Hassan vetoes employee bully bill

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On Monday Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed HB 591, a bill intended to combat bullying in state agencies.

In her veto message, Gov. Hassan said the bill attempts to legislate manners and politeness among state employees, while opening the state to unwarranted lawsuits. 

The Business and Industry Association also feared the bill would lead to similar laws for the private sector.

The State Employee Association of New Hampshire argued that state employees are under unreasonable pressure after budget cuts and lay-offs from the John Lynch administration.  Furthermore, employees have limited avenues to file complaints.

Rep. Dianne Schuett (D-Pembroke), the bill's sponsor, may try to organize a vote to override Gov. Hassan's veto.

Do you think New Hampshire should have a law protecting state employees from an abusive work environment?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

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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!

What is an "adequate network"?

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The New Hampshire Insurance Department released a draft of new network adequacy rules last week.  The rules move beyond specific travel time and provider access, and instead focus on access to services.

According to a press release from the Department, "'core' services, such as primary care, pediatrics, substance abuse, and mental health would be accessible within a patient’s nearest community," while more specialized services, such as oncology, might require travel within the state or New England.

Patients in the North Country might be expected to travel farther than patients in urban areas.

The Insurance Department started the rule revision process after approving Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's "narrow network" for 2014.  Anthem's narrow network excluded 10 of the state's 26 hospitals, but allowed Anthem to offer lower premiums.  Many lawmakers and policy holders protested the decision of the Insurance Department, especially because Anthem is currently the only company offering health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange.

The proposed new network adequacy rules may require Anthem to revise its network.  However, the focus on services over providers may still allow insurance companies to exclude some hospitals.

The Insurance Department is accepting public comment until August 21.  E-mail your thoughts to Danielle.Barrick@ins.nh.gov.

Want to discuss network adequacy rules on our website?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts.

CLICK HERE to learn more about health insurance debates in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Eagle Tribune.

NH will not enforce clinic buffer

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On Friday New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster told a federal judge that there are no plans to enforce a protest-free buffer zone around New Hampshire's reproductive health clinics.

Starting July 10, New Hampshire law established a 25-foot buffer 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.

Several abortion opponents then filed suit against the New Hampshire law.  After Attorney General Foster announced New Hampshire would not enforce the law, the judge put the lawsuit on hold.

However, New Hampshire could still choose to enforce the law and fight the lawsuit.  Supporters of New Hampshire's buffer zone point out that Massachusetts' law imposed criminal penalties, while New Hampshire's law only imposes a fine.

Do you think New Hampshire should enforce the buffer zone law?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about debates over family planning in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from Foster's Daily Democrat.

Right-to-Work in 2015?

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Right-to-Work supporters gathered in Manchester on Thursday, while Right-to-Work opponents protested outside.

The occasion was the release of a Right-to-Work study by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. 

Right-to-Work laws forbid unions from requiring membership.

"When unions can't force people to pay dues, they have to be more responsive to their members," said Matt Peterson of the Center for Worker Freedom. "They actually compete in the marketplace of ideas, and I think it will make them better, stronger organizations."

Opponents argue that Right-to-Work only weakens unions, because employees who do not pay dues still benefit from the contracts negotiated by unions.

Right-to-Work supporters are planning on introducing another Right-to-Work bill in 2015.  The legislature came closest to passing Right-to-Work in 2011, but failed to override Gov. John Lynch's veto.

Do you think New Hampshire should pass Right-to-Work?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over Right-to-Work in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from WMUR.

NH too slow on medical marijuana?

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This week marked the one-year anniversary of New Hampshire's medical marijuana law, although patients do not yet have access to marijuana in the Granite State.

Under New Hampshire's medical marijuana law, patients can only access marijuana through four authorized dispensaries.  Those dispensaries are not yet operational.

According to some patient advocates, New Hampshire is moving too slowly.

"We want to see a sense of urgency from the Governor's Office. It would be a good start if Governor Hassan would encourage these departments to move forward and to protect patients rather than delay this process indefinitely," said Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project.

On the other hand, many legislators and law enforcement officers want to see New Hampshire implement the medical marijuana law as carefully and thoughtfully as possible.

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over medical marijuana in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

Hassan vetoes employee bully bill

Join Our Community

What is an "adequate network"?

NH will not enforce clinic buffer

Right-to-Work in 2015?

NH too slow on medical marijuana?

Political Tracker
 
Deal would provide $17b to ease veterans' medical wait times

Union Leader — 7/29/2014

Leaders of the Veterans Affairs committees in Congress said on Monday they had struck a rare compromise deal on legislation that provides about $17 billion in funding to ease long waiting times for VA medical centers.
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Gov. Hassan vetoes workplace bullying bills

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 7/29/2014

Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a bill Monday aimed at protecting New Hampshire state employees from abusive work environments, saying it was well-intentioned but unworkable.

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State of the Race: GOP 1st Congressional District
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Issue Tracker
Gun Laws
Gun Laws 

New Hampshire firearms manufacturer Sig Sauer announced that it will be instituting adjustments to its workforce due to the soft gun market on a national level and declining firearms sales. Sources indicate that more than 180 employees could be laid off.
Learn More About the Issue...

Welfare Restrictions  
Welfare Restrictions 

Recession waivers on restrictions for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (food stamps) have now ended, lowering the households in the program and giving the state less of a chance to earn bonus funds from the USDA for program participation.
Learn More About the Issue...

Immigration Reform  
Immigration Reform 

Gov. Hassan says she has not received a formal request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house children that have illegally immigrated to the country. Massachusetts and Connecticut have been asked to house some immigrants.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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Paul Huron
I would love to use solar but after doing the math the ROI is over 20 Years and that's just not acceptable. And having the Government subsidize it is a waste of taxpayer money.
Alfred Karl Spitzer Jr.
Yes I would. If the entire country of Germany can get 55% of its electricity from solar what are we waiting for.
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