Bill Text - HB1187 (2024)

(New Title) relative to prohibiting lease agreements of equipment for building or facility improvements.

Revision: Dec. 1, 2023, 3:01 p.m.










AN ACT relative to local legislative bodies' voting threshold for approval of lease agreements over $100,000.


SPONSORS: Rep. Pauer, Hills. 36; Rep. Piemonte, Rock. 9; Rep. Notter, Hills. 12; Rep. R. Brown, Carr. 3; Rep. Lewicke, Hills. 36; Rep. Erf, Hills. 28; Sen. Avard, Dist 12


COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government






This bill changes the voting threshold for local legislative bodies' approval of equipment leases over $100,000 from a simple majority to a 2/3 or 3/5 supermajority and requires a ballot vote.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four


AN ACT relative to local legislative bodies' voting threshold for approval of lease agreements over $100,000.


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


1  Lease Agreements of Equipment.  Amend RSA 33:7-e to read as follows:

33:7-e Lease Agreements of Equipment. The governing body may enter into leases of equipment as required by the municipality.  Appropriations to fund lease agreements [with] up to $100,000 that also contain nonappropriation clauses may be approved by a simple majority vote of the legislative body[.], and such lease agreements [with nonappropriation clauses] shall not be treated as debt under RSA 33:4-a. For the purposes of this section, " lease " shall include lease-purchase, sale and lease back, installment sale, or other similar agreement to acquire use or ownership of such equipment as is from time to time required by the municipality. [For purposes of this section and RSA 382-A, building or facility improvements related to the installation, purpose, or operation of such equipment shall be deemed to constitute equipment and the costs of such improvements may be financed through lease agreements under this section.]

2  Town or District Bonds or Notes.  Amend RSA 33:8 to read as follows:

33:8 Town or District Bonds, [or] Notes, or Lease Agreements. Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, the issue of bonds, [or] notes, or lease agreements where the lease is in excess of $100,000, by any municipal corporation, except a city or a town which has adopted a charter pursuant to RSA 49-B, without a budgetary town meeting, shall be authorized by a vote by ballot of 3/5, and the issue of tax anticipation notes, by a vote of a majority, of all the voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting of such corporation, called for the purpose. The issue of notes or bonds by a municipality that has adopted an optional form of legislative body under RSA 49-D:3, I-a or RSA 49-D:3, II-a shall be authorized by either a 2/3 or 3/5 vote as adopted and provided for in the charter. If such charter does not specify which majority vote is required, then the required majority vote shall be 3/5. Only votes in the affirmative or negative shall be included in the calculation of any majority. No such action taken at any special meeting shall be valid unless a majority of all the legal voters are present and vote at such special meeting, unless the governing board of any municipality shall petition the superior court for permission to hold an emergency special meeting, which, if granted, shall give said special meeting the same authority as an annual meeting. The warrant for a special meeting shall be published once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality within one week after the posting of such special meeting. The warrant for any such annual or special meeting shall be served or posted at least 14 days before the date of such special meeting. Every warrant shall be deemed to have been duly served or posted, if the return on the warrant shall so state, and it shall be certified by the officer or officers required to serve or post the same. All bonds, [or] notes, or lease agreements, authorized in accordance with this chapter, shall be signed by the governing board, or a majority of the governing board, and countersigned by the treasurer of the municipality, and shall have the corporate seal, if any, affixed to it. The discretion of fixing the date, maturities, denominations, the interest rate, or discount rate in the case of notes, the place of payment, the form and other details of said bonds, [or] notes, or lease agreements, and of providing for the sale of such bonds or notes, may be delegated to the governing board or to the treasurer and shall, to the extent provision therefor shall not have been made in the vote authorizing the same, be deemed to have been delegated to the governing board. Bonding authority under this section may be limited or rescinded as provided in RSA 33:8-f.

3  Procedure for Authorizing Bonds or Notes in Excess of $100,000.  Amend RSA 33:8-a to read as follows:

33:8-a  Procedure for Authorizing Bonds, [or] Notes, or Lease Agreements in Excess of $100,000.

I.  There shall be at least one public hearing concerning any proposed municipal bond issue, [or] note issue, or lease agreement in excess of $100,000 held before the governing board of any municipality.  Said hearing shall be held at least 15 days, but not more than 60 days prior to the meeting, or adjourned session thereof, at which the bond or note issued is to be voted upon.  Notice of the time, place and subject of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least 7 days before it is held.  Whenever possible the governing board shall determine the form of the warrant article after the public hearing.

II.  All articles appearing in the warrant which propose a bond issue, [or] note issue, or lease agreement exceeding $100,000 shall appear in consecutive numerical order and shall be acted upon prior to other business except the election of officers, action on the adoption, revision, or amendment of a municipal charter, and zoning matters or as otherwise determined by the voters at the meeting.  Polls shall remain open and ballots shall be accepted by the moderator on each such article, for a period of not less than one hour following the completion of discussion on each respective article.  A separate ballot box shall be provided for each bond article to be voted upon pursuant to this section.

III.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to cities nor to any borrowing under the authority of RSA 33:7, relative to tax anticipation notes.

IV.  Upon favorable approval on the motion to reconsider the vote on a bond issue, [or] note issue, or lease agreement under paragraphs I and II, actual reconsideration of the bond issue, note issue, or lease agreement shall not take place until the expiration of at least 7 days from the date on which the original vote on the motion was taken.  Notice of time and place where such reconsideration shall take place shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least 2 days before the reconsideration vote.  Wherever required, the provisions of RSA 33:8-a shall apply.

V.  Bonding authority under this section may be limited or rescinded as provided in RSA 33:8-f.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.