Health in All Policies Update: NHPHA Priority Bills

by Joan Ascheim, NHPHA Executive Director

NHPHA has been busy testifying and tracking key bills at the state house. Below is an update on our priority bills. The official crossover from one chamber to the other takes place on March 26, 2020. We will continue to follow priority bills and keep you updated.

Equity & Health Outcomes

Food Access - HB 1638 - This bill seeks to make an appropriation for the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) so that recipients can double their food dollar value when spending it on fresh fruits and vegetables. (NHPHA Supports) We provided testimony on this. It passed out of committee Ought to Pass (OTP) with an amendment and went before Division III finance in a work session March 4, 2020.

HB 1769 - This bill provides an appropriation to expand the Meals on Wheels program, which equates to approximately 75,000 additional meals for those in need. (NHPHA Supports) This passed of out of committee and is with Division II finance and due out of committee March 5, 2020.

Healthy Environments - Natural, Built, & Social

HB 1459 - Brings back a bill from the last session relative to non-academic surveys at public schools and adds charter schools and provides for parents to opt out rather than opt in. Such surveys provide critical data for planning prevention services for youth. (NHPHA Supports) This came out of committee Inexpedient to Legislate or ITL.

HB 1655 - Seeks to expand the New Hampshire Vaccine Association to include adult vaccines. This allows for cost-effective purchasing of vaccines and the provision of them to providers and therefore individuals at no charge. (NHPHA Supports) We provided testimony on this bill, which is in executive session and due out of committee March 5, 2020.

SB 718 - Provides an appropriation for the development of a state health assessment and state health improvement plan and does so under the guidance of the already existing advisory council. Such assessment and planning is at the core of public health. NHPHA participates in the council. (NHPHA Supports) We provided testimony on this bill, which had a hearing on February 18, 2020, and no report to date.

SB 590 - This bill establishes a committee to develop science-based emission reduction goals for New Hampshire and articulates the public health effects of climate change. (NHPHA Supports) We provided testimony for this bill on March 3, 2020, and will continue to follow closely.

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention - SB 599 - Requires the testing of water for lead in schools and child care facilities and lowers the acceptable level. (NHPHA Supports) We provided testimony for this bill on March 3, 2020, and will continue to follow.

HB 1539 - Establishes procedures for the relocation of children with elevated lead levels. (NHPHA Supports) We provided written testimony for this bill, which the minority committee report found Inexpedient to Legislate.

Gun Violence Prevention - HB 1379 - Requires a criminal background check for commercial firearms sales. (NHPHA Supports) This bill was voted OTP on February 20, 2020.

HB 687 This bill allows family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order to temporarily restrict access to a firearm by individuals who pose a risk to themselves and others. (NHPHA Supports) The bill was voted OTP with an amendment.

Substance Misuse  Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery

SB 248 - This bill increases the increases the age for the sales and possession of tobacco products to 21. (NHPHA Supports) This bill passed the senate with an amendment and has a hearing March 5, 2020, in the House. 

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