A bill that would add the option of choosing "none of the above'' on New Hampshire ballots seems like a quintessential proposal for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state that prides itself on having discerning voters. But the measure's sponsors say it's probably doomed, with one acknowledging it would be humiliating for a candidate to be defeated by no one rather than an actual opponent. But Keene Rep. Charles Weed says real choice means giving voters the chance to withhold their consent and express dissatisfaction with all the candidates.
Update: The Senate Ways & Means Committee approved SB366, 4-1, this morning. Sen. Bob Odell,R-Lempster,was the lone vote in opposition to the bill, which would license two casinos. Senate President Chuck Morse said the legislation will now move to the full Senate. Morse said the Senate will likelytable it and wait for the House to act on its own gambling bill. That legislation, drafted by members of the Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority, envisions a single casino, which Gov. Maggie Hassan supports.
Granite State motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, which means they’re buying less gas. Motorists purchased almost 60 million fewer gallons of gas in 2012 than they did in 2005. That translated into an $11 million decrease in revenue.
A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.
Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.
Millennium Gaming brought leaders from Washington County, Pennsylvania to Concord to tout the benefits of a casino to lawmakers at a lunch meeting today. Millennium runs The Meadows casino and racetrack in Washington. If New Hampshire allows a casino at Rockingham Park, Millennium would develop it.
With a new governor, a divided statehouse, and continued uncertainty over federal spending, New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing to hammer out a budget. It’s never a particularly easy process. But hopes are high at the statehouse that this session, the inevitable fiscal fights will be more muted.
In her inaugural address earlier this month, Democratic governor Maggie Hassan struck a bipartisan tone about the state’s finances.
The city of Franklin will hire a lobbyist this legislative session to follow the Northern Pass project.
The town stands to gain about $4.2 million dollars annually in property taxes, if the Northern Pass project goes through. The taxes would be paid by PSNH on a converter station, which will be built in Franklin.
Elizabeth Dragon, the city manager of Franklin, says the city is looking for someone to follow relevant legislation and alert Franklin officials when necessary, “so that if there is a bill that requires us to travel to Concord to testify, we can do that.”
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.
A proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this November would give the legislature final say over judicial rules and procedures. That has some in the legal community incensed over what they consider to be a power grab by the legislature. But others in that same legal community think it simply restores authority appropriately to the people’s representatives.
The Legislature has overridden Governor Lynch’s veto of a voter ID law. The bill allows a variety of forms this fall—including student IDs. Starting next year, only government issued identifications, including driver’s licenses, military ID’s and passports will be accepted.
Representative David Bates of Windham told colleagues that tighter restrictions are needed to ensure fair elections.