The public’s business: on the NH legislative agenda for March 3-6

Senate panel to hear two paid family leave proposals

Two visions of paid family and medical leave will be before the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee this week. One, a proposal from last year calling for a mandatory program funded by a payroll deduction but free to employers was approved by legislators last year but vetoed by Governor Sununu. The other is a voluntary program under which private employers and employees can piggy-back on whatever is negotiated with the state public employees union if they are willing to pay for it (at a cost expected to be higher than the mandatory program, though employers will get a credit against their business taxes.)

House Committees will be voting on many key bills, especially in the House Commerce Committee, ranging including prohibiting plastic bags, plastic straws, polystyrene foam cups as well as paper receipts, and paper billing fees. The full Senate and House will also be meeting on Thursday, planning to vote on bills requiring that employers accommodate nursing mothers, the Department of Transportation to accommodate businesses affected by road work, and on new taxes on electric devices and ski lifts.

Tuesday, March 3

At 10 a.m. The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • House Bill 1116, which would remove municipal solid waste facilities from the eligible facilities under the provisions for fuel diversity for renewable energy generation.
  • HB 1229, which would require proposed natural gas facility infrastructure to include decommissioning costs of a proposed facility in its SEC application.
  • HB 1310, which would authorizing the state to set higher environmental standards than those established in federal law.
  • HB 1317, which would require a locking safety device be provided for commercial firearm sales and transfers. would spend all resident RGGI proceeds on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with $2 million going to local government and half of what’s left going to commercial projects. 80 percent of the commercial RGGI money would be rebated.
  • HB 1342, which would set up a program to install heat pumps for low income housing using money from the energy efficiency fund.
  • HB 1370, which would require electric distribution companies to purchase baseload renewable generation credits from eligible biomass facilities.
  • HB 1444, which would require the adoption of vehicle emissions standards based on the California clean car standards.
  • HB 1478, which would repeal the law on preservation and use of renewable generation to provide fuel diversity.
  • HB 1496, which would spend all residential RGGI proceeds for energy efficiency, but would rebate all the commercial proceeds.
  • HB 1518, which would set a fixed alternative compliance payment at $55 per megawatt hour to the renewable energy fund for utilities which fail to meet renewable portfolio requirements or buy renewable energy credits. The rate is currently set by the market and is very low.
  • HB 1541, which would prohibit prison privatization which would add battery storage facilities to the definition of an energy facility.

At 10 a.m. the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1428, which would require health officers to inspect hotels and motels for the presence of bedbugs.
  • HB 1456, which would require the department of environmental services to provide testing of PFAS levels to pregnant women and to provide pregnant women with elevated PFAS levels with drinking water that has low levels of PFAS in it.
  • HB 1610, which would require manufactures to set up a pharmaceutical drug take-back program
  • HB 1332, which would require electronic prescribing for controlled drugs with some exceptions

At 10 a.m. the House Environment and Agriculture Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1319, which would prohibit the siting of new landfills or expansions of existing landfills near state parks, national parks, or federal forest land.
  • HB 1388, which would prohibit the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in retail stores.
  • HB 1422, which would establish a moratorium on the issuance of permits for new landfills or the expansion of existing landfills for the purpose of studying the creating of municipal waste districts.
  • HB 1630, which would increase number of dogs and cats, that may be transferred without a pet vendor license.

At 10 a.m., the House Municipal and County Government Committee is scheduled to vote on HB 1160, which would enable municipalities to collect a local rooms and meals fund a capital fund, a revolving fund or to support tourism.

At 10 a.m. the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1124, which would allow domestic insurance companies to use derivatives and other exotic investment tools.
  • HB 1252, which would regulate the sale of travel insurance.
  • HB 1347, which would requires Medicaid cover telemedicine coverage.
  • HB 1537, directs the department of environmental services to set maximum contaminant limits for per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

