Legislative Update for the Week of February 12th
Hope you had a great weekend! We were really busy in the North Country and on the Seacoast meeting and hearing from voters about what is important to them. If we didn't get to see you we hope to soon!
Last week, after I found someone to allow the House to reconsider HB587, the House narrowly passed the bill to the Senate that would ban damaging gay conversion therapy in our state by a vote of 179 to 171.
We also put a big one in the win column as Governor Sununu signed a bill I cosponsored in the New Hampshire legislature that strengthens protections for children against lead contamination from paint and water. Another bill I cosponsored to provide funding to fight invasive aquatic species in our lakes and rivers was also approved in the House and moves onto the Finance Committee for review.
This week, two bills I'm cosponsoring are up for votes by the full house onFebruary 15th:
1. HCR 13 is a resolution that condemns hate crimes, incitements to violence, and other forms of discrimination, including sexuality or gender discrimination. Approval of this bill would send a strong message that there's no room for hate in New Hampshire, including our state legislature.
2. HB 1577 is a transparency bill that requires all meetings and sessions of committees of the House of Representatives to be recorded and made available on the Internet. Currently, only sessions of the full House and Senate are recorded and streamed.
Several of my bills are also working their way through House and Senate Committees this week:
1. HB1319 will be heard at 10 AM on Tuesday in Representatives Hall which is a bill to ban sexual and gender discrimination. Two weeks ago, hundreds of people showed up to tell their stories and offer support of this legislation.
2. HB 1632 will receive a hearing on Wednesday. This bill would require producers of bottled water analyzed at least annually for contaminants. Concentrations of any contaminants would also be required to be listed on the label. Last week, seven lobbyists showed up for a hearing to oppose my bill to ban crumb rubber from being used on playing fields. Expect a similar turnout for this one.
2. HB 1610 will receive a hearing on Tuesday. This bill requires property sellers to provide notice to buyers of environmentally hazardous sites within one mile of the property and to disclose water test results if a source of MTBE or perfluorinated chemicals is identified within one mile of the property. This bill protects buyers from unwittingly purchasing properties with contaminated water that has not been remediated.
3. SB240 will be heard by the Senate Finance committee on Thursday. It requires parties identified by the NH Department of Environmental Services as responsible for contamination to provide monitoring. If standards are exceeded they are also required to provide water treatment of access to an alternative source of water.
Also up for votes on Thursday by the full House are two bills that I strongly oppose:
1. HB 1511 would effectively ban abortions after 8 weeks. It also amends the fetal homicide bill passed in 2017 to remove immunity from criminal charges for acts committed by a pregnant woman relative to the fetus.
2. HB 438 would set aside negotiated provisions in collective bargaining agreements throughout the state. It is anti-union and a slap in the face to state employees, who have been without a contract for over 200 days and counting.