State House

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Students in Parkland, Florida started school today six months after a shooter killed 14 of their classmates and 3 adult teachers and coaches. A group of  teenagers from around New Hampshire spent the day rallying for gun control measures in their own state. 

The 25 students, who held a press conference followed by a march around the State House this morning, are part of what they call the "lockdown generation" -- kids who have grown up preparing for the possibility of a mass school shooting. 

NHPR File Photo

 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a bill to spend about $102 million produced by an unexpectedly high business tax revenue this year.

The bill signed by the Republican governor Wednesday adds $10 million to the state's Rainy Day Fund; grants $20 million repair red-listed bridges; returns $10 million to communities for road and bridge improvements; adds funding for affordable housing; and increases funds to combat the opioid crisis.

Courtesy, Henniker Brewing Co.

 

Beer brewed from a 200-year-old recipe will be served outside the New Hampshire Statehouse as part of the building's bicentennial celebration.

The building opened in June 1819, but the golden eagle was put atop the dome about a year earlier in July 1818. To mark that occasion, a commission that has been organizing bicentennial events is hosting a reading of the 13 toasts that were written at the time.

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The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into phone calls made to lawmakers about a proposed constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.

In the days leading up to the vote on Marsy’s Law, several state representatives say they received strange calls from people who said they were reaching out in support of the amendment on behalf of other lawmakers or the Marsy’s Law campaign.

But those lawmakers and the Marsy’s Law campaign say they never made those calls.

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With state lawmakers busy chipping away at unfinished legislative priorities today at the New Hampshire State House, here is a roundup of the top stories today and over the past 24 hours on NHPR. 

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In a swift vote with no floor debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a plan to continue the state's Medicaid expansion for at least another two and a half years — and potentially as long as five.

The relatively smooth path for the Medicaid expansion bill this time around marks a stark contrast from past years, when the issue drew much more prolonged and partisan debate. The inclusion of a work requirement and a new funding scheme to avoid using state tax dollars helped to win over more Republicans this time around.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If you're walking through Concord at night and are surprised the familiar glow of the State House dome has vanished, don't worry, it's not an alien invasion.

 

Crews will be working to update the electrical system so LED lights can be installed this summer. Officials say the dome will go dark for about a week starting April 30.

 

House of Representatives Chief of Staff Terry Pfaff wants to make sure passersby are not alarmed.

 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire House on Thursday rejected a measure to protect intoxicated people from drunken-driving charges while they are sobering up in their cars.

The bill passed the Senate last month, but House members voted it down, 209-122. It would have specified that sleeping or resting in a parked car would not be considered driving or attempting to drive under drunken-driving laws.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state of New Hampshire sets aside money in its budget for hospitals that treat patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid.  Thanks to a court decision last month, the state now owes much more to hospitals than it had planned to owe.

Reporter Ethan DeWitt of the Concord Monitor broke the story and he spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

(This transcript was lightly edited for clarity.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Farmers would be allowed to carry loaded rifles across their fields under a bill passed by the New Hampshire House.

The bill seeks to modify a current law that prohibits the carrying of loaded rifles or shotguns in motor vehicles, snowmobiles or aircraft. The bill passed by the House on Thursday would limit the prohibition to vehicles in motion, and would create an exemption for farmers protecting their crops and livestock.

Sununu Vows Veto of Proposed Fee on Fuel-efficient Cars

Apr 12, 2018
NHPR File Photo

Governor Chris Sununu promises he will veto a bill that would effectively tack a fee on fuel-efficient vehicles registered in New Hampshire.

 

House Bill 1763 would establish a road usage fee for motor vehicles registered to travel on New Hampshire roads based on the equivalent miles per gallon of the vehicle.  

 

The fee would be collected at the time of annual registration of the vehicle and deposited in the highway fund.  

 

In the mid-19th century, the country was in the throes of a widespread religious revival. It was called the Second Great Awakening, and it fostered the founding of new denominations and inspired millions of converts. This movement laid the groundwork for Methodists and Baptists to exponentially in number, and for Joseph Smith to establish his church of Latter Day Saints.

N.H. State Rep Indicted on 2 Counts of Welfare Fraud

Mar 28, 2018
NHPR File Photo

 

A New Hampshire state lawmaker has been indicted on two counts of welfare fraud.

A Hillsborough County grand jury recently indicted Rep. John Manning, R-Salem. The 65-year-old Manning is accused of getting more than $13,000 in cash and food stamp benefits that he wasn't eligible for from 2013-2015.

The indictments say Manning said his niece was a member of his household, when she wasn't, and that he didn't disclose that his son worked for his restaurant, the Rockingham Cafe.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says America’s gun law debate should be occurring in Washington, and not in Concord.

