth worksheet. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 20-0.

SB 207, (New Title) establishing a committee to study licensure of mental health professionals and relative to mental health critical incident intervention and management. The committee amendment, which replaces the entire bill, deletes the study committee, revises the definitions of peer support groups, and incorporates conditional licenses for mental health workers; allowing them to work while finalizing the requirements for full licensure, under the supervision of a licensed professional. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 20-0.

SB 46, relative to electronic payments to employee debit cards. This bill would eliminate an employee’s ability to receive a paper check if they do not have a checking account and allows the employer to only offer them a payroll card. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 20-0.

SB 269, relative to tip pooling and sharing. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 20-0.

SB 47, establishing a commission to study barriers to increased density of residential development in New Hampshire. With a current shortage of over 20,000 housing units statewide the commission will study issues related to the density of residential development in New Hampshire by considering minimum standards of residential development density for different housing types by considering the availability of public water and sewer infrastructure or other appropriate alternatives and account for the variability of environmental conditions. The commission will also study the impacts of development, potential model ordinances to support municipalities in their planning work, and the build-out potential of existing residential properties, including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, and other existing property types, based on the existence of water/sewer infrastructure or lack thereof and recommend potential legislation resulting from their work. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 18-2.

SB 222, relative to the definition of broadband infrastructure as a revenue-producing facility eligible for municipal revenue bonds. This bill allows municipalities to finance broadband infrastructure by extending bond issuing authority to locations within communications districts formed under RSA 53-G. Notwithstanding substantial improvements to the broadband capabilities added to many locations in New Hampshire, there are still areas that are underserved by this basic utility. Allowing those locations to issue revenue-producing bonds specifically to implement or upgrade their systems ensures access to a vital means of communication throughout the state. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 18-2.

SB 11, relative to African American burial grounds. This bill requires consultation with the descendants or descendant community prior to excavation or exploration of historical or unmarked and newly discovered graves. As amended, the bill moves the language to the proper area of the RSAs and adds to the current statute covering Native American graves additional categories of historical remains to ensure proper treatment and require consultation with the appropriate descendant communities and the state archaeologist prior to relocation. The language also requires return of artifacts to their original sites or the descendant community. The NH Historical Society, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, along with the State Archaeologist support the language and concur it is consistent with current practices for handling of historical grave remains, and this bill merely places them in statute. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 20-0.

SB 170-FN, relative to small group child day care centers. This bill creates a new type of residential childcare license for up to 12 children and has a provision for before and after school care as well as for holidays. This will increase the supply of childcare in the state, most notably in rural areas which do not have the population to support a full childcare center. The committee views this bill as an integral first step to solving the childcare supply shortage in the state. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 19-0.

SB 187-FN, relative to driver’s licenses for certain visa holders. This bill addresses licensing for migrant agricultural workers. Currently, after being here for 60 days, these workers are required to get a New Hampshire license by RSA 263:35. The picking season can be longer than that. This bill extends the ability to drive on a foreign jurisdiction license for 300 days. The license must be in English. Those with licenses printed in another language would need an international permit, or still apply for a New Hampshire license after 60 days. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 20-0.

SB 32-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. This bill would make changes to the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund, originally created in 2020 to manage the settlement funds from opioid litigation, under the direction of the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission. Its purpose is three-fold: it requires at least one round of grants per year, as long as there is at least $5 million in the fund; it makes additions to the eligibility for grant recipients, at the request of the subject matter experts on the commission; and it updates the statutory language to reflect best practices in the field. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 20-0.

On the Regular Calendar


SB 58, relative to arrests without a warrant while in the care of a medical professional on the premises of a residential care or health care facility. Currently, patients committing misdemeanor level assaults on healthcare personnel in hospitals and residential facilities cannot be arrested without a warrant unless a police officer personally witnesses the offense. This bill creates a narrow addition to the warrantless arrest statute that would allow police to arrest a person who interferes with medically necessary services through threats or actual violence and poses a risk to continue to interfere unless they are arrested. NAMI-NH, the New Hampshire Disability Rights Center, and the New Hampshire Hospital Association all supported the changes. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 20-0.

SB 70-FN, relative to the establishment of an election information portal. This bill as amended takes Help America Vote Act (HAVA) monies and puts them towards the purchase of new voting machines and the building of an online voter information portal. The portal will allow people to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot, thus making those processes easier. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 13-5.

