Sup. Ct. considers tax credit scholarships

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On Wednesday the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments in the lawsuit against the state's tax credit scholarship program.

The program gives businesses a tax credit if they contribute to a scholarship fund for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit January 9, 2013 charging that the program violates the New Hampshire Constitution, which forbids the use of tax money for private religious schools.

On Wednesday state attorneys argued that the program involves private money and private decision-makers, and therefore does not violate the constitutional ban on state money for religious schools.

In June 2013 a lower court found that because of the tax credit, the scholarship funds amount to public money.

Do you think the scholarship tax credit program violates the New Hampshire Constitution?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Do you know these terms?

The LFDA can help! read more →

Do you understand the terms in this picture? At this point in our legislative session, the 2014 NH legislature has voted on roughly 900 bills! As a service to our members, the Live Free or Die Alliance has not only divided these bills into 41 easy to browse categories, but also created a cheat-sheet on how to read a Bill Status on the NH General Court website.

CLICK HERE
to see the 41 categories, our easy to use Gen-Court lingo cheat-sheet, and more.  If you are not yet a FREE member, you will be prompted to register.

House panel OKs "Benefit Corporations"

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On Tuesday the House Commerce Committee voted in favor of SB 215, a bill to allow Benefit Corporations, also known as "B Corps," to form in New Hampshire.  The full House will vote on the bill later this spring.

When making decisions, B Corps are allowed to consider public benefit in addition to profit for shareholders.  Regular corporations are vulnerable to lawsuits if they make decisions that do not maximize profits. 

However, Rep. Emily Sandblade (R-Manchester) argued that the simultaneous goals of profit and public benefit would make corporations even more vulnerable to lawsuits.

"We are creating a whole new form of business," said Sandblade. "We are unleashing this, and people who are going the B Corp route are going to get their pants sued off."

Rep. John Hunt (R-Rindge) countered, "We are being way too nanny about this bill. Don’t worry your silly little heads about it. Some people want a touchy-feely corporation. What’s the harm?"

Do you think New Hampshire should allow B Corps?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHBR.

NH gets C+ for financial transparency

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Last week the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released a study that gave New Hampshire a C+ grade for online financial transparency.  32 states scored higher than New Hampshire.

According to the study, New Hampshire could provide more information about spending by quasi-public agencies, subsidies, and public benefit programs.  New Hampshire received full credit for the searchability of its information.

A spokesman for Gov. Hassan said the governor is looking to the Commission on State Government Innovation, Efficiency and Transparency for recommendations on how to increase financial transparency.

Greg Moore, the state director of Americans for Prosperity in New Hampshire, suggested that Hassan was "sitting on our laurels" rather than working to make New Hampshire more transparent.

However, financial transparency technologies may require an investment that exceeds New Hampshire's budget limitations.

Do you think New Hampshire should do more towards financial transparency?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Eagle Tribune, or CLICK HERE to read the report from PIRG.

Premiums rose 90%?

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This week debate erupted over a report that showed New Hampshire health insurance premiums rose 90% from 2013 to 2014.  Scott Brown and other Republicans blamed "Obamacare," while Democrats challenged the validity of the report.

The controversial report came from the investment firm Morgan-Stanley, which surveyed 148 insurance brokers across the United States.  On average those 148 brokers reported premium increases of 11-12%. 

However, only one of the surveyed brokers works in New Hampshire.  That single broker reported a 90% increase.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department subsequently released a statement asserting that premiums have not increased 90%.

"the (Morgan Stanley) survey is very inconsistent with our findings, which reflect single-digit increases per year over the past few years," Danielle Kronk Barrick, director of communications for the New Hampshire Department of Insurance, told the Union Leader. "We don’t have data on 2014 yet, but all recent trends suggest that the increase would be similar to recent prior years."

CLICK HERE
to learn more about the debate over health care in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from NHPR.

Voice your opinion on Northern Pass

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The state legislature is currently considering two bills that would require the Site Evaluation Committee to give preference to plans that bury electrical lines and place them along public rights of way: HB 569 and SB 245.  Both bills would impact the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project.

The LFDA knows this issue is important to our members, and we are working to make your voice heard.  First, we have summarized our fans' Facebook comments on the Northern Pass into a report for lawmakers:  CLICK HERE to read the report.

Here are some more ways to make your voice heard:

1. Contact your representatives and share your opinion
CLICK HERE to find your representatives' profile, including contact information.  Write an e-mail, snail-mail a letter, or make a phone call to let them know where you stand.

2. Sign a petition
Do you want New Hampshire to bury the Northern Pass transmission lines?  CLICK HERE to sign a petition in favor of burying or blocking the Northern Pass.  Do you want to express support for the Northern Pass?  CLICK HERE to sign a petition on the Northern Pass website.

3. Comment online
CLICK HERE to comment on a LFDA Facebook post about the Northern Pass, or CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.  CLICK HERE to see a discussion started by one of our members.

4. Learn more
The LFDA makes it easy to form an educated opinion on the issues.  CLICK HERE to see the LFDA issue page on the Northern Pass.

Sup. Ct. considers tax credit scholarships

Do you know these terms?

House panel OKs "Benefit Corporations"

NH gets C+ for financial transparency

Premiums rose 90%?

Voice your opinion on Northern Pass

Political Tracker
  
NH gun safety group buoyed by billionaire's pledge

 Seacoast Online — 4/17/2014

The state chapter of a national organization to combat gun violence is benefiting from a new partnership announced Wednesday led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Read More... 

 
Havenstein officially in GOP race for governor

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 4/17/2014

Another Republican entered the race for governor Wednesday as businessman Walt Havenstein made his official announcement.

Read More...


 
House considers bill to make domestic violence crime
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Issue Tracker
Gambling  
Gambling 

The latest NH casino bill, which would legalize two casinos with a total of 5,000 video slots and 240 table games, now includes a $25 million allotment to aid state communities and property tax payers. A one-casino bill was killed by the House last month.
Learn More About the Issue...

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard  
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 

U.S. Navy officials held a forum with nearly 30 developers and businesspeople last week to discuss redeveloping the 106-year-old, 265,000-square-foot former naval prison at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The prison has been closed since 1974.
Learn More About the Issue...

Death Penalty  
Death Penalty 

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 2-2 on a bill that would repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty; in a re-vote two days later, they came up 3-2 in favor of passing the bill. Sen. Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), who was absent during the initial vote, requested the re-vote.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

Join the Discussion on Facebook
Robert Skovholt
Of course. Who wouldn't ? Do we need more people in jail convicted of crimes where only they are harmed ?
Donnie Sawin
Adding additional courts would be ridiculous... Penalties for illegal drug use and distribution should be stiffer and better enforced. No one is an addict until they first start to use the drugs, so if the penalties are enforced and someone KNOWINGLY starts to use drugs then becomes addicted... Jail it is!
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By Alan Lewis  LewisTo my New Hampshire neighbors,Please take a look at this hyperlink called "Tucker's Turn" highlighting New Hampshire's outdoors OR    Read More... 

Trust us this time!

By Ananta Gopalan  New Hampshire legislature pushed by the Democratic Party members (who are the most compassionate, for the working people, for the middle class and "we hate the ...Read More... 

Why We Should support the Northern Pass in NH

By Brian Dunn  I believe we should support the northern pass. During recession times, I do not believe it is good business to decline business. The Northern Pass is a 1.4 billion dollar project.This literally mean 1.4 billion dollars of  Read More... 

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