We're sitting down with a panel of House and Senate leaders to look back on the year in the legislature. It was a year of victories for supporters of Medicaid Expansion, but of disappointment for casino backers and death penalty opponents. And it ended with several major players announcing they’re getting out of the game and retiring from politics.
All Things Considered is looking at some of the key bills of the 2014 legislative session – and how they ended up passing or failing to pass.
This year's casino debate may have seen some new lines of argument, but the outcome was the same as in years past: casino proposals won support in the State Senate, but came up short in the State House.
Reporter Norma Love of the Associated Press explains the dynamic behind this year's casino debate to NHPR's Brady Carlson.
After many failed attempts to pass a casino bill, supporters think they may finally have a winning hand -- proposing two casinos and a new revenue-sharing plan. Opponents are raising long-held concerns about gambling’s social costs, including addiction and crime. We’ll look at this new bill and its odds for passing.
Casino supporters are betting that a plan to distribute more than $25 million in gambling revenue to New Hampshire cities and towns will convince House lawmakers to reverse their historic opposition to expanded gaming.
Less than a month after it killed a casino bill favored by Gov. Maggie Hassan, the House will begin discussion on Senate Bill 366, which proposes to authorize two casinos in the Granite State.
After yet another casino bill failed last year, new versions have emerged – with new regulations attached in hopes of appeasing opponents. Supporters say a casino would bring in much-needed revenue to the state. But opposition remains among those worried about social costs, and those who question whether it would be profitable, given expanded gambling elsewhere in New England.
Update: The Senate Ways & Means Committee approved SB366, 4-1, this morning. Sen. Bob Odell,R-Lempster,was the lone vote in opposition to the bill, which would license two casinos. Senate President Chuck Morse said the legislation will now move to the full Senate. Morse said the Senate will likelytable it and wait for the House to act on its own gambling bill. That legislation, drafted by members of the Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority, envisions a single casino, which Gov. Maggie Hassan supports.
Legislation that would bring Keno to an estimated 250 bars and restaurants would, for the first time, establish a program to treat gambling addiction in New Hampshire.
An amendment to HB 485 would set aside 1 percent of the sales from Keno - about $435,000 - to the state Department of Health and Human Services for education, treatment and prevention services. William Butynski, D-Hindale, who proposed the amendment, says it’s time for lawmakers to recognize that even state-sponsored gambling such as the lottery can cause problems for a small percentage of people who play.
It’s been two years since Massachusetts’ gaming law took effect, but so far, not a single casino has been licensed or built. The law allows for three regional resort casino licenses and one slots parlor. Casino proposals in the Southeastern part of the state have stalled.
A special panel tasked with developing casino regulations for New Hampshire may meet with its newly hired consultant at its meeting Thursday.
The New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority recently hired WhiteSand Gaming of Nevada and New Jersey to help it write regulations for lawmakers to consider next year. The panel has a Dec. 15 deadline to submit draft legislation.
The agreement with WhiteSand says its charges cannot exceed $135,000.
This week, NHPR has been taking a close look at what a casino would mean for the town of Salem, a likely location for a gambling establishment. On Wednesday, the House voted down the idea of expanded gaming. We end our series today with a look back at the best—and worst—times The Rock has faced.
The democratically-controlled NH House voted yesterday to kill a bill authorizing a casino with as many as 5000 slot machines and 150 table games. The vote is blow to Governor Maggie Hassan, who lobbied hard for the bill. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the 199-164 vote was consistent with the house’s longstanding opposition to casino gambling, but may strain its relations with the state Senate, which had backed the plan by a supermajority.