This week, the legislature returns and hears new bills. Up before the Senate judiciary committee are a proposal to establish domestic violence as a separate crime and one requiring certain persons with mental illness to be barred from owning guns and placed on a federal registry. On Thursday, the House holds its first hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty.
We’re sitting down with a panel of leading lawmakers to talk about their top issues for 2014. These will include some repeats from last year such as Medicaid expansion, a gas tax increase, and casino gambling. Other major debates will include guns and mental health, as well as cell phone use while driving.
House and Senate committees are holding public hearings and work sessions on rival plans to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire this week. The House holds its public hearing Tuesday morning while the Senate's hearing on its plan is that afternoon. The committees working on the bills will vote on a recommendation Thursday, but whatever they decide may be superseded by any compromise negotiated behind closed doors by legislative leaders and Gov. Maggie Hassan. The House and Senate plans are essentially the same for the first year, but take different approaches after that.
State budget negotiators reached accord today on a $10.7 billion spending plan.
The budget still needs approval from the full legislature, but leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Maggie Hassan, agree the proposal meets many shared goals.
NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the negotiation process, what's in the final budget deal and its chances when it goes before the full House and Senate next week.
Some Northern Pass opponents are hoping Governor Maggie Hassan will sign Senate Bill 99, which they think may complicate approval of the controversial hydro-electric project. The bill may reach Hassan's desk this week but she says she hasn’t decided what to do.
“I haven’t reviewed the bill yet in any kind of detail so I’ll do that and then make up my mind,” she told NHPR Saturday.
The New Hampshire House makes its first key vote as the casino bill is voted on by a supercommittee comprised of the House Finance and Ways & Means Committees; various amendments will be considered on Tuesday, with a committee vote and recommendation coming Wednesday. The New Hampshire Senate, meanwhile, continues to work on its budget, and the Senate Finance Committee prepares to hear from some of the larger state agencies - Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Environmental Services - on their budget needs.
It's called Organization Day at the Statehouse - it's the day lawmakers are sworn in, leaders are elected, and, as they say, the future is yet unwritten.
NHPR's political reporter Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson with more on the House and Senate leaders and whether their calls for a new tone in the legislature were comments on the previous legislative session.
Former House Speaker Terrie Norelli will run again for the job, but will face a strong opposition from David Campbell, D-Nashua. Current House Speaker Bill O'Brien has announced he will not run for mintority party leadership
There was a big surprise waiting for New Hampshire politicos this morning. As the final votes were tallied in the four hundred races for the State House of Representatives, the Democrats had won a 221 to 178 majority with one race still undecided.
Prospects of a divided state legislature has both sides singing about bipartisanship.
Given that many of the races for the NH House are decided by fewer than a hundred voters, there will likely be a couple dozen recounts.
Races for State House and Senate were still wrapping up early this morning. Republicans lost some ground in the House, but we’re still learning how many seats were gained by Democrats.To start with, the Speaker of the House, Bill O’Brien, was reelected. He finished second to a Democrat in a two-member district.