US Representative for New Hampshire District 1

Weekly Legislative Updates

Weekly Updates

Legislative update week of February 19th

Last week:

  • 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.

 

Read More
Kimberly Sychterz
Legislative update week of February 12, 2018

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.


Hope you have a great week!

- Mindi

Read More
Kimberly Sychterz