Crossover Day is upon this session of the New Hampshire Legislature. Crossover day is the deadline for all House bills to go to the Senate and all Senate bills to go to the House. If a bill is defeated or is referred for study, it does not crossover to the other legislative body. If the bill passes or passes with amendments, it is crosses-over to the other house of the legislature for another committee hearing and full body vote. Here is the status of bills of interest at Crossover Day:
House Backs Common Core
On Wednesday, March 26, after three hours of debate, the New Hampshire House defeated five bills aimed at delaying, impeding, frustrating and terminating New Hampshire’s adoption of Common Core. In doing so, the majority of the House stood with the hundreds of educators who have worked for the past seven years to ensure that New Hampshire continues to be a national leader I quality public education.
House Passes Minimum Wage Increase
With a 173-118 vote, the New Hampshire House voted to increase the states minimum wage to $8.25 an hour in 2015, and then $9.00 in 2016. The bill now moves on to the Senate. No hearing has yet been scheduled in the Senate yet, but that doesn’t mean it is too early for you to contact your Senator and tell them that you support a living wage in New Hampshire.
Senate Defeats Retirement Security Bill
On a 13-11 party line vote, the Senate defeated a bill developed by the Retirement Security Coalition that would have established a supplemental savings account for new teachers and state employees that would have allowed them to retire with dignity and stay off social services.
House Nixes Transferring Public School Dollars to Charter Schools
On March 19th, the House voted to send HB 435 to Interim Study on a 167-151 vote. A leftover from last session, HB 435 would have increased the amount given to charter schools to from 40% to 50% of the average cost per pupil. In the first year alone, this would have taken nearly $3 million taxpayer dollars that could have been used for public education and transferred it to charter schools and could have transferred up to $130 million in the next three years. The House smartly rejected this windfall for charter schools in favor of a broader study of the long term impact of changing the way charter schools are funded.
Paycheck Equity Bills Pass House and Senate
HB 1188 and SB 207, two bills to ensure that no one can be paid less on account of their gender, each passed their chamber of origin. In addition to prohibiting discrimination in pay based on gender, both bills forbid companies from prohibiting their employees from discussing their pay with other employees, which is often the biggest barrier in an employee discovering that they are being paid a lower wage.