- This week at the State House
- Can you be at the budget hearing today?
- House Finance continues work on the budget
- Reminder: Tomorrow is Town Meeting Day
The Senate is set to meet in session on Thursday at 10 a.m. to act on a full calendar of legislation. The House will not meet in session this week; the next House session day will be on March 23. The House will not conduct business on Tuesday, which is Town Meeting Day across New Hampshire, except for the Finance Committee.
Our big focus this week, and going forward, will be the budget (more on that later). Each chamber is coming up on deadlines to report and act on legislation ahead of crossover (when bills move over to the other chamber for consideration).
Here are the full calendars for each chamber:
Please attend and testify if you can, particularly on retiree health care
The state budget is the single most important piece of legislation that lawmakers will vote on this year, funding state agencies as well as urgent priorities, such as fighting the opioid epidemic. Lawmakers need to hear from us what issues are important to us, and this afternoon’s budget hearing is a great opportunity to address lawmakers face to face. We’re looking to get members out to the hearing to be a presence and to testify.
The budget hearing is set for 3 p.m. today (Monday) in Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord. There will be many people at this hearing, all advocating for their respective causes. We need to make sure we are there and vocal, especially when it comes to retiree health care.
Gov. Sununu’s budget proposal funded many critical priorities, but had one major blemish: it included language that would slam retired state employees with unexpected new health care costs. The budget language on health insurance is nearly identical to that in HB 653. It’s especially troubling because it only sets a floor of a 10 percent premium, meaning that’s the least it could be.
For the moment, we are in a holding pattern to see how the House budget develops. The House Finance Committee continues to work on its version of the budget this week. You can find their schedule for this week here.
Tomorrow is Town Meeting Day in communities all across New Hampshire, and we’re back with our annual reminder that every election is important. If your town is voting tomorrow, you should be sure to get out and vote.
As we’ve seen in communities such as Derry — where in recent years, massive budget cuts enacted by the Town Council threatened public safety — even local elections can have big consequences. You owe it to yourself and your community to educate yourself and head out to the polls.
Want to know more about town meeting history? This piece has some great background on the early March election tradition.