SB 61, relative to surface water setbacks for landfills. This bill directs the Department of Environmental Services to reexamine its rules governing setbacks of newly sited landfills from surface water bodies to impose site-specific requirements sufficient to prevent groundwater contaminated by a spill or release of leachate from reaching such a water body before remedial action can be implemented, to provide the department with representative factors that it must consider in adopting new setback rules, and to require the department to take into account certain additional environmental protective measures proposed by an applicant for a landfill permit. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 12-8.

SB 172-FN, allowing court-appointed guardians to receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits. This is a simple addition of “court-appointed guardians” to a long list of those eligible for federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families while providing support to a broad category of children under 19 years of age. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 25-0.

SB 42-FN, relative to overpayment of unemployment compensation. This bill, as it was passed by the senate, eliminates the collection of interest on most overpayment of unemployment benefits. Interest would still be charged in instances where the recipient willfully made a false statement or representation or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact to obtain or increase the unemployment compensation. WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION.

SB 193, relative to the obligation of collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith. This bill makes a change to the definition of “good faith” negotiation. Currently, negotiation in good faith requires that meetings be held within reasonable time frames. If one side deliberately delays or avoids scheduling negotiating sessions, that would be considered an unfair labor practice. What constitutes an unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the NH Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB), who also determines associated remedies and penalties. This bill would add the presumption that a failure to meet within a two-week time frame constitutes bad faith negotiations. The amendment clarifies that the 10-day limit as set by the original language means 10 business days. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 12-8.

SB 110-FN-LOCAL, (New Title) relative to residency status. This bill defines residency status of transient individuals for purposes of determining responsibility for local assistance. WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION.

SB 132-FN, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies. This bill seeks to prohibit towns and cities from creating what it terms sanctuary policies, by requiring law enforcement personnel to cooperate with federal immigration detainers as defined under USC1373, and setting out legal consequences for any state political subdivision, including individuals within those subdivisions, that in any way promulgate or “endorse” policies that are welcoming to immigrants. Those who introduced the bill to the committee stated that it did not constitute a mandate but that is in question since the penalties for not abiding by its prohibitions are so severe. Further, by banning policies as well as practices, municipalities are given little guidance on what would constitute such a policy, or whether even a discussion about the subject would be a violation for which an individual or a town could be investigated and sued. The bill violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution in its prohibition of even a casual mention of the sanctuary policies it targets. It could violate the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution in its adherence to federal immigration detainers with no mention of how those detainer requests originate and that they must demonstrate probable cause that the person to be detained has committed a felony, and it is potentially confusing to municipalities on this point since police in New Hampshire towns and cities already comply with immigration detainers when appropriate. Members in support of Inexpedient to Legislate believe it also creates an unfunded mandate since towns and cities would have to divert law enforcement resources or increase staffing in order to meet the bill’s requirements. Further, because individual officials are held personally liable to investigation and responsible for attorney and court fees no matter what their status or where they serve or volunteer, towns and cities can offer no assurance to those officials that they will not find themselves in court and paying legal fees to an anonymous complainant. Municipalities themselves that run afoul of this bill could be sued and the cost will ultimately be borne by taxpayers. This bill is flawed, inconsistent with federal and state law and, as such, will result in immediate lawsuits by individuals and organizations, imposing costs on towns and cities. WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION.

Coming up in House Committees

Tuesday, June 6

FINANCE, Reps Hall, SH
2 PM Finance Committee Budget Briefing
This is a presentation by the Legislative Budget Assistant (LBA) regarding Senate Finance Committee changes to House passed HB 1-A and HB 2-FN-A-L. These presentations are open to the full House and can be watched here.

Coming up in the Senate

The Senate will meet in session on Wednesday, June 7 at 10 AM (watch here) and Thursday, June 8 at 10 AM (watch here) in the Senate Chamber. The June 7 session is to vote on the state budget.

On the Regular Calendar (June 7)

HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025. Committee recommends OTP-A by a vote of 7-0.
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures. Committee recommends OTP-A by a vote of 5-2.
HB 367-FN-L, relative to eligibility of students in the education freedom account program. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 5-2.

On the Regular Calendar (June 8)


HB 25-A, making appropriations for capital improvements. Committee recommends OTP-A by a vote of 5-0.

HB 251, relative to the cost of compliance with disclosure of electric renewable portfolio standards. Committee recommends OTP/A by a vote of 5-0.
HB 253, establishing a committee to study extended producer responsibility. Committee recommends OTP by a vote of 5-0.

HB 315, prohibiting provocation based on the defendant’s religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, political beliefs or affiliation, sex, or gender identity. Committee recommends ITL by a vote of 3-2.

