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2018 NAIFA NH  - End of Session Report

June 8, 2018

An Important message regarding our advocacy efforts for 2018...

Friends and Colleagues of NAIFA New Hampshire...

The House and Senate have completed their work for the 2018 session.  At the end of this message is a link to view the entire report, which includes the bills we followed for the Coalition of Insurance and Financial Producers.   At this point, a number of bills have passed the Legislature, but have not yet been acted upon by the Governor. We will let you know if any bills on the chart are vetoed by the Governor.

You will note that several bills were sent to “interim study”. Interim study committees will meet in the late summer and fall. The committees will make non-binding recommendations regarding whether similar legislation should be filed in 2019. The last day to file 2018 Interim Study reports is October 26th. We will monitor interim study work sessions and provide updates when necessary.

There were a few items I wanted to highlight from the chart:

  • Health Care for All (HB 1241, HB 1516, HB 1790, HB1793,SB 383) –Each bill proposed a slightly different version of a plan or study to increase health coverage for those who are unable to obtain coverage. There were varying plans but the concepts were similar. All of the bills were killed in the House (SB 383 passed the Senate but too was killed in the House). Typically, the debates and votes on these bills were divided along partisan lines with Democrats supporting the legislation and Republicans opposing them. While that is consistent with past experiences with similar bills, the level of support for them at public hearings has increased tremendously. If the majorities in the House and Senate were to change, you could see legislation similar to these bills having a much stronger chance of passage in 2019.
  • State Run Retirement Program for Private Sector Employers (HB 1767) – This bill would have created a commission to determine details for the State of NH to offer retirement savings plans for employers with 50 employees or fewer that do not currently offer a retirement plan to their employees and self-employed individuals. Once the plan was designed, it would be made available and funds would be managed by the state on behalf of employees. The bill allowed for implementation of the plan. The bill was sent to “interim study” by the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee. A three member committee has been named to look at the bill in greater detail later this summer. We will let you know once their meetings are scheduled.
  • Purchasing Alliance (SB 546) – Purchasing alliances have been permitted in New Hampshire for close to 10 years. However, for a number of reason, they have not been used. SB 546 sought to change the current law by lowering the threshold for lives from 3,000 to 250 and change the manner in which lives were rated in the Alliance. The bill passed the Senate but was sent to interim study by the House Commerce Committee. The majority of the committee felt that it was important to see if there were changes at the federal level, over the next 6 or so months, before moving forward with revisions to the law.
  • College Investment Program (HB 609) – This bill was the result of a study which initially sought to create children’s savings accounts as a way to teach 2nd grade NH students about the importance of saving and increase financial literacy. As the bill moved through the process, it was amended to create a college savings account, compliant with Section 529 of the IRS code, with $250 in seed money. The seed money would be generated by a $100 increase in the mutual fund registration fees currently charged by the State of NH. The bill passed the House and was then sent to the House Finance Committee for a review of the financial impact. It was sent to interim study by the House. It will likely come back in some form next year.
  • Consumer Services Program at NH DOI (SB 429) – Initially, the bill sought to eliminate the exemption from the Consumer Protection Act (RSA 358-A) for the insurance industry. The bill was amended to codify some existing consumer protection processes at the Department and create some new responsibilities at the agency to assist consumers. It may be worth reviewing the legislation since it does include addressing complaints relative to producers, as well as carriers. Again, the intent was to codify the current practices and increase consumer assistance programs.
  • Senior Designations for Security Broker Dealers (SB 348) – Several years ago, while updating the securities statutes, the restrictions on senior specific designations for broker dealers were removed from statute. While the restrictions have not been in statute, the Bureau of Securities Regulation was still enforcing the provisions. This bill put the existing law back into statute. It should not impact existing practices since the agency thought the law was still in effect.

As a reminder, NH has 2-year terms for Governor, State Senate, State House, and Executive Council. This year, we do not have a US Senate Race.  At this point, Governor Sununu is headed into the fall with relatively high approval ratings. Thus far, two major names have surfaced as Democratic challengers; former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand and former State Senator Molly Kelly. The State Primary is in September. At this point, there will be at least two new State Senators. Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) is running for 1st Congressional District and Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) decided not to seek re-election. We will monitor Senate filings and let you know more about races once the filing deadlines pass. On the House side, Speaker Gene Chandler will not seek another term as Speaker. When he replaced Shawn Jasper prior to the 2018 session, he agreed just to serve out the remainder of the 2017-2018 session and not run again in 2019. Thus far, a number of candidates for Speaker have stepped forward including Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) and Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook). Others will likely seek the office as well. We will know more later this fall. Typically, there is about a 30% turnover in the House each election.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this material. We thank our partner and lobbyist - Bianco Professional Association - and look forward to working with you again next year.

Sincerely, 

Harold R. Sullivan, CFP, CLU, CASL, CLTC, LUTCF

NAIFA-NH Government Relations Chairperson, NAIFA-NH


2018 End of Session Chart 


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