NH Legislature

  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.”

Republicans Caucus Over N.H. House Leader

Nov 15, 2012

Cast into the minority by the election, New Hampshire's Republicans representatives are caucusing to pick a leader.

A.G. Fraud Unit Proposal Stalls Again

Nov 8, 2012

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.

Coos: A Summary

Nov 7, 2012

Here’s what happened in Coos County on Tuesday, according to a tally by the Associated Press. Official counts from the Secretary of State are not yet available.

* Jeff Woodburn of Dalton was elected senator, defeating Debi Warner of Littleton. He takes the place of Republican John Gallus who chose not to run.

* In District 1 with all ten precincts counted Republican incumbent Duffy Daugherty of Colebrook lost to  Democrat Larry Enman of Errol by 20 votes.

Enman had 1,158 votes.

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.

Photo Identification of Voters Becomes Law

Jun 27, 2012

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.

From the Statehouse:

Jun 27, 2012

Veto Day Arrives at Statehouse

Jun 26, 2012
Dennis Sylvester Hurd / Flickr Creative Commons

With 15 vetoes, the most ever by a Governor in a single session, John Lynch hasn’t been shy about wielding his power. Now, Republicans will work to override some of those measures when they gather in Concord on Wednesday.

Amendment To Ban Income Tax Goes To Voters

Jun 6, 2012

New Hampshire voters will decide in November whether or not to add a ban on personal income taxes to the state’s constitution.

Education Funding Amendment Fails

Jun 6, 2012
Sara Plourde / NHPR

This year’s effort to pass a school funding constitutional amendment failed where such efforts tend to fail – the New Hampshire house. 

Since the Claremont decision of the mid 90s, New Hampshire has debated the locus of authority and responsibility in funding our K-12 public schools. Over 80 proposed amendments have seen their way to a vote in state legislative chambers over the past several years. Last year marked the first time any such amendment passed the house and the senate passed a version of its own. The two chambers failed to reconcile their differences, however, and the issue was tabled.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Enacting any constitutional amendment is tough. It requires a three-fifths vote by both House and Senate, and two-thirds support from voters at the polls.  Add to this the fact this amendment deals with school funding and that lawmakers have killed 80-odd  Claremont-inspired amendments over the past 14 years, and the guardedness of even the boldest of lawmakers is understandable.

Lawmakers Agree On Voter ID Bill

May 31, 2012

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to take turns when it comes to legislation requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt announced Friday that he will not seek re-election and will step down at the end of the legislative session.  The following statement was released by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee:

New Pension Plan Backed by NH House

May 16, 2012

New Hampshire's House has voted to move ahead with a new public pension system for state employees and wants the Senate to reconsider its decision to study the issue instead.

NH Senate Approves Limits On Landowner Liability

May 16, 2012

New Hampshire landowners who let the public use their land for hunting, hiking and other recreational activities wouldn't be required to keep the land safe under a bill passed by the state Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday to expand liability protection for those who own, lease or manage land open to hunting, fishing, trapping, camping and other recreational activities. The bill would not protect landowners from malicious acts or if the injury happened while performing services for money.

NH House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

May 16, 2012

The New Hampshire House has ignored a veto promise and passed a bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes.

Wednesday's House vote sends the bill back to the Senate to review changes.

The Senate-passed bill would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions or the patient's designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered location.

NH Senate Backs Changes To Welfare Verification System

May 16, 2012

The New Hampshire Senate has voted to allow a new verification system for welfare applicants and recipients as a way to detect fraud and save money, but it wants to see the savings before it pays for it.

The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to a House bill requiring the state to expand the public databases used to screen applicants. House Speaker William O'Brien says using the technology will root out fraudulent claims and save money.

NH Senate Approves Reimbursements for Naturopaths

May 16, 2012

Doctors of naturopathic medicine would be reimbursed by health insurance companies under a bill passed by the New Hampshire Senate.

The Senate voted 16-8 Wednesday in favor of the bill. Opponents argued that the bill amounted to a mandate for insurers that would lead to increased premiums. Supporters argued it was a matter of fairness because insurers already reimburse other health care providers for providing the same services.

marcn / Flickr Creative Commons

Proposed legislation would create a new verification system in order to avoid fraud. Another bill would reduce the amount of time someone could receive assistance. But advocates for the poor say the State already does a good job of preventing fraud and these proposals would hurt people already in dire need. 

Guests:

Sarah Mattson: Policy Director for New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Senate Begins Battle Over Abortion Funding

Apr 5, 2012

Thursday, members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered a bill that would ban public funding of facilities that provide abortion. Opponents of the bill, which has already been approved by the House, say it could jeopardize $700 million in federal Medicaid funds. The bill's sponsor, Republican of Rochester Warren Groen, says preventing the state from funding abortion is a smarter way to use scare with public dollars.

Two of America's best-known companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile conservative organization behind the national proliferation of "stand your ground" gun laws.

House Committee Votes Against Sex Offender Board

Apr 3, 2012

After sailing through the Senate, a bill that would have created a ‘Sexual Offender Management Board’ hit a wall in the House today.

The bill calls for the creation of a 19-member board that would evaluate policies toward sex offenders.

Advocate Chris Dornin told the House Criminal Justice Committee that laws are often rushed through after a high-profile child murder or molestation.

House Folds on Gaming Bill

Mar 28, 2012

Gambling in New Hampshire ran up against a stacked deck in the Statehouse today. 

The House has voted to kill a bill that would have brought four casinos and 14,000 video slot machines to the state. The bill would have used gambling revenue to reduce business taxes.

Supporters urged quick action to offset the recent approval of three casinos in Massachusetts.

"Since Massachusetts passed its own expanded gaming bill, doing nothing is no longer an option," says Representative David Campbell, a Democrat from Nashua.

The House rejected that plan by 40 votes. 

Specialty Hospitals Pass House

Mar 21, 2012

In a 198 to 161 vote, house members passed a bill that would allow for-profit specialty hospitals to avoid going through the certificate of need regulatory process. The bill also exempts these hospitals, most of which do not take Medicaid patients, from paying the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Opponents say the bill gives an unfair advantage to these for-profit specialty hospitals. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing New Hampshire as a location for a facility in the Northeast.

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear a case involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul, social scientists are asking a disturbing — and controversial — question: Do the intense feelings about the health care overhaul among ordinary Americans stem from their philosophical views about the appropriate role of government, or from their racial attitudes about the signature policy of the country's first black president?

A bill which prevents the state from creating its own exchange passed overwhelmingly in the house on Thursday

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

Photo:<a href="http://www.401kcalculator.org">401Kcalculator.org</a> / Flickr

As part of the  Affordable Care Act, every state must have a health insurance exchange in place by January 2014. An exchange is a clearinghouse of sorts where people and small business can go to buy insurance and also find out which tax rebates they may use to help them buy coverage.

Pounding Pavement In Search Of A Smoother Drive

Feb 20, 2012

A sweeping transportation bill being debated in Congress addresses how to prop up dwindling funds for the nation's aging highways. States with their own budget shortfalls are facing the same challenge. In California, researchers are trying to stretch those resources by developing next-generation pavements that are quieter and more fuel-efficient to drive on.

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