State Senate Candidate Joe Duarte Questioned Whether a Female Applicant for a Town Committee Could Fulfill Responsibilities Because She is a Mother

In 2007, Duarte participated in a discussion about whether a woman – who was the only candidate for a Zoning Board of Adjustments alternate position – could dedicate the necessary time because she is a mother

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

Concord, NH – During a Candia Selectman meeting on April 23, 2007, several selectmen – including Senate District 16 candidate Joe Duarte – debated whether an applicant for a vacant zoning board of adjustments alternate position could dedicate the necessary time to the position because she was the mother of a young child.

The applicant, Amanda Soares, was the only person to apply for the position. While some public officials in the room stated that the applicant’s personal family commitments weren’t up to the board to comment on – and that the question would likely not come up for a male applicant – Duarte persisted:

“Selectman Lazott stated he did not want to stretch her too thin. Selectman Duarte stated he was not on with the ZBA appointment because she was just appointed to the Planning Board as an alternate. Selectman Brennan stated he did not think the appointment was a big deal pointing out that he holds a full-time job and serves on many Boards and Committees. One Selectman noted that Selectman Brennan did not have a family and this requestor does.

Selectman Giffen reiterated that Mrs. Soares was extremely capable and that the ZBA meetings were typically short. Selectman Giffen advised he would not want to turn any volunteers down. Tax Collector Sanders mentioned she was aware that Mrs. Soares no longer had a daily commute to Massachusetts. Road Agent Lewis stated some months the ZBA does not meet. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Amanda Soares to the Zoning Board as an alternate member. Seconded by Selectman Brennan. Chairman Kelley stated he was still deciding because he was not sure about her time considering she has a small child. Selectman Brennan said the Board should let her make her own decisions regarding her time. Selectman Duarte stated attendance for two alternates for the Planning Board last year was poor and both had families. Ingrid Byrd of Depot Road wondered if the Board would be having the family discussion if the applicant was a man … Selectman Giffen mentioned that Mrs. Soares had perfect attendance when she was on the Solid Waste Committee and Conservation Commission. (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

The vote was postponed, but during the same meeting Duarte seconded a motion to approve two men for a town committee with no discussion of whether they have domestic responsibilities at home.

“Selectman Giffen to make recommendations on members for a Town of Candia Website Committee: Selectman Giffen advised public notice was placed in the paper for Public Meeting held on 4/19/07 for the purpose of establishing a website Committee. Selectman Giffen stated only two individuals showed up to volunteer. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Joe Miele and Larry Twitchell as members of the Town’s website committee with one-year terms, term to expire 4/23/08 effective today’s date. Seconded by Selectman Duarte. All in favor. Motion carried.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

In a follow-up meeting about the appointment, Duarte directly questioned the female applicant about her “full agenda” including other time commitments. Soares responded by saying her husband could be home to run the household in the evenings.

Selectman Duarte noted Mrs. Soares had a full agenda and asked her if she had enough time to devote to another Board. Mrs. Soares stated most of the meetings were held in the evenings when her husband is home and able to maintain the household … ZBA Chair Boyd Chivers pointed out that Mrs. Soares was the only person who expressed interest and did not know how the Board could turn her down. Secretary Chabot verified an advertisement was run for the position and Mrs. Soares was the only interested party. Selectman Giffen moved to accept the recommendation of the ZBA for the appointment of Amanda Soares as an alternate member with a term to expire on 10/28/08. Selectmen Lazott and Duarte indicated they were opposed. ZBA Chair Chivers noted the ZBA unanimously recommended her appointment.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, May 14, 2007)

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“It appears Joe Duarte judges women based on his own personal opinion of what her domestic roles and responsibilities should be, rather than letting a woman decide for herself. While other public officials pushed back, Duarte persisted in making this an issue of a woman’s assumed role in a household and at no time raised concerns about the sexist nature of the conversation. In fact, he asserted that it was relevant despite the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to other town committees and the fact that she was the only applicant for the position. Duarte, himself, was serving on multiple committees at the time.”

