CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

June 7, 2012

My Opinion: June 7, 2012

By NH State Rep. L. Mike Kappler

RAYMOND — This article continues with more of the May 15, 16, and 17 Session bills that were passed off the Regular Calendar. The titles with (/) are a non-germaine amendment of a previous House bill that was killed by the Senate and was then added to the Senate bill:

SB-370-FN - relative to the powers of the state veterinarian. This bill provides for powers of the state veterinarian. A-2119h and bill passed OTP-A on voice votes.

SB-239-FN - relative to the membership and duties of the installation standards board. Bill: (1) Updates the installation standards board. (2) Reduces the board size from 12 to 9 by eliminating the position of those who never attend meetings. (3) Provides for the appointment of board members by the Governor and Council, rather than by the Commissioner of Safety. A-1588h and bill passed OTP-A on voice votes.

SB-259 - relative to the appointment of the Director of Parks and Harbors, relative to the transfer of land within the Pease Development Authority (PDA), and relative to dredging the Hampton and Seabrook Harbors. Bill: (1) Transfers appointment of the Director of Ports and Harbors from the Governor to the PDA Board of Directors. (2) Extends the date by which regulatory authority over certain lands within the PDA is to be transferred to the local municipalities. (3) Authorizes the Pease Division of Ports and Harbors to enter into a project partnership agreement with the Department of Army for the purpose of dredging portions of the Hampton and Seabrook Harbors. A-2187h and bill passed OTP-A on voice votes.

SB-311-FN-A - relative to weights and measures. Bill: (1) Establishes a Director of the Division of Weights and Measures.(2) Establishes a Weights and Measures Advisory Board. (3) Allows the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food, to collect certain fees related to weights and measures, and adopt procedures to investigate weights and measures complaints. (4) Establishes requirements for delivery tickets and invoices on petroleum products delivery. A-2146h passed D 195-111. Bill passed OTP-A D 204-106.

SB-155-FN-A - relative to section 179 expense deductions under the Business Profits Tax. Bill: (1) Increases the NH accelerated depreciation deduction from the current $20K to $25K. This increased deduction has the effect of reducing the BPT for small businesses. (2) Makes the effective date July 1, 2013, to coincide with the next budget.(3) Bill also contains the refugee moratorium language of a prior bill causing a partisan vote. A-2128h failed because of a quorum (267) problem D 134-103. Speaker called quorum call. Vote to reconsider passed D 202-109. A-2128h then passed D 155-155, Speaker voting yes - 156-155. Bill passed OTP-A RC 231-79.

SB-295-FN-A - relative to the research and development tax credit against the business profits tax and (/) relative to the Women's Right to Know act regarding abortion information. Bill: (1) Repeals the prospective repeal of the $1M tax for NH business. (2) Establishes the Women's Right To Know Act. A-2220h passed RC 172-123. Flr A-2221 passed RC 178-120. Bill passed OTP-A RC 198-100.

SB-332 - repealing a prohibition relative to auxiliary state troopers, repealing the law governing motor vehicles carrying property for hire, and (/) relative to searches conducted for purposes of transportation-related security. Bill: (1) Makes the use of auxiliary state police officer more efficient by allowing flexibility in hours worked for these part time employees. (2) Repeals the law governing motor vehicles carrying property for hire. (3) Amendment requires law enforcement officers to record citizen complaints about TSA agent searches upon complaint by the citizen, for inclusion into a state-wide database while also allowing audio and video recording of the TSA search. A-2221h and bill passed OTP-A on voice vote.

SB-348-FN - relative to the pulse oximetry test for newborns. Bill: (1) Adds pulse oximetry testing to the medical diagnostic screenings required for newborns. (2) There is no additional cost to the state for this test, with a potential of a savings. A non-germaine floor amendment relative to abortions after 20 weeks, Flr A-2303h passed RC 137-133, was later voted to be reconsidered D 184-94, re-debated and voted failed RC 95-183. Bill passed OTP D 213-67.

SB-366-FN - relative to use of certain OHRVs on snowmobile trails, and relative to authorization for snowmobiles and OHRVs registered in Vermont and Maine to operate in this state. This bill: (1) Policy committee (mine) removed the senate position that allowed residents of Vermont and Maine to operate snowmobiles in New Hampshire without giving reciprocity to New Hampshire residents wanting to ride in their respective states. (2) Bill provides a snowmobile endorsement of $16 of which $12.56 shall be appropriated to the Department of Resources and Economical Development and $3.44 to Department of Fish and Game. (3) This allows OHRVs to be modified by removing the wheels and installing tracks, cleats, or skis, for snow use. A-2196h and bill passed OTP-A on voice votes.

SB-375-FN - relative to a prepaid health plan for Medicaid services and relative to the Medicaid management information system. Bill: (1) Repeals the requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services apply for a waiver to deliver and pay for Medicaid services to Medicaid-eligible persons with severe mental disabilities through a prepaid health plan. (2) This waiver was unnecessary through the inclusion of these services in the state's Medicaid managed care system. (3) Repeals an unnecessary requirement that the state hire an information systems consultant to help implement the Medicaid management information system. (4) No fiscal impact was found on state finances from passage of this bill and a potentially negative impact if it didn't. A non-germaine amendment to extend the moratorium on home beds and rehabilitation beds failed Flr A-2242h RC 157-162. Bill passed OTP on voice vote.

More of this Session next week.

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