At 10:30 a.m. the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1194, which would allow merchants to charge a nickel per single use bag or cup.
  • HB 1274, which would require bottled water to be tested for the presence of perfluorinated chemicals and labeled with certain results of such tests.
  • HB 1280, which would require insurers to cap the total amount for insulin for covered persons at $100 a month
  • HB 1320, which would require a landlord notify a tenant that he/she doesn’t offer rental insurance and recommends that the tenant get it
  • HB 1345, which would allow alternative treatment centers to be for profit
  • HB 1397, which would . creditors to give notice to consumers before referring their debt to collection agencies.
  • HB 1400, which would establish a New Hampshire statutory trust law.
  • HB 1410, which would ban some flavored vape products.
  • HB 1417, which would expand the prohibition against collecting biometric data from government to private entities and individuals.
  • HB 1419, which would require banks to offer short term small dollars loans of less than $2500 for less than a year.
  • HB 1455, which would makes it an unfair insurance practice to fail to pay a repair when the work conforms to manufacturer’s procedures.
  • HB 1471, which would prohibit banks from calculating debit withdrawals to maximize their overdraft fees.
  • HB 1472, which would prohibit food service businesses from providing a single-use plastic straw to a customer unless specifically requested.
  • HB 1476, which would prohibit motor vehicle dealers from requiring the purchase of automobile insurance from the dealer as part of the sales contract.
  • HB 1482, which would provide that following the initial notice of a security breach, further information regarding the breach may be withheld pending a criminal investigation.
  • HB 1483, which would allow dogs on open air restaurant patios
  • HB 1500, which would set up “student bill of rights,” licensing those that service student loans.
  • HB 1508, which would prohibit businesses providing paper receipts unless requested or required by law, and they can’t include coupons or advertisements in any case
  • HB 1535, which would prohibit condominiums and homeowners’ associations from prohibiting or restricting the installation or operation of a solar photovoltaic energy system
  • HB 1564, which would prohibit food services businesses from using polystyrene foam.
  • HB 1581, would allow sale of hemp products containing CBD, but they must be registered and inspected
  • HB 1588, which would set up a mortgage mediation procedure.
  • HB 1589, which would require businesses accept cash for payment.
  • HB 1633, which would require insurance coverage for further blood testing for persons who are still symptomatic after a first blood test for tick-borne illness.
  • HB 1680, which would require business to disclose the personal education it collects and what it does with it, and allows consumers opt out of selling their information, and sue for violations.
  • HB 1690,, which would prohibit paper billing fees.
  • HB 1695, which would require trust companies to submit to background checks
  • HB 1697, which would prohibit, with limited exceptions, prescription drug manufacturers from offering coupons or discounts to cover insurance copayments or deductibles.
  • HB 1701, which would require that stores of more than 7000 square feet collect and recycle of single use film plastics, including plastic bags.

At 1 p.m., the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee is scheduled to vote on HB 1713, which would require child day care agency employee to obtain at least 6 hours of annual continuing education or professional development.

At 1 p.m. the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1120, which would require periodic water tests of rental property.
  • HB 1143, which would repeal limited liability for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition.
  • HB 1294, which would give immunity of pharmacists from personal injury suites if the complied with laws and the pharmacy board that were in place at that time.

At 1 p.m. the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1200, where the committee might consider an amendment which would possibly delay the enactment of the single sales factor under the business profits and business enterprise taxes.
  • HB 1477, which would increase the state cigarette tax 12 cents to $1.90 a pack.
  • HB 1646, which would define and regulates pari-mutuel pools on historical horse racing..

The Senate Finance Committee will hold hearings:

At 1 p.m. on HB 712, which would institute a payroll deduction to pay for a mandatory paid family and medical leave program at no cost to the employers.

At 1:45 p.m. on SB 730, which would institute a voluntary paid leave program, by inviting insurance companies to bid on a contract for state workers that private companies could join and pay for, though they could get break on their business taxes. Workers who whose employers don’t participate could buy in individually.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold hearings:

At 1:30 p.m. on HB 712, which would establish minimum standards for insurance claim review and settlement practices, and establish a private right of action for violation of such standards.

At 1:45 p.m. on SB 603, which would allow the department of employment security to use funds for skills training and job matching for employees in the biomass and related forest product industries who have been laid off or whose company has relocated.

At 2:15 p.m. on SB 59, which would require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee related to the employee’s pregnancy or childbirth

Wednesday, Feb. 12

At 10 a.m. the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on:

  • HB 1376, which would establish a civil penalty and a private right of action for unauthorized sharing of electronic location information.
  • HB 1391, which would prohibit discrimination in housing against persons with pets
  • HB 1607, which would give immunity to employees for any act performed as part of the employee’s official scope of duty, whether express or implied, in which the employee unintentionally violates the law.

At 10 a.m., the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Service Committee is scheduled to vote on HB 1144, which would require employers with more than 100 employees to submit data on wage differences between male and female employees to the department of labor.

At 10 a.m., the House Muncipal and County Government Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1218, which would expand the maximum net metering limits from one to five megawatts under the existing rates set by the Public Utility Commission, but at the utility default rate to customers who do not want to buy power from a third-party supplier. It requires PUC to monitor and adjust rates to prevent cost shifting. It also restricts the expansions to firms that mainly use the energy they produce.