This is not the only time Duarte has stood in the way of women. In 2014 Duarte voted against the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, an act to ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day’s work; and in 2012 he voted to allow any employer to deny coverage for contraception based on the employer’s own personal beliefs. (SB207, Roll Call #235, 5/14/2014; HB1546, Roll Call #117, 3/7/2012) Duarte also endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Note: Soares later went on to successfully complete 5 years of service on the Candia Board of Selectmen. She resigned in early 2015 when her family moved out of the area. (Candia Selectman, Candia’s Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, 1.12.15)

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

NHGOP State Senate Candidates Double Down On Support For Donald Trump

Concord, N.H. — With an impending visit from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to New Hampshire this weekend, Granite State voters are reminded of their GOP State Senate candidates’ support for the man recently implicated bragging about sexually predatory behavior.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when candidates from the self-appointed party of family values fail to withdraw support from a confirmed sexual predator,” said NHDP spokesperson Zach McNamara.

By all accounts, Bob Giuda (District 2), Ruth Ward (District 8), Senator Kevin Avard (District 12), Joe Duarte (District 16), Bill Gannon (District 23), and Dan Innis (District 24) continue to support Trump after these comments, but also after over a year of offensive and dangerous rhetoric from the GOP hopeful. In fact, Ruth Ward doubled down on her support for Trump just Wednesday at a candidate forum and Senate President Chuck Morse confirmed he will still vote for Trump. Senator Andy Sanborn of District 9 attempted to claim he had never endorsed Trump. This was just a week after he spoke at a New Hampshire rally for Trump, urging voters to cast their ballots for him.

“The amazing thing here is that this is nothing new,” continued McNamara. “Donald Trump has repeatedly disqualified himself from holding office so many times, we’ve all lost count. That candidates for any office, even on the state level, continue to support him reveals a jack of good judgment.

“The bottom line is that we need office-holders who have good judgment and are solutions-oriented, from the presidency on down. This year, Democratic Party candidates offer that in spades, and Granite State voters will put them to work on November 8th.”

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Jay Kahn for State Senate

Jay KahnCONCORD, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Jay Kahn (D – Keene) to represent State Senate District 10 in Concord, in an open race to represent the city of Keene and the towns of Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.

“Jay will bring a much-needed perspective to Concord,” stated David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Jay is committed to producing an effective and efficient government just as he did at Keene State College for many years. We believe that Jay is the right choice in this election to bring coordinated leadership to the opioid epidemic. We believe that Jay is the best choice for District 10 to make Concord work again.

“We have been proud to work with Jay in the City of Keene,” said Ron Clace, President of IAFF Local 3265. “Working families must continue to have a voice in Concord, and Jay Kahn is the right choice for this November.”

“Firefighters, public safety officers and emergency responders put their lives on the line to protect New Hampshire’s residents every day,” said Kahn, Keene City Councilor and retired Keene State administrator. “I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the PFFNH. I look forward to working with them to ensure we have the resources to preserve the safety of all our residents.”


The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Scott McGilvray for State Senate



MANCHESTER, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Scott McGilvray to represent State Senate District 16 in Concord, representing the towns of Bow, Dunbarton, Hooksett, Candia and the City of Manchester’s Wards 1, 2 and 12.

“Scott will bring the type of leadership to Concord that New Hampshire needs,” said David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Scott is committed to working across party lines to address the problems of working families and supporting coordinated leadership in the opioid epidemic. We believe that Scott is the right choice in this election and will fight to better the lives of all Granite Staters.”

“Scott stands up for working families every day, as a former teacher in Manchester’s public schools to now representing teachers across the state. We are proud to put our weight behind a tried and tested voice for working families,” stated Jeff Duval, President of Manchester Local #856.

“Our state is at a turning point,” said McGilvray. “Firefighters and paramedics are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I intend to listen to their expertise and bring action as we take this problem head-on in Concord. I am proud to receive the endorsement and support of the PFFNH, and look forward to building a stronger, safer New Hampshire by their side.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

NH Building Trades Announces Endorsement of Kris Roberts for NH Senate in District 10

Manchester – Friday, Steve Burk, President of the New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council, announced their endorsement of Kris Roberts in his campaign for New Hampshire’s 10th State Senate seat. 

