Letter From Concord:
April 26 New Hampshire House Session:
Senate Bill 391, Bill codifies the rights of sexual assault survivors, including the right to a medical examination at no charge; both Wells and Copp voted in favor of the Ought to Pass recommendation, bill was approved 315 to 22 after a motion for reconsideration by Representative Welch.
Senate Bill 593, Changes the penalty for Capital Murder to life imprisonment without parole; Representative Copp voted against the committee recommendation of OTP, Representative Wells voted in favor of this bill, the bill was approved by the House 223 to 116. Governor Sununu has said he’ll veto this bill.
CACR 22, To afford constitutional rights for crime victims; This CACR (potential amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution) was approved by the Senate but came to the House floor with an ITL recommendation from the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. After a failed motion to table the CACR, both Copp and Wells voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate. The House voted ITL by a vote of 284 to 51 and the CACR was Indefinitely Postponed by the House.
Senate Bill 555, Establishing a citizens appeal commission to resolve complaints under the Right to Know Law, RSA 91-A. It came to the House floor with an ITL recommendation. Both Copp and Wells voted Nay, in favor of the bill and against the ITL. Even so the House voted 212 to 103 to kill the bill. If approved this bill had the potential of being very costly to town and city governments.
Senate Bill 451, Prohibiting trafficking in endangered wildlife species; After a floor amendment that Copp and Wells voted for narrowly failed the original bill was approved by the House by voice vote.
Senate Bill 540, Unincorporated places may permit the operation of Keno Games by a vote of the County delegation and Keno Games would be permitted in cigar bars that have a valid liquor license. Anne Copp voted against this bill, Natalie Wells voted in favor. The bill was approved as amended by a vote of 247 to 49.
Senate Bill 564, Establishes exemptions from the business profits tax for qualified regenerative manufacturing businesses. Also provides for a workforce development program for such businesses. Anne Copp voted against this bill, Natalie Wells voted in favor of the bill. The bill was approved by the House by a vote of 241 to 50.
May 2 New Hampshire House Session:
Senate Bill 383, Establishing a commission to recommend policies to provide access to affordable health care to all New Hampshire Residents. Anne Copp voted against this bill, Natalie Wells was absent, the bill was killed 170 to 164.
Senate Bill 427, Limiting the liability for asbestos related claims. Anne Copp voted in favor of the bill, Natalie Wells was absent, the bill failed to pass on a vote 161 to 175.
Senate Bill 421, Relative to increasing access to insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives. Anne Copp voted against the bill, Natalie Wells was absent, the bill was approved 219 to 211.
Senate Bill 502, Relative to transparency and standards for acquisition transactions in health care. The vote was to send this bill to interim study. Anne Copp voted for interim study, Natalie Wells was absent, the bill was sent to interim study on a vote of 170 to 160.
Senate Bill 525, Prohibiting the distribution of adult education financial assistance to any student who is not a New Hampshire Resident; the vote was also to send this bill to interim study, Anne Copp voted against interim study, Wells was absent, the bill went to interim study on a vote of 233 to 97.
Senate Bill 569, Amending this bill relative to animal cruelty & establishing a commission to study language applicable to the transfer of animals, amendment minimizes penalties for animal cruelty. Anne Copp voted in favor of the amendment, Natalie Wells was absent, the bill was amended by a vote of 205 to 125
Senate Bill 569, Relative to animal cruelty, Anne Copp voted in favor of the the amended bill bill, bill was approved 222 to 111. Bill then went to a Committee of Conference which failed to agree on a version acceptable to the House and Senate conferees so the bill is dead but likely to return in some version in 2019.
Senate Bill 438, Relative to the postponement of local elections in the event of major weather events or other Statewide problems. Vote was to approve an amendment to the bill, Anne Copp voted against the amendment, Wells still absent, Amendment was approved 178 to 158. Bill has now gone to House and Senate conferees.
Senate Bill 193, Establishing Education Freedom Savings accounts for students. There were two separate votes on this bill. The first one was to table this bill. Anne Copp voted against tabling the bill, tabling failed on a vote of 314 to 15. Next vote was for Interim Study. Anne Copp voted against Interim Study. Interim Study was approved by 170 to 159.
