HB1694 (2020) Detail

Relative to recusal by members of the general court for conflicts of interest.


HB 1694 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

12Mar2020... 1058h

2020 SESSION

20-3093

10/01

 

HOUSE BILL 1694

 

AN ACT relative to recusal by members of the general court for conflicts of interest.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Gordon, Graf. 9; Rep. Wall, Straf. 6; Sen. Carson, Dist 14

 

COMMITTEE: Legislative Administration

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires a legislator to recuse himself or herself from participation in a legislative activity when the legislator or the legislator's household member has a conflict of interest in an official legislative activity.  The bill also amends certain applicable definitions.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

12Mar2020... 1058h 20-3093

10/

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to recusal by members of the general court for conflicts of interest.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Findings; Purpose.  The general hereby finds:

I.  That part II, article 7 of the New Hampshire constitution states:  "No member of the general court shall take fees, be of counsel, or act as advocate, in any cause before either branch of the Legislature; and upon due proof thereof, such member shall forfeit his seat in the Legislature."

II.  That the general court has adopted principles of public service including the principle requiring "independent, objective judgment in performing a legislator's duties and deciding all matters on the merits free from conflicts of interest and both real and apparent improper influences."

III.  That the New Hampshire general court, consistent with RSA 14-B:3, has adopted guidelines prohibiting legislators from engaging in certain activities.

IV.  That in order to comply with New Hampshire's constitutional requirements, to satisfy statutory requirements, and to maintain the confidence of the New Hampshire citizenry, recusal from participation in legislative matters when there is a conflict of interest is sometimes required.

2  Chapter Title.  Amend the chapter title of RSA 14-C to read as follows:

CHAPTER 14-C

GIFTS, HONORARIUMS, AND EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENTS REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGISLATORS AND LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEES

AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR LEGISLATORS

3  New Section; Recusal for Conflicts of Interest.  Amend RSA 14-C by inserting after section 4 the following new section:

14-C:4-a  Recusal for Conflicts of Interest.  A legislator shall recuse himself or herself from participation in any official legislative activity when the legislator or the legislator's household member:

I.  Is receiving remuneration from an employer which has a special interest in the official legislative activity.

II.  Is acting as counsel or serving as an attorney for any party which has a special interest in the official legislative activity.

III.  Has an ownership interest in any business entity which has a special interest in the official legislative activity.

IV.  Serves in any official capacity in an organization whether nonprofit or for profit which is the subject of the official legislative activity.

4  Legislative Ethics; Definition; Conflict of Interest.  Amend RSA 14-B:1, I to read as follows:

I.  "Conflict of interest" means the condition in which a legislator has a [special] financial interest or a non-financial personal interest in any matter which could directly or indirectly affect or influence the performance of the legislator's official activities.  For this definition:

(a)  A financial interest exists where a legislator or household member could stand to gain or lose anything of material value as a result of the official activity.

(b)  A non-financial personal interest exists where a legislator or household member has a responsibility for the welfare of an organization by virtue of holding a position with a fiduciary responsibility, such as a board member, trustee, or director.

5  Legislative Ethics; Definition; Special Interest.  Amend RSA 14-B:1, V to read as follows:

V.  "Special interest" means any financial or non-financial personal interest in the outcome of a matter that is the subject of official legislative activity, [distinct from and greater than the interests of the public at large] which could reasonably be expected to produce a direct benefit or detriment to the legislator or a legislator's household member or to produce a benefit or detriment to a business, client, or organization, by whom the legislator or a legislator's household member is employed or holds a position of authority, which is materially greater than the benefit or detriment which would accrue to businesses, clients, or organizations in general.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 30 days after its passage.

Links

HB1694 at GenCourtMobile
HB1694 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 19, 2020 House Hearing
March 4, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 13, 2020 House Hearing
March 4, 2020 House Exec Session
March 2, 2020 House Hearing
March 4, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1694 Revision: 8422 Date: March 30, 2020, 10:35 a.m.
HB1694 Revision: 7802 Date: Jan. 6, 2020, 1:31 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Legislative Administration HJ 1 P. 32
Feb. 19, 2020 ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 02/19/2020 01:30 pm LOB 303
Feb. 13, 2020 ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 02/13/2020 01:30 pm LOB 303
March 4, 2020 Executive Session: 03/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 303
March 2, 2020 ==TIME CHANGE== Public Hearing: 03/02/2020 10:45 am LOB 303
March 4, 2020 Executive Session: 03/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 303
March 4, 2020 Executive Session: 03/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 303
March 11, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-1058h for 03/11/2020 (Vote 12-0; RC) HC 10 P. 66
Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-1058h (Vote 12-0; RC)
March 12, 2020 Amendment # 2020-1058h: AA VV 03/12/2020 HJ 8 P. 165
March 12, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-1058h: MA VV 03/12/2020 HJ 8 P. 165
June 16, 2020 Introduced 06/16/2020, and Laid on Table, MA, VV; 06/16/2020; SJ 8
June 16, 2020 No Pending Motion; 06/16/2020 SJ 8