CONCORD, N.H. — New laws aimed at government transparency, landowner protection and banned activities took effect in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Political committees are now required to file donation reports during off-election years to give citizens more opportunities to see who is giving money to politicians.

A new law also outlines legal actions landowners can take if someone pollutes their land with hazardous waste.

And shining a laser pointer at a plane, selling synthetic urine or engaging in bestiality are now officially banned in the state.

The more sweeping pieces of legislation, such as continuing Medicaid expansion and providing more money to fight the state’s drug addiction crisis, took effect months ago.

A look at the new laws:


Political committees are required to file quarterly reports during off-election years in the new year. Previously, a candidate or political action committee wasn’t required to report donations or expenditures during non-election years. The new law requires committees to report any donations or expenditures over $25 twice a year after an election.

Minutes taken during nonpublic sessions of government meetings are required to include the roll call for any votes taken, another new law aimed at government transparency.

Incoming Republican Gov. Chris Sununu will have to report all donations to his inauguration committee, which organizes and pays for inaugural balls and events. That law took effect earlier this year, but Sununu will be the first governor subject to it.


Shining a laser pointer at an occupied aircraft is now a misdemeanor offense.

Shining a laser at an occupied motor vehicle, a window or a person was already a violation offense in New Hampshire.

Selling or using synthetic urine, something typically done to cheat a drug test, now carries a penalty of $500. Bestiality, or the practice of engaging in sexual conduct with an animal, is also officially a crime.

Another new law allows people to petition to annul records of criminal convictions, if the conviction was later vacated by a court. Paying for or agreeing or offering to pay for sex with a minor is now officially classified as human trafficking. Anyone who engages in the practice, even if they offer a payment but don’t engage, will be added to the state’s sex offender registry.

Those seeking to be a nursing home administrator now have to get fingerprints taken and are subject to a background check at his or her own expense.

Also in effect as of Sunday, federal border agents at the U.S.-Canada border can arrest people in Coos County. The agents must go through a state training course first.


Landowners have new protections when it comes to property pollution or damage. A new law outlines legal actions landowners can take if someone discharges, spills, dumps or otherwise directly pollutes their land with oil, gas, diesel fuel, motor oil, hazardous waste and other pollutants.

The law also allows for legal action against drivers of snowmobiles or off-highway recreational vehicles that damage private property.

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