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

Minimum wage, business taxes await votes in NH Senate

The New Hampshire House will vote this week on raising the minimum wage, the Senate votes on rolling back business tax cuts and to require prevailing wages to be paid on public works projects. Also, look for committee action on solar energy and storage, state building codes, school building aid and the internet sales tax.

 

Tuesday, March 12

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold hearings on:

At 9:30 a.m., SB165, known as the “Low-Income Community Solar Act of 2019, which would require three low-income net metering solar projects in each utility service area, with more favorable metering terms.

At 10 a.m., SB168, which would increase the solar renewable portfolio standard from .07 to 1.9 percent in 2020 to 5.4 percent in 2025

At 10:30 a.m., SB124, which would increase renewable portfolio standards by a certain percentage each year after 2025.

At 1 p.m., the Senate Health Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on:

SB175, which would change qualifying conditions for medical cannabis from a long list to ”any condition for which treatment is determined to be necessary by a provider.”

 

Wednesday, March 13

 

The Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee will hold hears on building codes:

At 9 a.m., SB49, which would update the state fire code from 2009 to 2015

At 9:30 a.m., SB113, 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

At 10:10 a.m., SB97, which would require those applying for a license of health facilities near a critical access hospital to submit a detailed report on whether it might have an adverse impact on the hospital

At 9:15 a.m., the Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on:

SB318, which would extend the education tax credit program to public schools and workforce development programs

Starting at 10 a.m., the House Science, Technology And Energy Committee plans to vote on:

HB365, which would increase the maximum project for net metering from 1 to 5 megawatts, allowing larger businesses and institutions to take advantage of that law

HB 715, which initially set a goal to reduce peak demand via energy storage by 2 percent, charge the Public Utilities Commission to look into reducing it by as much as 15 percent, adopting rules to implement it by tariffs or other mechanisms, as long as it results in a net benefit to ratepayers.

Also At 10 a.m., the House Finance committee, plans to vote on:

HB168, which would appropriate $10 million to the those defrauded by the FRM Ponzi scheme;

HB 542, which would establish a grant program to support municipalities in updating their wetlands regulations

HB176, which would change grants for school building aid from $50 million maximum to $50 million

HB184, which would repeal tying full-day kindergarten funding to keno by including kindergarten in adequacy funding

HB 357, which would provide that all moneys in the public school infrastructure fund are non-lapsing

 

At 10 a.m., the House Ways and Means Committee will be voting on:

HB114, which would prohibit the state from entering into or enforcing agreements with other states concerning sales tax collection by those other states

HB265, which states that no New Hampshire business shall be required to collect sales taxes for a foreign jurisdiction unless mandated by Congress

HB274, which would impose the rooms and meals tax on online car rentals

HB416, which would prohibit retailers from providing private customer information to determine sales tax liability

HB480, which would have the Lottery Commission set up and run sports betting operations through retail partners (upon municipal approval) and via mobile phones

HB 698, which would prohibit foreign taxing jurisdictions from imposing sales and use tax collection obligations on certain New Hampshire sellers but allows sellers to comply

HB700, which would establish a methodology, phased in over a five year period, for the property tax valuation of electric, gas, and water utility company distribution assets

HB632, which would end the education tax credit by July.

 

At 10:30 a.m, the House Executive Departments And Administration Committee plans to vote on:

HB247, which would update all building codes except for the energy code from 2009 to 2015, and states that if there are any conflict between codes the most lenient should apply

HB562, which would update all building codes from 2009 to 2015, including the energy code

HB710, which would require local codes be approved by a statewide board

 

The House Ways and Means Committee will be holding hearings on:

At 1 p.m., HB 680, which includes vaping in the tobacco tax

At 2 p.m., HB682, which would Double most and triple some wetlands fees

 

Thursday, March 14

 

The Senate and House both meet. Here is what they plan on voting on:

 

Senate

 

SB 228, which would allow association health plans, but with strict rules and a risk adjustment program that would mitigate price increase in the individual market. The committee recommended passage, 3-2.

SB 227, which would allow for more flexible AHPs. The committee voted to re-refer, 3-2.

