State Issues

The legislature is not scheduled to be in session until sometime this fall. During the 2017-2018 I sponsored 2 bills, of which one was signed into law. My first bill prohibited the State of NH from using Kaspersky Lab software, and was signed into law (see Letters section-State Topics and Press Release-section). My second bill requested that a study committee be set up to evaluate what our state would need to do to achieve 100% renewable energy use for electricity by 2040. This bill failed on a committee vote and on the floor of the House (see Letters section-State Topics). Since the Governor has vetoed a number of bills, an over-ride session has now been scheduled for Sept. 13, 2018.

There are 3 bills for which I am planning to support an override of the Governor's veto. Two bills were extensively discussed in the Science Technology & Energy committee on which I serve. One bill SB (Senate Bill) 365 would continue support for renewable energy biomass facilities in the North Country which provide jobs for approx. 1000 NH residents as well as forestry services helping to keep our NH forests healthy and attractive for everyone. A second bill SB 446 would increase the upper limit available for solar energy net-metering (that is feeding into the grid and receiving payment for that energy) from 1 MWatt to 5 MWatt. This bill would allow more municipalities, businesses and non-profits to participate and financially benefit from local solar energy generation and help boost the NH solar energy industry, which is local and providing good paying jobs to NH residents. This would also help to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions of CO2 and is one more step towards more energy independence.

The third bill has to do with the death penalty. After many years of opposition, this year both the NH Senate and NH House agreed with significant majorities to replace our capital punishment from lethal injection to life without-parole. I, like many other lawmakers, believe it is time to eliminate the death penalty for many good reasons (see Letters section-State Topics). Since an execution would cost NH 5-10 times as much as the cost of life in prison-without parole, and since an execution has the possibility of killing an innocent person, the only reason left for this punishment is revenge, which does not bring anyone's loved one back.