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold hearings:

At 10 a.m. on HB 1632, which would establish a business profits tax deduction for income derived from qualifying housing development, reduce the real estate transfer tax for qualifying first time home buyers, allow municipal economic development and revitalization districts and the business finance Authority issue bonds to be used for affordable housing.

At 11 a.m. on HB 1248, which would allow community revitalization tax incentives to be used for affordable housing outside the center of town.

At 1:45 p.m. on HB 1603, would establish the per and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination remediation and mitigation revolving loan program and fund

Thursday, March 5

The House Commerce Committee will hold hearings:

At 10 a.m. on SB 411, which would allow the liquor commission to register a trade name with the secretary of state to operate as a direct shipper of liquor and wine.

At 10:30 a.m. on HB 1662, which would increase the age for sales and possession of tobacco products and e-cigarette from 19 to 21, which would conform to a new federal law.

The full Senate will meet starting at 10 a.m. Here is the what senators will be voting on:

  • Senate Bill 450, which would allow customers to bring dogs to outdoor areas of brew pubs. The Commerce Committee recommended passing it, 4-1.
  • SB 555, which would require Medicaid pay for telemedicine The Commerce Committee recommended passing it, 4-1.
  • SB 577, which would provide consumers with the option to purchase insurance coverage for their self-service storage unit. The Commerce Committee recommended passing it, 5-0.
  • SB 579, which would require that a notice be sent if a consumer’s commercial insurance has a premium increase of more than 25%. The Commerce Committee recommended passing it, 5-0.
  • SB 618, which would require employers with more than five employees to provide space and time for nursing mothers during work hours, and gives employers a tax credit against the Commerce Committee recommended passing it, 5-0.
  • SB 710, which would regulate homeowners’ associations. The Commerce Committee recommended killing it, 5-0.
  • SB 562, which would allow municipalities to adopt a program for tax relief for repairs and updates of affordable older homes under the community revitalization tax relief program. The Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee recommended passing it, 5-0.
  • SB 669, which would authorize higher educational institutions to contract with a third party to grow or process industrial hemp for research purposes. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee recommended passing it 4-0.
  • SB 728, which would establish the coastal program, with no initial funding, administered by the department of environmental services, to help the seacoast prepare for or mitigate the effects of climate change. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee recommended passing it, 4-0.
  • SB 632, which would allow short staffed municipality to allow the state fire marshal to issue building permits and conduct inspections. The Executive Departments and Administration recommended passing it, 5-0.
  • SB 487, which would repeal the housing appeals board and establish affordable housing commission. The Judiciary Committee recommended killing it, 4-0.
  • SB 735, which would repeal the housing appeals board. The Judiciary Committee recommended killing it, 4-0.
  • SB 446, which would allow an airport to charge a fee to transportation network companies which is not greater than motor carrier or taxicab charges. The Transportation Committee recommended passing it, 4-1.
  • SB 656, which would require the department of transportation to include business impacts in its engineering and design plans for certain projects. The Transportation Committee recommended passing it 5-0.
  • SB 682, which would allow for the sale and play of lucky 7 tickets on electronic machines The Ways and Means Committee recommended studying it, 4-1.

The full House will meet starting at 1 p.m. Here is what members are expected to vote on:

  • HB 1224, which would–as amended — appropriate $500,000 to the lakeshore redevelopment planning commission for environmental remediation of the former Laconia state school for economic development. The Finance Committee recommended passing it, 21-0.
  • HB 1221, which would prohibit an employer from using personal financial and credit history in employment decisions. The Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee recommended passing it, 11-6.
  • HB 1210, which would establish a mandatory tax exemption for energy storage systems. The Municipal and County Government Committee recommended killing it, 19-1.
  • HB 1629, which would streamline the municipal approval process for affordable housing. The Municipal and County Government Committee recommended passing it, 16-2.
  • HB 1480, which would take away from the Public Utility Committee to increase the Systems Benefits Charge to benefit low income energy efficiency without legislative approval The Science, Technology and Energy Committee recommended killing it, 11-8.
  • HB 1383, which would prohibit commercial trucks from left lane travel on multi-lane highways. The Transportation Committee recommended killing it, 19-0.
  • HB 1492, which would impose a 4.3 percent sales tax on electric device to fund education. The Ways and Means Committee recommended killing it 20-0.
  • HB 1652, which would tax ski lift sales to fund the governor’s scholarship program. The Ways and Means Committee recommended killing it 20-0.
  • HB 1699, which would increase the tax on e-cigarettes to 40 percent of the price. The Ways and
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