Upcoming Hearings and Votes (Week of 4/8/24)

Upcoming Hearings and Votes (Week of 4/8/24)

Welcome back to another edition of our weekly Upcoming Hearings and Votes series! This week, we are focusing our efforts on bills relating to the state’s health care workforce, substance use treatment, childhood lead exposure, and cannabis commercialization. Let’s dive in!

Learn more and take action below:

Upcoming Public Hearings

Wednesday, April 10 at 11:00 AM - Health Care Workforce (Legislative Office Building, Room 203)

The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing on SB 403, a bill that aims to increase access to care by growing the state’s health care workforce. Although the amended bill no longer funds certain workforce priorities, it still proposes to create voluntary certification for Community Health Workers, which would provide a clear career path and greater financial stability for these frontline health workers.


Upcoming House Vote

Cannabis Commercialization: The House of Representatives will vote on the Finance Committee’s amendment to HB 1633 this Thursday. This amendment does not direct any funding to substance use and mental health prevention, treatment, and recovery. Email your Representatives to encourage them to oppose the House Finance Committee amendment on Thursday and pass an amendment to the bill that includes all of New Futures’ Principles for Responsible Cannabis Commercialization.

Upcoming Senate Votes

The Senate is expected to vote on these issues on Thursday, April 11:

Oversight of Substance Use Treatment System: SB 495 would improve New Hampshire’s substance use treatment system by strengthening patient protections and ensuring high-quality services. Email your Senator to urge them to protect the health of individuals battling addiction.

Preventing Childhood Lead Exposure: SB 392 increases efforts to make New Hampshire homes and communities lead-safe by allocating additional resources to a fund that helps remove lead hazards from residential buildings. This would help prevent lead exposure in NH children, who are at the highest risk for lead poisoning. Email your Senator to urge them to protect NH children from the harmful impacts of lead exposure.

Discrimination in Public Spaces: SB 562 would allow for discrimination against transgender people by banning them from using bathrooms or locker rooms and participating in sports that align with their preferred gender identity. Bans such as these prohibit transgender youth from participating in typical daily activities and make them feel unwelcome in their communities, which leads to poorer mental health outcomes. Email your Senator to urge them to oppose bills that discriminate against transgender people in public spaces.

Recapping Last Week

Public Hearings

Child Marriage: On April 2, the House Child and Family Law Committee held a public hearing and voted on a recommendation to pass SB 359, which would raise the legal age of marriage in New Hampshire from 16 to 18 years old. The Committee’s vote was nearly unanimous at 14-1. Next, the bill will head to the Senate floor for a vote.

Senate Votes

Last week marked one of the last Senate sessions before Ccrossover, meaning that many of our priority bills were up for votes.

Child Care for Child Care Teachers: As introduced, SB 404 would have provided child care workers with automatic access to the New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship. However, the Senate passed an amended version of the bill that removes funding and provides no guarantee that the program will ever be implemented. New Futures will continue to advocate for the importance of this legislation when it crosses over to the House of Representatives.

Supports for Child Care Centers: SB 596 would provide child care centers with the necessary resources to care for children with additional development and behavioral needs. Last Friday, the Senate overturned the Committee recommendation and passed an amended version of SB 596. This bill will now go to the Senate Finance Committee for further review.

Insurance Coverage for Youth Mental Health Services: The Senate passed an amended version of SB 411 that establishes a committee to study emergency mental health services for youth in New Hampshire. New Futures is encouraged by the Department of Insurance’s willingness to address a majority of the issues covered in SB 411 and looks forward to the study committee’s recommendations on additional solutions.

Mandatory Outing in Schools: SB 341 would require school employees to disclose the gender identity or sexual orientation of students to parents. The Senate voted 13-10 to pass this bill, so it will cross over to the House of Representatives next.

Sports Bans for Transgender Girls: Both SB 375 and SB 524 would ban transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity at both the interscholastic and intercollegiate level. Last Friday, the Senate passed SB 375 in a 14-10 vote and referred SB 524 to Interim Study. Next, SB 375 will cross over to the House of Representatives.

To check in on the status of all our priority bills, visit our Current Legislation page and select an issue you care about!

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