New Hampshire's Virtual Town Hall
By Andrew Hosmer
Last week, the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee rejected expanding Medicaid in New Hampshire and instead opted to delay and study. This politically motivated decision is fiscally short-sighted and will hurt our healthcare system and our entire economy.
The Medicaid program is a partnership between the federal government and the states. It primarily covers poor children, senior citizens, expecting mothers, and people with disabilities.…
Democratic and Republican leaders ramped up their partisan rhetoric Monday, three days ahead of the state Senate's expected passage of its $10.7 billion GOP-authored two-year budget.
Gov. Maggie Hassan's spokesman and the Legislature's top two Democratic lawmakers blasted the GOP Senate plan, which proposes to spend about $300 million less than the budget approved by the Democratic-controlled House, as a product of "ideology" and out of step with the priorities of the…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on June 3, 2013 at 8:52pm — No Comments
There have been claims and counterclaims about U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte's stand on background checks for gun purchases.
The New Hampshire Republican was criticized in April when she voted against a bipartisan measure to expand gun background checks. Ayotte's vote helped to kill the measure because it did not win enough support to move forward in the legislative process.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others in response…
New Hampshire's House and Senate are at odds over the amount gamblers can bet on charity table games.
Last week, the Senate amended a House bill to retain the maximum bet at $4. This week, the House is voting on an amendment to a Senate bill to increase the limit to what the House had proposed in its bill: $6.Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on June 2, 2013 at 10:01pm — No Comments
The Senate Finance Committee this week approved a $10.7 billion two-year budget that is $300 million less than what the House proposed and $400 million less than what Gov. Maggie Hassan wanted.
The Senate has until Thursday, June 6, to approve its version of the budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, and it’s likely to hold closely to its budget panel recommendations when it comes to the chamber for discussion.
The Finance Committee approved its $10.7 billion recommendation…
Added by LFDA's Week in Review on June 1, 2013 at 7:15am — No Comments
By Tore Fossum
The problem of illegal immigrants in the US can be solved in a simple and humanitarian way.
All illegal immigrants now here and not otherwise criminals, should immediately be able to participate in a work visa program. This will allow them to go back home and come back to the US to work without having to cross the border illegally, risking death in the process.
It should be easier for a potential immigrant to get a work visa. Potential…
As lawmakers in Concord try to fashion a spending plan with short revenues, the Department of Health and Human Services is preparing for cuts.
HHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas said he's trying to get a handle on what the state's spending plan could mean for his department.
"My calculations are there are close to $40 million of adjustments I need to make," he said.…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 30, 2013 at 9:56pm — No Comments
Gov. Maggie Hassan created by executive order Wednesday a 19-member Governor’s Commission on State Government Innovation, Efficiency and Transparency, charged with making recommendations for modernizing state government, improving efficiency, measuring the performance of state agencies and improving transparency.
The panel includes experts from the private business, nonprofit, higher education and local government sectors, Hassan’s office said.…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 29, 2013 at 9:34pm — No Comments
A highly technical bill meant to streamline insurance regulation in the state isn't receiving support in a Senate committee, an action that could block the state's efforts to partner with the Federal government on a new health exchange.
The bill, HB 668, was originally requested by the N.H. Insurance Department to bring state law inline with the Affordable Care Act.…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 28, 2013 at 9:57pm — No Comments
By Ananta Gopalan
The Union Leader in its editorial lamented lack of letters from the left-leaning readers objecting to the Obama administration's drone-killing of Americans and others compared to the volume of letters it used to get from them objecting to the Bush administration's use of water-boarding of captured terrorists.
The reason, I believe, is due to partisanship trumping evaluation of fairness and basically, right and wrong regardless of who is in…
Added by Ananta Gopalan on May 28, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments
Consumer and small business advocates in New Hampshire are disappointed but not surprised that only one company plans to sell insurance through the new online marketplaces required under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Companies have until June 1 to submit applications to the state, but an official with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Hampshire said last week that it is the only insurer that has applied to sell either individual or small group plans through the new…Continue
A special joint, 10-member legislative committee would have final say over cost items in collective bargaining agreements negotiated with state workers under a bill before the New Hampshire House.
The Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee is recommending that the House kill the bill sponsored by Senate President Peter Bragdon, a Republican from Milford. The bill being voted on Wednesday would require the Fiscal Committee to vote on the contracts before they took…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 26, 2013 at 10:33pm — No Comments
No sooner had the New Hampshire House on Wednesday killed the Senate-passed casino bill, the Senate turned around the next day and killed House-passed hikes to both the gasoline tax and the tobacco tax.
Quid pro quo?
“Clearly the Senate today by its own admission is retaliating to the gambling vote in the House, a bill I supported,” Nashua Democratic Rep. David Campbell…
Added by LFDA's Week in Review on May 25, 2013 at 8:18am — No Comments
The New Hampshire Senate passed a medical marijuana bill 18-6 Thursday after changing a few key elements that were in the original House bill.
The bill now goes to the House where lawmakers will either agree to the changes or ask the Senate to negotiate a compromise.
Read the full article from NHPR and get more information from the…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 23, 2013 at 10:05pm — No Comments
By Paul Briand
Democratic Rep. Terie Norelli of Portsmouth, as speaker of the New Hampshire House, has a unique view of her members from her elevated perch in the chamber.
She also has a unique view of the casino gambling issue that played out in Concord on Wednesday, with lawmakers voting 199-164 to agree with a House supercommittee recommendation to kill SB 152,…
Added by Paul Briand on May 23, 2013 at 12:51pm — No Comments
The Democratically-led House of Representatives stuck to tradition, killing the Senate-passed bill to legalize casino gambling.
The 199-164 vote snuffed out a much longer debate Wednesday on at least 15 amendments that sought to either perfect or undo the measure that would allow one site to have up to 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games.
Added by LFDA Editor on May 22, 2013 at 9:37pm — No Comments
By John F.J. Sullivan
On May 15, a New Hampshire House joint Fiscal and Ways & Means Committee voted 23-22 against Senate Bill 152, which seeks to clear the way for a single casino in the Granite State’s southern tier. An assessment of the Live Free or Die Alliance’s 13,500 Facebook followers who responded to a related question showed strong support for casino gambling in New Hampshire, though a significant level of opposition was also evident.
In the wake…
Added by LFDA Editor on May 22, 2013 at 1:28pm — No Comments
About half of all states, including Massachusetts, certify specialists in problem gambling. New Hampshire doesn’t. And gambling addict Ed Talbot says substance abuse counselors aren't effective substitutes. The best bet for help in New Hampshire is to find one of the five Gamblers Anonymous meetings. They’re all in the southern part of the state.
As the New Hampshire House prepares to vote on a casino bill this week, NHPR is bringing you a series of stories that look at the…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 21, 2013 at 11:02pm — No Comments
Despite concluding the House budget has a $300 million hole, the state Senate voted to increase funding for some programs.
The tentative decisions of state Senate budget writers Monday were met with political head scratching.
They voted to spend more state cash than the House for UNIQUE scholarships and LCHIP while maintaining the same state aid for higher education.
These moves come two weeks after the Senate budget’s chief architect, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 20, 2013 at 8:54pm — No Comments
New Hampshire could be on its way to joining 18 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing the medical use of marijuana by people with serious illness.
The Senate will vote next week on a heavily amended version of the House passed medical marijuana bill, which among other changes strikes a home grow provision advocates said was crucial to providing timely access for patients who have waited years to use marijuana legally.…Continue
Added by LFDA Editor on May 19, 2013 at 10:29pm — No Comments