The NH House met in session on June 30th at the Whittemore Center on the UNH campus and approved over 30 bills which will be sent to the Governor for his signature. This meeting concluded the House’s work for the 2020 legislative session.
Among the bills approved by the House was legislation addressing the following:
- Covid-19 care (HB 1166): relative to extending the federal Family and Medical Leave Act for certain COVID 19 protections, waiving cost sharing for testing and treatment for COVID-19, and waiving costs for COVID-19 testing and provision of PPE by small businesses.
- Remediating PFAs water contamination and extending the commission on the seacoast cancer cluster investigation (HB1264): setting maximum contaminant limits for perfluorochemicals in drinking water, requiring insurance coverage for PFAs and PFC blood tests, and establishing a low interest loan program for certain water and wastewater systems affected by PFAS contamination.
- Improving election accessibility for the fall 2020 elections (HB 1266): making temporary modifications to the absentee voter registration form, absentee ballot application, and absentee voting processes in response to COVID-19. “Concern for the novel coronavirus” would be listed as a reason why a voter could request an absentee ballot.
- Raising the state minimum wage (HB 731): raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $12 per hour in three years, and fixing the tipped hourly wage at $4 per hour.
- Providing increased equity and safeguards for Granite State children and families (HB250 and HB1639): establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program, requiring insurance coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for tick-borne illness, and requiring the department of health and human services to develop a state health assessment and a state health improvement plan.
For additional detail about these and other bills acted on during this last session, please go to the “House Press Releases” page on this website.
House members will reconvene in the fall to take up the Governor’s vetoes. In 2019, Governor Sununu vetoed a record 57 bills. Of these, a third had bipartisan sponsors (32%), 39% were sponsored by Republicans, over three quarters (78%) had bipartisan support in the legislature, and half (51%) received bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate.
(Photo was taken as members of the NH House of Representatives began gathering at the Whittemore Center on the campus of the University of NH, for their session on June 30th.)