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Weekly Legislative Update
NH Says No to Hate - HCR 13 Passes House
- New Hampshire House says there’s no place for Hate in the Granite State: After a nasty attempt to table my Anti-Hate Resolution (HCR 13) the motion was summarily slapped down by a vote of 132-191. Then the full New Hampshire House of Representatives approved by a vote of 234 to 69. Representatives John Cloutier of Claremont and Latha Mangipudi of Nashua spoke about their experiences with hate in New Hampshire. The testimony was moving and I believe the passage of the Resolution is healing. 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. After 2017’s attempted lynching of a mixed race child in Claremont, this resolution sends a strong statement to the rest of the country that there is no room for hate in New Hampshire.
- One of my bills, HB1561, drew no less than 7 lobbyists flown in from across the country to testify against it this week in a hearing. The bill was to ban use of cancer-causing crumb rubber on children’s playing fields. The lobbyists who were flown in to oppose my bill represented the Synthetic Fill Company, Turf Council, and the Tire Industry Association. Three elected officials including myself and one resident testified in support. We had no chance without strong advocacy.
- Did you know that bottled water is less regulated than your tapwater?? Another bill of mine, HB1632, opposed by lobbyists was a consumer protection bill requiring bottled water companies to test for cancer causing PFCs, arsenic and MTBE, and include test results on labels. This bill was also heavily opposed by Coca Cola and the International Bottled Water Association.
- Transparency is the heart of Democracy right? Not in the New Hampshire House. HB1557 would have required legislative committee hearings be videotaped and streamed online (so citizens might have a chance to see the influence of lobbyists) was defeated. It would also allow access to the elderly, sick, or disabled to access state government policy making. The bill was voted down on the floor by a vote of 236 to 96.
- Another attack on women got thwarted last week. HB1511 intended to make a woman responsible for the death of a fetus at 8 weeks. Thanks to Representative Dan Eaton, this bill was tabled on a vote of 204 to 121.
Next week several of my bills will be heard in committee:
- On Tuesday, HB1766 to require the Coakley Landfill Group to remove contaminants from well water polluted by PFCs will be voted on in committee. Given 30 years of inaction by the EPA, this bill represents the best chance for quick action for families living near the landfill. The bill is one of four environmental bills I’m sponsoring that different committees will be discussing and possibly voting on.
- Also on Tuesday, HB 1807 a bill I’m cosponsoring to protect our seniors will be heard in committee. This bill makes it easier for vulnerable people in abusive situations to get help without the need to notify the person who is abusing them.
On Thursday, the full House of Representatives will vote on a full slate of bills, including several I am cosponsoring:
- HB 1565 would require the secure psychiatric unit at the state prison to be accredited as a psychiatric hospital. The would ensure that prisoners get the help they need instead of simply being warehoused.
- HB 1446 would designate September as childhood cancer awareness month.
- HB 1646 would require cell phone carriers to provide a monthly report of dropped calls in each zip code. Dropped calls are a huge issue in rural areas and at the beaches - better data will help consumers.
Also this week, the legislature will get its first look at a Senate bill to renew the New Hampshire Health Protection Program. Also known as Medicaid expansion, this bill would preserve healthcare for 50,000 people as well as much of the funding used for opioid treatment. A hearing will be held on the bill at 1:30 pm Tuesday in Representatives Hall.
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.
We need your help! I was able to get someone to file to allow us to reconsider HB-587, to ban conversion therapy in our state.
The American Psychological Association says that conversion therapy attempts to correct something that is not wrong with an individual and calls it damaging and possibly a contributing factor in suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 10 to 34-year- old New Hampshire citizens.
It’s time to stop allowing insurance executives and pharmaceutical lobbyists dictate what healthcare is best for our families and our children. We need to start putting money and trust into a system that will take us in a fundamentally different direction- a single-payer healthcare system, where healthcare for all is a fundamental right.
After working on key organizing efforts in the New Hampshire House to kill a bill that would ultimately impact women's access to reproductive healthcare, House Bill 471 was voted down three times today! See part of my parliamentary inquiry here...This bill would have spent $100s of thousands of dollars to collect patient information, provider information and other invasive information about abortions putting private information at risk for a security breach. In committee hearings, the sponsor claimed the information would be used to address healthcare shortages but today spoke otherwise.
YOU CAN HELP!
We NEED you THIS week to email and/or call Committee members or come to Concord!
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