RAYMOND - Off we go again very slowly working on bills held over from last year. Some of the bills we did at Session on January 22nd included:
HB-474, relative to eligibility for in-state tuition rates at the university system of New Hampshire. This bill grants in-state tuition rate to illegal aliens, thereby declaring them to be lawful residents of New Hampshire. The Republican House Alliance Platform, Part IX, reminds us to "oppose any form of amnesty for illegal aliens", and this would be amnesty. It is also against federal law. The Democrats pushed it through anyway on a vote of OTP-A RC 188-155.
HB-110, requiring persons who record cruelty to livestock to report such cruelty and submit such recordings to a law enforcement agency. This bill would require anyone who witnesses such a crime to report it to the police. Bill luckily was Tabled on a vote D 329-15.
HB-660-FN, requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods and agricultural commodities. Bill requires labeling of foods sold in NH containing, or processed with, genetically engineered products, causing more business regulations. Bill killed RC 185-162.
HB-597-FN, relative to mandatory drug testing for certain health care workers. This bill was introduced in response to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital. Bill requires the Commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services to establish a program requiring facilities licensed under RSA 151 to perform mandatory drug testing on healthcare workers employed in such facilities. Bill passed OTP-A RC 289-48.
HB-569, relative to the placement of all new electrical transmission lines in New Hampshire. Bill requires that all electric transmission lines in the State of New Hampshire be placed with state transportation rights-of-way to the extent possible. After much chatter, bill passed OTP-A RC 171-139 and was sent to the House Ways & Means Committee as a 2nd committee.
On the County level, there was a Public Hearing on the budget. I was disappointed that more people didn't show up to complain about the closing of the Rockingham County Adult Medical Care Program. Without a lot of complaining, we will not be able to get the Commissioners to change their minds. Please pay attention to the up coming dates for budget hearings and come and speak you piece. This is a terrible shame, after 33 years of serving our county residents, the Commissioners shut down the program for NO legitimate reason. Please come out and be heard.
(Editor’s Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)