A state Senate committee has recommended passage of a gas tax increase in New Hampshire.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of the increase.
The 18 cent tax would rise about 4 cents per gallon in July under the bill. It has not been increased since 1991 and is the lowest in New England. That increase is projected to raise $32 million annually for road improvements and the Department of Transportation.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill March 13.
New Hampshire lawmakers are mulling two bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require private sellers to conduct sales through licensed firearm dealers who, under federal law, must perform background checks on prospective buyers.
Gov. Maggie Hassan will deliver her first State of the State address Thursday to a joint session of New Hampshire lawmakers.
Hassan ended her first year in office with decent job-approval ratings – 51 percent versus 21 percent who disapprove, according to a recent poll.
She begins her second with a heightened national profile: In December, she was elected vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association, which spent heavily to help her defeat GOP challenger Ovide Lamontagne in 2012.
A bill that would add the option of choosing "none of the above'' on New Hampshire ballots seems like a quintessential proposal for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state that prides itself on having discerning voters. But the measure's sponsors say it's probably doomed, with one acknowledging it would be humiliating for a candidate to be defeated by no one rather than an actual opponent. But Keene Rep. Charles Weed says real choice means giving voters the chance to withhold their consent and express dissatisfaction with all the candidates.
The New Hampshire House has passed a drug testing bill inspired by the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
The bill, approved 289 to 48 by the House on Wednesday, would require hospitals to set up policies to prevent misuse of drugs by employees to maintain their licenses. It would also require they test employees for drugs if there was a reasonable suspicion of drug use.
Granite State motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, which means they’re buying less gas. Motorists purchased almost 60 million fewer gallons of gas in 2012 than they did in 2005. That translated into an $11 million decrease in revenue.
A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.
Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.
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.
New Hampshire's House has given its preliminary OK to giving negligent hikers a chance to buy a hike safe card that forgives rescue expenses they'd otherwise owe the state.
Under current law the Fish and Game Department can seek reimbursement for its rescue costs if a person acts negligently and then needs rescuing. Those costs can run from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
The debate over the minimum wage will return to the state house this session. A proposal to reestablish a state minimum wage failed last year in the Republican-controlled state Senate. This session, Democrats hope to set a state minimum wage at $8.25 an hour.
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.