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to announce our endorsement of Kris Roberts in his campaign for the New Hampshire District 10 State Senate seat,” said President Burk. “Of all of the candidates seeking our endorsement, Representative Roberts was the only individual who left us with the belief that he stands behind all of the workers in our industry. In his 12 years as a New Hampshire State Representative, Kris has never wavered in his support for working families. We’re proud that he has unequivocally pledged to support passing a Prevailing Wage law for New Hampshire, which will raise wages and keep more of our hard earned tax dollars in the local economy. We look forward to working with Kris in the Senate.” 

The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is an organization of 16 New Hampshire labor unions, representing more than 2,000 New Hampshire workers in the construction industry.

“I am running for the Senate 10 seat because I believe I am the only person that can pick up from where Senator Kelly left-off; starting day one,” wrote Rep Kris Roberts on his campaign website. “I am running because I have a proven track record.  Between my time in the Marine Corps, community service and elected political office I have almost 40 years of public service.”

According to Roberts website he is a strong proponent of raising the minimum wage, fully funding our public education system, ending the death penalty, and supporting Planned Parenthood.

Roberts is running in a highly contested Democratic Primary against Jay Kahn, who was recently endorsed by both of the New Hampshire Teachers Unions, and first term State Representative Ben Tilton.

Local Education Leaders Endorse Jeanne Dietsch In NH Senate District 9 Primary

District 9 State Senate candidate Jeanne Dietsch and State Rep. Ivy Vann burned the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) “pledge” in front of Peterborough’s historic Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall on Grove Street on August 3rd.

District 9 State Senate candidate Jeanne Dietsch and State Rep. Ivy Vann burned the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) “pledge” in front of Peterborough’s historic Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall on Grove Street on August 3rd.

Educators tout Dietsch’s commitment to quality education for all children, keeping the state’s promises to students and teachers 

Peterborough, NH—The Jeanne Dietsch for NH Senate campaign released endorsements this morning from education leaders who have worked in the local schools and live in Senate District 9.

Said Dietsch, “If we want to build companies with good-paying jobs, if we want young people to live in New Hampshire, we must provide educational excellence, which requires that we fulfill our responsibilities to our teachers and our students. I will work to ensure that our teachers have the freedom and the resources to actually teach, not just prep their students for standardized tests. And I’ll work to ensure that our students are challenged, empowered and equipped to pursue their dreams in the 21st Century.”

Local education leaders endorsing Dietsch gave these statements explaining their support:

May Clark, former Chairperson, ConVal School Board, Dublin:

“Jeanne Dietsch served with me for three years on the ConVal School Board during the time that I was the chairperson. She was then, as she is now, level-headed, energetic, and committed to making the best decisions to further the quality of education for all of our children. Jeanne was an asset to the School Board in those days, and I know she will be an effective leader in the New Hampshire state Senate.”

Greg Scerbinski, ConVal High School economics teacher for 34 years and former ConVal Education Association president, Peterborough:

“As a retired teacher and lifelong member of NEA-NH, I’ll be voting for Jeanne Dietsch for state Senate in District 9 because I know Jeanne will fight for good schools and for keeping the state’s promises to our students and our teachers. She’ll work to restore teachers’ freedom to actually teach, give our youth a top-notch education, restore state aid to schools to help lower property taxes and honor the commitments the state has made to retired educators. I’ve known Jeanne for over 20 years, and I know she’ll be there for us.”

Mary Lou O’Neil, School to Career Coordinator at ConVal High School, Hancock:

“As the School To Career Coordinator at ConVal High School for nearly 20 years, I know we need to find jobs for our graduates and we need more young people to ‘stay, work and play’ in NH. Jeanne gets that – and that’s important to me – and to the economic development of our region. Of all the candidates running for NH state Senate, I’m supporting Jeanne because she has a vision for how to keep and attract young families and entrepreneurial people who will start home-grown New Hampshire-based businesses. As a successful business person herself, Jeanne knows how to help start-ups thrive here while protecting New Hampshire’s quality of life. Her business background will also be a big plus in the general election. In short, I believe in Jeanne’s vision for how to reinvigorate the local economy, I respect her business expertise, and I admire the passion and energy she is bringing to her campaign for the NH state Senate.” 

