State Legislative Action
By John Graham

HR 21    A resolution urging the development and implementation of a National Missile Defense System.  Passed and sent to Congress and the President.

HB 1277     This Bill, if passed, will increase the optional veteran’s property tax credit.  At the present time, veterans receive a $50 credit on their property tax unless their town or city has voted to adopt the optional higher credit of $100.  This Bill proposes to change the $100 to “an amount of $100 to $500.”  If it passes, action still will be required by each town and city to adopt an amount between $100 and $500 for the tax credit.  One issue that needs to be explored is the specified service required to be eligible for the credit.  Currently, only veterans who served during certain wartime eras are eligible for the credit. This Bill made it no further than a conference committee over Senate amendments dealing with exemptions for the elderly.

HB 1403     This Bill addresses the eligibility requirements for property tax credits for disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.  Passage of this Bill would allow for prorated property tax credits for disabled veterans who have less than a total and permanent disability.  This may get complicated.  For example, if two disabled veterans own property jointly and they each have a 50% disability, can the credits be added together for a 100% credit or is an average taken.  This Bill did not make it out of the House.

HB 1405     This Bill would establish May 30th as Memorial Day every year, rather than the last Monday or a date to coincide with when the federal government celebrates Memorial Day.  This Bill was kept for study over the summer by the Senate.

HB 1406     This Bill would permit the appointment of a temporary guardian for the children of members of the armed forces who have been activated, create a committee to study a possible tuition waiver for national guard members, and provided for the renovation of several armories.  Passed.

HB 1442     Change in the eligibility requirements for POW/MIA plates from 30 days to simply having been a POW for any length of time.  Passed

HB 1452     Authorizing  the adjutant general to award a New Hampshire homeland defense service ribbon to national guard members called to active duty in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Killed in the House primarily due to a desire to see what the Federal government will do to honor these individuals.

HB 1453     Extended the committee studying the status of veterans in New Hampshire and relative to the membership of the state veterans' advisory committee.  Passed

SB 102     Provided additional funds for the completion of the addition to the NH Veterans Home.  Passed.

SB 403     Special motorcycle plates for veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart.  Passed

SB 405     Special number plates for veterans (fixes the problem for veterans who do not have a DD-214 to obtain the veterans plate). Allows the Director of motor vehicles to establish the rules for proof of honorable service.   Passed.

SB 430     Allowing towns and cities to raise the property tax exemption for disabled veterans from $1400 to $2000.  House and Senate conferees could not agree on differing versions of the bill, and it died in conference.

SB 446     Relative to rights and protections for New Hampshire National Guard members called to state active duty.  This bill provides protection from discrimination in employment and re-employment for New Hampshire National Guard members called to state active duty. The bill also contains provisions for the same civil relief, rights, defenses, benefits, and protections for New Hampshire national guard members called to state active duty for a period of 30 days or more as are provided for federal military service.  Passed.

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