Newsletter #11

Reform Caucus Legislative Update #11, March 24, 2017 

In short. This past week SB 107 (redistricting commission) was voted ITL in the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee. Coming up next week is a Senate floor vote on SB 107. The following week, SB 33 (independent spending loophole) will be heard in House Election Law.

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) We are collecting and making available talking points, briefs, call scripts, and other useful documents on the ODA website. You can access them here. If you have documents you want us to make publically available, send them to Olivia Zink: [email protected] .

What happened this past week

Tuesday, March 21

SENATE Election Law and Internal Affairs

Executive session: SB 107  establishes an independent redistricting commission. This bill is similar to HB 203, the redistricting commission bill that died in the House. There are differences in several areas, including, among others, method for choosing commission members, funding, and transparency of the redistricting process. Prime Sponsor: Sen. Lasky.

SB 107 was voted ITL 3-2 along party lines.

Executive session: SB 47 empowers the Secretary of State, rather than the Attorney General, to investigate potential violations of election law, institute enforcement proceedings, and impose penalties for violations. Prime Sponsor: Sen. Carson.

SB 47 was re-referred to committee 5-0. From the committee report: "Although this concept has merit, the committee needs more time for consideration of this bill."

Coming up in the next two weeks, March 27-31 and April 3-7

Wednesday, March 29

SENATE General session

1:00 PM

Consent Calendar: SB 47. (See above)

Thursday, March 30

SENATE General session

10:00 AM

Floor vote: SB 107  establishes an independent redistricting commission. (See above.)

SB 107 came out of the Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee with an ITL recommendation. We urge Reform Caucus members to ask for a roll call vote and vote Ought to Pass.

Tuesday, April 4

HOUSE Election Law

Room 308 LOB

Hearing: SB 33  closes the loophole that allows independent spending groups to avoid registering with the Secretary of State and filing expenditure reports. Prime sponsor: Sen. Bradley.

10:00 AM  This bill passed the Senate 14-9 with five Republicans joining Democrats in support. SB 33 is identical to HB 533, which House Election Law chose to retain in committee. We encourage all who can to attend the hearing and speak in favor of this bill. Representatives of offending independent spending groups will undoubtedly be present to muddy the legal waters.

Bill Status – Priority bills supported by ODA

HB 203-FN-A (redistricting commission): ITL full House 190-164, 2/15/17

HB 320 (computer redistricting): ITL full House 184-161, 3/8/17

HB 519 (clearinghouse): ITL full House 192-158, 3/8/17 

HB 533 (independent spending loophole, same as SB 33): Retained, House Election Law 20-0, 2/21/17

HB 537 ($5,000 pre-filing loophole): OTP full House (Consent Calendar voice vote), 3/8/17

SB 33 (independent spending loophole, same as HB 533): OTP full Senate 14-9, 2/23/17, Hearing: House Election Law 4/4/17

SB 107 (redistricting commission, similar to HB 203): ITL Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs 3-2, 3/21/17, Senate floor vote: 3/30/17

SB 197-FN-A ($ for election law enforcement): OTP (with amendment) full Senate 23-0, 3/16/17

Bill Status – Other campaign finance bills supported by ODA

HB 116 (Citizens United): ITL full House 193-165, 3/9/17

HR 7 (Constitutional amendment): OTP full House 211-75, 2/9/17

SB 115 (LLC loophole): ITL full 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: [email protected]; (603) 661-8621 (cell)

Gordon Allen: [email protected]; (603) 588-2742

Rick Bourdon: [email protected]; (603) 795-2818; (603) 759-1888 (cell)

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