BY: Citizens Count
Although the election isn’t until November, current legislators already have the opportunity to request 2019 bills.
If a legislator loses reelection, any bills he or she requested must be sponsored by a winning legislator or else the bills die.
Here’s a list of some of the most significant 2019 bills requested so far (note that the details of what these bills are haven't yet been released):
- Rep. Renny Cushing has requested a bill legalize and regulate marijuana. Rep. Cushing also proposed a bill related to allowing medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis. Last year, a similar bill from Rep. Cushing was sent to interim study, effectively killing it.
- Rep. Timothy Horrigan has requested two bills related to the definition of “residency” for the purpose of voting. Rep. Horrigan is a vocal opponent of a new law establishing residency requirements for voters.
- Rep. Dick Hinch has requested a bill to establish “education savings accounts,” which would allow students to take the per-pupil share of public school funding for private or home schooling costs. A similar bill failed last year.
- Rep. Carol McGuire has requested a bill prohibiting the state from making any agreement with another state to collect sales tax. This follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows other states to compel retailers to collect sales tax for online sales. Rep. Kevin Scully has also proposed another bill he claims will challenge the constitutionality of that SCOTUS decision.
- Rep. Jacqueline Cali-Pitts has requested a bill related to possession of firearms on school grounds. Right now school districts do not have the legal authority to create “gun free zones.” Some legislators instead support arming teachers.
- Rep. Paul Berch has submitted a bill related NH's "Laurie List" of police officers accused of misconduct. Rep. Berch has previously stated his support for reforming rules around when the names on that list are released to the public.
- Rep. John O'Connor has proposed a bill "relative to animal cruelty". Rep. O'Connor was a key player in amending a controversial animal rights bill last year when the committee he chairs, the House Environment and Agriculture Committee, decided to drop a part of the bill that would have required defendants in animal cruelty cases to pay for the care of confiscated animals.
- Rep. Renny Cushing has proposed a bill for 2019 that would put the DHHS in charge of the Secure Psychiatric Unit and charge the department with building a new secure psychiatric hospital. Read more about the details.
- A bipartisan group of legislators are sponsoring a bill to create a public campaign finance system in NH. The system would grant every NH voter $100 in vouchers they could grant to participating campaigns of their choice. Campaigns that take part in the program would have to accept limits on other donations. Supporters of the bill are said to include Republicans Sen. Dan Innis and Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel and Democrats Martha Hennessey and Rep. Renny Cushing.
- Rep. Tiffany Johnson is proposing a bill for 2019 "relative to abortion after viability". Rep. Johnson reported in our 2018 issue survey that she is in favor of banning abortion after 20 weeks' gestation.
- Rep. Peter Schmidt and Rep. Howard Moffett have both proposed bills for 2019 related to the minimum wage. Rep. Schmidt has been a vocal supporter of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Rep. Moffett also vocally supports raising the minimum wage.
To explore more proposed bills for 2019, browse the issue status updates on our issue pages.
Is there a particular bill you would like to see in 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments below.