Dietsch is running for state Senate in District 9, which includes Bedford, Dublin, Greenfield, Fitzwilliam, Hancock, Jaffrey, Lyndeborough, Mont Vernon, New Boston, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon, Temple and Troy. Her website is

Jeanne Dietsch Releases List Of Endorsers In NH Senate District 9 Race

Elected officials and community leaders praise Dietsch’s experience, vision for building NH’s future 

Peterborough, NH—The campaign of Jeanne Dietsch, Democratic candidate for the New Hampshire State Senate in District 9, released a partial list of campaign endorsers today. The list includes a range of state and local elected officials, residents serving on town boards and committees, candidates for public office, and other community leaders.

“Jeanne will be a strong voice for progressive values in Concord. Because she can speak as a successful global tech entrepreneur, she’ll be able to challenge the lobbyists who advance a regressive ‘trickle down’ economic agenda and she’ll make a powerful case for investing in New Hampshire’s future,” said NH State Rep. Dick Ames (D-Jaffrey).

“Jeanne understands the give and take aspects of politics, has the ability to find common ground, brings people to consensus and gets things done,” stated Barbara Miller, Chair of the Peterborough Select Board. 

“As a retired teacher and member of the teachers’ association, I support Jeanne because I know she’ll fight for good schools and for keeping the state’s promises to our students and our teachers. She’ll work to restore teachers’ freedom to actually teach, give our youth a top-notch education, restore state aid to schools to help lower property taxes, and honor the commitments the state has made to retired educators. I’ve known Jeanne for over 20 years, and I know she’ll be there for us,” wrote Greg Scerbinski, economics teacher at Conval High School for 34 years and former Conval Education Association president, (Peterborough).

“Jeanne has led creation and implementation of our community’s economic vitality strategy with fantastic vision and energy. This includes a positive connection for Peterborough in the global economy,” said James Kelly, Peterborough Master Plan Steering Committee

Jeanne’s background as a successful small business owner and her work on local economic development issues are winning over voters and endorsers on both sides of the aisle, important in a district like District 9 where a candidate needs to earn Republican votes to win in November.

One of these endorsers is Ed Juengst, a current member of the Peterborough Select Board. Said Juengst:

“I have generally been a Republican my whole life but now see in Jeanne a Democrat that I can fully trust to do what she says and believe in without reservation. Jeanne is a true leader who I strongly believe we need in our legislature now.”


Dietsch made news last week when she spoke out against the Americans for Prosperity “Pledge” by burning their pledge on the steps of Peterborough’s historic Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall on Grove Street.  By signing the pledge, candidates submit their allegiance to AFP and will vote to repeal Medicaid, pass Right to Work, cut taxes and oppose any tax increases.

The partial list of Dietsch endorsers includes: 

Current state elected officials:

NH State Rep. Dick Ames (D-Jaffrey)

NH State Rep. Ivy Vann (D-Peterborough)

NH State Rep. Peter Leishman (D-Peterborough)

NH State Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsborough)

Current and former Peterborough select board members:

Chair Barbara Miller (who endorsed Andy Sanborn in 2014)

Tyler Ward

Ed Juengst

Joe Byk (former)

Elizabeth M. Thomas (former)

Other local community leaders:

Lisa Beaudoin (D-Temple), candidate for NH State Representative (endorsed Andy Sanborn in 2014)

Greg Scerbinski, retired economics teacher (taught at Conval High School for 34 years) and former Conval Education Association president, Peterborough

James Kelly, Master Plan Steering Committee, Peterborough

Charles Whitten, Peterborough Economic Development Authority


NH Senate Refuses To Address Gerrymandering In New Hampshire Districts

Senate Kills Fair Redistricting Reforms, Sticks with Partisan Process


Concord – Yesterday, the New Hampshire Senate killed the common sense legislative approach to eliminate gerrymandering, the political power play that creates nearly guaranteed election wins for specific parties. SB 425,  would have established an independent redistricting commission to take power out of the hands of politicians restoring democracy to the people. 

“The voters of New Hampshire should be choosing their legislators; legislators should not be drawing district lines to choose their voters,” said Sen. David Pierce (D-Lebanon). “SB 425 would have enacted needed reforms and removed partisan politics from the process of drawing election district lines by creating an independent redistricting commission that would propose, not mandate, where the district lines are to be drawn after the 2020 census. I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the entrenched politicians in the Senate majority chose to defeat this legislation and stick with the partisan process.” 

