Governors put energy plan on hold

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In 2014 the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont agreed to develop a plan to address New England's growing energy needs.  The group was on track to present a proposal in early September, but Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked to delay the process and consider alternatives.

The proposal focuses on importing Canadian hydropower and building new natural gas pipeline.  The pipeline, in particular, would have to be financed through a federal tariff on electricity ratepayers.

Supporters of the proposal point to a spike in natural gas prices last winter, due to limited supply.  The private sector arguably needs government assistance to finance new pipeline, however, because electricity generators are reluctant to sign long-term pipeline contracts that pay for construction.

Opponents of the proposal argue that the plan was developed behind closed doors, excluding ratepayers and environmentalists.  Other opponents argue the plan should include more renewable energy sources.

Opposition from the Conservation Law Foundation, in particular, motivated Gov. Patrick's request for a delay.

Do you have an opinion on a regional energy plan for New England?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Concord Monitor.

Podcast Alert!

Listen to gubernatorial candidates debate read more →

This week's Live Free or Die Alliance podcast brings our listeners to Franklin Pierce University, where gubernatorial candidates Ian Freeman, Walt Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway, and Jonathan Smolin outlined their plans for New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to listen to Part I of the debate!

CLICK HERE to see profiles for all of the 2014 candidates for Governor.

Slide depicts, from left to right, Ian Freeman, Walt Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway, and Jonathan Smolin.

NH breaks ground on women's prison

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This week New Hampshire broke ground for the new women's prison in Concord.

In August 2012 four women prisoners filed a lawsuit charging that New Hampshire provides unequal services for male and female inmates.  That lawsuit was suspended after the legislature approved $38 million for a new women's prison.

By siting the new women's prison near the men's prison, the state aims to share some prison personnel and save money on staffing.

However, New Hampshire's prison system is already suffering a shortage of staff. 

"It’s not enough to build this new facility," said Sen. Sylvia Larsen.  "The legislature must fund the additional staff necessary to meet the security, programming, and treatment needs of these women."

Do you have an opinion on the new women's prison?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the challenges of prison reform in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

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The nonpartisan, nonprofit Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) serves New Hampshire citizens by providing objective information about issues and candidates; promoting the civil exchange of opinions in a variety of forums, online and in person; and connecting citizens with their elected officials.

Show your support for our mission: join the LFDA community today! 

Membership is always free, and gives you posting privileges on our website.

Want to learn more about us first?  Visit our About Page to learn about our mission, our Issue pages to learn about hot topics in New Hampshire government, our Voter Resources section to learn about elected officials, or our Member Posts to see what fellow Granite Staters have to say.  And don't forget to like us on Facebook!

Hassan: business taxes a problem

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According to a press release from Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), changes to business taxes and the interest and dividends tax are to blame for revenue shortfalls in 2014.

"Shortfalls in revenues from business taxes and the interest and dividends tax make it increasingly clear that the changes made to the tax code by the last Legislature are having a negative impact on the state's budget," said Hassan.

Gov. Hassan said her office was analyzing the changes, but did not specify which changes are of greatest concern.

Business owners may alternatively see the lower tax burden as a positive development.

The restructuring of the Medicaid Enhancement Tax also significantly impacted this year's tax revenues.

Meanwhile Hassan continues to advocate for a casino as a solution to the revenue shortfalls.

Casino opponents point to the recent casino closings in Atlantic City as evidence there is saturation in the market, making casinos an unwise investment.

Do you have an opinion on New Hampshire's budget?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the current state budget.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Changes to firearm license application?

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Gun rights advocates are angry about changes to the application to carry a concealed firearm in New Hampshire. 

The Department of Safety made several changes to the application, adding new questions and removing some language. 

For example, the form now asks if any government agency or licensing authority has ever claimed the applicant is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Gun rights advocates say that question is vague and impossible to answer accurately. 

Second Amendment supporters also argue that changes to the application should have gone through a formal rule-making process, including legislative input.

Assistant Commissioner of Safety Earl Sweeney says the form was changed in response to a state Supreme Court decision that affirmed law enforcement officers have discretion over determining the "suitability" of an applicant.

The changes were meant to help law enforcement officers exercise that discretion, but Sweeney agrees that some of the questions are poorly worded.  He doesn't believe a time-consuming rule-making process is necessary to make more changes.

Should the Department of Safety get approval from the legislature before changing the application for a firearm license?  CLICK HERE to answer the question on our Facebook page.

CLICK HERE to learn more about firearms regulations in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

Governors put energy plan on hold

Podcast Alert!

NH breaks ground on women's prison

Join Our Community

Hassan: business taxes a problem

Changes to firearm license application?

Political Tracker
 
President Obama: Rescue attempt of NH-based journalist James Foley failed

Union Leader — 8/21/2014

President Obama on Wednesday condemned the beheading of New Hampshire-based journalist James Foley, calling the Islamic militant group believed to be responsible a “cancer” and vowing justice.
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Hassan, Havenstein running close in gubernatorial money race

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 8/21/2014

Thanks to nearly $1.5 million from his own pocket, Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein is keeping pace in the race for campaign money with Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan.

Read More...


 
CloseUP: Bill O'Brien
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Issue Tracker
Marijuana Decriminalization  
Marijuana Decriminalization 

Gov. Hassan, in consultation with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, has declared a state of emergency following several overdoses and medical reactions around the state due to synthetic marijuana products.
Learn More About the Issue...

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant  
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant 

During a recent quarterly inspection of Seabrook Station, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff discovered two new "green" issues of low safety significance and one violation for which the plant was not cited. The plant is seeking a new, 20-year operating license.
Learn More About the Issue...

The Affordable Care Act and NH  
The Affordable Care Act and NH 

Just under 9,400 state residents have signed up for coverage under New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program, says Gov. Hassan, and officials estimate up to 50,000 adults in the state are eligible for coverage. Those making up to 138 percent of the poverty limit are eligible.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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Ruth Larrabee Kevghas
As far as the Governors go- they are concerned and rightly so- it is affecting their communities! And the potential is there to have many displaced workers which will definitely affect their states labor force!
Jim Meatty
Don't they have more important issues to work on aside from a family squabble? And given Patrick's wife was one of artie s' lawyers that helped start the whole mess he really needs to stay out
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