Newsletter January 17, 2024

This year’s session started with two 8-hour days, Jan 3 and 4, each day addressing retained bills from 2023 resubmitted by the committees. These bills received an amendment or two to address the problems that led to the bills being withdrawn. The first part of the process was 146 bills, all decided by a single consent vote. These bills were unanimously approved, moved to consent by the committees, and were non-controversial with the amendment. Only five bills were withdrawn and brought to the floor vote. Voting the remaining bills (65)  took most of the 16 hours. Voting was close, with the Republicans having a slight advantage. 

Bills of interest:  

HB 185, passed by roll call (202-172), requires the courts to support equal parenting time between a child and parent unless it is detrimental to the child.  

SB 249 passed (361-7) to establish magistrates to assist with the hearing of bail and warrants with changes in standards governing the release of individuals.  

HB 354 passed (190-177) clears up language to consistently add chartered public schools eligible for state school building aid.  

HB 628 was stopped (186-178). This bill would have required non-public schools and education services to perform background checks on all employees and volunteers.   

HB 115 passed (281-82) to move the state primary election to the third Tuesday in August.  

Both HB 345 (207-170) and HB 350 (248-128) stopped ranked-choice voting as a choice in state primaries or as a law for federal and state offices, respectively.    

HB 447 passed (351-48), providing grants to be given to cities and towns to purchase election equipment.  

HB 463 passed (195-172) authorizing the secretary of state to develop an election portal for online voter registration.  

HB 601 was stopped by one vote (184-183). This bill would force participation in the Medicaid direct program when on the school meals program.   

HB 620 (188-185) stopped a pre-kindergarten pilot program for early learning. These programs have already been proven ineffective years ago in other states.  

SB 263 was voted down (191-183). This bill was an attempt to repeal the November 1, 2028, review of the NH Granite Advantage health care program and permanently extend the program.  

HB264 (191-185) stopped a procedure for an individual to obtain a birth certificate to show sex designation other than that which was assigned at birth.  

HB 619 passed (199-175) prohibiting gender transition procedures for minors.  

HB 396 passed (192-184) permits the classification of individuals based on biological sex in lavatory facilities and locker rooms, sporting competitions, and detention facilities.  

HB 229 (187-182) requires the official declaration of war to activate the NH National Guard.  

HB 375 (185-179) and HB570 (187-180) stopped nonresident aliens living in NH on a temporary basis to obtain a driver’s license or a Real ID driver’s license, respectively.  

The NH legislators have requested 1298 bills for 2024. It has been noted that this is a record for the second year, as it is usually much less than the first year. Cyril and I believe the close balance of power makes anything possible; both parties will try to take advantage of the situation. We will continue to keep you informed throughout the year. Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Sincerely, Your House Representatives Clayton Wood and Cyril Aures