Poll: 59% support marijuana legalization

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According to a WMUR Granite State Poll released last week, 59% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  That is an increase of 8% over a similar poll last year.

According to the poll, Democrats and Independents are more likely to favor legalization, while Republicans are less likely to favor legalization.

When asked about how the legislature should change marijuana laws, overall 52% of poll respondents supported legalizing and taxing marijuana, 19% supported decriminalizing marijuana, 27% supported keeping the current marijuana laws, and 2% were undecided.

The poll included 543 randomly selected New Hampshire residents.  There is a +/- 4.2% margin of error.

The legislature is more likely to pass a marijuana decriminalization bill than a bill legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  In 2013 the House passed a decriminalization bill 214-115, but rejected a legalization bill 192-140.

Visit Election Central to see where the candidates in your town stand on marijuana decriminalization and/or legalization.

Do you think New Hampshire should legalize marijuana?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about marijuana decriminalization and legalization.

CLICK HERE to read the poll results.

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The NH Voter Guide mobile app is the most comprehensive, completely non-partisan, non-political voter resource that provides candidate profiles and key issue positions on every major candidate in the 2014 New Hampshire elections.

CLICK HERE to get the FREE mobile app!

Don't have a smart phone?  See all the detailed candidate profiles at LFDA Election Central.

Insurer announces NH network

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This week Maine Community Health Options announced ten insurance plans it will offer to New Hampshire residents on the health insurance exchange in 2015.  Their network will include all 26 of New Hampshire's hospitals.

In 2014 only one insurer, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, signed up to offer insurance on the exchange.  Anthem was criticized for offering a narrow network of providers. The network excluded 10 of the state's 26 hospitals, but allowed Anthem to offer lower premiums.

Next year Harvard Pilgrim, Minuteman Health, Assurant Health, and Maine Community Health Options will also offer plans on the New Hampshire health insurance exchange.  Like Maine Community Health Options, Minuteman Health has pledged to include every New Hampshire hospital in their network.

The five insurance companies have until November 15, 2014 to announce the plans they will offer in the 2015 exchange.

What do you think of the expanded insurance exchange?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the implementation of New Hampshire's online health insurance exchange.

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!

NH launches prescription monitoring

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On Thursday Gov. Hassan announced the launch of the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. 

The program allows doctors and pharmacists to record painkiller prescriptions in a database.  Other pharmacists and doctors can access that information to identify "doctor shoppers," patients who seek multiple prescriptions from multiple providers.

"The rising rates of opiate and heroin abuse represent one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing New Hampshire ... Our prescription drug monitoring program is an important tool that will ensure stronger oversight of controlled substance prescriptions," said Hassan.

For now, the program is funded by a $400,000 federal grant.  The New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy is exploring future funding options, including fee structures for medical providers and/or pharmaceutical manufacturers.

If Republicans regain control of the state legislature, they may resist any new fees to fund the program.  When the program passed in 2012 there was also some concern about the privacy of patients.

What do you think about the prescription monitoring program?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the implementation of the prescription monitoring program.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

Unemployment, labor pool both shrink

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This week New Hampshire Employment Security announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 4.3%, compared to 5.2% in 2013.

However, over the past year the total labor force decreased by roughly 2,000.  That decrease could be due to older workers retiring, or due to discouraged workers dropping out of the job-hunt entirely.  New Hampshire also has less migration into the state than in previous decades.

Gubernatorial candidates Walt Havenstein (R) and Maggie Hassan (D) interpret these statistics very differently. 

On her campaign website, Hassan emphasizes that the unemployment rate "is at the lowest level since 2008" and "the sixth lowest in the nation."

Havenstein recently launched a TV advertisement titled "Not So Great," in which he says, "New Hampshire is falling behind with the worst economic growth in New England."

How do you interpret the September unemployment statistics?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the issues associated with New Hampshire's growing population of retirees.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Nashua Telegraph.

Poll: 59% support marijuana legalization

Insurer announces NH network

Join Our Community

NH launches prescription monitoring

Unemployment, labor pool both shrink

Political Tracker
 
Debate Preview: Kuster and Garcia face off for first time

NH1 — 10/20/2014

In one corner: Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster. Republicans criticize her for voting in lockstep with President Barack Obama. In the other corner: State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, the GOP challenger.
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New Hampshire's slow recovery focus in gov's race

LFDA Virtual Town Hall - 10/20/2014

As New Hampshire continues to crawl out of the Great Recession, both candidates for governor are using facts about the state's economic health to woo voters who say it's one of their biggest issues heading into the Nov. 4 election.

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Update on NH economy three-quarters of way through 2014
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Issue Tracker
Water Sustainability in NH  
Water Sustainability in NH 

Following the detection of perfluorinated compounds in a private well near Pease Tradeport, water samples from seven private wells in the vicinity have tested below the Environmental Protection Agency’s provisional health advisory levels.
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The Affordable Care Act and NH  
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A specific provision of the Affordable Care Act that looks to improve the repeated admittance of Medicare patients by penalizing hospitals based on their readmission rates will go into effect next year and will affect nine hospitals in New Hampshire.
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Minimum Wage  
Minimum Wage 

Rep. Annie Kuster visited Peter's Images Unlimited Salon & Day Spa this month to praise the company's raising its minimum wage to $10 per hour and to vow her support in raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour if she is re-elected.
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In The NH News

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Neal Parks
I think it is a great idea 'how else would the people of NH get any news about it . you can't count on traditional media in this state for information because the media is so one sided either for or agent an issue.
Linda Derry Heminway
However, what they are not telling you is the trade off for Plaistow. If they put an MBTA stop in Plaistow we must take on a massive industrial layover station, a "gift" from the MBTA to NH to store THEIR nasty, stinking diesel engines that run all night long and spew fumes and create vibration and noise.
Check out what is happening in return for MBTA service into SNH from the Mass transit system.
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