NH Lawmakers Eye Life, Liberty, Taxes
Bills on tap this week include voter ID, health care, guns, death and taxes.
Life, liberty, guns, signs and size matters. Plus mind games and the Magna Carta? Warning: an epic legislative week is dead ahead.
Your state lawmakers are busy this week in Concord. Here is just some of what is on tap:
Signs: The House Public Works and Highways Committee holds a public hearing Tuesday on a bill to require DOT to post signs on all roads that cross the border into Massachusetts. The signs shall say, “Warning: Massachusetts Border 500 Feet.” Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Room 201, Legislative Office Building. Co-sponsors of House Bill 1412 include Rep. Donna Mauro, R-Windham, and Rep. Mary Griffin, R-Windham.
Photo Finish: Legislation to require photo identification to vote gets a public hearing Tuesday. After the James O’Keefe voter fraud project on Primary Day, this should have plenty of fireworks. Sponsors include Sen. Russ Prescott, R-Kingston and Rep. Pamela Tucker, R-Greenland. Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Senate Public and Municipal Affairs, LOB Room 101.
The Magna Carta? There is a public hearing Tuesday on a bill that requires a reference to the Magna Carta on certain legislation. “All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived.” Tuesday, 11 a.m. LOB Room 206.
Mind games: A bill to allow “the playing of certain mind sports for money” gets a hearing before House Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Mind sports” means human games whose long-term outcomes are determined by the skill of the players. They “shall include backgammon, bridge, chess, and poker. Bingo, blackjack, craps, pai gow poker, roulette, and games involving gambling machines shall not be mind sports.” Tuesday, 1:15 p.m., LOB Room 302.
Pre-emptive Strikes: Democrats in the House and Senate hold a news conference at noon today (Jan. 23) to attack House Bill 1560, “an act relative to the interstate Health Care Compact.” Democrats say it will effectively end Medicare as it is known in New Hampshire. The bill is co-sponsored by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt and Sen. Chuck Morse, Republicans from Salem. The quick analysis on the bill: “This bill establishes the interstate Health Care Compact which provides that each member state shall have the authority to enact state laws that supersede any and all federal laws regarding health care within its state.” Public hearing Tuesday, 10 a.m., LOB 206.
2nd Amendment: The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety listens to testimony on numerous gun bills this week. One of them, repealing the criminal history record and protective order check for the sale of firearms, has a hearing Thursday at 1 p.m. in LOB Room 204. The committee on Tuesday hears other bills, including House Bill 1318 at 11:30 a.m., which permits anyone who meets RSA 159:4 to carry a firearm openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded.
Size Matters: Is not everyone happy with the New Hampshire House being the largest state legislative body in the country? Legislative Administration will hear a proposed amendment to the state Constitution to cut the membership size of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. It would rewrite part of Article 9, so that the number of representatives shall not be less than 90 or more than 100 – as opposed to current 375/400 ratio. Wednesday, 11 a.m., LoB Room 104.