Coming up in Senate Committees

Tuesday, June 6

FINANCE, Room 100, SH
10 AM Finance Committee Budget Briefing on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025, and HB 2-FN-A-L,  relative to state fees, funds, revenues and expenditures.

Upcoming Events

Plan your summer at World Fellowship Center! See the calendar of events here.

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

Save the date: Juneteenth Celebration 2023 - Reading the Bones: Celebrating the African Diaspora  – Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. A weeklong Juneteenth celebration to honor these early African settlers and their descendants for their extraordinary contributions to the growth of this region. We honor the African traders who interacted with the Indigenous tribal nations long before European settlers landed on these shores. We honor the Africans who survived the Middle Passage and the successive generations of the African diaspora who continue to contribute to the development, wealth, and well-being of New England. The celebration includes a tour, a panel discussion (featuring AFSC staff members, Grace and Fisto), a Reggae festival, a gospel choir concert, African drumming, and more!

Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 6

Continuing Revolution 2023: Nurturing Experiments in Spiritually Grounded Abolition – Hosted by Pendle Hill. Join young adult Friends and seekers (ages 18-35) gathering both online and at Pendle Hill for our annual conference for young adults to build community with others exploring abolition of police and policing. Building on themes and feedback from Continuing Revolution 2022: Experiments in Spiritually Grounded Abolition, we will focus this year on the relationship between individual and structural transformation. We will explore together definitions and practices of structural change, building skills for positioning ourselves in that work in our respective communities.

Sunday, June 4

Community Health Conversation – 3 PM to 6 PM. 200 Bedford Street, Manchester. Hosted by Manchester Community Action Coalition. The COVID Public Health Emergency status has ended. What does that mean for our community? Join us as we talk with each other and the Manchester Health Department on the newest information about vaccines and immunizations. Come with your questions, concerns, and ideas about how we can keep our community healthy. Childcare will be available.

End Gun Violence, Save lives, Civil Rights Sunday! - 4 PM to 5 PM. 2 Congress Street, Portsmouth. Hosted by Occupy NH Seacoast. Guns are the #1 killer of American children, not Drag shows, not books, not trans kids. Join us this week for a national day of action to say no to Gun Violence and yes to sensible gun laws.

Monday, June 5

Clearing the Fog: Benefits & Challenges of Offshore Wind for New England – 5:30 PM to 7 PM. Hosted by NH Network for Environment, Energy & Climate. Offshore wind is said to be New England’s greatest untapped energy resource.  Today, Europe has well over 5000 offshore turbines producing carbon-free energy. The US has exactly 5. There is a strong push to access this clean energy, but – it’s complicated! There is pushback from many quarters. A fog of myths and misconceptions is gathering around the issue. In this event, our panel of experts will dispel the fog of misinformation, to help us understand the real benefits and challenges of offshore wind in New England.

Tuesday, June 6

Community Roundtable on the Annual Highway Safety Plan – 10 AM to 12 PM. Hosted by NH Office of Highway Safety. National Safety Council of Northern New England, 2 Whitney Road, #11, Concord. Join us for a roundtable discussion to solicit feedback from our stakeholders on our annual Highway Safety Plan (HSP) and provide an opportunity to share ideas and provide suggestions for implementation of our states annual HSP. Contribute your unique perspectives and ideas about important highway safety issues that impact the motoring, walking, or rolling members of the public. Help shape the 2024 State of New Hampshire Highway Safety Plan by voicing your specific needs and/or concerns.

Apartheid-Free Communities: Launching a New Initiative to End Israeli Apartheid - 8 PM. Hosted by AFSC. In late 2022, a coalition of faith groups in North America came together to respond to the emerging consensus among the international human rights community that Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people amounts to the crime of Apartheid. Together, we drafted an Apartheid-Free pledge through which faith groups, organizations, and communities commit to dismantling Apartheid in Israel and Palestine. Over 50 congregations, faith groups, and organizations have already signed the pledge. On June 6th, the 56th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, we are making our pledge public and calling on others to join us in our work to oppose all forms of racism while working to cut ties to Israel Apartheid. 

Wednesday, June 7

Love Our Neighbors: NH People’s Budget Visibility – 9 AM. Hosted by the NH People’s Budget Coalition. 107 N. Main Street, Concord (outside the Senate chambers on the 2nd floor). Join us ahead of the Senate vote on the state budget to urge our Senators to remove harmful provisions and invest in the programs that enable true safety and stability in our communities. Join us in person and contact your Senators today!

