KEEP YOUR EYE ON THESE BILLS

“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they can be relied on to set them to rights”  Thomas Jefferson

“And you know something is happening but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?”  Bob Dylan

You are a concerned citizen, perhaps an activist, and you want to know what your state legislature is doing.  You want to be prepared to talk to your senator and representatives about pending bills that really matter to you.  Maybe you even want to go to Concord to testify at the public hearing on a bill.  You want to be well informed, to know what’s happening.  What bills are before the legislature?  What’s in them?  When will a public hearing be held?  All this information is available to you on the nh.gov website if you know where to look and follow the right links.  We want to make it a little easier for you.

Here are some bills pending in the state legislature that you might be interested in, arranged by committee assignment.  Bill titles and brief descriptions were copied from the nh.gov site, occasionally with some phrases bolded.  Editorial comments, if any, are enclosed in parentheses.

If you want to know the current status of a bill, like when a public hearing will be or already has been held, click here for a window on the General Court website titled Advanced Bill Status Search.  Enter the bill number and click “submit”.

House Committee on  Environment and Agriculture

HB151
Title: relative to industrial hemp as a controlled substance. 
This bill prohibits the designation of industrial hemp as a controlled substance. (On 2/25/17 the committee reported this bill Ought to Pass.)

HB399
Title: relative to pesticide use and notification in places where children play.
This bill restricts the use of pesticides in places where children play to situations in which alternative methods have been exhausted and the pesticide application is deemed necessary based on an imminent threat to public health. The bill also establishes notice requirements regarding any emergency pesticide application.

House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development

HB463
Title: Regulating groundwater pollution caused by polluting emissions in the air
Allows the department of environmental services to make rules and regulate devices regarding air pollution and the deposit of such pollutants on soils and water.

HB485  
Title: Relative to standards for emerging contaminants in drinking water.
This bill requires the department of environmental services to use exposure scenarios in children and other vulnerable populations to determine criteria for emerging contaminants in drinking water.

HB486 
Title: Relative to the protection of wetlands.
This bill identifies and defines different types of wetlands protected under the Wetlands Protection Act.

House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs
The following bills relate to the use of therapeutic cannabis:

HB157  Title:  adding chronic pain to qualifying conditions under therapeutic use of cannabis.

HB158  Title:  adding opioid addiction to qualifying medical conditions under therapeutic use of cannabis.

HB159  Title:  adding fibromyalgia to qualifying medical conditions under therapeutic use of cannabis.

HB160  Title:
  adding post-traumatic stress disorder to qualifying medical conditions under therapeutic use of cannabis.

HB197  Title:  adding myelitis disorder or disease to the definition of "qualifying medical condition" for the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

HB222  Title:  relative to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

HB472  Title:  permitting qualifying patients to cultivate cannabis for their own therapeutic use.  (Medicinal marijuana is legal in New Hampshire but qualifying patients must buy it at state stores that have not been established.  Under present law, patients cannot legally grow their own.)