May 31, 2024: NEA-NH Legislative Update

House and Senate Head to Committees of Conference Next Week on Major Education Bills 

This past week, the House and Senate decided which bills they would agree with the other chamber’s changes (concur), which ones they would go to a committee of conference to work out differences (non-concur and request a committee of conference), and which ones they would simply reject outright without attempting to come to a compromise (non-concur). The aftermath of those decisions is that next week there will be committees of conference meetings on several highly consequential bills for public education and public-school educators. 

What are Committees of Conference and How Do They Work? 

Committees of conference are formed by the House and Senate when both bodies want to work out the differences between alternate versions of a bill that has passed both chambers. The Senate President names three Senate member conferees and the House Speaker names four House members to meet to see if they can come to an agreed upon compromise. If the conferees cannot arrive at a unanimous compromise, the bill dies. It is also in the purview of the Senate President and the Speaker to replace any or all of their conferees in order to ensure there is sign-off on a committee of conference report. 

The deadline to sign off on committee of conference reports is Thursday June 6th

If they do arrive at a compromise version, that report then goes back to each chamber for a final up or down vote (a committee of conference report cannot be amended). Those votes will all take place on the final day of session, which will be held on Thursday, June 13th.  

Next Steps and What We Are Watching During Next Week’s Committees of Conference 

Below you’ll find the major bills we will be tracking during committee of conference meetings – stay tuned next week for updates and action asks before the final day of session.  

HB 1665expands eligibility for the unaccountable private school voucher program  

The Senate position is to expand eligibility from 350% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and the House position is to expand to 500% of FPL. NEA-New Hampshire opposes both efforts to expand a program that has already siphoned tens of millions of dollars away from public education because public dollars belong in public schools.  

HB 1298creating the status of an unlicensed part-time teacher 

Both the Senate and House versions of this bill would establish unlicensed part-time teacher positions in New Hampshire without time limitations on the status or requirement for professional development or credentialing. The key difference between the two versions is that the House would limit the positions to teaching less than 20 hours per week with some added educational requirements, whereas the Senate version caps the time at 30 hours a week and requires an individual passes a criminal history record check and be subject to the educator code of conduct. NEA-New Hampshire opposes both versions of this bill because it lowers standards for public school teachers that will negatively impact students’ access to high-quality education. 

HB 1079 

The Senate added our bill establishing a rural and underserved area educator incentive program to this House bill after the House killed it, and so passage is still possible if the program remains as part of the final report from the committee this week.  

SB 266 

The Senate version, billed as language “clean up” legislation, was introduced last year and retained by the House because it contained a myriad of concerning provisions that could redefine the state’s role in the delivery of public education and made language changes that, together with the proposed administrative changes could be very detrimental to public education standards. Fortunately, this bill was changed by the House, narrowing it to make limited changes to statewide assessment program, but in the committee of conference process, the original bad bill could be brought back up. Read more about the senate version here. 

Tell Governor Sununu to Veto HB 1312 When it Goes to His Desk! 

As a reminder, the Legislature did pass HB 1312 earlier this month. This bill would essentially codify a recent NH Department of Education interpretation of the 2-week notice to parents around “objectionable material”. This is an unworkable standard that would leave educators wondering what course material could apply to the notice requirements that traditionally had been focused on sex education and health classes. For example, if there is a book or math worksheet that contains any kind of scenario mentioning someone’s gender or orientation, does it then fall into a 2-week notice requirement? The bill also contains more vague language that is like other so-called parental rights legislation that puts educators in impossible positions in determining which actions or conversations could put them or a student in jeopardy when they are only trying to be a trusted adult at school.  

The next step for this bill is the Governor’s desk – once it is delivered to him, he will have 5 days to sign or veto the bill, or it will become law without his signature. You can contact Governor Sununu and urge him to veto HB 1312 by calling 603-271-2121 or clicking here to use our email action form. 


If you have questions on any of these bills or ones not mentioned here, please feel free to contact Brian Hawkins, NEA-NH Director of Government Relations at  You can also follow all the bills we are watching next week and check on a bill’s status by visiting our NEA-NH bill tracker.