HB1388 (2024) Detail

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


HB 1388 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

21Mar2024... 0693h

2024 SESSION

24-2500

08/05

 

HOUSE BILL 1388

 

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

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sheehan, Hills. 43

 

COMMITTEE: Legislative Administration

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill defines "special interest" and makes provisions for the recusal of members of the general court for conflicts of interest.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21Mar2024... 0693h 24-2500

08/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

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 court 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 in official legislative activities, recusal from voting on any legislation when there is a conflict of interest is sometimes required.

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

GIFTS, HONORARIUMS, AND EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENTS REQUIREMENTS 

FOR LEGISLATORS AND LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEES

AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR LEGISLATORS

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

14-C:4-a  Recusal and Disclosure for Conflicts of Interest.  A legislator shall recuse himself or herself from voting during any official legislative activity when:

I.  The legislator has a conflict of interest as defined in RSA 14-B:1, I; or

II.  The legislator or a member of the legislator's household could reasonably be expected to incur a direct and substantial financial benefit or detriment as a result of the outcome of the legislative activity.

14-C:4-b  Exceptions to Recusal for Conflicts of Interest.  A legislator shall not recuse himself or herself from participation in any official legislative activity regarding preparation, review, or approval or disapproval of the state budget or general revenue bills.

4  Legislative Ethics; Definition; Conflict of 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 activity, distinct from and greater than the interests of the public at large.

(a)  A financial interest exists where a legislator or household member, or a person or organization, whether nonprofit or for profit, by which the legislator is employed, or from which the legislator receives compensation, to act as the person's or organization's agent or advocate, 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, whether nonprofit or for profit, by virtue of holding a position with a fiduciary responsibility, such as a board member, trustee, or director.

(c)  A legislator's or household member's ownership of securities of a publicly traded corporation shall not be construed to constitute a "special interest" in matters that may affect the corporation unless the legislator or household member serves as an officer, board member, trustee or director of the corporation or owns more than one percent of the outstanding securities of the corporation.

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

Amendments

Date Amendment
March 11, 2024 2024-0693h

Links


Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2024 House Hearing
Feb. 7, 2024 House Exec Session
Feb. 14, 2024 House Exec Session
March 6, 2024 House Exec Session
March 6, 2024 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1388 Revision: 41344 Date: March 21, 2024, 10:51 a.m.
HB1388 Revision: 41172 Date: March 11, 2024, 4:56 p.m.
HB1388 Revision: 39925 Date: Dec. 6, 2023, 1:44 p.m.

Docket


March 26, 2024: Introduced 03/21/2024 and Referred to Executive Departments and Administration; SJ 8


March 21, 2024: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2024-0693h: MA VV 03/21/2024 HJ 9


March 21, 2024: Amendment # 2024-0693h: AA VV 03/21/2024 HJ 9


March 12, 2024: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2024-0693h 03/06/2024 (Vote 16-0; CC)


Feb. 14, 2024: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 03/06/2024 10:00 am LOB 210-211


Feb. 7, 2024: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/14/2024 10:00 am LOB 203


Jan. 31, 2024: ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 02/07/2024 01:00 pm LOB 203


Jan. 31, 2024: Public Hearing: 02/07/2024 10:30 am LOB 203


Dec. 6, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Legislative Administration HJ 1