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.Read More