This past week saw some hopeful developments, as well as some difficult losses, as both the House and Senate met to cast floor votes on priority legislation.
Important progress was made on expanding access to healthcare. The Senate unanimously passed SB 422, expanding the state Medicaid program to cover preventative dental care. The House passed HB 1622 to ensure that mental health services are properly covered by insurance companies, as well as HB 1390, requiring that certain telemedicine services include interpreters for non-English language speakers, the deaf and hard of hearing.
Thank you everyone who called and emailed your legislators urging them to support these bills!
Unfortunately, the House also killed many good bills. These included:
- CACR 28, a constitutional amendment giving workers the right to a livable wage.
- HB 1403, creating a commission to periodically raise the minimum wage.
- HB 1392, a bill to lower penalties for nonviolent drug offenses.
- HB 1407, which would have allowed towns and cities to develop community based land trusts as a housing solution.
Additional bills were blocked when legislators tabled them without debate:
- HB 1536, which would have expanded Medicaid to cover post-partum healthcare services for new mothers (there is still an opportunity to expand postpartum care with SB 407).
- HB 1578, which would have expanded Medicaid to cover pregnant women and children who are legal residents of NH but not naturalized citizens.
- HB 1601, securing more funding for energy conservation programs.
- HB 1506, creating a fund for clean energy investments.
- HB 1419, to begin the creation of a NH civilian climate corps to work on restoring public lands and waters, improving community resilience and carbon sequestration.
As we face setbacks, it is critical that we continue to speak up, show up and bring grassroots power to the State House. See below for top actions you can take this week to support education justice and healthcare equity.
As always, you can invite others to sign up here for these weekly updates.
Until next week, and in solidarity,
Asma Elhuni, Movement Politics Director, Rights & Democracy
Sign in to register your position on these RAD priority bills, and testify in writing and in person if you are able! See “Tips for Testifying” below.
[highlight style=”gray”]EDUCATION JUSTICE[/highlight]
The Senate will meet on Thursday, February 24th, to vote on two bills to repeal the divisive concepts order that is stopping educators from teaching truth. Please reach out to your Senator and urge them to vote yes on:
- SB 304, to repeal last year’s “divisive concepts” law and replace it with a provision that nothing in New Hampshire law will prohibit schools and businesses from teaching about the historic or current experiences of any group protected from discrimination.
- SB 298, to repeal last year’s “divisive concepts” law.
Watch the Thursday Senate session remotely here, beginning at 10am.
[highlight style=”gray”]HEALTHCARE JUSTICE[/highlight]
Only one RAD priority bill has a hearing this week. We urge you to sign in and submit written testimony to oppose this harmful healthcare bill that is scheduled for a second hearing:
- HB 1271, requiring that immunization requirements established by the department of health and human services be ratified by a 2/3rds vote of the legislature.
When: February 22nd, 3pm
Where: Legislative Office Building
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In addition to the wins and losses we mentioned above, the House also passed HB 1493, which would require more transparency from the Attorney General in how money and assets seized by the police are pooled and spent from the drug forfeiture fund.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 5 – 7:30pm
Tuesday Phonebank for Justice
Wednesday, February 23rd, 6 – 9pm
Climate Deep Canvass Phonebank
Wednesday, March 9, 6 – 7:30pm
HEAL Together NH Monthly Call
Beginning Sunday, April 10, 1 – 3pm
Race Class Academy Series
Tips for Testifying
In person: Go early to the room assigned for the committee hearing early. There will be a form for you to sign your name and who you are representing. You may sign in as yourself if you are not representing an organization. The higher your name is on the list, the earlier you get to speak. You will be called on when they open the hearing to the public.
Online: If you cannot attend a hearing in person, you can register your position online up to a week out. (Registration is cut off 30 minutes before a hearing.) After signing in support of a bill, the confirmation page will list the email address where you can submit written testimony. Email committee members to let them know why you support or oppose a bill.
- Register your position and/or submit testimony on a Senate bill here.
- Find the Senate Calendar here (meeting links are in the Calendar Notice pdf).
- Find your Senator here.
- Register your position and/or submit testimony on a House bill here.
- Find the House Calendar here.
- Find your Representative(s) here.
Don’t know your district? Use this map.