Workforce housing needed up north?

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On Thursday Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) met with business leaders in the Mount Washington Valley to discuss ways to encourage start-ups in the Granite State.  One issue that arose was the shortage of affordable workforce housing.

Theresa Kennett, an advocate for affordable housing, said that local zoning in the Mount Washington Valley does not encourage affordable housing.  She suggested a regional approach to zoning.

However, Gov. Hassan expressed concern that a regional plan might infringe on local control.

Attendees also discussed apprenticeships, easing various business regulations, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act (known as "Obamacare").

The meeting was part of Gov. Hassan's "Live Free and Start" initiative, a joint effort between the Governor's Office, the Business Finance Authority and the Department of Resources and Economic Development to identify ways to stimulate new business in New Hampshire.

How do you think New Hampshire should encourage start-ups?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Conway Daily Sun.

Governors put energy plan on hold

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In 2014 the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont agreed to develop a plan to address New England's growing energy needs.  The group was on track to present a proposal in early September, but Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked to delay the process and consider alternatives.

The proposal focuses on importing Canadian hydropower and building new natural gas pipeline.  The pipeline, in particular, would have to be financed through a federal tariff on electricity ratepayers.

Supporters of the proposal point to a spike in natural gas prices last winter, due to limited supply.  The private sector arguably needs government assistance to finance new pipeline, however, because electricity generators are reluctant to sign long-term pipeline contracts that pay for construction.

Opponents of the proposal argue that the plan was developed behind closed doors, excluding ratepayers and environmentalists.  Other opponents argue the plan should include more renewable energy sources.

Opposition from the Conservation Law Foundation, in particular, motivated Gov. Patrick's request for a delay.

Do you have an opinion on a regional energy plan for New England?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Concord Monitor.

Podcast Alert!

Listen to gubernatorial candidates debate read more →

This week's Live Free or Die Alliance podcast brings our listeners to Franklin Pierce University, where gubernatorial candidates Ian Freeman, Walt Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway, and Jonathan Smolin outlined their plans for New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to listen to Part I of the debate!

CLICK HERE to see profiles for all of the 2014 candidates for Governor.

Slide depicts, from left to right, Ian Freeman, Walt Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway, and Jonathan Smolin.

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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!

NH breaks ground on women's prison

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This week New Hampshire broke ground for the new women's prison in Concord.

In August 2012 four women prisoners filed a lawsuit charging that New Hampshire provides unequal services for male and female inmates.  That lawsuit was suspended after the legislature approved $38 million for a new women's prison.

By siting the new women's prison near the men's prison, the state aims to share some prison personnel and save money on staffing.

However, New Hampshire's prison system is already suffering a shortage of staff. 

"It’s not enough to build this new facility," said Sen. Sylvia Larsen.  "The legislature must fund the additional staff necessary to meet the security, programming, and treatment needs of these women."

Do you have an opinion on the new women's prison?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the challenges of prison reform in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

Hassan: business taxes a problem

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According to a press release from Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), changes to business taxes and the interest and dividends tax are to blame for revenue shortfalls in 2014.

"Shortfalls in revenues from business taxes and the interest and dividends tax make it increasingly clear that the changes made to the tax code by the last Legislature are having a negative impact on the state's budget," said Hassan.

Gov. Hassan said her office was analyzing the changes, but did not specify which changes are of greatest concern.

Business owners may alternatively see the lower tax burden as a positive development.

The restructuring of the Medicaid Enhancement Tax also significantly impacted this year's tax revenues.

Meanwhile Hassan continues to advocate for a casino as a solution to the revenue shortfalls.

Casino opponents point to the recent casino closings in Atlantic City as evidence there is saturation in the market, making casinos an unwise investment.

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about the current state budget.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Workforce housing needed up north?

Governors put energy plan on hold

Podcast Alert!

Join Our Community

NH breaks ground on women's prison

Hassan: business taxes a problem

Political Tracker
 
Despite indictment, Texas Gov. Perry testing NH primary waters

NHPR — 8/23/2014

The same day he was arraigned on abuse of power charges, Texas Governor Rick Perry kicked off a two-day visit to New Hampshire, fueling speculation about another presidential bid.
Read More... 

 
Market Basket deal expected this weekend

Seacoast Online — 8/23/2014

The end of the Market Basket crisis could be near as Arthur T. Demoulas and the governors of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts released statements Friday expressing optimism that a deal is close.

Read More...


 
Poll shows weakness for Shea-Porter
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Issue Tracker
Commuter Rail  
Commuter Rail 

Congresswoman Annie Kuster met with state and local officials to discuss options for passenger rail in the state, specifically a public-private partnership, which she said the state often finds to be successful and which could offset the taxpayer expense.
Learn More About the Issue...

The Affordable Care Act and NH  
The Affordable Care Act and NH 

Health care coverage began on August 15 for the more than 10,000 state residents who signed up for insurance under the state's expanded Medicaid program. Those signed up account for one-fifth of the estimated 50,000 adult residents eligible for coverage.
Learn More About the Issue...

Marijuana Decriminalization  
Marijuana Decriminalization 

Gov. Hassan, in consultation with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, has declared a state of emergency following several overdoses and medical reactions around the state due to synthetic marijuana products.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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Brian J. Stone for NH State Rep
Hemingway's flat tax and Havenstein's plan are both good ideas. Anything that gets us below an 8% corporate income tax and disallows further local taxes on corporate income will help us; as MA has an 8% corporate income tax. We have the 3rd highest corporate income tax in the country when local and state taxes are taken into account.
Patrick Adrian
Andrew Hemingway's plan troubles me, and that's putting it lightly: Taxing local government?!? And nonprofits?!?
It sounds like he's already to join the NH governing tradition of passing a budget undermined by lawsuits.
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