May 3 New Hampshire House Session:
Senate Bill 193, Education Freedom Savings Accounts. Last vote was to reconsider this bill. Anne Copp & Natalie Wells both voted to reconsider but reconsider was defeated by a vote of 172 to 165.
Senate Bill 189, Requiring insurance policies to cover 3D Mammography. This bill had previously been approved by a voice vote of the House. It was brought up again for reconsideration. copp and Wells both voted to reconsider but reconsideration was defeated by a vote of 178 to 154.
Senate Bill 313, NH Granite Advantage Health Care Program. Extends the Medicaid Expansion Program for 5 years, until 2023 with some work requirements and other changes from the current plan. The committee amendment which was the final bill was approved by a vote of 303 to 29. Your representatives, Copp and Wells, both voted for this amendment. There was a 2nd amendment introduced on the floor by Rep. JR Hoell which would have added carrying loaded firearms on ATVs and snowmobiles. This amendment was defeated 236 to 92. Copp voted against this amendment, Wells voted for it. The Senate lead by Senator Bradley on May 10 concurred with the House so this bill becomes law the beginning of 2019.
Senate Bill 590, Establishes various appropriations including those to increase behavioral and developmental health services and increase supported housing for individuals with serious mental illness. Both Copp and Wells voted in favor, the bill passed with a vote of 315 to 14.
Senate Bill 420, Would require that discussion of strategy relating to collective bargaining only take place in a public meeting under the Right-to-Know Law. The committee recommendation was inexpedient to legislate. Copp and Wells voted against the ITL, in other words they were in favor of the bill. The bill was ITL’d (killed) by a vote of 234 to 95.
Senate Bill 365, Requires companies generating electricity to purchase the net energy output of biomass and waste to energy facilities when default energy service is necessary. both Representatives Copp and Wells voted against this bill but the bill was approved by a House vote of 225 to 108.
Senate Bill 446, Increases the electric generating capacity of customer-generators powered by solar and other renewable energy who participate in net energy metering to a peak generating capacity of up to 5 megawatts. Both Copp and Wells voted for an amendment that would have basically limited net metering to one megawatt. That amendment was defeated by a vote of 213 to 116. The bill was subsequently approved close to its original form by a voice vote of the House.
Senate Bill 577, Requires the Public Utility Commission to enable the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin to continue to operate to up to 3 years and prohibits the importation of oil with high sulphur content. Copp and Wells both voted against this bill which nevertheless was approved by a vote of 254 to 64.
May 10 New Hampshire House Session:
House Bill 1636 came back before the House in it’s amended form which included the proposed school voucher program previously in Senate Bill 193 which was moved to Interim Study. Both Copp and Wells voted for a committee of conference to revive the voucher program. This attempt was ultimately defeated by a House vote of 180 to 163.
Also on May 10, Copp and Wells approved a committee of conference with the Senate for House Bill 1817 which, among other things, provides for raises for State Employees and appropriates money to repair red listed bridges. Committee was approved 283 to 61.
Wells and Copp also voted for a committee of conference and reconsideration of previously passed House Bill 587 which bans Conversion Therapy. Both attempts failed by 182 to 163 and 187 to 158.
Wells and Copp were both on the winning side concurring with the Senate on previously approved House Bill 1264 which puts into law restrictive definitions of New Hampshire residency and inhabitant.
House Bill 1756. They both voted against a one time allowance in 2019 of $500 to retired State Employees with pensions of less than $30,000 per year. The House concurred with the Senate approval of the allowance by 248 to 84.
House Bill 1807, Prohibits exploitation of the elderly. Copp voted in favor of concurrence with the Senate in favor of this bill, Wells voted against it. Concurrence approved by 171 to 164.
House Bill 1592, Requires the Commissioner of DES to review the ambient groundwater standard for arsenic to determine if it should be lowered. Copp voted in favor of concurrence with the Senate, Wells voted against. Concurrence was approved by a vote of 194 to 137.
The NH House meets again May 23 to vote on at least 30 Committee of Conference Bills and will meet also on May 24 if necessary.