SESSION NOTICE: The next House session will be Wednesday, March 9th

CAUCUS NOTICE: There will be a Republican caucus on Wednesday, March 9th at 9:00 a.m. in Representatives Hall.

Scheduling Notice

State offices will be closed Monday, February 15th, in observance of Presidents’ Day. There will also be no legislative activity scheduled for NH Primary Day, February 9th, the winter break week of February 22-26, and Town Meeting Day, March 8th.

House Republican Leaders Comment on Signing of Joint Task force Legislation

CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) and House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statements on the signing of SB576 and SB477 into law today.

“We’re proud to have kept our commitment to get legislation passed and on the governor’s desk this month. Despite the governor’s lack of faith in the legislative process and our ability to act swiftly to this crisis, the Joint Task Force formed by the House and Senate forged ahead and produced these initial bills and provide a clear path forward,” said Jasper. “We have more work to do, and many more bills in the pipeline, but we’re proud to have met our first set of goals. I believe the state can be proud of the work the legislature has done and will continue to do to combat drugs and addiction.”

“Before the Task Force came to fruition, members of both the House and Senate had already filed over 20 bills that addressed the crisis in a number of ways, but we understood the importance of creating a vehicle to move these ideas forward faster than our traditional legislative process might allow,” said Hinch. “This is an evolving public health crisis and the Task Force was never intended to be a one-shot solution, just as the set of bills we acted on today won’t make the problem disappear. We will take action as appropriate and move forward on a broader set of initiatives as our legislative session continues in 2016. This is an ongoing, comprehensive effort that we hope will prevent addiction, improve recovery, and save lives.”

House Majority Leader Comments on Passage of Expedited Drug Crisis Legislation

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following comments on the passage of three bills approved for expedited action by the Joint Task Force for the Response to the Heroin an Opioid Epidemic in New Hampshire:

“Before the Task Force came to fruition, members of both the House and Senate had already filed over 20 bills that addressed the crisis in a number of ways, but we understood the importance of creating a vehicle to move these ideas forward faster than our traditional legislative process might allow.”

“We are proud of the thorough and comprehensive work done by the Task Force, and the House and Senate committees who put the final bills together, and by passing these bills today, we are proud to have kept our commitment to the people of New Hampshire to get legislation to the governor several weeks before any other 2016 bill.”

“This is an evolving public health crisis and the Task Force was never intended to be a one-shot solution, just as the set of bills we acted on today won’t make the problem disappear. We will take action as appropriate and move forward on a broader set of initiatives as our legislative session continues in 2016.”

“This is an ongoing, comprehensive effort that we hope will prevent addiction, improve recovery, and save lives.”

Background:

The three senate bills acted on by the House today were vetted by the Task Force over November and December, and received unanimous support for expedited action. The House and Senate committees who handle the various policy areas touched by SB 369, SB 447, and SB 576 held joint public hearings last week.  The Senate committees held executive sessions immediately thereafter. The Senate was able to get them before the full Senate for a vote last Thursday. Upon their passage, they were quickly processed so that House policy committees could hold their executive sessions on Friday, having already had a public hearing jointly with the Senate.

SB 369 passed the House by a voice vote.
SB 447 passed the House by a vote of 275-71.
SB 576 passed the House by a vote of 276-69.

The bills are expected to be delivered to the governor for signature this week.

Required Disclosure Filing

Copies of the “2016 Financial Disclosure Form,” are being mailed to each member of the House. Members may fill out and file the paper form or file electronically with the Financial Disclosure E-Form available at the following link: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/ethics/Financial_Disclosure/disclosureEForm.aspx, where you will find instructions on how to fill out the form and how to return it. The PCs in the State House and LOB Cyber Rooms are available for you to use for filling out the forms. If you choose to use the hard copy, please return your form to Rich Lambert in Room 112 of the State House. All legislators and legislative officers are required to complete and file a hard copy or E-Form with the Legislative Ethics Committee no later than January 15, 2016.

Joint Task Force recommends several bills on substance abuse be expedited

Concord, NH – The full Joint Task Force on the response to the heroin and opioid epidemic met today to make recommendations to fast track legislation this January as part of an interim report.

Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), task force chairman, and Representative Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), vice chair, issued the following statements.

“Today’s work by the full Task Force concluded with the recommendation of three bills aimed at curbing the heroin and opioid abuse crisis in New Hampshire to be expedited. These bills will be heard in a joint public hearing of the House and Senate with the final legislation expected to be on the Governor’s desk in January,” said Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).

“The Joint Task Force was successful in vetting and refining substance abuse legislation and I applaud the commitment shown by all of the legislators who participated in the rigorous process of ensuring that the very best legislation, free of unintended consequences, is put forth to curtail the substance abuse epidemic in our state,” added Bradley.

“What the Task Force has done over the last month is find avenues to move our fight against addiction forward, and move us forward faster. Our goal remains to get our fast-tracked proposals to the Governor by the end of January. In addition, we’ve identified a number of initiatives that show promise that we’ll work on through coming months,” Representative Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack).

“This is an evolving crisis and this Task Force was never intended to be a one-shot solution. The Task Force has been our focused course of action to create the best possible recommendations to move us forward, given what we know at this time. The full legislature still needs to act on these proposals and we will work on building consensus to ensure we meet our goals for action in January.”
“Our work doesn’t stop once the Task Force report is filed. We will take action as appropriate and move forward on other initiatives as our legislative session plays out in 2016,” said Hinch.

BACKGROUND

Expedited legislation:

  • Increasing penalties for distributing fentanyl to match those for heroin, Eliminating insurer’s prior authorization requirements so individuals seeking substance abuse treatment can obtain it without delay, and Stronger requirements for providers to use the prescription drug monitoring system (LSR 2758)
  • Studying expanded distribution of Narcan (LSR 2955)

Expanding alcohol and drug education in schools (LSR 2879)

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