A week after a mass shooting at a Florida school, Sununu said the state's focus should be on continuing to invest in school security upgrades and in kids.

N.H. House Gives Initial OK to Contraceptives Bill

Feb 11, 2018
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A bill that would make hormonal contraceptives available directly from pharmacists has won preliminary approval in the New Hampshire House.

The bill would authorize pharmacists to administer the contraceptives through physician-approved agreements. A House committee had recommended the bill not be approved based on concerns that may expose doctors and pharmacists to liability.

N.H. House Passes Bill Aimed to Protect Inmates from Sex Assault

Feb 10, 2018
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  The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at protecting inmates from sexual assault.

The bill was filed in response to a case in which a deputy sheriff had sex with a female inmate he was transporting to prison. He was convicted of rape under a law that prohibits sex between prisoners and those with director authority over them, but the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction because he was employed by the county sheriff, not the prison or jail.

Big Brother and the Tax Man

Feb 9, 2018

New Hampshire is one of 9 states without a state income tax, and one of just two states without a broad-based sales tax either. 

Democrat or Republican, almost every serious candidate for governor takes the Pledge: a promise that they won't even consider a broad-based state income or sales tax.

When listener Mary Douglas moved to New Hampshire in 2005, she couldn't make sense of the state's strong anti-tax sentiment. For our "Only in NH" series, she asked us: why doesn't New Hampshire have a state income tax?

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

They did that – even though they voted the same bill down just last month. It was legislative do-over made by possible by one representative’s simple mistake.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A proposal to enshrine victims' rights in the New Hampshire Constitution has notable backers, including Gov. Chris Sununu, but some say it's too broad and vague.

Buzz Scherr, chairman of International Criminal Law and Justice Programs at UNH School of Law, is in this camp.

He also contends supporters are distorting the rights currently provided by state law.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Rep. Bob Backus of Manchester said he thought Tuesday morning's anti-harassment training for legislators was worthwhile — even if, he conceded, he might not have absorbed the whole thing.

“I wasn’t fully awake and participating very well,” Backus, a Democrat, said in the hallway after the 8:30 a.m. presentation wrapped up.

Peter Biello/NHPR

 

This is All Things Considered on NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. A bill under consideration at the New Hampshire State House would require certain law enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy regarding eyewitness identification procedures. 

 

Bipartisan N.H. Support Shown for Proposed 'Marsy's Law'

Jan 16, 2018
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An outpouring of bipartisan support was shown at the State House on Tuesday for a bill to strengthen victims’ rights.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All State House lobbyists got a first-of-its-kind letter from leaders of the New Hampshire House and Senate last week, detailing the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures. Its message was simple: Lobbyists should know they’re covered by those policies, too, and should feel comfortable speaking up if they experience harassment.

Samantha Fogel

Tonight at midnight, Concord Steam Corporation will turn off its boilers and close its doors. The plant provided heat in Concord for nearly 80 years.

Senator Kevin Avard

The New Hampshire State House has an open-door policy. The building is part museum – and visitors are welcome to take in the living history. But some of the most interesting places are kept under lock and key.

NHPR Staff

The House held a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would cut business taxes in the state.

The state projects that it will lose about eighty million dollars in revenue by 2021 if the tax cut passes, assuming the economy follows current trends.

But supporters argue that the cut would have positive impacts on local businesses. Bruce Berke, the New Hampshire Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says that cutting taxes will lead to growth.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Over eighty people turned out in Concord Tuesday to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. 

More than once, Representative Don LaBrun had to call for decorum in a room packed with supporters and opposition alike. Members of transgender, medical and religious communities turned out to testify on a bill that would prohibit discrimination based upon “gender identity,” adding the term to the long list of factors such as age, race and disability.

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A bill doing away with the permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm is headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk after the House voted in favor of it Thursday. 

Plenty of lawmakers didn’t make it to through the snow to the State House Thursday, but the House still managed to pass a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s concealed carry law.

Speaking just before the roll call, Representative John Burt urged the House to vote as it had before.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

Dairy farmers in the Granite State hurt by the recent drought are one step closer to a helping hand after the senate voted in favor of a financial relief program Thursday.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Gov. Chris Sununu helped to announce a new partnership on Wednesday aimed at reducing the stigma of addiction.   

Speak Up New Hampshire is the latest campaign from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Hampshire. Joined by the Bureau for Drug and Alcohol Services, the Governor’s Commission, and various addiction treatment and prevention organizations, the Partnership is now concentrating on reducing the stigma of addiction in the Granite State.

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