Legislative Update January 11th 2021

Hearings To Be Scheduled Soon on More Than 800 Bills in House and Senate

New Hampshire House and Senate committees will meet next week via Zoom conferences to take up their lengthy agenda for 2021. Hearings on hundreds of bills will be scheduled over the next few weeks. While the hearings will be held remotely, the committees will still be taking testimony from the public. Cornerstone is watching for hearing dates on bills affecting education, religious liberty, and respect for life. 

The People’s Business Continues as Senate and House Chambers Remain Closed

With the State House still closed to legislative sessions due to COVID-19 concerns, the 400-member New Hampshire House chose an innovative way to meet a few days ago: a “drive-in” session at the University of New Hampshire. Legislators elected Rep. Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry) to serve as Speaker of the House.

In a message to the House, the Speaker acknowledged the challenges of full-House sessions. “…we are keeping our options open for how the House will meet next….We will continue working with staff to develop plans for several possibilities for our next session.” 

Both House and Senate will work remotely for the time being. All public hearings will be held via Zoom, and full sessions will be live-streamed. Watch Cornerstone’s updates for livestream links.

Executive Council Gives Final OK to Federal Grant for Public Charter Schools

The newly-elected members of the New Hampshire Executive Council were sworn in on January 7. One of the first orders of business was to accept the first installment of a $45 million federal grant to benefit our state’s public charter schools. This follows the recent vote by the joint legislative fiscal committee to accept the grant. 

The Council vote was along party lines. Republicans Joe Kenney, Janet Stevens, Ted Gatsas, and Dave Wheeler approved the grant, while Democrat Cinde Warmington voted No. 

Kenney, Gatsas, and Wheeler were endorsed by Cornerstone in their 2020 campaigns. 

Governor Chris Sununu Begins 3rd Term

Governor Chris Sununu was sworn in for this third term by state Supreme Court Justice Gary Hicks on January 7, in the presence of the Executive Councilors. He later delivered an online inaugural address.

In his speech, he included this: “Our motto of Live Free or Die comes with the obligation that we will put our politics and prejudices aside and ensure our family and neighbors are supported.”

That sounds like the Cornerstone vision: building a New Hampshire where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. We look forward to working with any policymaker who shares that vision.

Filing period January 11-15 for House Seat Representing Merrimack

Voters in the town of Merrimack will go to the polls this spring to elect a state representative to fill the seat formerly held by the late Speaker of the House, Dick Hinch.

The filing period for candidates wishing to run for the seat is January 11-15. Important information about filing, including the proper location and paperwork, is available on the Secretary of State’s website