2020 NHMA Legislative Bulletin 22
Waiting for June
There is still not much to report on from the legislature. As we noted last week, the House is planning to hold a full session on June 11 at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center in Durham, and the Senate is planning to meet in session, on a date yet to be announced, in Representatives’ Hall. Meanwhile, a few House committees held remote executive sessions this week (see article below), and a few work sessions and executive sessions are scheduled for next week. No committee hearings have been scheduled yet.
NHRS Study Bill Recommended for Interim Study
On Thursday the House Finance Committee voted to recommend Interim Study on HB 1235, a bill that would establish a five-member legislative committee to study the history of New Hampshire Retirement System benefits and the effect of pension amounts on public employee recruitment and retention. The bill had already passed the House in February, but it was sent to the Finance Committee to consider the $100,000 appropriation included in the bill. In early March, Finance Division I recommended Ought to Pass with a reduced appropriation of $10,000. However, when presented to the full Finance Committee yesterday, that recommendation was changed to Interim Study, with committee members noting that, due to the pandemic, they did not want to pass bills requiring study committee meetings this fall. HB 1235 will be on the agenda for the House session scheduled for June 11.
Legislative Policy Process Begins!
Like the legislature itself, NHMA’s legislative policy process has been delayed a bit, but it will finally begin next Friday, May 29, at 9:00 a.m., with the organizational meeting of the legislative policy committees. The meeting will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. Committee members should look for an e-mail today with an invitation to the meeting, and another e-mail early next week with additional information.
If you volunteered for a committee and you do not receive a meeting invitation today, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEMA Match Eligible for CARES Act Reimbursement
This week NHMA received notice from the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) that the 25 percent local match on FEMA COVID-19 expenses is an allowable expense reimbursable from the Coronavirus Relief Fund provided under the CARES Act. Typically, FEMA covers 75 percent of eligible costs, with the remaining 25 percent match coming from local appropriations, volunteer time, or donations. However, for COVID-19-related expenses, cities and towns may include the 25 percent balance in their submission to GOFERR for reimbursement from the municipality’s allocation from the Municipal Relief Fund. The GOFERR Local Government Program Overview and Guidance and Reimbursement Request Form have been updated to reflect this change. NHMA’s Municipal Relief Fund FAQs have also been updated.
NLC Launches “Cities are Essential” Campaign
Municipalities are essential to America's economic recovery. Communities will use federal aid and support to facilitate a reopening of the national economy. Local governments are calling for at least $500 billion in direct federal funding to protect families, municipal workers, and America’s economic future. Municipalities have been a part of the national COVID-19 response, and they need to be part of the recovery. The National League of Cities is inviting organizations and businesses to join its Cities Are Essential campaign to tell Congress that cities and towns are essential to the economic engine of America. Visit the Cities Are Essential web page to see how you can help.
NLC Regional Call Next Week
In conjunction with the Cities Are Essential campaign, the National League of Cities is holding a series of regional conference calls next week. The calls will be used to provide local leaders with an update on the status of the campaign and a chance to connect with peers from other states. They will also provide encouragement to take action with the campaign.
The call for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome to join. The call-in information is not available yet, but we have posted the call on our Calendar of Events for May 27, and we will add the information when we receive it, so check the link again early next week.
NHMA UPCOMING MEMBER EVENTS
Webinar: Trails for People and Wildlife (12:00 – 1:00)
Legislative Policy Process Organizational Meeting (9:00)
Webinar: Reopening Municipal Offices in New Hampshire (12:00 – 1:00)
Academy for Good Governance Virtual Workshop
Governance Body Roles & Responsibilities (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.)
Please visit www.nhmunicipal.org for the most up-to-date information regarding our upcoming training opportunities and events.
For more information, please call NHMA’s Workshop registration line: (603) 230-3350.