The enormous New Hampshire Legislature has begun meeting again and, as always, a slew of proposed bills are on the table. Hearings have begun and committees are chewing through them. Many proposals will get nowhere, or emerge in completely different form so don’t get too excited or outraged about any of these. At least, not yet.
I’ve waded through the descriptions of more than 300 bills – some don’t have descriptions attached yet so I’ll have to come back to them – to find those that might be of interest to Granite Geek readers. The link goes to the full text, but remember than it can be edited every which way in the coming weeks. Here we go:
HB133 – A New Hampshire lawmaker is mad about “censorship by social media websites” and has a proposed a law that would fine one at least $75,000 if it “deletes or censors the user’s religious speech or political speech; and uses an algorithm to disfavor, shadowban, or censor the user’s religious speech or political speech.” The sites would have to have at least 75 million subscribers, so Granite Geek is safe. (I strongly suspect this is the first time that the word “shadowban” has shown up in New Hampshire legislation.)
HB85 – Another attempt to get New Hampshire to move to Atlantic Standard Time with no daylight savings switcheroo, as long as Maine and Massachusetts do it. This has come up before (here’s my story from last year) but was squelched.
HB588 would establish building codes for tiny houses. This is a perennial topic of interest; I’ll be writing a real story about it at some point.
HB95 adds frozen items like ice cream, frozen yogurt and other desserts to items made from raw milk that can be sold in certain location. Right now only liquid milk, yogurt, butter and keffir can be sold. I wrote about this issue in 2019.
HB358 would make it harder for condos to block solar panels: It “prohibits condominium instruments and bylaws from requiring greater than a simple majority vote to consent to the installation and use of a solar photovoltaic energy system.”
HB628 would raise most speed limits on major roads by 5 mph, from 55 to 60, or 65 to 70. (but not 70 to 75 on that stretch of I-93)
HB208 You want to sell lightning rods? Go ahead!
HB174 – if you run over a cat, you have to tell somebody. Right now you don’t (but I think you do if you hit a dog, although I’m not certain).
HB189 would allow up to 3 accessory dwelling units on many properties – the current limit is 1. ADUs range from ‘in-law apartments” to separate buildings and are touted as a relatively easy and cheap way to ease the housing crunch.
HB297 – We do almost everything remotely these days, so why not notarize documents remotely? This would establish a procedure.
HB373 – The state can’t even talk about the possibility of joining a low carbon fuel standards program, says this proposal. Not even talk about it!
HB611 would abolish public water fluoridation, a perennial bugaboo of a certain group of people. (The only time I got angry while hosting a Science Cafe NH involved anti-fluoridation folks in the audience who were being real jerks.) Slightly under half of the people in New Hampshire are on fluoridated water, because it’s done by the biggest cities.
HB404 would remove a requirement that town or city officials walk all the community’s borders – a.k.a. perambulate the boundaries – every 7 years. “In lieu of perambulation of the town lines, methods such as satellite imagery may be used.” Makes sense, especially since very few places actually do it – although “perambulate the boundaries” is such a lovely phrase, I’d hate to lose it.
HB477 – if your Internet service goes out more than two hours, they have to reimburse you.
HB449 is the latest right-to-repair effort, which would “requires home appliance manufacturers to make available to appliance owners and repair providers certain repair-related documentation, parts, and tools.” A 2019 effort was shot down following objection from some industries, and state environmental folks worried that we’d tweak our riding lawn mowers and they’d pollute more.
HB510 – “This bill establishes prohibitions and exceptions for the use of robocalls by automatic dialing devices.”
HB513 – An online college based in New Hampshire with a J.R.R. Tolkein emphasis (plus other fantasy and sci-fi, and Medieval languages) should be allowed to grant degrees. They didn’t succeed last year.
HB593 says online food delivery services can’t pretend to serve restaurants unless they have “entered into an agreement” with the eatery. This targets stories about DoorDash et al listing restaurants without telilng then, which then have to deal with angry customers who think they already ordered a pizza.
SB112 would allow betting on “historic horse racing” via “historic horse racing machines”. As far as I can tell this is basically Bingo using video of old-time horse races but I don’t quite get it; don’t people already know who won? Can I bet on Secretariat, please?
I attended the Science-cafe fluoridation event that you said people were being jerks at. That’s not what happened at all. The only jerks were the host and panelist.
The event was supposed to be a comprehensive and objective discussion on fluoridation, and instead you invited only a pro-fluoridation advocate, spokesperson, and dentist. When a local doctor (MD) asked to be part of the panel and discuss the science showing both benefit and harm, as well as raise some of the concerns about the practice, you rejected her offer and those of others who would provide a more balanced discussion. This offer was made weeks in advance, and the doctor even showed up to the event in case you changed your mind.
Your intention was clearly to give the pro-fluoridation lobby a platform without question.
At the event, which included maybe 25 audience members, citizens were given an opportunity to ask questions. Very basic questions about dose, studies showing harm, etc were asked, and instead of answers the dentist just said, “I don’t know, I just have these talking points about the benefits.” The audience came prepared with the studies IN HAND, and kept asking questions and you got frustrated since your sole panelist couldn’t or wouldn’t answer them. So you ended the event abruptly.
The only jerk was you. You created a one-sided, anti-science, talking-point driven event, then got visibly angry when the audience asked basic questions your panelist couldn’t answer.
If you choose to respond to this, first start by telling your readers who was present on the panel that day. Go ahead, it ought to be embarrassing for you since it proves my point.