NH News

NH News
4:38 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Lawmakers Continue Work On School Building Aid Deal

Lawmakers hear testimony about school building aid

The State may be getting close to ending a school building aid moratorium.

Both the House and Senate have approved measures to restructure how aid is distributed. That’s good news for both schools districts and taxpayers.

“We need a change that will be both affordable for the State, as well as provide the necessary assistance to communities to keep their schools in good condition,” says Ed Murdough with the Department of Education.

Both bills call for the State to rank projects. Unsafe, overcrowded schools would get priority.

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NH News
7:01 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Republicans Warn of Fraud

Top Republicans say new information shows there is significant fraud among the state’s public safety net programs.

State officials are examining the value of the data.

A private healthcare contractor voluntarily reviewed New Hampshire’s social service programs for fraud earlier this year.

The organization LexisNexis reports that 56 dead people currently receive Medicaid benefits and that 2% of Food Stamp and Medicaid recipients don’t have a state driver’s license.

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NH News
5:12 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

UNH Cooperative Extension Finds Efficiencies, Cuts Service

Seth Wilner teaches a cooperative extension class in front of the telecommuting set up
Sam Evans-Brown

Budget writers have targeted the University System of New Hampshire over the past two years. As a result the UNH Cooperative Extension has taken it on the chin.

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NH News
5:55 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Mt. Washington Hiker Believed Dead

Beth & Mike's Excellent Adventures via Flickr

Safety officials believe a man who was hiking Mt. Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine over the weekend is dead.

The 67-year old Boston businessman fell more than 50 feet down a crevasse.

White Mountain National Forest spokesperson Tiffany Benna says at this point rescue efforts are aimed at recovering the body.

“In talking with the lead snow ranger who has been in the ravine for close to 25 years, he said a fall like this into a crevasse this deep with the associated hazards is not survivable.”

NH News
5:31 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Senate Leaders Unsure About Income Tax Amendment

401k via Flickr

 

The senate is considering a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar a personal income tax.

The amendment passed the house but is facing head-winds in the Senate.

Top Senate Republicans seemed skeptical during a hearing on the income tax ban.

They say they’re focused on putting an education funding constitutional amendment before the voters next fall.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley put House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt on the defensive, asking if he thought the House is overwhelming the public with amendments.

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NH News
2:11 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Senate Returns to Work, Right-to-Work That Is

Speaker William O'Brien
NHPR

The state Senate is expected to vote on Right-to-Work legislation next week.

The measure passed a Senate Committee earlier today.

There’s a déjà vu quality to this bill.

The legislation is the same as last year – a move to exempt workers from paying fees for collective bargaining.

The arguments are the same – supporters say the bill will bring business to the Granite State.

Opponents say it will end up costing New Hampshire jobs, and drive wages down.

Even the politics are similar.

NH News
12:45 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Dartmouth Names Med School for Dr. Seuss

Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel
Photo courtesy of: geiselmed.dartmouth.edu

Dartmouth has named its medical school the Geisel  School of Medicine. The school’s philanthropist namesake is one of the college’s most famous alums: Dr. Seuss. Theodore Geisel did not get his “doctor” title at Dartmouth College – he gave it to himself later as a satirist – but he did pick up his penname, Seuss, at the Ivy League school.

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NH News
4:22 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

House Committee Votes Against Sex Offender Board

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.

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NH News
12:58 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

NH Senate: Axe House Voter Challenge Bill

A Senate Committee has recommended killing a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would make it easier to challenge voters at the polls.

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NH News
8:23 am
Tue April 3, 2012

More Cuts Threaten Legal Services for the Poor

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.

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NH News
5:42 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

DOJ: N.H.'s Mental Health System in Crisis

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to join a federal lawsuit suing New Hampshire over its mental health system.

Government lawyers allege without adequate community-based services, the state is violating the American with Disabilities Act.

The federal government says people with mental illness in New Hampshire are too often forced into institutional settings due to a lack of resources.

New Hampshire’s mental health system isn’t the first state to catch the attention of the federal government.

NH News
5:54 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Councilors Raise Concerns Over Medicaid Contract

The Executive Council has delayed a vote on the controversial new $2.2 billion dollar managed Medicaid contract.

That's welcome news for many New Hampshire healthcare providers who are concerned about the deal.

Executive Councilors say they too want to know whether managed care will compromise services for the some 130,000 Medicaid recipients in the state.

Dan Gorenstein: Executive Councilor Ray Burton says he’s got thousands of reasons why he wants to slow down signing off on this contract.

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NH News
5:51 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

House Folds on Gaming Bill

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. 

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NH News
5:14 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

EZ-Pass Transponders to Get Cheaper

 

The Department of Transportation announced that the cost of EZ pass transponders will drop by more than half starting in April. The transponders will soon cost $8.90 cents, down from $20.95.

DoT Spokesman Bill Boynton says the drop in price will not only help new EZ pass users, but anyone needing to replace a transponder as well.

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NH News
3:43 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

House Overrides Governor's Veto of Redistricting Plan

The Republican-controlled New Hampshire House has overridden Democratic Governor John Lynch's veto of the House redistricting plan.

The House voted 246-112 Wednesday to send the bill to the Senate which traditionally leaves it to the House to come up with its own plan.

Districts must be redrawn to adjust for population changes over the past decade.

House Speaker Bill O’Brien says more people will get direct representation.

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