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Weekly Legislative Update
This week, both the House and the Senate will be in session on Thursday. The House session will focus on bills that have come back from the Senate. Here’s how you can help! Senate bills that I have been working on are coming back to the House after the Senate has tried to dismantle them or perhaps the House leadership just wants to kill them. We are going to take up the following floor fights and need your help getting the word out to have emails sent to all House reps! (sorry for the late notice but this is how things happen this time of year).
HB587 - this was the Hail Mary attempt to make gay conversion therapy illegal in the State of NH. We want the House to CONCUR with the Senate and just pass it. We are afraid if it goes to Committee of Conference it will die.
HB1592- relating to arsenic in drinking water. This bill was entirely neutered in the Senate. We want this bill to go to COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE to restore it so it has some ability to keep the DES to a schedule for creating an arsenic standard. We have 3,000 cases per million of bladder cancer alone (tied to ingestion of arsenic but also other chronic disease and cancer).
HB1766 - relating to remediation of Coakley Landfill. The Senate stripped the bill in an unfortunate turn of events that had republicansDan Innis, Andy Sanborn and Gannon fighting with Dan Feltes and Martha Hennessey (dems) against an amendment brought by Martha Fuller Clark, succumbing to pressure from the City of Portsmouth and the CLG, to gut this bill. We want this bill to go to COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE so that the bill has a chance of making the CLG responsible for cleaning up their toxic mess.
HB1807 - protection of the vulnerable elderly (Alzheimer’s and dementia). This bill was stripped in the Senate after Daniels removed it from Consent because the protective order language and reference to removal of guns that is the same language for protection against domestic violence. This is outrageous - the bill passed two House Committees, twice the House floor, Senate committee and was stripped on the Senate floor. We want to make a really big deal of this and we want it to go to COMMITTEE of CONFERENCE since there is not much left of the bill.
HB1565 - relative to the accreditation of the secure psychiatric unit. Please tell House Reps to vote to send this to Committee of Conference. We want action to correct this horrible wrong in the State of New Hampshire. Read this for background.
Coakley Landfill Update
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the Coakley Landfill Group (CLG) to provide additional information in its plan for a deep bedrock investigation at the site. The purpose is to see if contaminants at the site are spreading via water running through cracks deep below the level of current test wells. Because this type of work requires a much higher degree of expertise than typical monitoring and testing, the EPA also ordered CLG to provide information on the qualifications of the supervising contractor. I am thrilled that the EPA is taking a stronger stance and is making the CLG hire qualified people and follow the science. But regardless of who does the investigation itself, it is critical for the final report to be examined by independent third-party evaluators. There simply is too much at stake for people living near the site to do anything less.
Last Week at the State House
After months of debate, the House joined the Senate by approving a 5-year extension of expanded Medicaid coverage for over 50,000 low-income Granite Staters. SB 313 now goes to the governor for his (expected) signature.
HB 1319 was also approved in the Senate after a committee recommendation for more unneeded study was overturned. This bill prohibits gender-based discrimination in New Hampshire and was long overdue in a state that prides itself on its “Live Free or Die” motto. The governor is also expected to sign this bill.
A so-called “school choice” bill (SB 193) that would have used tax dollars set aside for public education to fund private and religious schools was sent to Interim study by the House. Normally, this would have killed it for the 2018 session, but Senate Republicans have attached the original (and even worse) version of the bill as an amendment to a bill already passed by the House. This week the House will decide whether to concur, to not concur (killing it), or to establish a Committee of Conference. Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to oppose this giveaway to private and religious schools that will increase local property taxes.
A bill I’m co-sponsoring moved forward.HB 1356 requiring the Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a data sharing protocol regarding health and environmental information collected by each agency was also approved in the Senate.
Contribute what you can NOW to keep the grassroots growing!
P.S. Did You Know? You can view the House when in session, by selecting "LIVE" in the "General Court News and Hot Links" box at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us. Recordings are posted soon after each session on the Streaming Media page http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/media/default.htm.
NH Says No to Hate - HCR 13 Passes House
I am so proud to have been a part of a legislative session in New Hampshire that has accomplished some major positive steps relating to gender identity and sexual orientation.
History will look back upon the tragedy of Parkland as the tipping point for real change. My heart goes out to everyone who felt the tragedy.
I thank Mom’s Demand Action for the honor of being recognized as the Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction
I joined more than 2,500 people to watch many courageous students who spoke out at the March for Our Lives Rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire yesterday. I am so proud of the students who were so powerful and exhibited courage and strength yesterday. They give us all hope for the future leadership of this country. Students - please know how to vote in November and overcome any obstacles that are put up to make it harder for you to do so. It is so very important.
This week an amazing thing happened in the New Hampshire State House. Representatives John Cloutier of Claremont and Latha Mangipudi of Nashua in support of my Anti-Hate Resolution, HCR13 about their experiences with hate in New Hampshire. The testimony was moving and I believe the passage of the Resolution is healing. The Resolution passed the House floor on a wide margin of 234 to 69.
The New Hampshire House has sent a statement to the world that we condemn hate crimes and any other form of conduct that constitutes racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination based on disability, age, marital or familial status, sexuality or gender discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus contrary to law. View bill: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_Status/billText.aspx?sy=2018&id=1168&txtFormat=pdf&v=current
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!
The effort had momentum. But it stalled late last month, when the committee recommended it be killed, 13-8. But it was committee Democrats, led by Rep. Mindi Messmer, D-Rye, that led the charge.
Senate Bill 247, “preventing childhood lead poisoning from paint and water and making an appropriation to a special fund,” is sponsored by Sens. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro; Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth; and David Watters, D-Dover, and Rep. Mindi Messmer of Rye.
PORTSMOUTH - State Rep. Mindi Messmer has introduced legislation calling for all companies who sell bottled water in New Hampshire to have the water tested annually for potentially toxic chemicals and compounds -- including PFASs.
Recently, I was joined by fellow women legislators who expressed concerns to our New Hampshire federal delegation about the president's ability to use nuclear weapons as a first strike. We are concerned that the president is not required to consult with any advisors before issuing a launch of nuclear arms.
We look forward to honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend. Dr. King was committed to non-violence and ending discrimination in our country. Now more than ever, it is important for Americans to honor Dr. King and his sacrifice by voicing their rejection of hate-speech, violence, and discrimination. We are better than this. We must speak out.
YOU CAN HELP!
We NEED you THIS week to email and/or call Committee members or come to Concord!
Read all the news!