After Republicans took control of the state legislature in 2010 accusations of gerrymandering were rampant.  The GOP did not even try to hide their attempts to create more GOP favorable districts by redrawing districts and creating floaterial districts to add more predominate Republican communities to give themselves an advantage in future elections.

SB 425 would create a seven-member independent commission to develop an apportionment plan for election districts following the decennial census. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate President, and Senate Minority Leader would each appoint 1 member to the commission and the Governor would get 2 appointments. No member of the commission could be an elected official in a partisan office, political party official, or a relative or employee of a member of the NH House, NH Senate, or US Congress. 

“As evidenced by the results of the presidential primaries across our country, voters have had enough of elected officials who prioritize their own political survival over the interests of the people. As a state, we need to listen to our constituents and ensure we have a redistricting process that voters can have faith in. We need to restore confidence in the people’s government, not continue to subordinate it to politicians’ selfish desire to stay in office. Free, fair, and competitive elections should be the goal, not gerrymandered districts to protect incumbents and create artificial majorities.”

NH Senate Kills “Ban The Box” Legislation, Passes Flexible Work Schedules Bill

Still more work to be done to protect workers who need flexibility to take care of their families and ending the discrimination of applicants with prior criminal convictions. 

Concord –  Yesterday, the New Hampshire Senate passed SB 416, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who request flexible work arrangements.

“The hard working families of New Hampshire should not have to choose between work and family,” said Sen. Dan Feltes. “SB 416 takes an important step forward in protecting workers who need to request a flexible work schedule due to family obligations and I thank the Senate for their support.” 

“This legislation sends a strong, positive message to our families and businesses. Flexible work schedules can mean the difference between the financial security of keeping a job and the financial stress of having to leave the workforce to take care of a child or family member. For businesses, flexible work schedules mean a stronger ability to retain good employees who need a little flexibility rather than having to go through the costly process of replacing a good employee. SB 416 empowers workers to request flexible work arrangements without the fear of retribution, retaliation, helping to attract more young families to our state, which is good for our businesses and our economy.” 

As introduced, SB 416 would have required employers to consider employee requests for flexible work arrangements. Under the original proposal, employers did not have to grant flexible schedules if the request was inconsistent with their business operations and employers were prohibited from retaliating against employees who made these requests. The Senate amended the bill down to simply prohibit retaliation.  

“And while I am pleased at the progress we’ve made on this important issue, there is still much more to be done to ensure that employers consider flexible scheduling requests in good faith. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that we continue to make New Hampshire the best place to work and raise a family.”   

Senator Feltes was also disappointed to announce that SB 413, the Ban the Box, legislation was defeated in the Senate.

“There is nothing more important to someone’s economic future than getting a job. Unfortunately, many people with substance use disorders have criminal records and are unable to find a good job because they have to check a box on a job application declaring their criminal records, which usually eliminates them from consideration,” said Sen. Feltes. “SB 413 would have ‘banned the box’ on employment applications to allow people with a criminal history the opportunity to compete for jobs, and I’m disappointed that the Senate tabled this bipartisan reform that has worked well in other states.”

SB 413 was modeled after the New Jersey “ban the box” legislation that Gov. Chris Christie signed into law in 2014. Studies show that applicants who report criminal backgrounds are 50% less likely to even get a job interview, and that “banning the box” reduces recidivism. According to testimony at the public hearing on SB 413, 70% of people in prisons have Substance Use Disorder, many of which were convicted for non-violent crimes. 

“We are in the midst of a heroin and opioid epidemic and ensuring that people struggling with addiction have a chance to compete for and get a good job is the best way to ensure they get their life back on track. We have seen this modest, common-sense approach work in other states, including reducing recidivism, and it’s disappointing that the Senate chose to table this reform this year.” 

Very Active Day In The NH Legislature: Round Up Of Legislation Moved Today

NH House-2Today a ton of bills were passed and killed in the NH House and Senate.  They range in topics but all have an impact on the future of our state.  Below are press releases on a variety of bills that had votes today.


