New Hampshire residents may have to pay five more dollars for marriage licenses after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would put the added revenue into domestic violence prevention programs across the state.
Currently residents pay $45 for a license, which hasn’t been increased in roughly 22 years.
Democrat Renny Cushing of Hampton says, despite the state making domestic violence a crime last year, New Hampshire ranks last in funding domestic violence prevention programs.
“We need to put our money where our mouth is and we have to not say to people who leave their homes from abuse that there is no room at the inn, that they have to go back to their batterer,” Cushing said.
Last year half the homicides were involved in domestic violence, Cushing said, and at the same time that was happening there were 1,131 people who were looking for shelter from their abusers who were turned away.
The bill, which passed the House in a 223 to 146 vote, will now move to the Senate. If approved the additional revenue would help restore prevention and crisis centers across the state, which last year served roughly 15,000 people.