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.
Governor John Lynch used his final state of the state address to ask GOP lawmakers change the tone in Concord, and to reverse course on cuts to higher education and a reduction to the state tobacco tax.
Drawing sharp lines has never been Governor Lynch’s style, but in this speech, Lynch did, repeatedly.
“The cut in the tobacco tax was nonsensical……”
“We hear from some a lot of anti-government talk, but to me that doesn’t make any sense,
Sadly, it has become too commonplace to attack state employees, and that needs to stop.”
Under the bill, lenders could charge 15 percent monthly interest.
Governor Lynch’s veto message notes the annual percentage interest rate on these so-called installment loans translates to more than 400%. Lynch says allowing such rates would hurt New Hampshire families, communities and the economy.
Lynch’s message also says the bill limits the state’s regulatory authority.
Lenders would get advance notice before the banking department conduct exams and regulators would have reduced power to levy administrative fines.
After hearing nearly four hours of public testimony, a senate committee set aside a trio of bills that would loosen gun laws.
The first bill would give the legislature the exclusive power to prohibit guns on public property – like colleges and the state-house. That would mean that if UNH wanted such a restriction, it would have to get lawmakers to agree.
For Ed Mackay, the chancellor of the University of New Hampshire system, that’s not a good recipe.
The New Hampshire House is considering a plan to allow students replace any two public school courses with courses designed and taught by a parent or their designee.
Under the bill, schools couldn’t veto subjects or teaching methods of parents but would have to grant students credits toward graduation. The measure’s sponsor, JR Hoell of Dunbarton, says the proposal affords parents a needed bit of freedom.
“Parents are taking a greater role in overseeing the academic progress of their children; the school system is taking a reduced role.”
State and local election officials get behind Senate proposal.
The bill would require voters to present a photo ID or be photographed to receive a ballot starting in 2016, but still allow those without an ID to vote. The bill’s author, Kingston Senator Russ Prescott, hopes his plan can forge accord on a topic that tends to produce partisanship.
"People will come to the polls, present their ID, and not be presented a provisional ballot if they don’t have an ID; they would fill out a affidavit and vote. We are working within the system that we have today."
Lawmakers heard testimony Monday about a bill that would give public school students an average of $2,500 for homeschooling or private school attendance.
The funds would come from a tax credit given to businesses that donate to state-certified scholarship programs.
“In the last decade eight states have launched education tax credit programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students,” said House Majority DJ Bettencourt, who sponsored the legislation.
“Education tax credit programs have saved money in other states,” said Bettencourt.
Every year New Hampshire takes in hundreds of refugees from all around the world.
They have fled wars, persecution, and even torture in their home countries, and some bear scars – both inside and out. After the trauma they have endured some refugees arrive with undiagnosed mental illness, but identifying and treating these patients is no easy task.