This week at the State House
The Senate will be in session on Thursday at 10 a.m., while the House has not set its next session yet. With crossover now complete, each chamber is busy reviewing legislation passed by the other chamber.
You can find the complete House and Senate calendars below:
Members, president testify at SB 6 hearing
Last Tuesday, three members were joined by President Rich Gulla to testify in support of the child protection bill, SB 6. Those members, Shauna Smith, Traci Smiley and JoAnne Coles, have all worked at DCYF and delivered impassioned testimony on the need for the additional staffing that this bill provides.
The Child and Family Law Committee, to which the bill has been assigned, will hold an executive session on Tuesday, setting up a House vote in the coming weeks. We’ll follow up with actions you can take in support of this bill in the coming weeks. We thank the members who took time out of their busy schedules to testify, and we again thank the lead sponsor, Sen. Jon Morgan, for his advocacy.
House OKs budget bills along party lines
Last week, the House approved a $12.9 million budget proposal, sending it along to the Senate, which will now get to work on its own version. You can see the amended version of HB 1 here. You can find a good compilation of other budget documents on the website of the Legislative Budget Assistant.
The Senate will hold hearings on the budget, however, the dates and times have not yet been released – on Monday morning, the Senate Finance Committee was set to be briefed on the budget by Rep. Mary Jane Wallner, the chair of the House Finance Committee.
We’ll bring you updates on the budget process in next week’s State House Update.
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR
Updates on other bills we’re following
In addition to the bill listed above, here are progress reports on a few other key issues:
Pension COLA: Our bill to provide a pension cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to members of the NH Retirement System was approved by the House two weeks ago and has now been assigned to the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee. No hearing has been set yet.
Employee privacy: The House Labor Committee will vote Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on SB 19, which would protect the personal information of public employees from being released.
Clinicians bill: The House Commerce Committee will vote Thursday at 1 p.m. on SB 115, a bill requested by our Clinicians United group to establish a commission to study the business environment for mental health providers in New Hampshire.
Notice to join unions: The House Labor Committee will vote Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on SB 148, which, as amended, includes important provisions that spell out the rights of unions to meet with new employees promptly after hiring.
Legislature as a public employer: The House Legislative Administration Committee will hold a public hearing Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in LOB Room 303 on SB 249, which would make the state Legislature a public employer under the Public Employee Labor Relations Act.