In this final edition of the 2021 session of State House Watch Radio, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the AFSC-NH program revisit the season with co-hosts Emmett Soldati of Somersworth and Jen Dube representing 350NH.
They spend some time on the June 24 rally at the State House, for a People's Budget, and review some of the high points of their efforts contributing to the radio show during this extraordinarily challenging legislative session.
Following that, Maggie and Grace bring back Minority Leader Renny Cushing, for a wide ranging recap of the year of the pandemic, and of the FreeStaters, in the New Hampshire House.
Some of Renny's topics include:
the role of the Minority Leader
a robust minority of 186 members
right to work law
allies on the outside of the legislature
masks and social distancing in the legislature
limited use of remote technology, and a related lawsuit
the free state agenda
Governor Sununu's stance on social engineering in the budget
the future of retained bills
And finally of course, we mourn the recent passing of Susan Bruce, State House Watch's researcher and writer, and a former producer and station manager at WNHN.
As the legislative year lurches to a close, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the American Friends' Service Committee interview two vital State House watchers, Phil Sletton, Policy Analyst at the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, and the Rev. Jason Wells, Executive Director of the NH Council of Churches.
Here is a brief rundown of the topics discussed in today's interviews:
HB1, the budget numbers.
HB2, an omnibus policy bill that is supposed to implement HB1, but can do more than that.
dept of energy
Health and Human Services
back of the budget
Sununu Youth Services Center
paid family/medical leave
Grassroots Campaign for a Peoples' Budget
courage not censorship
confronting the truth
spiritual principles around truth telling
confession, atonement, act of healing
systemic injustices, oppression
faith based immigration support
free speech issue going to the courts?
local school boards
Commission on Holocaust and Genocide Education
NH Interfaith Collaborative
Covid-19 Equity Report
This week on American Friends' Service Committee - New Hampshire's State House Watch radio show, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke's guests are Dawn McKinney of New Hampshire Legal Aid, Brandon Lemay, housing justice organizer for Rights and Democracy, and Matt Lawrence, outreach volunteer with NH Mutual Aid Relief Fund.
Dawn McKinney speaks of the many struggles of low income people in the aftermath of Covid-19. She covers the core components of economic well being, including unemployment, child care, food aid, health care, and housing.
Brandon Lemay and Matt Lawrence focus in on the houseless population living in encampments, in particular in Manchester. Even after being evicted from housing, people are repeatedly evicted from their houseless encampments.
In this week's State House Watch, the 350nh's Outreach Team Member Alyssa Riley conducts an extensive interview with Revision Energy's Director of Electric Vehicle Innovation, Barry Woods.
They describe the transformation already well underway in automotive technology, from gas and diesel engines to electric motors. Along with that comes the shift from a world totally awash in the extraction and processing of fossil fuels to one focused on the growth of battery storage technology and renewable sourced electrical energy to charge those batteries.
Mr. Woods describes some of the governmental action and inaction that is impacting the transition of our transportation fleet to electric vehicles.
Finally, they look ahead to the growth of the Smart Grid, in which the cars' connection to the grid becomes a two-way channel. The battery storage capability of many individual connected vehicles actually becomes a part of the interconnected grid, contributing to both efficiency and resiliency of the grid, while the car's batteries are charged and ready to ride.
In today's edition of State House Watch, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the NH American Friends' Service Committee and their guests Zandra Rice-Hawkins and Leah Cohen of Granite State Progress, and Christina D’Allesandro of Moms Rising share a lively discussion anticipating the final month of the current NH Legislative calendar. They also take a look at bills on the national stage: The American Rescue Plan, the American Jobs Plan, the American Family Plan.
Some of the topics they cover are related to the disproportionate impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on women and people of color, with respect to health care, housing, transportation, and more. Some of the topics out of Washington D.C. are the child tax credit, support for child care centers, and paid family-medical leave.
Regarding the NH state budget, they express concerns that federal dollars are not meant to be spent to cut state taxes; that state funds not be siphoned off to support private schools; that there is no place in NH for the language of HB544, cancelling the First Amendment, or HB625, hollowing out Roe v. Wade. They call our attention to The Grassroots Campaign for A People's Budget. The NH House and Senate meet to complete work on bills starting on June 3, and to take final votes on June 24. The governor must act on the budget prior to the new fiscal year on July 1. Our legislators, senators, and governor need to hear from us.
This week's songs are:
Somebody's Hurting My Brother by Yara Allen
Peace, Salaam, Shalom by Emma's Revolution,
and Rise as One by Aaron Fowler
The music we open with each week is Can't Shake These Blues by Chris Smither and this year we have been closing with Rev. Gary Davis's There's A Bright Side Somewhere
This week on State House Watch, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the American Friends’ Service Committee New Hampshire program interview three prominent New Hampshire activists.
Gilles Bissonette of the American Civil Liberties Union on discrimination via religion, and civil and legal rights for mental patients who may be held in emergency rooms without due process.
Zandra Rice Hawkins of Gunsense NH on laws and rules around public safety and firearms.
Steven Kidder of Change For Concord on School Resource Officers and on housing rights and the ability to openly discuss race and other challenging topics.
Some of the legislative references this week are:
HB542, allowing businesses and organizations to discriminate against specific classes of citizens
HB544, to limit the right to free speech
SB154, to block federal rules re:firearms, and jeopardize federal grants
HB195, HB196 allows brandishing, displaying a firearm in multiple situations
HB197, stand your ground
HB334, armed off road vehicles
the gun line (state background checks)
HB307 firearms control per-emption,
This week's State House Watch is hosted by Jennifer Dube and her colleagues with 350NH. Environmental epidemiologist Mindy Messmer introduces us to the Safe Water Alliance. She talks about the health impacts of contaminants in our water sources. Bob Feder discusses the complications on mental health he is seeing in his patients due to the adjustments we've had to make during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jon Swan catches us up on the status of the Forest Lake landfill and the state park protection bill, HB177.
Today Maggie Fogarty of The American Friends' Service Committee's New Hampshire program welcomes her guest co-host long time labor activist Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney. Together they interview labor scholar Dr. Marc Dixon of Dartmouth College on the so-called right-to-work bill, and then they talk with Kathy Staub and Viola Katusiime of Raise Up New Hampshire and the Granite State Organizing Project, on the pressures on New Hampshire's low wage workers.
Some of the topics of the show are:
HB1, HB2, budget bills; hiding the intent of HB544 'divisive concepts' prohibited speech inside HB2; The "NH People's Budget"
SB61 right to work
Marc Dixon ... the history of "right to work" as a state based effort from the 1940's onward ... and the "fair share clause" in labor contracts
Minimum wage campaign, SB137 changes how tipped minimum is calculated
The music breaks during the show are:
Which side are you on? - Natalie Merchant
Please Tip Your Waitress - Willie Sordill
This week's SHW host is Emmett Soldati. Emmett interviews Granite State Progress'
Digital Engagement Organizer Leah Cohen about tracking activities at the State House, and Somersworth City Councilor Crystal Paradis about responding to adverse childhood experiences.
Leah Cohen, @leahcohen603, digital engagement organizer, Granite State Progress
distillation of legislative content
HB544 race discussion omnibus budget trailer bill
weaponizing gavel privileges
SB154 gun violence
HB233 "born alive"
HB625 abortion regulation
Crystal Paradis, Somersworth City Councilor (and Daisy)
ACERT Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team
public safety component
investing in prevention