By Sarah Downey | The Center Square
As state lawmakers went back into session this month, bills given further consideration included measures to raise the minimum wage and redraw legislative districts.
Democrat-backed measures on the same topics were vetoed last year by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.
“I think that we have to keep working on them whether the governor is going to veto them or not,” Rep. Judith Spang, D-Durham, told New Hampshire Public Radio. The House this week also passed a bill sponsored by Spang that would let municipalities ban single use plastic items.
“I see him vetoing quite a few bills,” Deputy Republican Leader Rep. Sherman Packard told NHPR. “And on many things, it’s just going [to] be party line votes.”
New Hampshire currently defaults to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. After lawmakers last year approved raising it to $12 by 2022, Sununu vetoed it.
The House also approved a proposal to create an independent commission to help with redrawing legislative districts after the 2020 Census. Sununu, who vetoed a similar measure last year, indicated that an outside panel would conflict with the Legislature’s role.
The Senate also passed a measure that would establish an online portal for voter registration, changing one’s party affiliation, or requesting an absentee ballot.
Another election bill approved by senators would create a study to gauge the need for postelection audits of voting machines. Although some supporters had wanted audits in place by this fall, senators relegated the issue to a study committee, a signal that changing the law is not on the horizon.
Another initiative for mandatory state administered paid family leave also was put forth by House Democrats; the issue has long been debated along partisan lines. In vetoing a similar measure last year, Sununu characterized it as too close to an income tax. Instead, he has favored a program that would be voluntary.