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.

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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!

Uncertain future for political ad bill

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Some politically active nonprofits are threatening a lawsuit If Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signs new campaign finance bill SB 120.

The bill requires 501(c)4 nonprofits to file with the Secretary of State if they spend over $5,000.

The law is meant to shed light on spending by outside groups during elections.  Under current law, groups generally do not need to file with the Secretary of State so long as their advertisements do not expressly say "vote for" or "vote against" a candidate.  If an advertisement instead tells voters to "share your opinion" with a candidate, the advertisement is technically not political advertising in New Hampshire.

SB 120 would allow New Hampshire citizens to see who is spending money on advertisements, even if the advertisements do not expressly say "vote for" or "vote against."

Opponents of SB 120, such as the conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, argue that such disclosure laws are an unconstitutional burden on free speech by nonprofits. 

"I think the goal of the bill is to try and regulate issue advocacy," Greg Moore, Director of the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told NHPR.  "And if that’s the goal, it’s obvious they have put themselves on a collision course with litigation."

What do you think of SB 120?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about New Hampshire's campaign finance laws.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

NH will not shelter immigrant kids - yet

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This past week Pres. Obama asked Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut to shelter some of the many children who have crossed the Mexican-U.S. border illegally. 

According to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), the President has not contacted New Hampshire about a sheltering arrangement.

However, Gov. Hassan seems open to sheltering some of the children.

"We are part of the country, and we are talking about children here," she said. "We need to think about the safety of children and the safety of our communities and come together. If we were to receive such a request, that's the approach we would take and make a determination accordingly."

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who suggested a moratorium on refugee resettlement in Manchester last year, strongly opposes sheltering the immigrant children in New Hampshire.

"They seem to come in, and no one takes ownership," he said. "No one is helping you pay for them. They're just here."

If asked, do you think New Hampshire should shelter children who have crossed the Mexican-U.S. border illegally?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over illegal/undocumented immigrants in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from WMUR.

Last tolls at Exit 12 Friday night

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On Friday night the last tolls will be collected at Exit 12 on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack.

The legislature agreed to remove the tolls at Exit 12 as a compromise when passing the four-cent gas tax increase.

The tolls at Exits 10, 11, and 12 have been a point of contention for many years in the legislature. 

The tolls were installed to pay for roughly $50 million in infrastructure improvements in Merrimack, and only half of that debt is paid. 

However, Merrimack residents argue that the Everett Turnpike tolls are unfair since other communities have not paid for infrastructure improvements with tolls.

The gas tax increase will generate roughly $33 million annually, earmarked for the widening of I-93.

The toll removal at Exit 12 will cost the state roughly $1 million annually.

Do you have an opinion on closing the Merrimack tolls?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

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

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

Alexandria rejects wind farm study

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On Tuesday Selectmen in Alexandria refused a permit for EDP Renewables to test the town's suitability for a wind farm.

The majority of Selectmen rejected the permit because of significant opposition to wind farms among residents.  Earlier this year another energy company, Iberdrola Renewables, abandoned a plan to build a wind farm in Alexandria due to local opposition.

Selectman Michael Broome noted that Alexandria voters approved a "Rights-Based Ordinance" in March that essentially asserts that residents have the right to decide on any large new energy projects in town.   

Selectman George Tuthill was the lone dissenter on the board.  He argued that the Selectman had actually approved the permit a year ago. Tuesday's meeting was simply to confirm that EDP Renewables had met the conditions of the permit, such as providing evidence of a $34,000 decomissioning bond.

Following the vote on Tuesday, there are no more new wind farm proposals on the table in New Hampshire.

Do you think individual towns should have the right to reject power plants, including wind farms?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the debate over wind farms in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

NH falls in child wellbeing

Join Our Community

Uncertain future for political ad bill

NH will not shelter immigrant kids - yet

Last tolls at Exit 12 Friday night

Alexandria rejects wind farm study

Political Tracker
 
Officials: NH residents won’t immediately lose health insurance tax credits because of court rulings

Concord Monitor — 7/23/2014

Nothing will immediately change for New Hampshire residents as a result of two conflicting court rulings on the availability of tax credits for people who purchased health insurance in states with federally managed exchanges, state and federal officials said.
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NH Civil Liberties Union suit argues new law shuts out third parties

LFDA Virtual Town Hall — 7/23/2014

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties has filed a lawsuit in federal court that challenges a new state law limiting the time political parties have to collect signatures to get on the ballot.

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Meet the Candidates: Maggie Hassan
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Issue Tracker
New Tolls  
New Tolls 

On Friday night, the toll booth at Exit 12 on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack ceased collecting tolls as a part of the gas tax increase law that went into effect July 1. The toll employees were moved to adjacent plazas; equipment and signs will be removed at a cost of $600,000.
Learn More About the Issue...

Water Sustainability in NH  
Water Sustainability in NH 

The state Department of Environmental Services has $2.2 million in funds set aside for drinking water protection in southern New Hampshire. The funds were established to offset the impact from the construction of I-93 between the Mass. border and Manchester.
Learn More About the Issue...

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has pushed the anticipated completion of its impact statement on Seabrook Station into October, rather than July, which will delay the consideration of the plant's request for a 20-year license renewal when it comes due in 2030.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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Christopher Lawless
don't know if I agree with the law or not.. but Hassan is balancing on the thinnest of legal lines. She is the incumbent and was clearly going to run again.
Bill DeFranzo
The problem with campaign financing is campaign finance reform. Every time we pass more ligislation the money just goes deeper underground and establishes barriers that discriminate against challengers to incumbents.
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