Legislative preview: Energy, taxes at the top of lawmakers’ agenda this week

Highlights of the week ahead in the NH House and Senate 

The full NH House will be meeting later this week, but the real business is still going on at the committee level, especially when it comes to energy and taxes.

Monday, Jan. 30

The action starts Monday as the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee holds hearings on House Bill 208, a bill to set greenhouse gas emission goals so we are at net zero by 2050 and HB 176, which would limit the power of the Site Evaluation Committee as well as HB 630, which would establish a revolving clean energy “accelerator” fund in the state Department of Energy.

The committee also will be voting on HB 418, which that would use all the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative money into the state’s energy efficiency fund. Currently , of that money is rebated to ratepayers. The panel also will vote on HB 92, which would require the adoption of California low emission/zero emission vehicle standards and double the inspection fee.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

On Tuesday, the same House Science, Technology and Energy Committee will hold hearings on HB 234, which would require that unused renewable energy credits stay with the consumer rather than be swept to the utility, and HB 246, which provides that all money in the Renewable Energy Fund derived from renewable energy certificates will be used to reduce electric rates.

The panel will also hold hearings on two bills affecting biomass energy: HB 165 would remove biomass from the renewable portfolio standards and HB 166 would eliminate all thermal energy from the standards.

At the House Ways and Means committee, a will be held on HB 450, which would allow businesses to take a larger net operating loss deduction, and HB 288, which would exempt sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs from both the business enterprise tax and the business profits tax., and HB145, which would prevent other states from collecting a sales tax on internet sales originating out of New Hampshire, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision to the contrary.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold hearings on Senate Bill 261, a bill similar to a House bill introduced last week that roll backs and repeals phaseout of the interest and dividends tax, which is scheduled to be eliminated in 2027, while increasing the thresholds when the tax kicks in.

But while the House bill would lift the exemption on the first $2,400 of investment income to $7,500, the Senate version would increase it to $50,000. That’s income, not holdings, so it would basically exempt all but the largest investors from the tax, Democrats emphasize. Republicans, however, want to end the tax for the largest investors, claiming that the tax is causing them to flee to Florida.

That hearing will be followed by one on SB 262, which would allow municipalities to impose an occupancy fee of up $2 per room. The money would go to a revolving fund to offset the cost municipalities incur due to tourism.

Also, the Senate Health and Human Services committee will hold a hearing on SB 86, co-sponsored by Senate p[resident Jeb Bradley, that would allocate nearly $160 million to deal with the state’s shortage of healthcare workers. Most of it, $145 million, would go to increase the Medicaid rate paid to providers, but another $13 million would go to training centers and certifications programs. The committee will also look at SB 173, which would put the state in line with federal legislation requiring that insurers pay out of network emergency services as the same rate as in network to prevent “surprise medical bills.”

Thursday, Feb. 2

On Thursday, the House Commerce Committee, will hold hearings on HB 39, which would prohibit charging an extra fee for paper billing, or by paying by check or in-person; HB 42, a right-to-repair bill which would require home appliance manufacturers to make available to appliance owners and repair providers repair-related documentation, parts and tools; and HB 173, which would remove the requirements of separate toilet facilities for men and women.

Friday, Feb. 3

On Friday, the House Public Works Committee will consider HB 110, which would eliminate state funds for new passenger railway protects, and another bill that would require electric vehicle charging infrastructure on any state-funded building construction projects.

Categories: Government, News