NH revises prescription monitoring

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Last week Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed SB 31, a bill that revises New Hampshire's prescription monitoring program.

While the state's rise in heroin addiction has received more press in 2015, prescription drug abuse continues to be a problem in the Granite State.

In October 2014 New Hampshire launched the prescription monitoring program, a database for doctors and pharmacists to log prescriptions.  This prevents "doctor-shopping," when a patient obtains prescriptions from multiple doctors.

SB 31 clarifies which doctors need to log into the database and when.  It also allows doctors and hospitals to share information with other states.  The bill also allows the pharmacy board to share aggregate data, which keeps personal information private.

While bill supporters described these changes as "housekeeping," the information sharing may raise the hackles of some privacy advocates.  The legislature only authorized the prescription monitoring program in 2012 after adding significant privacy protections, such as deleting patient information every six months. 

Do you have an opinion on the prescription monitoring program?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the prescription monitoring program.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Eagle-Tribune.

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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!

Bad news for NH women in business?

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According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the growth of women-owned businesses in New Hampshire is slower than the national average.

American Express OPEN analyzed Census data from 1997, 2002, and 2007, and projected data for 2015.

From 1997 to present, the number of women-owned business increased 74% nationally, but just 49% in New Hampshire.  New Hampshire ranked 33rd among 50 states in terms of the growth of women-owned businesses.

However, a 2014 report from American Express OPEN found that women-owned businesses in New Hampshire are relatively successful compared to the rest of the U.S.  From 1997 to 2014, sales by women-owned businesses increased 140% in New Hampshire, compared to 71% nationally.  (2015 data on sales from New Hampshire women-owned businesses are not yet available.)

Do you think women-owned businesses are relatively successful in New Hampshire, or is New Hampshire falling behind?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHBR.

Senate: no $ for commuter rail

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The New Hampshire Senate has decided against funding further study of a southern New Hampshire commuter rail.  The study would have cost $4 million.

Opponents of further study noted that a commuter rail would need state or local subsidies to stay afloat - anywhere from $4 to $15 million each year.  Opponents also question whether a commuter rail would help the local economy.

"The Federal Transit Administration published reports that said if you think economic development will result from a new commuter rail, you need to revisit the issue because it is not the end result," said Boutin.

However, New Hampshire's latest commuter rail study, published in November 2014, found that a rail could bring as many as 5,600 jobs to New Hampshire.

According to commuter rail supporters, other benefits include increased tourism, reduced traffic congestion on Routes 3 and 93 and therefore less cost to maintain those roads, more transportation choices for residents, and decreased pollution.

Do you think the Senate was right to vote against further commuter rail study?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over a commuter rail in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

NH Senate opposes Keno

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The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 against authorizing Keno this week.

Keno is a lottery game offered in bars and some other establishments that serve alcohol.  A player selects numbers on a slip, and a computer generates random numbers every four minutes.  The player gets a payout for matching numbers from the computer and the slip.

Sen. David Boutin, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, cautioned policymakers about the social ills associated with Keno.

"Anyplace that sells liquor can put these machines in, you are going to have gambling in every corner in every town," said Boutin.

The House of Representatives included Keno as part of their state budget proposal, so Keno still has a chance of getting approved when House and Senate budget negotiators meet in June.

Gov. Maggie Hassan also supports Keno.

"Six of the ten most lucrative Keno locations in Massachusetts are located within five miles of the New Hampshire border. Allowing Keno and self-service lottery terminals would help bring that revenue back home to invest in our priorities," Hassan argued in her budget address.

Do you think the state should authorize Keno?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about negotiations over the next state budget.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NH1.

Ban on military equipment for police?

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This week President Obama issued an order prohibiting the use of federal funds to buy "military-type" equipment for law enforcement.

The ban includes everything from bayonets to tracked armored vehicles.

"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like they're an occupying force, as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," said Obama.

Over the past few years, several New Hampshire communities have debated the acquisition of military-style equipment - particularly armored "BearCat" vehicles.

In New Hampshire, lawmakers have passed a bill to study the purchase of military vehicles and equipment by law enforcement.

The bill was originally written to ban the purchase outright.  However, some lawmakers oppose a ban because they believe cities and towns should be allowed to make their own decisions on equipment.

Other opponents argue that military-style equipment is appropriate for some situations, such as natural disasters and dangerous stand-offs.

Do you support a ban on military equipment for law enforcement?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NH1.

NH revises prescription monitoring

Join Our Community

Bad news for NH women in business?

Senate: no $ for commuter rail

NH Senate opposes Keno

Ban on military equipment for police?

Political Tracker

Presidential candidates continue to return to NH

NHPR — 5/26/2015

This week Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and businesswoman Carly Fiorina are all planning to return to the Granite State.
Read More... 


It's crunch time for NH Senate budget writers

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 5/26/2015

Senate budget writers meet Tuesday to start wrapping up their two-year spending plan.

Read More...


 
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Issue Tracker
Student Vote  
Student Vote 

The state Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that blocked a 2012 law that required those registering to vote in the state to register their motor vehicles and apply for a driver's license, which the court said burdened the fundamental right to vote.
Learn More About the Issue...

Common Core in NH  
Common Core in NH 

The Senate has approved House Bill 603, which would prevent parents and school districts from being penalized if parents choose to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests, such as those administered under the Common Core State Standards.
Learn More About the Issue...

Family Planning in NH  
Family Planning in NH 

The House Commerce and Small Business Affairs Committee voted 13-8 to retain a bill that would require employers to make workplace accommodations for mothers of newborns who need to breastfeed.The Senate unanimously passed the bill.
Learn More About the Issue...

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Chris Ouellette
I did full day kindergarten and I was never burnt out. It does help for the future of our youth and also as a parent it would allow more hours for the working family to have at work.
Patrick Adrian
So, if the state mandates universal kindergarten, does it plan on universally funding it? Or is this another example of downshifting the costs, while keeping the mandates in place?
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