2 min read

Week ahead: Drive-in lawmaking, indoor inaugurating, and more

Week ahead: Drive-in lawmaking, indoor inaugurating, and more
Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

This is your Monday Morning Memo for Jan. 4, 2021, a look at how the coming week in NH politics is shaping up.

The first full week of 2021 is looking like a busy and interesting one, as state and federal officials are on track to finalize the outcome of November's election and set the stage for the year to come.

If all goes as expected in the coming few days, Congress will certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory, Gov. Chris Sununu will be re-inaugurated in a modified ceremony, and state lawmakers will convene as the pandemic continues to complicate their work and our daily lives.

In addition to the run-of-the-mill business detailed in the NH House Calendar and NH Senate Calendar, here are some key items to expect this week:

Tuesday, Jan. 5

  • NH Senate hearing on rules and enrolled bills: Participating senators will meet at 9 a.m. for a remote hearing to consider late bills and review more recommendations for bill consolidation by the Select Committee on Legislation. (Senate Calendar)

Wednesday, Jan. 6

  • House drive-in session: The NH House is scheduled to convene in-person at 10 a.m. in a parking lot at UNH. Democrats have expressed concern about the meeting format, saying Republican leaders should allow members to participate from their homes, as NHPR reported. Although the NH Supreme Court said the House can legally meet remotely, Acting Speaker Rep. Sherman Packard said in-person sessions must continue unless and until the House adopts a rule to allow remote meetings. (House Calendar)
  • Senate remote session: The NH Senate is scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. remotely, with a livestream available online. (Senate Calendar)
  • Congress to certify presidential election results: All four members of the NH Congressional delegation – Hassan, Shaheen, Pappas, and Kuster – will join the full U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for a joint session at 1 p.m. to certify Biden's electoral win. The pro forma session is attracting more attention than usual because President Donald Trump still refuses to admit he lost his bid for reelection, and some of his Republican allies have said they will object to the results being certified, as Christal Hayes and Joey Garrison reported for USA Today. Judges have dismissed Trump's claims of voter fraud nearly 60 times since the election, and the Supreme Court has declined twice to take up lawsuits that aimed to turn Trump's loss into a win.

Thursday, Jan. 7

  • Sununu inauguration: After canceling an outdoor ceremony over safety concerns as "armed protestors" have held demonstrations for weeks outside his Newfields home, Sununu will be inaugurated Thursday at an indoor ceremony. Sununu said he'll deliver his inaugural address live at 7 p.m.