New Hampshire Legislative Update | 6.17
This week, Governor Sununu’s stay-at-home advisory order expired. Along with it, the New Hampshire Senate returned to Concord for the first time since late March. This update will cover some fast facts on the end of the stay-at-home advisory order, what it means for renters and those filing for unemployment, and a summary of legislative activity.
- The ban on gatherings of 10 or more people has ended.
- All employers can now require employees to return to work.
- Gyms, racetracks, charitable gaming facilities, libraries and funeral homes will be among the industries allowed to reopen, with modifications.
- Indoor movie theaters, amusement parks, performing arts venues and adult day centers are set to reopen June 29, with some restrictions.
Potential Relief for Renters
The moratorium on evictions that went into effect in March is now ending. Aware that many will not be able to afford rent, the state is planning to use money from the CARES Act to launch a $35 million Housing Relief Fund. The fund will issue one-time grants for households that have lost income or otherwise incurred extra expenses due to COVID-19, and provide other short-term rental assistance programs.
People filing their claims will see a change in the questions regarding the stay-at-home order. Now, those who were filing for benefits solely because they were complying with the stay-at-home order will no longer have that option. Nevertheless, all other questions remain the same, and workers who were furloughed and haven’t been offered a chance to return to work are still eligible.
- By unanimous vote, the Senate approved an aggressive cap on insulin prices and creation of a new drug importation program from Canada. The bill includes new prescription drug regulations, and a requirement that health insurers keep the total monthly cost for insulin to $30 or less.
- Although the Senate failed to pass a bill that would increase unemployment benefits, it did approve expanding medical leave, providing protective equipment for workers, waiving testing co-pays for Covid-19 and giving $50 million of federal CARES Act funds to the Department of Employment Security.
- The Senate passed a bill raising the minimum wage to $10 next year and $12 in 2023. Governor Sununu, however, has vetoed similar bills in the past.
- The Senate moved to greatly expand the use of telemedicine by making sure payment for it is on parity with in-person treatment when it comes to insurance coverage.