Before going into recess, lawmakers in Concord will vote this week on the state budget and other deals reached during committees of conference, including Voter ID and medical marijuana. The Democratically-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate have been at odds over a number of policy issues, but areas of disagreement over the budget were smaller than possibly expected, with the final budget including provisions sought by both chambers and Governor Hassan.
The gambling bill goes to the floor of the NH House for a full vote on Wednesday, after receiving a narrow 23-22 supercommittee vote resulting in a recommendation to kill the bill; the recommendation means that none of the amendments being debated in the House will be under consideration unless Wednesday's vote also fails to approve the bill. One such amendment would look to beef up regulation, while allowing for more revenue. Issues on the docket in the NH Senate include the Stand Your Groud repeal, Voter ID, the gas tax, the tobacco tax, medical marijuana, and the minimum wage.
The New Hampshire House makes its first key vote as the casino bill is voted on by a supercommittee comprised of the House Finance and Ways & Means Committees; various amendments will be considered on Tuesday, with a committee vote and recommendation coming Wednesday. The New Hampshire Senate, meanwhile, continues to work on its budget, and the Senate Finance Committee prepares to hear from some of the larger state agencies - Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Environmental Services - on their budget needs.
The creation of a new fraud unit at the state Attorney General’s office has stalled again. Thursday, the Legislative Fiscal Committee voted to table a request to approve funding for it.
The governor and Executive Council have approved the unit, which would be funded by the state’s mortgage settlement with big banks. But the Republican-dominated committee has resisted allocating money to it, saying it would ultimately add staff to the government payroll. But the AG’s Consumer Protection Bureau Chief James Boffetti says a fraud unit is needed.
Former House Speaker Terrie Norelli will run again for the job, but will face a strong opposition from David Campbell, D-Nashua. Current House Speaker Bill O'Brien has announced he will not run for mintority party leadership
There was a big surprise waiting for New Hampshire politicos this morning. As the final votes were tallied in the four hundred races for the State House of Representatives, the Democrats had won a 221 to 178 majority with one race still undecided.
Prospects of a divided state legislature has both sides singing about bipartisanship.
Given that many of the races for the NH House are decided by fewer than a hundred voters, there will likely be a couple dozen recounts.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a challenge to a plan to redraw the districts for the State’s House of Representatives.
The five petitioners representing towns across the Granite State argue that the House plan is too rigid in its interpretation of the US constitution’s one-man-one-vote clause. A lawyer for the petitioners, Martin Honigberg, says that a looser interpretation is not only legal, but required by an amendment to the New Hampshire constitution.
It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.
NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.
Crossover Day is the time when bills that have passed the New Hampshire House go to the State Senate and vice versa. And this year, much of that legislation has sparked enormous debate…on issues from contraception to unionized labor to public education. We’ll look at what important bills are changing hands, how well they may do in their other House of government, and, if they do pass, how they may stand up against the Governor’s veto pen.
The New Hampshire House has moved to reconsider passage of a controversial bill requiring pregnant women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. The bill would also require them to receive explicit information on fetal development.