Senator Bette Lasky Applauds Senate Passage of Online Voter Registration

Concord, NH –Today, the NH Senate passed SB 507, authorizing online voter registration on a voice vote. Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua), the prime sponsor of SB 507 released the following comments after the Senate vote:

“Making the process of registering to vote and casting your ballot more consistent and accessible is something we can all agree on and I’m pleased that my Senate colleagues supported this important legislation,” said Senator Lasky. “Allowing our citizens to register to vote online would help create a more accessible system and increase the number of citizens exercising one of their most important rights. As the First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary state, New Hampshire needs to continually move forward as technology advances and be an example to the rest of the country.”

23 states have already implemented online voter registration and 5 more states will be added to that list this year. Research has also shown in these states that online voter registration has sustained or increased voter registration.  

“New Hampshire has built a strong reputation for voter participation, but we can always do more to help busy Granite Staters take part in our elections. I thank my Senate colleagues for their support and for creating a more effective and efficient election process for our Granite State citizens.”

Statement from Governor Hassan on House Passage of Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan 

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement on the Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan passed today by the New Hampshire House of Representatives: 

“A solid and modern transportation infrastructure is critical to the success of our people and businesses, and the Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan passed by the House today advances a number of critical transportation goals that will help build on our bipartisan progress over the last several years. This includes maintaining and preserving our roads and bridges, completing the widening of Interstate 93, accelerating construction of Exit 4A in Londonderry and Derry and the first phase of widening the portion of Route 106 critical for access to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“However, I am disappointed that the leveraging of federal funds for the environmental and engineering work necessary to bring commuter rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester was removed. The business community continues to call on us to take action because commuter rail will improve access to the entire region, provide new housing and transportation opportunities, spur economic development and create jobs. I remain committed to working with members from both parties, local communities, the federal government, our businesses and Massachusetts to find a consensus and make this vital project a reality.”

Senator Bette Lasky Praises Passage of Public-Private Partnerships for Intermodal Infrastructure and Transportation Projects

CONCORD- Today, the NH Senate pass SB 549, which would allow the state to enter into agreements with private entities in order to fund intermodal infrastructure and transportation projects. After the vote, Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua), prime sponsor of SB 549, released the following comments: 

“Enabling public-private partnerships (P3s) is an important step toward meeting our infrastructure needs with limited financial resources from the state and I thank the Senate for their support,” said Senator Lasky. “Improving our transportation infrastructure benefits all Granite Staters and by enabling the state to work with private funders, our state can access additional funding opportunities with greater efficiencies, which will save the state money.”

SB 549 was developed through the work of a public-private partnership (P3s) study committee and the committee’s recommendation that New Hampshire pursue this funding option. According to the study committee’s report, 33 other states already have laws authorizing P3s for highway and bridge projects. 

“A strong and dynamic transportation infrastructure helps sustain our families and businesses. Finding creative and innovative solutions to help finance transportation projects when state funds are unavailable is essential to not only expanding economic growth, but expanding opportunity for all Granite Staters. I am happy that the Senate moved this legislation forward so that we can sustain and promote the growth of our state’s businesses and economy, while protecting taxpayer dollars and minimizing the financial risk to our state.”

Senator David Pierce Statement on Tabling of SB 531 (Senate version of the Medicaid Expansion)

CONCORD – Today, the State Senate agreed to table SB 531, which would have reauthorized the NH Health Protection Program, in order to take up the reauthorization in HB 1696, which passed the House yesterday on a bipartisan vote. After the conclusion of the Senate session, SB 531 prime sponsor Sen. David Pierce (D-Lebanon) released the following statement: 

“While Senate Democrats would have preferred to reauthorize the NH Health Protection Program as drafted in SB 531, we are committed to finding a solution on reauthorization that has broad, bipartisan support and agreed to table our bill. Just as we did two years ago, we need to come together, across party and ideological lines to ensure that 48,000 hard working Granite Staters continue to have access to quality, affordable health care the health and financial security that comes with it.” 

