UNH pitches tuition freeze

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The New Hampshire University System Trustees are offering to freeze tuition for two years if the state restores funding to 2009 levels.

In the most recent budget cycle the University negotiated a tuition freeze in exchange for a partial funding increase.  However, the legislature did not fully restore the roughly 50% cut from Rep. Bill O'Brien's tenure as House Speaker.

The Trustees are also offering tuition reductions for students in some critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

A tuition freeze might help reduce student loan debt in New Hampshire.  A 2014 report found New Hampshire has the second-highest student debt in the nation.

Opponents of a funding increase argue that the cuts forced the University System to operate more efficiently, like any private business.

Do you think New Hampshire should increasing University funding in exchange for a tuition freeze?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

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 signs pipeline regulations

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On Friday Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed three bills related to fossil fuel pipelines in New Hampshire: SB 325, HB 1224, and HB 1376.

SB 325 gives the state Department of Environmental Services the authority to go beyond federal regulations in governing oil spill preparedness.

HB 1224 directs the Public Utilities Commission to ask the federal government to let state officials take over pipeline inspections.

HB 1376 forms a committee to study fossil fuel transportation through New Hampshire.

Sheridan Brown, legislative coordinator for the New Hampshire Audubon Society, said federal pipeline regulations are weak and inspections infrequent, leaving New Hampshire vulnerable to spills.

Bill opponents argued that regulations and inspections should be left to the federal government, especially since pipelines cross state lines.

Do you think New Hampshire should be responsible for regulating the pipelines within the state? CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

House back in session Wednesday

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Next week the state legislature will reconvene to decide whether or not to override four of Governor Hassan's vetoes.

The House will take up three bills: HB 1244, HB 591, and HB 685.  The Senate will reconsider SB 391.

HB 1244 forbids the state from disclosing the names of lottery winners.  Gov. Hassan vetoed the bill, arguing that it would hurt the financial transparency of state government.  Supporters of the bill assert lottery winners have a right to privacy.

HB 591 is intended to protect public employees from abusive work environments.  In her veto message, Gov. Hassan says the bill attempts to legislate politeness among state employees, while opening the state to unwarranted lawsuits.  Supporters of the bill argue that state employees are under unreasonable pressure after budget cuts and lay-offs from the John Lynch administration.

HB 685 shifts deciding power from the Attorney General's office to a legislative committee when the Legislative Audit Division requests information that state agencies consider confidential under attorney-client privilege.  Gov. Hassan argues that the bill threatens the separation of powers.  Bill supporters argue that there should be increased transparency on the legal advice influencing agency decisions.

SB 391 revises the administration of the juvenile justice system in New Hampshire.  According to Gov. Hassan, the bill isolates juvenile justice services from other services to children and youth, emphasizing incarceration over treatment.  Bill supporters argue that SB 391 will strengthen the juvenile justice system by instituting more accountability.

Do you think the legislature should override any of Gov. Hassan's vetoes?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

Spent fuel OK in Seabrook?

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This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) cleared Seabrook Station to store spent fuel on-site.  That decision moves the nuclear plant one step closer to a license renewal. 

Environmentalist groups, such as the New England Coalition, maintain that the nuclear power plant was not built to handle long-term spent fuel storage. 

However, a presidential commission recently ruled that certain safety measures allow spent fuel to be stored on-site in dry casks indefinitely.

According to a NRC spokesman, only one issue is still holding up Seabrook Station's license renewal: the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) causing small cracks in concrete at the facility.

The NRC maintains that the cracks do not currently threaten public safety.  However, environmentalist groups insist that any defects in the concrete are cause for concern.

NextEra Energy, which owns the plant, is paying for specialized tests at the University of Texas to study the long-term effects of ASR.

Do you think the NRC should renew Seabrook Station's license?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over Seabrook Station's license renewal.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Dice will break election tie

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On Wednesday the Secretary of State confirmed there was a tie in the Republican House Primary in Danville, New Hampshire. 

Both incumbent Rep. Betsy Sanders and challenger Shawn O'Neil received 250 votes.

According to a little-known state law, the Danville Town Clerk must choose a tiebreaker such as drawing straws or flipping a coin.  The tiebreaker is then performed at the Secretary of State's office in Concord. 

Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd told the Eagle-Tribune that a common method is to have each candidate pick a die.  The dice are placed in a leather bottle and shaken.  The first die to come out wins.

Sanders is uneasy about the process.  "My husband says we don't have gambling in New Hampshire," she said.  "It seems too simplified, I guess."

"It just goes to show each vote does count," said O'Neil.

The loser of the election - as determined by chance - has until Friday to request a recount.

Do you have an opinion on the tie-breaking law?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to see who won the Primaries in all the state and federal races.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from the Eagle-Tribune.

UNH pitches tuition freeze

Join Our Community

Hassan signs pipeline regulations

House back in session Wednesday

Spent fuel OK in Seabrook?

Dice will break election tie

Political Tracker
 
Kuster begins attack ads on Garcia

WMUR — 9/16/2014

For much of this election year there have been a lot of negative messages when it comes to the state's 2nd Congressional District contest. Ahead of last week's primary the back-and-forth between the two leading Republican candidates got so intense one refused to shake the other's hand.
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Senate fails to override Hassan veto of juvenile justice bill

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 9/16/2014

The NH Senate has upheld Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of Senate Bill 391, which sought to change the state’s juvenile justice system.

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Update on race for U.S. Senate
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Issue Tracker
Marijuana Decriminalization  
Marijuana Decriminalization 

A committee led by Democratic State Senator Molly Kelly is working toward legislation to regulate the availability of synthetic marijuana, which is the subject of scrutiny after several overdoses this summer. The legislation will be reviewed at a meeting on September 25.
Learn More About the Issue...

Welfare Restrictions  
Welfare Restrictions 

According to new data from the Census Bureau, New Hampshire has experienced a continued increase in the rate of households receiving public assistance. Three percent of households received assistance in 2012, up from 2.5 percent in 2011 and 1.8 percent in 2000.
Learn More About the Issue...

Common Core in NH  
Common Core in NH 

The NH Department of Education rejected Manchester School District’s request to opt out of the Common-Core-aligned Smarter Balanced exams. The district requested exemption as it is implementing the Common Core alternative Manchester Academic Standards.
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In The NH News

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Stephen BenghaziGate'saHoax D. Clark
When did Marilinda Garcia buy the insurance plan that she says she has now? Was she recently covered by Obamacare but then decided to switch after questions were asked? That would explain her behavior when her refusal to answer a simple question raises more questions.
Pamela Ean
Why the blazes should personal information like a candidates health insurance company be made public. That is personal information. What I want to know as a voter is where a candidate stands on issues, and whether or not they intend to follow the original intent of the Constitution.
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