House OKs several business-related bills

As the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday hotly debated dozens of retained bills from last year — everything from bringing back short-term loans to allowing guns on campus — a number of measures won quiet approval.

All of them still must be passed by the Senate and escape the governor's veto pen.

Among them:
• House Bill 234: Mortgage bankers and brokers who negotiate three or more mortgages a year would no longer need a license.
• HB 351: Insurance companies would be mandated to include naturopathic doctors as primary care physicians in individual plans. It would only encourage insurers to reimburse them in small group plans.
• HB 408: Attorneys could provide mortgage advice to their clients with a broker's license, as long as they didn't act like brokers.
• Senate Bill 153: Real estate appraisal companies, and not just the appraisers themselves, would have to be registered with the state.
• HB 420: Independent contractors would only have to satisfy seven criteria, not 12, in order to allow companies to avoid hiring them as employees.
• SB 49: Employers would be able to advise on tip-sharing arrangements and help mediate disputes, though the final choice to participate in such arrangements would be up to the workers.
• HB 256: Businesses whose environmental permits are rejected would be able to mediate the dispute, and if they go to a hearing, a hearing officer would be appointed by the attorney general, not the Department of Environmental Services.
• SB 19: More landowners and businesses would be notified before wetlands are designated for protection, and the definition of such wetlands would be tightened, meaning more land would be open for development.



Categories: Government