SB271, which is relative to requiring prevailing wages on state-funded public works projects. The committee recommended passage, 3-2.

SB266, which would use keno proceeds to the school building fund, and use the general fund to finance kindergarten. The committee favored passage, 5-0.

SB306, which would establish the housing appeals board, so developers can take their disputes with local planning boards without having to go to court. The committee recommended passage, 3-2.

SB74, which would increase the surcharge from $25 to $35 to support the land and community heritage investment program (LCHIP). The committee voted 4-0 to pass it.

SB122, which would use all Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds for energy efficiency. The committee favored passage, 3-1.

SB284, which would establish a statewide online energy data platform regulated by the public utilities commission and operated by the state’s electric and natural gas utilities. The committee voted passage, 3-1.

SB286, which would permit municipalities and counties to develop plans for electric aggregation programs. The committed voted 4-0 to pass it.

SB287, which would require the Department of Environmental Services revise rules relative to perfluorinated chemical contamination in drinking water. The committee recommended the bill go back to committee, 4-0

SB173, which would make it easier for employers to conduct criminal history background checks. The committee voted 5-0 to pass.

SB226, which would regulate pharmacy benefits managers for the first time. The committee voted 5-0 for passage.

SB234, which would establish the position of director of the office of outdoor recreation industry development in the department of business and economic affairs. The committee voted 3-1 to pass.

SB308, which would increase Medicaid provider rates and appropriate money for scholarships for students who work in the health care field in New Hampshire, to healthcare training programs and for workforce recruitment advertising. The committee recommends passage 5-0.

SB15 , which would appropriate $10 million from the general fund and $5 million a year thereafter from the real estate transfer tax to fund affordable housing programs. The committee favored passage, 5-0.

SB83, which would appropriate $250,000 for the innovation research center at UNH. The committee voted to pass it, 4-2.

SB 260, which would 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. The committee recommended passage, 4-1.

SB290, which would loosen the work requirements needed to get expanded Medicaid coverage. The committee recommended passage, 3-2.

SB312, which would require that companies that release toxic substances pay to medically monitor those who might have been exposed to them. The committee voted 3-2 to pass.

SB216, which would establish an automated vehicle testing pilot program, recommended by 5-0 vote.

SB93, which would tax prepaid communications cards under the communications service tax. The committee voted 3-2 in favor.

SB96, which would establish a film production incentive fund in the state film office. The committee unanimously recommended.

SB135, which would roll back and freeze the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax to 2018. It would eliminate this year and future year tax cuts currently on the books The committee voted 3-2 to pass it..

SB243, 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. The committed passed it by 3-2.

SB270, which would establish a 25 percent tax credit (not to exceed $500,000) against the business profits tax for donations to career and technical education centers. The committee unanimously recommended it.

SB301, which would roll back and freeze the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax to 2018. It eliminates this year and future year tax cuts currently on the books. Whatever money saved will go to revenue sharing with municipalities. The committee favored it 3-2.

 

House

HB692, which would remove the prohibition against provision of adult dental services under Medicaid. The committee voted in favor, 20-1.

HB186, which would establish a state minimum wage starting at $9.50, increasing it to $12 in three years. It would increase tipped wages from 45 to 50 percent of the minimum and establish a youth minimum wage that is $1 less than the current minimum wage . The committee voted 12-7 in favor

HB157, which would lower the rate paid to biomass facilities to $45 per mWh through 2019, escalating at inflation thereafter reversing the bill lawmakers passed last year over the governor’s veto to help out the biomass plants. The committee voted 13-7 in favor.

HB166, which would authorize the PUC to increase the system benefits charge for energy efficiency without requiring prior legislative approval. The committee vote in favor, 10-9.

HB477, which would rebate all RGGI proceeds back to rate payers, including the small amount now used for energy efficiency. The committee favored the bill, 11-8.

HB247, which would update all building codes except for the energy code from 2009 to 2015, and states that if there are any conflict between codes the most lenient should apply

HB562, which would update all building codes from 2009 to 2015, including the energy code

HB710, which would require local codes be approved by a statewide board

 

 

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