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.

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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!

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.

Libertarians sue NH for ballot access

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The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of the Libertarian Party, is suing New Hampshire over new regulations to get on the ballot.

Third-party candidates have to collect signatures to get on the ballot with Democrats and Republicans.  In May Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed a bill that requires third-party candidates to collect the required signatures within the year of election. 

In the past the Libertarian Party started collecting signatures more than a year in advance.

"This law stacks the deck against candidates who don’t belong to a major party and really protects major parties from competition and prevents voters from being presented with alternative choices," said NH Civil Liberties Union attorney Gilles Bissonnette.

On the other hand, the Secretary of State requested the rule to minimize the number of invalid signatures, due to death or relocation, which may arise if signatures are collected earlier.

Do you think third-party candidates should have a time limit for collecting signatures?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

NH falls in child wellbeing

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For many years New Hampshire ranked #1 in the Kids Count index on child welfare, released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  This year New Hampshire fell to #4, due in large part to the number of children living in poverty.

According to the report released this week, the number of children living in poverty in New Hampshire increased 4% in a year.  The number of children living with parents who do not have secure employment also increased.

However, New Hampshire continued to rank high in other areas, such as performance on fourth-grade reading assessments.

Gov. Maggie Hassan pointed to the poverty statistics as evidence in favor of raising the minimum wage.

However, opponents of a minimum wage increase argue that a higher wage will force employers to decrease the number of minimum wage jobs available.

Do you have an opinion on the child welfare ranking?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over a minimum wage increase.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Concord Monitor.

NH will not enforce clinic buffer

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Right-to-Work in 2015?

NH too slow on medical marijuana?

Libertarians sue NH for ballot access

NH falls in child wellbeing

Political Tracker
 
Governor, U.S. senators praise Easter Seals' support of NH vets

Union Leader — 7/27/2014

Gov. Maggie Hassan still believes Easter Seals New Hampshire should have a chance to bid on running a military support program it helped create seven years ago, her spokesman said Friday.
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Capital Beat: Republicans, Democrats mark battleground in race to control state Senate

Concord Monitor — 7/27/2014

Political junkies have surely noticed the uptick in campaign activity between Democrats Kass Ardinger and Dan Feltes, who are competing to secure endorsements in a battle to replace Concord’s outgoing state senator, Sylvia Larsen.

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Issue Tracker
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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.
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Wind Farms
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Town selectmen in Alexandria refused to approve a permit for a 262-foot meteorological tower to test the winds in town for the suitability of the site for a wind farm. EDP Renewables is looking to build a $140 million 15-25 turbine farm in Alexandria, Groton, and Hebron.
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State Gasoline Tax  
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The Executive Council has approved a $25.7 million package for paving and rehabilitating nearly 200 miles of highways in the state. The projects will be funded by income raised through the 4.2 cent gas tax increase that went into effect on July 1.
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In The NH News

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Cathy Gorman
I was already worried how this train wreck was going to impact NH. this latest ruling(s) will just make everyone feel the pain which I don't think is a bad thing if it wakes people up to this scam.
Patrick Adrian
NH, and any other state is allowed to opt back out at any time.
But an abrupt reversal at this junction could trigger another economic depression. And almost half of all American families are projected unable to financially absorb another shock.
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