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After the blitz of activity last week, most of the action in the N.H. House now shifts to the main spending, revenue and capital budget bills for the 2012-2013 biennium. Meanwhile, the Northern Pass project is still getting attention in the Legislature, as the committee deadline for reporting on two related bills has been extended.
In three days next week, N.H. House members will decide the fate of more than 250 bills and amendments.
To prepare for the flurry of activity, today we begin a series of dispatches looking at some of the bills we’ve followed from early stages through public hearings and committee votes. We start with bills that are on the “consent,” or voice vote calendar.
Opponents to the proposed Northern Pass transmission line are expected out in full force Wednesday for public hearings on two bills that could change — or derail — that project.
The House Science, Energy and Technology Committee will meet in Representatives Hall to consider two measures. At issue: eminent domain and economic/social impact studies of the Northern Pass.
Our midstream progress report continues today, checking up on the status of some featured legislation we’ve covered so far this session.
For more background on each bill, click the links to the corresponding dispatches in the bolded heading.
New changes to last year’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) law are being worked out to save the program from repeal.
Sponsored by Rep. Beatriz Pastor (D-Lyme), PACE became law last year, but hasn’t yet been used. A move to repeal it will be considered in an executive session in the House Municipal and County Government Committee today. But Pastor tells Front Door Politics that Republican committee leaders gave her a chance to change PACE in order to save it.
A contentious debate is expected in Representative’s Hall Wednesday when the full House votes on a Republican-backed bill to repeal New Hampshire’s participation in the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
By a party line, 13-5 vote, the House Science, Energy and Technology Committee gave House Bill 519 an “ought to pass” recommendation last week. The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Richard Barry (R-Merrimack) has moved quickly from its public hearing on Feb. 10 to an executive session on Feb. 15 to this Wednesday’s full House vote, with no further subcommittee or committee work sessions in between.
After a day-long hearing last week, a House committee is scheduled to make a recommendation today on a proposal to repeal New Hampshire’s participation in the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The House Science, Energy and Technology Committee heard testimony from dozens of supporters and opponents of House Bill 519, which is sponsored by Rep. Richard Barry (R-Merrimack). Public interest was large enough for the committee to move the hearing to Representatives Hall. The hearing was also streamed live over the Internet.
In what is shaping up to be the busiest period yet for lawmakers in 2011 session, the House will be in session twice next week to vote on dozens of bills — on Tuesday after Gov. John Lynch’s budget address to the Legislature and on Wednesday for its regularly scheduled session.
Two bills that we have reported on this session in Front Door Politics — one to cut state funding for public television and the other to cut the state’s rooms and meals tax rate — will have full House votes next week.
A bill to change how renewable energy is defined in New Hampshire has been derailed even before its first public hearing. Meanwhile, the move to repeal RGGI is on track for a full day of hearings Thursday.
Rep. Richard Barry (R-Merrimack) didn’t plan to stir up any controversy, or a “big to do” as he said, with his bill to alter the renewable energy portfolios law that passed with strong bipartisan support in 2007.
“I think this will level the playing field and simplify a complicated law,” said Barry of House Bill 302. Barry, who is also sponsoring a bill to repeal the state’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, will find out how much of a “to do” will come from his proposal when he formally introduces it at a public hearing Tuesday in the House Science, Energy and Technology Committee.