A sweeping transportation bill being debated in Congress addresses how to prop up dwindling funds for the nation's aging highways. States with their own budget shortfalls are facing the same challenge. In California, researchers are trying to stretch those resources by developing next-generation pavements that are quieter and more fuel-efficient to drive on.
The New Hampshire House has passed a bill giving lawmakers final say on collective bargaining agreements with the State. The legislation is just the latest effort by Republicans in Concord to rein in the costs of public employee contracts.
"This gives the legislature the ability to look at an entire contract and say whether it is fair, and whether we should fund it," says Republican Neil Kurk of Weare.
Couples Gretchen Grappone and Rose Wiant (left). and Wendy Waterstrat and Holly Henshaw hold hands before their civil union, in front of the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 1, 2008.
Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR
Activists against same-sex marriage demonstrate at the New Hampshire Statehouse last week. A Republican state representative has introduced a bill that would repeal the law legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
As several states debate measures to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire is considering a repeal of its same-sex marriage law. The repeal has the backing of some top leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. But rescinding rights is never easy, particularly in a state that takes its liberties seriously.
A bill requiring New Hampshire students to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance passed a house committee today.
"Standing is a sign of national patriotism," says Republican Representative Lawrence Kappler.
Current law permits students to remain seated, as long as they are silent and respectful. The constitutionality of the bill is in question, however. Representative Gary Richardson believes that requiring someone to stand is clearly an issue of free speech.
This story is part of a collaboration between member station KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting's California Watch.
Mendocino County in Northern California is expected Tuesday to end an unusual program that put pot growing under supervision of the local sheriff. It was the first effort of its kind in the nation and proved a success, at least in the eyes of many locals. But federal officials had a different view.
In 2002, state lawmakers in Massachusetts approved legislation requiring most employers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. One of the groups pushing for the law was the Coalition for Choice, led by Melissa Kogut (center).
Today at 1:30, the resurrected Right To Work bill comes up for public hearing at the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee. Given union reaction to the legislation last year, and to other bills targeting collective bargaining this session, it promises to be an eventful hearing.
And we’ll be liveblogging it at Representatives hall, shortly before the hearing begins.
The New Hampshire House today voted to eliminate the Chancellor’s Office within the University System. The bill calls for many of the responsibilities of the Office to be shifted to the Board of Trustees and to school presidents. Created in 1974, the Chancellor’s duties include government relations, purchasing and audits.
Here is how the North Country representatives voted on Wednesday when the House passed a resolution – HCR32 - calling for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations “so that the United States may retain its sovereignty and control over its own funds and military forces.”
It passed 188 – 129.
Here are the North Country representatives voting in favor:
If you don’t like the thought of taxpayer money financing sports stadiums, you’ll like this story out of Florida. An obscure law passed 23-years ago says that professional sports facilities built with the help of government funds must serve as homeless shelters on the nights when no events are taking place. Florida lawmakers are now attempting to use this statute to recoup huge sums of money. Is this a Hail Mary?
A busy day at the statehouse today - House lawmakers voted to send money to the "rainy day fund," and on a raft of other bills. The State Senate, meanwhile, passed a redistricting map and unveiled what Senate President Peter Bragdon called a bipartisan education funding constitutional amendment.
NHPR's Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss the day's action.