The 2019 legislative session is complete, after the House and Senate met Thursday to vote on Committee of Conference reports. We’re sending this, our final regular State House Update of the year, out on a Friday because we have an immediate call for action on the budget. At the bottom, we’ll have an update on some key legislation. For the rest of the summer and fall, we’ll include political updates in SEA News.
Action alert: Ask governor to sign the budget
On Thursday, the House and Senate each passed the state budget bills (HB 1 and HB 2), sending them along to Gov. Chris Sununu for consideration. In addition to approving the budget, legislators also approved a continuing resolution that would fund the government if the governor chooses to veto the budget.
We’re asking members to contact the governor immediately and ask him to support the budget. Legislators made major concessions in an attempt to reach a compromise that the governor could support. There’s too much at stake to play politics with the budget.
You can call the governor’s office at 271-2121.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Updates on other bills we’re following
Brief updates on the remaining legislation we’re tracking:
Minimum wage: The House and Senate each approved the Senate’s minimum wage bill, SB 10, on Thursday. Gov. Chris Sununu, however, is expected to veto the bill. As passed, the bill would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour on Jan 1, 2020, then to $12 an hour two years later. As a reminder, New Hampshire defaults to the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour), which makes our minimum wage lower than all other states in our region.
Workplace violence: This week, the governor signed SB 29, a bill requested by our Conservative Members Committee that would create a commission to study incidents of workplace violence against state employees. This is a great win for a burgeoning group here at the SEA. We’re excited to see how they continue to impact the political process going forward.
Corrections Group II: Still pending – The Group II bill, HB 116, has been approved by the House and Senate and is working its way through the process. The bill creates a process which would allow for the movement of Department of Corrections employees from Group I to Group II without specific legislation. The bill is moving through the process on to the governor. He can sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Pension COLA: Still pending – Our state pension COLA bill, HB 616, has been approved by the House and Senate and is working its way through the process. The governor has said he’ll sign the bill.
Clinicians bill: Still pending – Our bill to establish a commission to study the business environment for mental health providers in New Hampshire, SB 115, was approved by the House. The Senate concurred with the House-amended version. The bill is moving through the process on to the governor. He can sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Union notification: Still pending – The bill that provides some important union workplace protections, SB 148, was approved by the House. The Senate concurred with the House-amended version. The bill is moving through the process on to the governor. He can sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.