Senate hearing on buffer zone repeal

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On Tuesday, March 31 the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on a bill to remove a buffer zone around reproductive health clinics.

Last year New Hampshire passed a law to create a 25-foot protest-free zone around reproductive health clinics. 

However, on June 26 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Massachusetts, stating that the law infringed on the right to free speech.  As a result, Attorney General Foster is not enforcing New Hampshire's buffer zone law.

Supporters of a repeal argue that the New Hampshire law violates the constitutional right to free speech.  They also argue that New Hampshire should not keep a law that is not enforced.

Opponents of a repeal counter that the New Hampshire law differs from Massachusetts' law in several important ways.  For example, Massachusetts' buffer zone was 30 feet, not 25 feet.  They argue the courts should have a chance to judge New Hampshire's law before it is repealed.

Do you think New Hampshire should repeal the buffer zone around reproductive health clinics?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the disagreements between pro-life and pro-choice advocates in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

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Stand up for the LFDA mission!
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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!

Special Election!

Candia, Deerfield, Northwood, and Nottingham vote on Tuesday read more →

On Tuesday, March 31 there is a primary election for the empty state Representative seat in Candia, Deerfield, Northwood, and Nottingham.

Yvonne Dean-Bailey will challenge Brian Stone for the Republican nomination.

Dean-Bailey is a college student and former Marilinda Garcia for Congress staffer.  Stone is an Iraq War Veteran and studying for a Master's degree in public policy.

Former state Representative Maureen Mann is the only Democratic candidate for the seat.

Click on any of the candidates' names to see a full profile, including detailed issue positions.

CLICK HERE
to see all of the special election candidates in New Hampshire.  There is a special election in Hampstead and Kingston April 28!

Day Care Negligence Bill Passes House

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A bill aimed at increasing penalties for day care providers convicted of negligent operations passed the house last week. 

HB 645 raises the criminal penalty levied against the operator of a child care center – licensed or otherwise – where a child suffers a permanent disability, debilitating injury, or death due to negligent operation. The bill upgrades this offense from a misdemeanor to a Class B felony, punishable by up to seven years’ jail time. 

The bill was crafted as a response to the death of Willa Shine Clark, a four year old who choked to death outside an unlicensed day care center in Enfield. 

Day care providers may operate without a license in NH only if no more than three of the children attending are unrelated to the caregiver. 

Supporters argue that the bill make certain that unlicensed day care centers are subject to the same punishment provisions as licensed facilities.  Current NH law only holds licensed daycare providers liable in cases of child endangerment. 

Currently, reckless conduct is only considered a Class B felony if it involves the use of a deadly weapon or results in a death.

CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from WMUR.

New budget proposal: raid energy fund

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This week House budget writers drafted a new proposal for funding the Department of Transportation (DOT).  The proposal uses money from the Renewable Energy Fund and decreases funding for UNH.

Originally a group of four Republicans proposed raising the gas tax to fund a major shortfall in the DOT, but that idea fell flat in the House.

Electricity providers pay into the Renewable Energy Fund when they do not buy enough electricity from renewable sources, according to New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio Standard.  The Renewable Energy Fund is intended to fund grants and rebates for individuals and businesses working on renewable energy projects.

"We made the policy decision that a temporary hiatus on that program was the price we had to pay so that the state's highways were maintained and properly funded for the next two years," said Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), chairman of the Finance Committee.

Supporters praise the new budget proposal for not raising taxes.

Opponents argue that raiding the Renewable Energy Fund is dishonest budgeting.  Because electricity providers pass some of the cost of the Renewable Portfolio Standard onto ratepayers, this budget proposal funds the Department of Transportation on the back of ratepayers' electricity bills.

The proposed budget also decreases funding for local road maintenance, downshifting some costs to towns.

Lastly, UNH says they will raise tuition if funding decreases.

Budgeting in New Hampshire is never easy.  How would fund the Department of Transportation next year?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn about Gov. Hassan's original budget proposal.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from WMUR.

Social media privacy vs. bullying

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This week a Senate committee heard testimony on a bill that would prohibit schools from demanding access to students' social media accounts.

Privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the bill.

"We would never expect a school administrator to be allowed to enter a student's bedroom and look at their personal letters or look through their photo albums," said Devon Chaffee, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire. "We shouldn't allow them to do the electronic equivalent."

Souhegan High School freshman Jonathan Petersen offered a different perspective.  He took a year off of school after being bullied.  In at least one incident, other students posted inappropriate pictures of him online.

"I've been bullied a lot and most of the time people get away with it," he said.

Dean Michener, director of the New Hampshire School Boards Association, echoed Petersen's concerns.

"School districts have a unique parental role while students are in school," he said. "If you move forward with this legislation, we think it should include a provision that districts are not liable when they don't have access to evidentiary information."

In 2010 the state expanded its bully law to hold schools responsible for policing cyberbullying.

Do you think schools should have complete, limited, or no access whatsoever to student social media accounts?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about New Hampshire's bully law.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Senate hearing on buffer zone repeal

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Special Election!

Day Care Negligence Bill Passes House

New budget proposal: raid energy fund

Social media privacy vs. bullying

Political Tracker

US Sen. Kelly Ayotte reviews programs at Nashua’s YMCA

NHPR — 3/31/2015

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said Monday that despite recent negotiation setbacks, she has no regrets in joining 46 other Republican Senators earlier this month in signing a letter addressed to Iran.
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Surplus symbols? Some say 'bully' NH lawmakers had a point

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 3/31/2015

When New Hampshire lawmakers this month shot down as frivolous a group of fourth-graders' effort to name the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor, the pols got pasted as insensitive bullies.

Read More...


 
Sen. Ted Cruz visits NH
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Issue Tracker
State Gasoline Tax  
State Gasoline Tax 

House Finance Committee Chairman Neal Kurk proposed a plan to raise the state's gas tax 7 to 8 cents to offset $88 million in funding cuts to the DOT. House Speaker Shawn Jasper removed the gas tax proposal from the budget debate for procedural reasons.
Learn More About the Issue...

Student Vote  
Student Vote 

The House has asked the state Supreme Court for an advisory opinion about a new bill that would require people registering to vote, including out-of-state students, to also register their vehicles in the state and acquire a New Hampshire drivers license.
Learn More About the Issue...

Distracted Driving  
Distracted Driving 

To spread the word about the implementation of the new distracted driving law that bans the use of hand-held devices while driving, officials are planning a campaign that will include a public service announcement, website, and educational materials.
Learn More About the Issue...

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Ray Pendergast
Yes. I beleive a parent has the right to remove their child.
Mark Grabowski
The majority (not all) of those who are opposed to standardized testing simply want no accountability in our educational system
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