Newsletter #7

Reform Caucus Legislative Update #7, February 24, 2017 

In short.  This week was better than last for caucus bills with two OTP votes, one retain, and one ITL.

In the Senate on Thursday, Feb. 23, the ITL recommendation on SB 33 (closes the loophole allowing independent groups to not disclose their spending) was defeated 14-9 and then SB 33 passed 14-9.  Unfortunately, SB 115 (closes the LLC donation limit loophole) went down on the Senate floor in a 14-9 ITL vote. 

In House Election Law on Tuesday the 21st, HB 537 (closes the $5K pre-filing donation loophole) passed 19-0 and is on the Consent Calendar.  Also on the 21st, Election Law voted 20-0 to retain HB 533 (same as SB 33 above).

Next week the House is not in session until March 8 and/or March 9, and there are no scheduled executive sessions on any caucus bills.  It is likely HB 320 (computer redistricting), HB 519 (clearinghouse), and HB 116 (Citizens United) will be on the floor on March 8 or 9, and minority reports have been filed to overturn the committee’s ITL recommendations on all three.  Please support the minority reports and make sure there are roll calls on all three of these important bills. 

The Senate is not meeting until March 9th and no caucus bills are scheduled to be taken up then or by any Senate Committee this week. 

Reminders. (1) Open Democracy Action plans to create a legislative scorecard based on floor votes. It is critical, therefore, that votes on priority bills be roll calls. So please, when one of our bills comes up, be willing to ask for a roll call. (2) You can access available materials on the bills here. If you have documents you want us to make publically available, please send them to Olivia Zink: olivia@opendemocracy.me 

What happened this past week

Tuesday, February 21

HOUSE Election Law Executive Sessions

A 20-0 vote to retain in committee HB 533 (that closes the loophole that has allowed independent spending groups to avoid registering with the Secretary of State and filing expenditure reports).  Prime sponsor: Rep. Marjorie Smith, Strafford 6.

A 19-0 vote for OTP and to put on the Consent Calendar HB 537 that closes the loophole that allows candidates to accept individual donations of up to $5,000 before they publically declare for office.   Prime sponsor:  Rep. Marjorie Porter, Hillsborough 1  

Full Senate Session, Thursday, February 23

A 14-9 vote against the ITL motion, and then a 14-9 vote on OTP for SB 33  (same as HB 533) that closes the loophole that has allowed independent spending groups to avoid registering with the Secretary of State and filing expenditure reports.  Bill goes on to the House.  Prime Sponsor: Sen. Bradley.

A 14-9 vote on ITL for SB 115 that closes the loophole that allows limited liability companies to set up multiple groups to exceed LLC campaign contribution limits.  Bill dies in the Senate. Prime Sponsor:  Sen Feltes.

Coming up next week, February 27-March 3

No full House or Senate sessions scheduled.  No House or Senate committee sessions scheduled on caucus bills, although there is a small possibility that House Election Law might reconsider its “retain” vote on Tuesday the 28th on HB 533. 

Summary of Bill Status – ODA priority bills (all supported)

HB 203:   ITL House 190-164, 2/15/17

HB 320:   ITL 11-8, Election Law 2/14/17, House floor 3/8 or 3/9 with minority report

HB 519:   ITL 11-8, Election Law 2/14/17, House floor 3/8 or 3/9 with minority report

HB 533:   Retain 20-0, Election Law 2/21/17  (Same as SB 33)

HB 537:   OTP 19-0, Election Law, 2/21/17, Consent Calendar, House floor 3/8/ or 3/9

SB 33:      OTP Senate 14-9, 2/23/17  (Same as HB 533)

SB 107:    Hearing, Senate Election Law, 2/14/17  (Similar to HB 203)   

SB 197:    Hearing, Senate Finance, 2/7/17

Summary of Bill Status – Other campaign finance bills (all supported)

HB 116:   ITL 11-8, Election Law 2/14/17, House floor 3/8 or 3/9 with minority report

HR 7:       OTP House, 211-75, 2/9/17

SB 115:    ITL Senate, 14-9, 2/23/17

To contact ODA:

Open Democracy Action: 4 Park Street Suite 301, Concord, NH 03301. Office: (603) 715-8197

Olivia Zink: olivia@opendemocracy.me; (603) 661-8621 (cell)

Gordon Allen: wgordonallen@gmail.com; (603) 588-2742

Rick Bourdon: rick.bourdon@gmail.com; (603) 795-2818; (603) 759-1888 (cell)


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