NH News

NH News
6:27 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Bragdon, O'Brien Differ On Tax and Spending Caps

 

Top house and senate republicans are at odds over constitutional amendments designed to keep government small. 

The state senate's proposed constitutional change would require a 60 percent vote by lawmakers to increase state spending beyond the rate of inflation. As passed by the house, the proposal would have required that same super-majority to borrow money or raise taxes.

According to Senate President Peter Bragdon the senate version amounts to common sense -- low taxes, he says, result from low spending.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Senate Adopts School Funding Amendment

 

The New Hampshire Senate has approved a constitutional amendment to give the state more leeway in how it distributes school aid. 

The amendment would make it easier for lawmakers to target money to poorer communities but not explicitly undue the Claremont rulings that require the state to fund an adequate education for every child. After the vote Governor Lynch described the proposal as “a significant milestone.”

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Governing
12:01 am
Wed February 15, 2012

N.H. Lawmakers Consider Rolling Back Gay Marriage

Couples Gretchen Grappone and Rose Wiant (left). and Wendy Waterstrat and Holly Henshaw hold hands before their civil union, in front of the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 1, 2008.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 1:31 pm

As several states debate measures to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire is considering a repeal of its same-sex marriage law. The repeal has the backing of some top leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. But rescinding rights is never easy, particularly in a state that takes its liberties seriously.

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NH News
6:19 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Ed. Amendment May Falter in House

Every year Governor Lynch has been in office there’s talk that this is the year an education funding constitutional amendment finally passes.

But amendment supporters say this time – for real - the stars are almost in perfect alignment....almost...in perfect alignment.

The GOP-dominated state Senate is poised to overwhelmingly pass the education funding amendment.

Senate President Peter Bragdon expects some 15 Republicans to support the Senate version.

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NH News
4:48 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

(Please) Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

Flickr Creative Commons/Just Some Dust

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. 

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NH News
3:47 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

If At First You Don't Succeed... House Reconsiders RGGI Repeal

A House committee reserved Representatives Hall for the hearing on RGGI, but turnout was much more sparse than the space warranted.
Sam Evans-Brown

The House is again considering a bill that would repeal the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a carbon cap and trade program.

Opponents and supporters of RGGI wearily filed into the Statehouse, ready to go over the well-rehearsed talking points that they used the last time the program was on the chopping block.

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NH News
3:36 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Mapping the Legal Status of Same Sex Unions

The Geography of Love Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America
Book Cover Courtesy Peter Nicolas & Mike Strong

With the constant legal and legislative changes affecting same-sex couples across the country, it might seem an impossible feat to keep track.

In The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps), authors Mike Strong and Peter Nicolas do just that. They offer a concise view of the political landscape regarding gay marriage.  And they do so in a unique way: offering visual representations of votes and legal rights.

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NH News
5:26 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

No NCLB Waiver Yet; Officials Eye Spring Deadline

Flikr Creative Commons / Renator Ganoza

The New Hampshire Department of Education says it will not yet ask the federal government  for flexibility with the requirements of No Child Left Behind, the federal education law. The DOE is gearing up to request a waiver this spring.

According to state education officials New Hampshire is not ready to ask for a waiver from the toughest testing standards required under No Child Left Behind. Paul Leather from the Department of Education says  in order to get a waiver, the state must first build a system that will evaluate teacher and principal effectiveness.

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NH News
5:58 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Group Sues the State Over Mental Health System

A federal class action lawsuit has been filed against New Hampshire for failing to take care of people with mental illness.

The suit comes less than a year after the U.S. Department of Justice charged the state with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plaintiffs want the state to invest in more community services so more people can live independently.

Some lawyers say New Hampshire’s current mental health system is interrupting and in some cases, destroying people’s lives.

Newport resident Mandy D., 22, is confident.

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NH News
4:52 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

NH to Get $43.6 Million from Foreclosure Settlement

Sam Evans-Brown

The New Hampshire Attorney General announced the details of a settlement between the nation’s five biggest banks and forty-nine states. The deal means that borrowers who are struggling could start seeing relief within a few months.

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Liveblog: House Right to Work
1:35 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Liveblog: Right To Work House Committee Hearing

Liveblog: House Right to Work
12:53 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

We’re Liveblogging Today’s House Right To Work Hearing!

Michael Sauers Flickr

Today at 1:30, the resurrected Right To Work bill comes up for public hearing at the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee.  Given union reaction to the legislation last year, and to other bills targeting collective bargaining this session, it promises to be an eventful hearing.

And we’ll be liveblogging it at Representatives hall, shortly before the hearing begins.

NH News
5:56 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Senate Shoots Down House Gun Bills

The New Hampshire state Senate rejected several controversial gun bills Wednesday.

All of the proposals originally passed the House.

The move suggests that the Senate’s patience for 2nd Amendment legislation may be about up.

The Senate made brisk work of the so-called gun bills in front of them.

“We spent a grand total of 6 minutes on 5 bills because we want to focus on the issues that are important to the New Hampshire people,” Senate President Peter Bragdon said.

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NH News
5:35 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Proposed Pawn Shop Regulations Aim To Recover Stolen Goods

Sheryl Rich-Kern

New Hampshire is known for being one of the safest places to live in the United States. According to a recent study, its crime rate is the fifth lowest in the country.  

But that doesn’t mean detectives have an easy time recovering stolen merchandise. In fact, police officials say they could respond to crime faster by tightening regulations among pawnshops and second-hand dealers.

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NH News
4:52 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Memorial Bridge "Float Out" Begins

Roger Wood

Removal of the historic Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine is finally underway. 

Shortly after noon-time Wednesday, the center lift-span was lowered into position to be placed on a barge.

(Memorial Bridge photos by Erik Swenson, view gallery on flickr.)

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