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.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has for the second time passed a so-called right to work bill. But the margin was well short of what would be needed to override Governor Lynch’s promised veto.
Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders. Last year governor John Lynch vetoed a Right-to-Work bill, which republicans failed to override.
Republican Marshall Quandt told colleagues this year’s version will fare no better.
The New Hampshire House has passed a bill giving lawmakers final say on collective bargaining agreements with the State. The legislation is just the latest effort by Republicans in Concord to rein in the costs of public employee contracts.
"This gives the legislature the ability to look at an entire contract and say whether it is fair, and whether we should fund it," says Republican Neil Kurk of Weare.
A bill requiring New Hampshire students to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance passed a house committee today.
"Standing is a sign of national patriotism," says Republican Representative Lawrence Kappler.
Current law permits students to remain seated, as long as they are silent and respectful. The constitutionality of the bill is in question, however. Representative Gary Richardson believes that requiring someone to stand is clearly an issue of free speech.
The New Hampshire House today voted to eliminate the Chancellor’s Office within the University System. The bill calls for many of the responsibilities of the Office to be shifted to the Board of Trustees and to school presidents. Created in 1974, the Chancellor’s duties include government relations, purchasing and audits.
Here is how the North Country representatives voted on Wednesday when the House passed a resolution – HCR32 - calling for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations “so that the United States may retain its sovereignty and control over its own funds and military forces.”
It passed 188 – 129.
Here are the North Country representatives voting in favor:
The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the use of GPS devices to secretly track people. The bill would make such tracking illegal someone without a court order.
This was a bill that seemed destined to disappear: in committee it was voted 14 – 0 to refer it for more study. With an election coming up, that would almost certainly mean that the bill would never be seen again.
The 251 to 101 vote exceeds the 3/5th needed to send the proposal on to the state senate. Prior to the vote, Manchester Republican Keith Murphy warned that while the income tax isn’t popular in Concord right now, that could change.
“Lest we forget in 1999 this body did pass an income tax of 4 percent, and every year since an income tax has been proposed in this body. We need to take the temptation off the table now and forever.”