The New Hampshire legislative session is still chugging along. The hundreds of initial bills all face a multi-step process: Bills are heard by a House committee or a Senate committee which says yea or nay, then the yeas get voted on by the full House or Senate, and if they get an OK there the two chambers swap bills and the other chamber takes them on. If they’re approved by both chambers they go to the governor for his yea-or-nay, if they’re tweaked a compromise needs to be developed before going to the governor. The whole shebang usually winds up in June but can be extended.
In all this rigamarole it’s easy to lose track of things. Here’s an update on a number of bills that I looked at earlier in the year as being of interest to readers of this column – I’ve highlighted those that are dead or which are being studied for at least another year. The rest are still alive in various forms. Click on any bill number to read it.
- HB729 – Establishing ranked-choice voting for the 2020 presidential primary. The House Election Committee held onto it for further study, so it might come up again next year.
- HB718 – Allowing “instant polling” – an unusual proposal to set up pre-election-day voting booths if 5,000 voters want it. Killed by a House committee.
- HB567 – Moving us into the Atlantic Time Zone with no daylight saving, as long as Massachusetts and Maine do it first. Passed the House, awaits a hearing by the Senate Executive Departments and Administration committee.
- HB603 – Using an algorithm to help draw political boundaries. The House Election Committee held onto it for further study, so it might come up again next year.
- SB216 – Establishing an automated vehicle testing and deployment commission and an automated vehicle testing pilot program, and providing requirements for automated vehicle deployment. Passed the Senate, awaiting a hearing by House Transportation committee.
- HB132 – If ISPs want state contracts, they’ll have to abide by net neutrality rules. Killed by a House committee
- HB161 – Prohibiting the use of false or deceptive caller identification information: an attempt to outlaw “spoofing”. Killed by a House committee.
- HB577 – Prohibiting automated telephone dialing systems from using call blocking. Passed the Senate, awaiting House committee.
- HB470 – Allowing state agencies to accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Held by a House committee for further study, so it might come up again next year.
- HB190 – Allowing the use of gold and silver as lawful mediums of exchange in any transaction in this state. Killed by a House committee.
- HB200 and HB490 – Add differing levels of notice to patients about the relationship between Lyme tests and Lyme disease – part of years-long efforts by Lyme advocates who think that doctors underestimate the disease. The first, much stricter bill was killed by a House committee; the second was turned into a “we need to study this” bill and is still being debated.
- HB536 – Adding biometric information to the consumer protection act. (“includes, but is not limited to, imagery of the iris, retina, fingerprint, face, hand, palm, and vein patterns, and voice recordings, from which an identifier template, such as a face-print, a minutiae template, or a voiceprint, can be extracted, and keystroke patterns or rhythms, gait patterns or rhythms, and sleep, health, or exercise data that contain identifying information.) Passed by the House, being considered by Senate, as I noted in another article this week.
- SB307 – Requires certain outdoor lighting to be 3,000 Degrees Kelvin or less “to better enable communities to conserve energy consumed by outdoor lighting and carry out dark sky policies.” Passed by Senate, before House committee.
- SB2785 – Requires all the vehicles owned by state government to be “zero-emission vehicles” by 2039. Passed by Senate, before a House committee.
- SB218 – Gives the state transportation commission control over small drones. Passed by Senate, before House committee.
Re SB218 “…control over small drones”. Is that gonna be constitutional? My (admittedly simplified) understanding of these things is that there’s plenty of precedent that aviation/flying things can only be regulated by Federal Law. ???