Senate Sustains Family Leave, Minimum Wage Hike Vetoes and Overrides 3

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Protesters gathered at the State House Thursday as both the House and Senate were in session for veto overrides.

CONCORD – The state Senate gathered enough votes to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s vetoes on three bills by midday Thursday, but sustained vetoes of the paid family and medical leave act, increasing the minimum wage, and voting rights legislation.

Prime sponsor of the family leave SB1 Dan Feltes, D-Concord, said, “Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans are holding New Hampshire back from making progress on issues critical to working families, including paid family and medical leave.

“No one should have to choose between caring for a loved one and financial security, but those are the decisions Granite Staters will be forced to continue making because Republicans put politics before people and voted once again to block paid leave.”

Sununu said: “SB 1 is an income tax and the people of New Hampshire will never support it. I would like to thank the Senate for sustaining my veto.”


Of the votes to override Sununu’s vetoes, one would eliminate the three-month waiting period for doctors to provide cannabis to new patients. Another is relative to criminal background checks for employment while the third would allow for an increase in revenue from deed transfers for the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program.

The Senate was still working through a list of their 28 bills which were vetoed by Sununu and will likely take up a House override vote on patients growing their own cannabis later.

The House will take up the Senate overrides later today and if they garner the necessary two-thirds majority, the bills will become law.

The vote was 17-7 to override Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto on Senate Bill 88 relative to medicinal cannabis. Today, if you are a new patient to a doctor, you have to wait three months before he or she can write you a prescription for medical marijuana or cannabis.

The bill requires you to still establish a patient-doctor relationship, but waives the three-month waiting period.
Supporters of the measure, including several Republicans, argued that the three-month period might mean that patients become addicted to opioids while waiting for the opportunity to go to a cannabis dispensary.

Voting to support the measure were Republicans John Reagan, Jeb Bradley, and Harold French and all of the 14 Democrats.

Currently, all employers can have a box on a job application that asks if a job candidate has a felony on their record. Senate Bill 100, relative to discrimination, would eliminate that box, with some limited exceptions – say if you are applying to be a firefighter.

The bill would allow you to sit down with the candidate and ask questions and then do a background check.
Republican Senators French and Reagan joined their Democratic counterparts to override that veto.

The third override on Senate Bill 74 related to the popular LCHIP program that provides state matching grant funds for the conservation of land and preservation of historic buildings through the state.

The bill would increase the amount raised from deed transfers to support the program, raising an estimated $1.5 million more a year, on top of about $3.9 million.
That vote was 17-7 with Republicans David Starr, Bob Giuda and Jeb Bradley joining the Democrats to override the governor’s veto.

Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, praised the LCHIP override.

“Since its creation, the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) has been extraordinarily successful in providing assistance to more than 163 New Hampshire communities and non-profits in their efforts to conserve and preserve our state’s most important natural, cultural, and historical resources.

“There is no way LCHIP can plan or accomplish so much good if it simply has to rely on voluntary contributions.” 

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