Gov. Maggie Hassan said her administration will “closely review” how Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Massachusetts’ law that restricts protests outside abortion clinics will affect a similar law that will take effect in New Hampshire next month.
Hassan, who is in Turkey on a trade mission, signed a bill June 10 that authorizes reproductive health facilities that perform abortions to establish 25-foot buffer zones around the entrance. The law is set to take effect July 10.
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.
State lawmakers will vote this week on whether to accept a deal that would give 18 towns about $540,000 in back tax payments. A state House and Senate committee of conference approved a measure addressing back payments from Massachusetts to towns along the Merrimack and Connecticut River watersheds on Friday.
New Hampshire will seek a waiver from the federal government Friday hoping to get $275 million more in matching funds over five years for health care services provided by the state, county and local governments.
The joint legislative Fiscal Committee approved the waiver application Wednesday.
Jeffrey Meyers, director of intergovernmental affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the federal government is not sharing the cost of about $80 million in annual health care spending in New Hampshire. The waiver asks the federal government to pitch in.
The first public meeting between House and Senate negotiators working to fix the state’s Medicaid enhancement tax lasted all of 20 minutes, but parties are optimistic a deal can be struck.
Representative Cindy Rosenwald, a Nashua Democrat, used the hearing to reiterate the House’s position that despite court rulings declaring the tax unlawful, the New Hampshire Supreme Court will see otherwise.
“We continue to believe that our Medicaid enhancement tax is constitutional,” Rosenwald told colleagues. She says it adheres to both federal and state law.
It was only a matter of time before Scott Brown’s involvement in a failed energy bill backed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would get the political-ad treatment.
Sure enough, on Thursday, the Senate Majority PAC launched a television spot that cites “news accounts” that Brown lobbied Senate Republicans to block the bill in order to deny Shaheen a legislative victory.
The 30-second ad is scheduled to run until at least June 4 on WMUR, at a cost of $224,000, as well as on some cable stations.
New Hampshire's House has twice passed legislation to repeal the death penalty with the governor's blessing, but the second attempt has cost them a key supporter in the Senate. Republican Sen. Bob Odell, who voted for repeal, said Friday that he won't vote to take up the issue again. The first bill stalled in the Senate on a 12-12 vote last month, but supporters may have overplayed their hand by sending a second bill to the Senate for a vote Thursday. The Senate has the option of passing the amended bill, killing it or asking the House to compromise.
The bill, passed by the New Hampshire House last week, represents “the most comprehensive distracted driving bill in the nation,” according to legislative testimony from Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of public safety.
This week the New Hampshire Senate is set to vote on a House bill designed to protect home heating fuel customers. This comes after hundreds of Fred Fuller Oil Company customers suffered shortages and late deliveries in January.
New Hampshire's House is voting Wednesday whether to legalize two casinos about a month after representatives said `no' to one casino. The Ways and Means Committee voted 11-9 to recommend that the House reject the bill, which includes $25 million in aid to communities as a sweetener. The House has never approved video slots legislation. The Senate bill proposes legalizing two casinos sharing a total of 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games. The House killed a bill a month ago that would have legalized one casino licensed to have 5,000 video slot machines.