Legislative Update - June 18, 2021

Legislative Update - June 18, 2021

What happened this week at the NH State House
For the first time since March 2020, the State House and Legislative Office Building reopened on Monday June 14th for committee of conference meetings and the June 16th Governor and Council meeting. Remote access was provided for the legislative meetings but not for the Governor and Council meeting; however, no remote access was provided for today’s Legislative Fiscal Committee, so we may be reaching the end of virtual meetings.

There were 45 House-Senate committees of conference named a week ago and compromises were reached on all but 6 bills. One of the bills not agreed upon was HB 417, relative to the powers of the governor during a declared state of emergency, which was later added to HB 2. Some Republicans in the House, particularly the far-right Liberty Caucus members, have complained about the Governor’s so-called over-reach during the pandemic; during the committee of conference it was also stated that the former Speaker had “arbitrarily” closed the State House and Legislative Office Building during the pandemic and thereby stripped the Legislature of its constitutional powers. The language added to HB 2 will presumably take care of all this when the next pandemic hits.

Other non-money items added to HB 2 that are intended to guarantee votes in the House include: school vouchers; the reworked divisive concepts language; a ban on abortions at 24 weeks, with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest; and an ultrasound requirement for anyone seeking an abortion. Very disappointingly, the adult dental benefit under Medicaid added by the Senate to HB 2 was removed by the House, with inaccurate statements made by the committee of conference chair that: (a) the benefit would cost the State $11M; and (b) there had never been a public hearing on the proposal. Senate members argued for the benefit. We will be working with other health care advocates and DHHS to find a way around this.

July and August are generally quiet months for legislative activity but we expect increased activity in September and October on the many retained bills in the House and re-referred bills in the Senate.

 What’s going on next week

  • On Thursday the 24th, the Senate holds a floor session at the State House and the House meets at the NH Sportsplex facility in Bedford, both at 10AM, to take up the committee of conference reports.
  • Also on the 24th, the Commission on the Interdisciplinary Primary Care Workforce meets at 2:00PM
  • On Friday June 25th, the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery meets at 9:30AM
  • Also on the 25th, the Health and Human Services Oversight Committee meets at 10AM. Agenda is attached.

Prepared by: Susan Paschell, Senior Associate - The Dupont Group

Share this post:

Comments on "Legislative Update - June 18, 2021"

Comments 0-0 of 0

Please login to comment