The public’s business: On the legislative agenda this week

Business tax rollbacks in House, net metering cap in Senate

While still working on the budget, the powerful House Finance Committee plans to vote on rolling back business taxes decreases and establishing payroll deductions for a paid medical and family leave insurance plan and a new tax on capital gains. The House Ways and Means Committee will vote on legalizing and commercializing marijuana and to allow for a local rooms and meals tax. The full Senate will vote on expanding the net metering cap, increasing renewable portfolio standards, updating the state fire code, creating a housing appeals board and putting the Affordable Care Act into state law.

Tuesday, March 26

At 2 p.m., the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold hearings on House Bill 359, 2:00 p.m., which would providers and pharmacies label any opiate with a red sticker on the cap or dispenser and a warning label regarding the risks of the drug.

At 2:15 p.m., a hearing will be held on HB 364, which would permit qualifying patients and designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic use or to donate to other patients.

Wednesday, March 27

At 10 a.m., The House Finance Committee plans to vote on:

HB 623, which would freeze business taxes at last year’s rate (7.9 percent for the business profits tax and 0.675 percent for the business enterprise tax), wiping out the tax cut that went into effect in January as well as future decreases currently in law

HB 712, which would establish a mandated paid family and medical leave insurance program financed with a half-percent payroll deduction

HB 686, which would extend the interest and dividends tax to capital gains, triple the personal exemption for seniors and double it for all others. The money would be used to raise adequacy educational grant.

Also at 10 a.m., the House Ways and Means Committee plans to vote on:

HB 481, which would legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana

HB 641, which would allow municipalities to charge a local Rooms and Meals Tax of no more than an extra $2 per room night.

HB 680, which would add vaping to the definition of tobacco for the purpose of tobacco tax and liquor laws.

HB 682-FN, which would change the wetlands and shoreland review fund to the water resources fund and double many permit fees.

The full Senate will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 9 am. Here is what they plan to vote on:

SB 61, which would permit a competitor or a union to file a civil action against an employer for violations of a worker’s rights.

SB 100, which would ban discrimination in criminal background checks

SB103, which would allow municipalities to engage in multi-town bonding projects

SB155, which would prohibit political contributions from business organizations. The committee recommends killing the bill

SB 156, requires that a political contribution by a limited liability company be allocated to members for purposes of determining whether a member has exceeded the contribution limits

SB 123, prohibits electric distribution companies from acquisition of natural gas capacity or supply or interests in natural gas infrastructure at ratepayers’ expense

SB 124, which would increase renewable portfolio standards by a certain percentage each year after 2025

SB 159, which would increase net metering from 1 to 5 megawatts for renewable generation and storage

SB 165, known as the “Low-Income Community Solar Act of 2019, which would require two low-income net metering solar projects in each utility service area, with more favorable metering terms. 4-1.

SB 166, which would require that competitive electricity suppliers purchase electricity generation from net energy metering just like regulated electric utilities do.

SB 168, which would increase the solar renewable portfolio standard from .07 to 1.9 percent in 2020 to 5.4 percent in 2025

SB 205, which would remove the requirement for legislative approval of system benefits charge changes to increase energy efficiency, but a fifth has to be spent on projects benefiting low income

SB 49, which would update the state fire code from 2009 to 2015

SB 97, which would require those applying for a license of health facilities near a critical access hospital to submit a report on whether it might have an adverse impact on the hospital

SB 113, which would require the building code review board and fire marshal approve local amendments to the state building and fire codes and prohibits municipalities from imposing a fee to appeal code enforcement decisions Re-refer to Committee

SB 216, which would establish an automated vehicle testing pilot program

SB 234, which would establish the position of director of the office of outdoor recreation industry development in the department of business and economic affairs. Committee recommended killing it

SB 243, which would increase the income limitations for applications for the low and moderate income homeowners property tax relief program, and provides for adjustment of the limitations according to the Consumer Price Index. 4-1.

SB 260, would appropriate $1.25 million to establish the New Hampshire pharmaceutical assistance pilot program for seniors, a one-year program to pay out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for 1,000 eligible seniors who have reached the gap in standard Medicare Part D coverage

SB 266, which would use keno proceeds to the school building fund and use the general fund to finance kindergarten

SB 290, which would loosen the work requirements needed to get expanded Medicaid coverage

SB 306, would establish the housing appeals board, so developers can take their disputes with local planning boards without having to go to court

SB 308, which would increase Medicaid provider rates and appropriate $2.5 million for scholarships for students who work in the health care field in New Hampshire, to healthcare training programs and for workforce recruitment advertising

SB 4, which would put much of the federal Affordable Care Action into state law

SB 318, which would extend the education tax credit program to public schools and workforce development programs

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