CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

July 5, 2012

My Opinion: July 5, 2012

By NH State Rep. L. Mike Kappler

RAYMOND — The House and Senate met on June 27th to vote on bills the Governor vetoed. A 2/3rds vote of those present is required to pass a bill. House bills are voted on first in the House, if passed, and then crosses over to the Senate for their vote. All these bills have passed out of the House and Senate previously, before going to the Governor, who vetoed them.

HB-217-FN - including "unborn child" in the definition of "another" for the purpose of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. Killed in House RC 201-126.

HB-1549 - prohibiting the use of motor vehicle records for any federal identification database. Passed in House RC 253-106. Killed in Senate 0-23.

HB-1607-FN-L - establishing an education credit against the business profits tax. This bill is identical to SB-372 and not needed; see below. House needed to act on bill, so we passed it RC 226-112. Killed in Senate RC 0-23.

HB-1666 - relative to legislative approval of collective bargaining agreements entered into by the state. Killed in House RC 226-112.

HB-1679-FN - relative to partial-birth abortions and third trimester abortions. This bill establishes the partial-birth abortion ban act prohibiting the revolting procedure of killing a baby as it is being born. Passed in House 240-118. Passed in Senate RC 18-5, and becomes law.

SB-175 - regulating the commercial use of a person's identity. Killed in Senate RC 13-10.

SB-289-FN - relative to presenting photo identification to vote in person. This bill: (1) Requires that a voter present a valid photo identification to vote in person. (2) Voters who do not present a valid photo identification shall be mailed and instructed to return an identity verification letter. (3) Voters without photo identification may execute a qualified voter affidavit. (4) Requires that the Secretary of State pay the cost for a non-driver's picture identification card upon presentation of a voucher to the division of motor vehicles. (5) Beginning September 1, 2013, voters who prove identity by executing a qualified voter affidavit shall be photographed or execute an affidavit of religious exemption. Passed in Senate RC 18-5. Passed in House RC 231-112, and becomes law.

SB-318-FN - relative to voter registration. The bill removes a statement from RSA 654:1 that was added in 2007 that could be construed to mean that someone can vote in NH without being a resident of the state. Passed in Senate RC 18-5. Passed in House RC 232-110, and becomes law.

SB-326-FN-A-L - relative to state reimbursement of towns and relative to taxation of trusts under the interest and dividends tax. Bill: (1) Repeals the reduction in certain reimbursements paid to towns and cities who have lost taxable valuation of certain lands.(2) Allows moneys received by the state to pay arrearages under certain river compacts to be distributed to towns listed under such compacts. (3) Eliminates certain taxation of trusts under the interest and dividends tax. Passed in Senate RC 23-0. Passed in House RC 312-18, and becomes law.

SB-356 - limiting the authority of delegates to Article V conventions and re-codifying the laws relative to religious societies and adding a religious exemption to the insurance mandates relative to coverage for contraception. Passed in Senate RC 17-5. Killed in House RC 211-116.

SB-372-FN-L - establishing an education tax credit. Bill: (1) Adds NH to a program that is successful in 8 other states, and was created here by melding the best practices of all the other programs. (2) Establishes an education tax credit against the Business Profits Tax (BPT) and/or the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) for business organizations and business enterprises that contribute to scholarship organizations which award scholarships to be used by students to defray educational expenses. (3) Establishes an education tax credit that promotes school choices for those that might not otherwise be able to afford it. (4) The school choice scholarships, managed by non-profit scholarship organizations, are funded by donations from businesses who receive tax credits when they donate. Passed in Senate RC 16-7. Passed in House RC 236-108, and becomes law.

SB-406 - establishing an early offer alternative in medical injury claims, relative to confidentiality of police personnel files, and establishing a committee to study the referral of patients for use of implantable medical devices. This is a bill with three different House Republican important policy initiatives in one bill. (1) Bill creates a choice for an individual to resolve a claim quickly, in just a few months, as compared to the current trial process that can last several years. It does not prevent a patient from going through the traditional court process. Injured patients receive more protections in early offer than in the existing tort system. If a patient chooses early offer and they do not have an attorney, they are provided with a neutral advisor (paid for by the provider) who must encourage them to get counsel (also paid for by the provider) and fully explain all their options. After meeting with the advisor the patient has 5 days to opt out of the system without prejudice. This type of assistance does not exist in the current legal system. (2) is HB-1438, relative to confidentiality of police personnel files. This establishes that police files cannot be used to conceal exculpatory evidence.(3) is HB-1725, prohibiting health care practitioner self-referral of medical devices. This part establishes a committee to study the issue of health care practitioners making referrals of patients for the use of implantable medical devices when the practitioner has an ownership or other financial interest in the supplier of the implantable medical device. Passed in Senate RC 18-4. Passed in House RC 247-111, and becomes law.

SB-409-FN - relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Killed in Senate RC 13-10.

(Editor's Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at l.mikekappler@comcast.net.)