"Pledge politics" - good or bad?

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This week the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) asked candidates to sign a five-point pledge.

The five points are: to cut taxes, to cut spending, to pass a Right to Work law, to oppose the Affordable Care Act (known as "Obamacare"), and to uphold the Constitution.

Supporters of the AFP pledge - and other pledges - argue that such promises keep candidates honest and help voters know where candidates stand.

Opponents argue that such "pledge politics" over-simplify issues and prevent elected officials from considering all possible policy solutions.

The AFP pledge also faces criticism because the organization is based outside New Hampshire.

"We're in a period now in American politics where the third parties like the Koch brothers or some on the left can dictate what campaigns will be talking about and campaigning about, not just giving donations," said James Pindell of WMUR.

What do you think about the AFP pledge, or other pledges?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from WMUR.  The slide image depicts a still shot from WMUR's coverage of the AFP pledge signing ceremony.

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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!

Should NH change compost laws?

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The federal Environmental Protection Agency estimates that food scraps take up 21% of landfills, but New Hampshire regulations make it difficult to set up food composting businesses in the Granite State.

New Hampshire regulations require a separate, expensive permitting process for composting meat and dairy.

Supporters of the regulations worry that meat and dairy composting causes odors and attracts animals, more so than fruit and vegetable composting.

Others point out that meat and dairy composting businesses are safely and successfully operating in Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. 

Do you think NH businesses should be required to get a permit to compost meat and dairy products?  CLICK HERE to answer the question on our Facebook page.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

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.

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.

"Pledge politics" - good or bad?

Join Our Community

Should NH change compost laws?

Hassan vetoes employee bully bill

What is an "adequate network"?

NH will not enforce clinic buffer

Political Tracker
 
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In The NH News

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Rob Cheney
Yes. It is proven the spread of pathogens could be a problem on a large scale. And yes you can compost these table scraps down on a small scale. But it takes longer. Farmers of the old would put a dead cow in the manure pile in the winter. It was the only way to rid the animal in the winter when the frost was in.
Meagan A Forbes
I think it should be regulated to some existent but a permit seems a bit much. Better to compost our waist than shove it in a hole. And yes you can compost dairy. Dairy and meat compost makes excellent loom. I have been around compost piles with meat in them and I did not even notice a smell.
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