Legislative Roundup: ‘Last call’ for alcohol sales not extended
Currently, no alcohol can be sold in a grocery or convenience store later than 11:45 p.m., and the New Hampshire House on Wednesday voted to keep it that way.
Rep. Pamela Tucker, R-Greenland, unsuccessfully urged passage, saying the bill was “good for businesses” and would provide those who work late hours a convenience.
But Rep. Donna Schlachman, D-Exeter, called it “a solution in search of a problem.” She said people are capable of planning when to purchase alcoholic beverages at stores. “This is nanny legislation.”
The House Wednesday killed legislation that would have imposed an extended term of imprisonment for anyone convicted of assault against a health care worker.
House Bill 217 was filed as a result of recent incidents of attacks on hospital workers.
The majority of that committee voted 12-6 that the bill should be “inexpedient to legislate.”
The House Wednesday voted to study, essentially killing, legislation that modified the state’s voter registration form to more clearly define the controversial term “domicile.”
House Bill 600 says that when filling out a voter registration form, “a person’s claim of domicile for voting purposes shall not be conclusive of the person’s residence for any other legal purpose.”
Current law defines domicile on that form as “that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning.”
The House gave initial approval Wednesday to legislation requiring medical technicians to register with the state and hospitals to report any disciplinary action against technicians.
The bill sets up a new board to register medical technicians who assist already-licensed health care professionals in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.
First-time drunk driving offenders would be allowed to drive to and from work and for medical care under a bill the House approved Wednesday.
House Bill 496 establishes a restricted license for first-time, drunk-driving offenders after they have had their license suspended for 14 days. The bill is similar to laws in 20 other states including Maine.
The license limits the time and days a person could drive and would cost $50.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
The House voted 178-104 to allow medical personnel to report a patient to the Department of Safety if they believe the person is unfit to drive a motor vehicle. The person who makes the report would be immune from civil and criminal liability.
Supporters said the bill will make the highways safer and contain the necessary safeguards. But opponents say the bill violates doctor-patient confidentiality and does not require the Department of Safety to act on the report.
The House killed House Bill 336, which would ban the sale of fireworks known as helicopters, aerial spinners, reloadable aerial shells and parachute aerial devices.
Right to Know
House members approved House Bill 685, which allows the Legislative Budget Assistant’s audit division access to relevant state agency confidential information while doing audits.
The bill also would let the Legislative Fiscal Committee decide any agency appeals to LBA requests.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
New Hampshire boaters could be paying a little more in registration fees to combat the milfoil infestation of lakes.
The House voted 164-127 to preliminarily approve House Bill 292, which would increase the boat registration fee by $2 to go into a special fund to control exotic weeds, mostly milfoil. The bill increases the milfoil surcharge from $7.50 per boat to $9.50.
“Out-of-state boaters pay nothing,” Renzullo said, “they get off Scott free laughing all the way.”
Tobacco tax laws
Lawmakers disagreed whether fewer premium cigars would be taxable or exempt from the tobacco tax under a bill passed by the House Wednesday on a 185-152 vote.
The Department of Revenue Administration requested the change to clarify which products should be taxed or exempt.
“Who knows how much revenue this is going to create?” Tucker said. “Let’s stop this tax creep.”
The House sent to study — effectively killing for this year — legislation that would allow service signs with the logos and names of tourist stops on interstate highways.
Senate Bill 29 would allow the signs with the logos and name of restaurants, hotels, gas stations and other establishments on the interstates and would also allow the Department of Transportation to contract with a private company to sell, install and maintain the signs.
The panel in November voted 13-2 to send the bill to interim study, saying there were still several “unresolved issues,” and House complied Wednesday on a voice vote.