Encourage the NH Senate
to VOTE NO on House Bill 1233
- A bill preempting local regulation of seeds and fertilizers -
Unfortunately, House Bill 1233 passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, April 25th after being heard in Senate Committee on Tuesday, April 24th. Thank you to all who came to the hearing to express your concerns and opposition. The bill will be heard on the Senate Floor on Wednesday, May 2nd at 1:00 PM, and on Thursday, May 3rd at 10:00 AM.
We urge you to call your Senators and voice your concerns about this bill. If you are unsure of your Senator, click on this link. Talking points remain the same as what we’ve sent out earlier (please see below).
Please be in touch if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns. It helps us to hear your particular idea on this bill and how you think it might impact you.
As always, thank you for your engagement!
House Bill 1233 could be a significant threat to a vibrant, local, and sustainable food system—a vast web of entities and relationships that hard-working farmers and food system advocates have been dedicated to rebuilding over the past decades.
It is vital that these initiatives be supported and encouraged in order to provide food security and resilience in the years ahead. Furthermore, ecological well-being, on which we all depend, as well as community fabric, require diverse and locally-rooted practices that are adapted to the specifics of New Hampshire’s cultures and ecosystems. And yet, House Bill 1233 seeks to strip local communities from having an ability to regulate seeds and fertilizers, unless communities do so as part of their planning and zoning powers.
The very broad language of this bill includes just about every aspect of a food system. Though some claim that this bill doesn’t preempt much that doesn’t already exist in state law, it can be seen as an end-run around our food systems. If the claim that it doesn’t do more than already exists, then much of it is redundant and not necessary.
The broad language of the bill prevents municipal regulation of seed “products.” Furthermore, seeds are the basis of almost all crop farming (including nursery and greenhouse production). In New Hampshire, this represented 53% of the market value of agricultural products sold in 2012 (according to the Agricultural Census).
Local control, a basic tenet of New Hampshire governance, and a long-established part of our state culture is threatened by this broadly-worded bill that represents significant state overreach. Local control fosters accountability, innovation, and responsiveness to local community and ecosystem needs.
This bill could create much legal confusion and create financial and legal hardships for towns and farmers.
This bill represents a solution to problems that don’t exist here, while having the potential of creating many unintended consequences.