BILL WATCH

These are selected NH STATE bills that WILL affect the rights of residents in ALL NH TOWNS. Most, if passed, would curtail the right of the residents to determine how their town is run or develops.

You have five chances to have your say on these bills. You may also testify in person at the public committee hearings, when they discuss the merits of the bills. Most simply send their testimony by email.

If a bill leaves both the study committees of the NH House and NH Senate (with the recommendation of either “Ought to Pass” (OTP) or “Inexpedient to Legislate” (ITL),) you can still write to the full House and/or Senate to let them know how you want them to vote on that recommendation. If a bill passes both houses, and is headed for the Governor’s desk for approval, you can still email Governor Sununu and ask that he sign or veto it.

When the full body votes, they vote for the recommendation, not for the bill itself. So for example, if you wanted a bill to pass and the committee voted it “ITL”, the full body should then be instructed to vote “NO” to “ITL”. Likewise, if a bad bill gets an “OTP” from a committee, the full body should be asked to vote “NO” to “OTP”.

HB 415 – OPPOSEHB 415 Bill Status Page
HB 415 would make the adoption of the SB2 ballot law (which allows the public to vote by ballot on certain questions before the town) even more difficult by forcing people to attend the physical town meeting in order to consider it in the first place. This is true “voter suppression” since towns with more than a few hundred people can no longer accommodate “in person” voting.

UPDATE: This bill came out of the House Municipal and County Government Committee with a recommendation of “OTP” (18-1) and PASSED the full vote in the House. It now goes the Senate Committee on Election Law and Municipal Affairs.

ACTION: Please write to the Senate Committee on Election Law and Municipal Affairs and ask that they “ITL” this bill.

SB 12 – OPPOSESB 12 Bill Status Page
SB 12 would establish the New Hampshire college graduate retention incentive partnership (NH GRIP) to provide financial incentives to college graduates who are hired by participating employers and makes an appropriation to the department of business and economic affairs for that purpose.

Since when it is government’s purview to take our tax dollars to reward people for staying in the state? Just like the unconstitutional “workforce housing” bill, and other bills that attempt to mandate and control local matters, this bill has no place in our NH laws. It is not at all a function of government and is seen as a blatant attempt to change the political climate of an area.

The NHLA was correct when they stated:

“To take money from all NH residents in order to create another handout exclusively for students who attend college is unfair to other young adults who may choose other career options. The high business and property tax rates in NH are two of the main driving forces that make NH a less-attractive option for businesses and young working adults. The legislature would better serve residents by reducing spending and taxes, instead of spending even more tax money on creating new bureaucratic programs and band-aid fixes.”

This bill came out of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee hearing with a 5-0 “OTP”. February 14 was the floor date for a full vote in the Senate and IT PASSED. It will now be heard before the House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee.

ACTION: Write to the House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee to ask them to “ITL” this bill before end of May.

HB 104 – OPPOSEHB 104 Bill Status Page
HB 104 would allow a state board to be formed that would make it easier for developers to override the local zoning laws of a town in cases where their projects were rejected.

The House Judiciary Committee recommended “ITL” with a vote of 18-0. It has not been assigned to a Senate committee and was PULLED from the “CONSENT CALENDAR”.

ACTION: Watch this page in case HB 104 comes up for a full vote in the House, or there is a similar bill introduced in the Senate.

AND HERE IT IS:

SB 306 – OPPOSESB 306 Bill Status Page
SB 306 would allow a state board to be formed that would make it easier for developers to override the local zoning laws of a town in a case where their projects were rejected. This is the Senate’s “companion” bill to HB 104 proposed by Senator Bob Guida (R-02)

EXTRA: Here is the AUDIO file of the hearing. At the beginning you can hear a Republican Senator from NH complaining about the lack of funds for workforce housing, and the restrictive density regulations imposed by towns.

This bill was “LAID ON TABLE”. This means that the House or Senate may vote again on the bill someday, but for now the bill has been set aside. If the session ends and the bill has not been taken off the table, the bill dies.

SB 43 – OPPOSESB 43 Bill Status Page
SB 43 would establish a commission to study barriers to increased density of land development in New Hampshire.

Clearly this bill is to benefit developers whether the inhabitants of a locality want higher density or not.

This bill PASSED the full Senate. It has now been assigned to the House Municipal and County Government Committee.

ACTION: Email the House Municipal and County Government Committee and ask them to “ITL” this bill.

SB 15 – OPPOSESB 15 Bill Status Page
SB 15 would allocate $10 million up front and, starting in October, $5 million a year from the real estate transfer tax, to go to a dedicated fund to support affordable housing projects.

This function is not within the purview of state government!

This bill has PASSED the full SENATE. It now sits in the House Finance Committee.

ACTION: Write to the HOUSE Finance Committee and ask them to “ITL” this bill.

SB 241 – OPPOSESB 241 Bill Status Page
SB 241 would allow a study to be done using federal grant money to plan for a commuter rail system.

Trains are old technology and usually a taxpayer boondoggle. Not only that, their installation encourages Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), which translated means more “stack’n’pack” housing.

UPDATE: This bill for a study passed the Senate 14-10 along partisan lines. It must now go to the House Public Works and Highways Committee.

ACTION: Write to the House Public Works and Highways Committee and ask them to “ITL” the bill before the end of May.

HB 522 – SUPPORTHB 522 Bill Status Page
HB 522 would establish a study committee to examine the detrimental health effects of 5G technology.

This bill PASSED the full House.

ACTION: Write to the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to ask them to “OTP” this bill.

Here is a helpful file that describes how to read Bill Status pages and what the terminology means.