Thursday, June 8

NH Renews Climate & Energy Lobby Day & Luncheon – 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Tandy's Pub & Grille, 1 Eagle Square in Concord. Hosted by NH Renews Coalition. Join the NH Renews coalition for a lobby day to make our voices heard and show our collective power! Share your experience with legislators on how the high cost of utilities and dependency on non-renewable sources has impacted you and your community. All are welcome!

We Want to Hear from You, Community Conversation – 3 PM. Hosted by Safari Youth Club, Manchester Pride, City of Manchester. Hallsville School, 275 Jewett Street, Manchester. All are welcome! Refreshments will be served. Contact: & (603) 624-6500 (ext. 160 or 204).

Run for Office 101: Election Offices - 7 PM to 8 PM. Hosted by 603 Forward. Do you want to stand up for free and fair elections in your community? Be a democracy hero and run for an election office in your city. Join us to learn more about local municipal roles like Ward Clerks, Moderators, Supervisor of the Checklist, and Selectpeople. We will discuss the critical role they play in our democracy and hear from a panelist of young leaders currently serving in these roles.

Friday, June 9

Convening on Migrant Justice – 9 AM to 12 PM. Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, 320 E 43rd St, New York, NY. Hosted by AFSC. Join AFSC staff from across our global programs to discuss Quaker approaches to migration and forced displacement. Registration begins at 9 AM  and the program begins at 9:30 AM.

Saturday, June 10

NH's First Guns to Gardens Event! – 10 AM to 2 PM. 79 Clinton Street, Concord. Hosted by GunSenseNH and New Hampshire Council of Churches. Currently, NH law enforcement officials are prohibited by state law from destroying firearms which come into their possession. They are permitted to store the firearms, use them in their own work, or sell them at public auction. Guns to Gardens provides an opportunity for Granite Staters to remove unwanted firearms from circulation by turning them into garden tools. Please join us as a volunteer or as someone who wishes to take their unwanted gun out of circulation!

Healing Justice Workshop – 11 AM to 12:30 PM. Zoom & 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY. Hosted by AFSC. Meet young leaders from AFSC's healing justice programs to learn about injustices in the US immigration and criminal legal systems, including how students have used photography, filmmaking, and other forms of art to drive social change and how past participants continue their advocacy today. Join us in person or via Zoom. A link to join will be sent out before the event.

Sunday, June 11

2023 NH Peace Action Annual Meeting – 10 AM to 2 PM. Bear Brook State Park - Bathhouse Pavilion, 157 Deerfield Road, Allenstown. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Please join us for our Annual Meeting and Celebration of Will! This will be Will Hopkins last Annual Meeting as Executive Director. We plan to have plenty of space for reflection and stories with Will following the short Business Meeting, elections and lunch. Will is planning on cooking ribs and stuffed mushrooms. This will be the last time you can enjoy Will's BBQ as Executive Director! The remainder of the lunch will be potluck. Tickets are just $20 to help cover the cost of park rental and beverages. There is an option for students/fixed income as well. If cost is a barrier to attending, please email

Coal Retirement Action - 12:30 PM. Merrimack Station, 431 River Road, Bow. Hosted by 350 NH. From June 12 to June 20, Granite Shore Power (Merrimack Station’s owners) will have a chance to retire the coal plant. We are determined to make sure this happens! That’s why on June 11, we’ll be joining activists around the county in a day of action to shut down fossil fuels. We’ll descend on Merrimack Station to demand that Granite Shore Power file to close the plant—and, as always, demonstrate that if they won’t act, we are ready to retire it ourselves. We'd love to have you with us! Join our prep session here.  

Tuesday, June 13

Open Democracy Book Club: One Person, No Vote – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy. Join us for another book club to discuss Carol Anderson's One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy. Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. In a powerful new afterword, she examines the repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.

Thursday, June 15

MCAC Town Hall: 3rd Anniversary Celebration – 5 PM to 6:30 PM. SEE Science Center, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester. Hosted by Manchester Community Action Coalition (MCAC). Join us for an evening of partnership and science. There will be community, music, dance, food, science activities, insects, robots. All are welcome! 

NO Asphalt Plant Visibility Before Nashua Planning Board Meeting – 6 PM. Nashua City Hall. Hosted by 350 NH. Finally the Nashua planning board is meeting to vote on the asphalt plant proposal! Join us outside City Hall at 6pm for a visibility before attending the meeting at 7.

Be well,

Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke 

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

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