The 2023 legislative session is rapidly winding up with legislation, and for the most part what is left is working out differences between House and Senate versions, if any exist. The House has kept over 200 bills in Committee for more consideration over the summer & fall, and the Senate has kept over 50 bills in committee, meaning for approximately 30% of the bills introduced in the 2023 session the committee did not reach enough consensus to make a recommendation to the full House.
State Budget – Of note, the Senate Finance Committee has proposed a change to the State’s education funding formula, which they say will increase state participation in public education funding by nearly $157 million over the next two years. Their statement on the proposal mentions increased aid for free and reduced-cost lunch students, increased special education funding, and increased base student aid, focusing on the school districts with the most need.
On the NHRLA watch list, HB 74 relative to an employee’s unused earned time, was killed by the Senate on a voice vote. Though over several years the sponsor has made changes to address opposition points, several industries found deficiencies with the current version.
Affordable & Workforce Housing – The Governor’s requested $30,000,000 for the InvestNH program, aimed at bringing “hundreds more housing units online quickly to help address the lack of available units”, had been cut by the House to $15,000,000, and the Senate did not change the House appropriation. Similarly, the House had cut the governor’s affordable housing appropriation to $15,0000,000 from the Governor’s requested $25,000,000, a cut the Senate agreed with in their version of the budget.
House count tote board: After a special election in Nashua, won by the Democratic Party nominee, the N.H. House of Representatives party split stands at 200 Republicans and 197 Democrats with 3 vacancies. However more and more often the Democrats have the majority of member present and voting on any given day.