State House Update – May 13, 2019

This week at the State House

The Senate will meet Wednesday at 10 a.m. while the House will not meet again until May 23. The deadline to act on all bills that have crossed over is now less than a month away, on June 6, so we’ll continue to see a lot of activity in the coming weeks.

Our big focus remains the COLA bill, which is currently awaiting a vote from the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee. You’ll see more on that below. Also below, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who is currently seeking re-election, will meet with the Political Education Committee on Monday.

You can find the complete House and Senate calendars below:


Senate Committee vote expected on COLA   

Please take action immediately – contact your senator today about HB 616

It’s getting down to the wire – the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee is expected to vote in the coming days on HB 616, our pension cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) bill. Sen. Sharon Carson, the Chair of Senate ED&A, introduced an amendment that would change the COLA to simply another one-time payment, but we need to make it clear that our retirees need a real COLA.

Background: Members of NHRS have not received a COLA since 2010. As expenses rise, these retirees who dedicated their careers to public service find themselves left further and further behind. This bill would grant a 1.5 percent COLA to those who have been retired for 60 months. The amendment would eliminate that COLA, replacing it with a one-time payment, not a percent increase added to base.

What you can do: We need members, especially those who would be impacted by the bill, to contact their senators and tell them that our retirees need a real COLA. You can easily send a message to your senator using our updated online action form, which you can find here. We’ve given you a message to start with but we highly recommend personalizing it by explaining exactly what this COLA would mean to you. If you’d prefer to call your senator, you can find their contact information hereYou can contact the entire committee here.


Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig visits PoliEd

On Monday, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who is seeking re-election this year, will visit with the Political Education Committee. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. and all members, not just those who are part of the committee, are welcome to attend.

Craig won the endorsement of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 in her rematch against former Mayor Ted Gatsas in 2017. While the SEA does not represent any municipal unions in Manchester, many members live and work in the Queen City. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to meet and talk with Mayor Craig.


Updates on other bills we’re following

In addition to the bill listed above, here are progress reports on a few other key issues:

Paid family leave: On Thursday, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed SB 1, the Democrats’ plan to offer paid family leave insurance to all Granite Staters. The governor unveiled his own plan earlier this year, but it does not appear to have moved beyond the conceptual stage.

Corrections Group II: The Senate Finance Committee has yet to schedule a hearing on HB 116, which would allow the movement of Department of Corrections employees from Group I to Group II without specific legislation.

Notice to join unions: The House approved an amended version of SB 148on Wednesday. The bill spells out protections for public employee privacy and also provides labor unions with important worksite access protections. Because this bill was amended, the Senate will need to decide whether to concur on the amended bill.

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