New Hampshire Citizens Alliance

2016 Legislative Agenda

Introduction of the NH Stand with Women campaign: The Stand With Women campaign believes that instead of protecting outdated workplace policies that discriminate against women and limiting reproductive rights, our priority in New Hampshire should be to guarantee fair opportunities for women to succeed and to take care of their families.

 We believe that true women’s equality starts with guaranteed access to reproductive health care, including birth control, abortion, pre-natal and maternity care, and that we also need economic security policies that end gender discrimination, ensure equal pay for equal work, and guarantee fair treatment in the workplace.

This 2016 legislative session, we are supporting legislation that protects women against discrimination and maternity penalties on the job, particularly women in low-wage or hourly jobs who face a higher likelihood of discrimination. And we’re advocating for policies that will help raise wages for families in New Hampshire.

We’re also opposing legislation that seeks to roll back women’s reproductive health options, which is critically important because having children has huge personal, health, and economic impacts on women and their families, so women need guaranteed access to health care whether or not they have children. And if women do decide to start a family, we need to make sure that they can have healthy pregnancies and successful transitions back into the workplace. That means ensuring responsible leave policies that

NH Citizens Alliance and Granite State Progress Education Fund believe we cannot leave women behind in the new economy– particularly women of color, low-income women, and transgender women who face the greatest barriers. That’s why it’s important for us to recognize and address the fact that women face unfair pay at almost every level of the new economy, whether in low-wage industries and “tipped” jobs or in higher-paying white collar jobs where they are paid less for the same work.

The Stand With Women or Stand in the Way campaign is an effort to ensure women can be successful at home and in the workplace. We believe freedom, fairness, and opportunity for women and their families are family values we can all support.

We are pleased to have elected officials and allies with us here today who are working on one or more of these legislative priorities with us, and we thank them for taking the time to be with us. I’d like to welcome a few of them to the podium to speak specifically about the bill or bills on which we are working together.

SB 488: requiring reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.  Despite existing protections, pregnant workers in the United States still face discrimination.  Pregnant workers are too often forced out of their jobs and denied reasonable accommodations that would enable them to continue working and supporting their families such including but not limited to : more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, break time and private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, assistance with manual labor, or modified work schedule.  This bi-partisan state bill is a companion bill to the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act co-sponsored by both New Hampshire U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R). 

SB 416: ensuring employers consider flexible work arrangement requests in good faith.  This bill with help with worker retention, worker productivity, and expand opportunity for all workers.

HB 1346: seeks to eliminate the sub-minimum tipped wage and move to One Fair Wage.

A major issue for many women and families pay inequity, and that is the tipped wage. The majority of tipped waged workers are women and mothers providing for their families, yet we have legislatively agreed to pay them a sub-minimum wage. As one restaurant owner, Nina Moujakovic of Old Europe Mediterranean Fine Dining points out – a sub-minimum wage is undignified and an outdated system that we must move past.

HB 1641: requiring prevailing wages on state-funded public works projects. This bill will advance economic security for individual Granite State families, as well as pump more buying power into our local economy to help everyone do better.

HB 1633: extending FMLA for school district employees (specifically the para-professionals).

HB 1696 NH Health Protection Program (Medicaid Expansion Reauthorization): ensuring that medicaid expansion is reauthorized in 2016.

NH SWW Campaign cannot stress enough how important this program is to allowing women and their families to advance. I’d also like to note that the NH Fiscal Policy Institute did a study and found that “workers enrolled in the Health Protection Program are most likely to be found in a handful of industries in New Hampshire. During the 2012-2013 period – that is, immediately prior to the creation of the program – approximately 39,160 adults aged 19 through 64 with family incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level lacked health insurance.[iii]  Of that total, close to 25,000 had worked at some point in the year prior.  In turn, nearly half of those workers were employed in just five industries; … including restaurants (where 4,350 low-income adults lacking health insurance, and construction (which had 3,570 low-income workers without insurance. As you can see, these issues today are all very intertwined.

NH Reproductive Justice Bills:

Abortion Bans: this group of bills would criminalize the provision of certain abortions while threatening women’s health and restricting the ability of doctors to use their best medical judgement to provide care most appropriate for each individual patient.

HB 1328
HB 1623
HB 1625

Restrictions/Regulations Targeting Abortion Providers and OB/GYN’s:  this group of bills would impose onerous and medically unsound restrictions on health care providers and dictate the practice of medicine in a manner that singles out abortion and deviates from existing best practices and standard of care.
HB 1662
HB 1627

Defunding Reproductive Health Care:  this group of bills would eliminate the ability of women’s health providers and health care institutions who offer abortion to participate in public health programs such as Medicaid or the New Hampshire Family Planning Program.
HB 1684 (Judiciary)
CACR 19 (Legislative Administration)

Other Abortion-Related Bills to Watch/Monitor:
HB 629:  relative to induced termination of pregnancy statistics
HB1570: repealing the law governing access to reproductive health care facilities.

New Hampshire Campaign for Voter Rights:  NHCA has long been fighting to protect voter rights in New Hampshire.  NH SWW supports the NH Voter Rights Campaign because ensuring full and fair access to the ballot so that women and their families can vote for their own best economic interests is critical.
The top three bills the NH CVR are:
SB 346: standardizing polling hours statewide.
SB 425 and HB 1564:  establishing a non-partisan re-districting committee
SB: Implementing a statewide online voter registration system in 2017.