We sit down with a panel of Statehouse leaders to discuss the 2012 Legislative year. We’ll hear from top members of the State House and State Senate about what they say are their biggest accomplishments and disappointments of this session. We’ll also get their thoughts on how what happened at the Statehouse this year will affect what happens at the ballot box this fall.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a challenge to a plan to redraw the districts for the State’s House of Representatives.
The five petitioners representing towns across the Granite State argue that the House plan is too rigid in its interpretation of the US constitution’s one-man-one-vote clause. A lawyer for the petitioners, Martin Honigberg, says that a looser interpretation is not only legal, but required by an amendment to the New Hampshire constitution.
Since the Claremont decision of the mid 90s, New Hampshire has debated the locus of authority and responsibility in funding our K-12 public schools. Over 80 proposed amendments have seen their way to a vote in state legislative chambers over the past several years. Last year marked the first time any such amendment passed the house and the senate passed a version of its own. The two chambers failed to reconcile their differences, however, and the issue was tabled.
Enacting any constitutional amendment is tough. It requires a three-fifths vote by both House and Senate, and two-thirds support from voters at the polls. Add to this the fact this amendment deals with school funding and that lawmakers have killed 80-odd Claremont-inspired amendments over the past 14 years, and the guardedness of even the boldest of lawmakers is understandable.
June’s longer days also signal the end of the legislative session, but critical votes remain before the summer break. The House and Senate have been trying to work out their differences on some difficult policy issues and on top of that, the House had a sudden change in its leadership team, with the resignation of Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt. We'll get the latest on what's going on at the Statehouse as lawmakers wrap up their final month of law making.
The House and Senate reached agreement today on a medical marijuana bill.
This final version would allow patients with a doctor’s prescription to possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Medicinal use would only be granted to people with debilitating conditions or terminal diseases.
Senator James Forsythe, a Republican from Strafford, believes the bill is designed to ensure public safety.
Politics usually take a break over Memorial Day weekend, but not this year in New Hampshire. State House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt abruptly resigned after admitting he had falsified documents for a law school internship.
NHPR’s Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest on the Bettencourt story, the potential political fallout for House Speaker William O'Brien, and the newly named majority leader, Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua.
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt announced Friday that he will not seek re-election and will step down at the end of the legislative session. The following statement was released by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee:
The flurry of activity continues at the New Hampshire statehouse. NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest, including a Senate vote on a constitutional amendment to ban personal income taxes, a proposal to track prescription drugs and several House bills related to abortion.