“There’s no question that the NH Health Protection Program has been a success and met the goals we set out to achieve when we passed SB 413 in 2014. Our hospitals have seen a significant decline in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits by uninsured Granite Staters, leading to a decrease in uncompensated care, which is a hidden tax on us all. By reducing uncompensated care, we also reduce the healthcare cost-shifting onto our people and businesses.”

“Continuing the program is also essential as we continue to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic. Thousands of Granite Staters have accessed substance abuse and behavioral health services through coverage under expansion and reauthorizing the program is critical to increasing treatment capacity in New Hampshire.” 

“HB 1696, which was passed by a strong bipartisan vote in the House yesterday, will ensure that we continue this critical program that strengthens the health of our workforce and boosts our economy. I, along with my Senate Democratic colleagues, stand ready to renew this important program and we look forward to working with our Republican colleagues in the Senate to get this critical legislation to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”

Senator Martha Fuller Clark Praises Senate Passage of Legislation to Protect Children from Illegal Adoptions

Concord, NH –Today, the Senate passed SB 543, which prohibits unauthorized advertising for adoptions and ensures that all adoptions follow state guidelines. Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-District 21), prime sponsor of SB 543, released the following comments after today’s Senate session:  

“SB 543 addresses a gap in our current law that we could have never thought about just a few years ago: advertising children for sale or adoption online. While this problem may seem outrageous, at the public hearing, we heard examples from other states where babies and children were being offered for sale or trade on websites.” 

“In our ever-changing world, we must make sure to protect our children and SB 543 ensures that if a parent decides to make the difficult decision to give a child up for adoption, it is done so through a safe and regulated process. I thank the Senate for unanimously supporting the passage of this much needed important legislation.”

Governor Hassan on House Vote to Pass Net Metering Legislation 

CONCORD – Following a bipartisan vote by the New Hampshire House of Representatives to pass House Bill 1116, relative to net energy metering, Governor Maggie Hassan issued this statement:

“The solar industry is a critical part of our growing clean energy economy in New Hampshire, which recently ranked New Hampshire as one of the top five states for renewable energy and is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change. Businesses and families across the state are utilizing solar to lower their energy bills and to increase their energy independence, contributing to the diverse and reliable energy supply that is critical to a more affordable and more innovative energy future.

“Lifting the cap on net metering is essential to the continued success of New Hampshire’s solar industry, and I applaud the House for its bipartisan vote to pass this critical measure. The Senate has already supported this legislation, and I urge them to concur with the version passed by the House and send this bill to my desk as quickly as possible so that we can lift the cap on net metering.”

Senator Woodburn Praises Addition of Biodiesel to List of Renewable Energy Sources 

CONCORD – Today, the NH Senate passed SB 386, which adds biodiesel producers to renewable energy classes in order to incentivize more biodiesel production. After the vote, North Country Senator Jeff Woodburn released the following comments: 

“Encouraging the production and use of local renewable fuels like biodiesel not only makes sense for our environment, but helps boost our local economy. Innovative companies like White Mountain Biodiesel in the North Country are already using biodiesel to power the Mount Washington Cog Railway and passage of SB 386 helps to encourage more companies to do the same. As a co-sponsor of this bill, I was very proud to support not only expanding the use of domestically-produced renewable fuels, but I was proud to stand up for our North Country businesses.”

Senator Woodburn Praises Passage of Legislation to Protect Victims of Unauthorized Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Images

CONCORD – Following the bipartisan passage of SB 465, which closes a loophole in current law in order to protect victims of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, Sen. Jeff Woodburn released the following statement:

“Disclosure of sexually explicit material without consent and for no legitimate purpose causes immediate, devastating, and potentially irreversible harm to victims of this crime,” said Senator Woodburn. “Unfortunately, rapid advances in technology have created a loophole in our state laws that prevent prosecution of this crime. SB 465 closes this loophole and establishes a penalty for this devastating crime.”

Twenty-six other states have enacted similar laws to deal with the unauthorized disclosure of sexually explicit materials. 

“The ability of people to gain access to and distribute private, sexually explicit material has raised all sorts of issues that we could have never imagined even just a few years ago. Police and prosecutors are seeing an increase in these types of crimes, but need the tools to protect victims of this crime. I thank my Senate colleagues, especially the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who worked to make this a better bill, for their support.”

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