Legislative update: Marsy’s Law, Workforce Development, Death Penalty repeal

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CONCORD, NH – Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statements after the House and Senate passed several major items of his legislative agenda:

Economic Development and Regulatory Reform

Gov. Sununu

SB 564, Relative to a business tax exemption and a workforce development program for regenerative manufacturing businesses:

“New Hampshire has signaled to the rest of the country that we are at the forefront of innovative, life-saving technological developments. We have a long history of making smart long-term investments in New Hampshire. We are poised to become the global hub of regenerative medicine, continuing our long history on the forefront of science and technology.”

Energy and Environment

HB 1555relative to participation by the public utilities commission in regional activities:

“As a part of the ISO-NE grid, New Hampshire energy policy is connected to the decisions of our regional neighbors. It is critical that New Hampshire’s ratepayers do not bear the burden of the costly policy decisions of Southern New England.  This bill will provide the state of New Hampshire with another tool to negotiate with our neighboring states.”

HB 1101, regulating groundwater pollution caused by polluting emissions in the air:

“It is a priority of my administration to continue New Hampshire’s long tradition of environmental conservationism. As an environmental engineer who spent the early part of my career cleaning up groundwater contamination, I know firsthand the challenges of cleaning up contaminants and the risks posed to human health if we fail. HB 1101 establishes state standards and criteria for airborne pollutants which contaminate our soil and water bodies, impairing drinking water. This bill goes a long way to ensure that our drinking water is safe, for us and the next generation. I am pleased that the legislature shares my sense of urgency on this matter, and look forward to signing it into law.”

SB 309, relative to standards for perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in drinking water, ambient groundwater, and surface water:

“From day one of my administration, we have been committed to ensuring that New Hampshire’s natural beauty – which is critical to our quality of life – is conserved and enhanced for the next generation. Clean water is an essential aspect of achieving that objective. There is no greater trust we place in government than when we turn on the faucet and expect clean water. I applaud the House for passing Senate Bill 309, and look forward to signing it into law.”

Government Reform

HB 1103, relative to financial responsibility for voluntary services provided pursuant to a report of abuse or neglect that is “unfounded but with reasonable concern:”

“The restoration of voluntary services for families at risk – but not yet involved in a DCYF court action –  is a critical piece of our efforts to reform our child protection services. These services will help families get into a program where they can get the help and skills they need. This legislation not only helps parents and children, it also helps to address the caseloads within DCYF. This legislation was a key initiative of my administration and I am pleased that the Senate passed it today.”

Below is an overview of other votes in the House and Senate: 

Marsy’s Law victim of House vote

The NH House today killed a proposed constitutional amendment that would add the rights of crime victims to the state constitution with an overwhelming 284-51 vote.

Death penalty repeal passes House; faces Sununu veto

By a nearly 2 to 1 vote (223-116) today, the House joined the Senate in voting to repeal the death penalty.  It will need more votes to override an expected veto by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Family medical leave act sent home by Senate

On a partisan split, 14 to 10, a family medical leave bill lost in the Senate today. It was referred to further study.  

Construction, demolition debris OK to burn

The Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the exemption of  construction and demolition debris from a combustion ban today. It will go on to the full Senate May 2.

Longer youth hour employment allowed

A change to a labor law will  permit longer hours for youth employees passed the House on a part-line split today.

No local regulation of seeds and fertilizer

The Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved a bill that preempts local regulation of seeds and fertilizer.

“Education savings account” heads to House floor with thumbs down by Finance Committee

 A bill that would divert Manchester taxes to private education got thumbs down by the House Finance Committee Wednesday.  Despite that failure, SB 193  goes to the full House next week. Mayor Joyce Craig and the Board of Aldermen have lobbied against it.

Medicaid expansion gets boost by House Finance Committee

The continued expansion of Medicaid health insurance to 50,000 low-income Granite State households got a resounding vote of support from the House Finance Committee Wednesday on its way to a second House vote, most likely next week.

Senate election law committee OKs domicile voting bill

In a 3-2, party-line vote on Tuesday, the Senate election law committee voted to recommend a voter registration bill that would require students and temporary residents to obtain a state driver’s license and auto registration in order to vote. It heads to the Senate floor for a likely May 2 vote.

Transgender rights bill to Senate despite no endorsement by Judiciary Committee

The transgender rights bill will advance to the full SenateOn Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee failed to endorse it with a 3-2 vote for “interim study.”

Electrical generators get higher cap

The House committee for Science, Technology and Energy approved raising the cap on net metering for customer-generators.