Should NH broaden "farm stand" definition?

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Some legislators are advocating for a broader definition of a "farm stand" in New Hampshire.

State law allows farmers to sell their food at on-site farm stands with relatively few regulations.  However, some farmers in remote locations find it difficult to draw shoppers to their farm stands.  Those farmers want to sell their food off-site, without triggering retail store regulations.

HB 1382, currently in a study committee, would broaden the legal definition of a farm stand to allow off-site farm stands within a fifty mile radius of the farm.  The law would require clear labels for any farm food.

Supporters of HB 1382 argue that the bill will boost the farm economy while increasing opportunities for consumers to eat locally.

Opponents argue that when food is sold off-farm, consumers do not have the same ability to judge the trustworthiness of the farm.  Therefore, the state should apply the stricter food safety regulations associated with retail stores whenever farms sell food off-site.

Do you think New Hampshire should allow farms to sell food off-site, without applying retail store regulations?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

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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!

Ayotte sponsors "spice" bill

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is co-sponsoring a bill to increase federal regulation of "spice," a form of synthetic marijuana.

Spice products are marketed as potpourri or incense.  However, the flakes are sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to THC, the drug found in marijuana.  The federal government has difficulty regulating synthetic drugs because manufacturers constantly tweak the chemical formulas to bypass regulation.

Ayotte's bill would form a task force of scientists to create a comprehensive list of chemicals equivalent to controlled drugs.  The bill would then ban any import of those controlled substance equivalents, unless intended for non-human use.

"New Hampshire has seen a troubling increase in spice overdoses during the past few months, especially among young people in our state," Ayotte said in a statement.  "We need to reverse this alarming trend and this bipartisan bill is an important step forward in helping law enforcement crack down on dangerous synthetic drugs."

Opponents argue that another drug ban will not decrease drug use, but will instead funnel drug users to new and potentially more dangerous drugs.  Others argue that the government should actively legalize and regulate synthetic marijuana products and/or natural marijuana.

Do you support Ayotte's bill to regulate spice products?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn about the related issue of marijuana decriminalization.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

NH food stamp cuts avoidable?

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This year federal legislators closed a "loophole" in food stamp benefits that allowed recipients to receive additional food assistance, so long as they applied for at least $1 in heating assistance.  Now food stamp recipients must receive at least $20 a year in heating assistance to qualify for additional food stamps.

According to a report from Seacoast Online, New Hampshire is one of only four states that is affected by the change.  Many other states have committed to paying the higher heating assistance to maintain higher food stamp benefits.

Terry Smith, director of New Hampshire's family assistance programs, said New Hampshire decided the limited money for heating assistance was better spent helping those families who truly need the heat.

However, others argue that New Hampshire should protect its most vulnerable residents from food stamp cuts, which average $90 per month per household.

Do you think New Hampshire should redistribute heating assistance to cancel food stamp cuts?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

Nashua drug court gets grant

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The drug court in Nashua is celebrating two milestones this week: its first "graduate" and a $325,000 federal grant to keep operating.

Drug courts allow non-violent drug offenders to go through treatment programs instead of jail.  The first "graduate" of the Nashua court has spent a year in drug treatment and is now training to become an EMT.

Drug court supporters argue that nonviolent drug offenders do not belong in already crowded jails. Drug offenders are also less likely to relapse after treatment.

Those against drug courts point out that many drug offenders fail program requirements and end up in jail anyway; drug courts therefore increase costs without a different outcome. 

Do you support drug courts in New Hampshire?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the fight against prescription drug abuse in New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from NHPR.

UNH pitches tuition freeze

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The New Hampshire University System Trustees are offering to freeze tuition for two years if the state restores funding to 2009 levels.

In the most recent budget cycle the University negotiated a tuition freeze in exchange for a partial funding increase.  However, the legislature did not fully restore the roughly 50% cut from Rep. Bill O'Brien's tenure as House Speaker.

The Trustees are also offering tuition reductions for students in some critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

A tuition freeze might help reduce student loan debt in New Hampshire.  A 2014 report found New Hampshire has the second-highest student debt in the nation.

Opponents of a funding increase argue that the cuts forced the University System to operate more efficiently, like any private business.

Do you think New Hampshire should increasing University funding in exchange for a tuition freeze?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

Should NH broaden "farm stand" definition?

Join Our Community

Ayotte sponsors "spice" bill

NH food stamp cuts avoidable?

Nashua drug court gets grant

UNH pitches tuition freeze

Political Tracker
 
Shaheen: No U.S. troops in combat against ISIS

Seacoast Online — 9/20/2014

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Friday she does not support putting American troops into combat against the terror group known as ISIS, a day after voting yes in a Senate decision Thursday to approve President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the terrorist group.
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Gov. Hassan supports raising minimum wage

Foster's Daily Democrat — 9/20/2014

Gov. Maggie Hassan told members of the Dover, Rochester and Somersworth Chambers of Commerce Friday morning that she supports raising the minimum wage for Granite State workers.

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Hemingway, Lambert, Innis reflect on campaigns
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Issue Tracker
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant  
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspended a rule that prevented the relicensing of nuclear power plants based on concerns about spent fuel rod storage. NextEra Energy is looking to relicense Seabrook Station for 20 years when renewal comes due in 2030.
Learn More About the Issue...

Marijuana Decriminalization  
Marijuana Decriminalization 

Following a rash of drug overdoses due to synthetic marijuana, Manchester Police have reportedly seized eleven pounds of spice, worth more than $25,000, from a tattoo parlor in the city. State officials are working toward implementing a plan to ban synthetic drugs.
Learn More About the Issue...

Hiker Negligence  
Hiker Negligence 

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials held a public hearing on proposed rules to establish a hike safe card, which would forgive hikers for incurred rescue expenses if found to be negligent. The cards will be available in January for $25 per person or $35 per family.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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Bradley P O'Brien
No. No civilian law enforcemt needs Rambo weaponry. We need more Andy Taylor and less Barney Fife.
Spike Pelletier
Yes, definitely !
1- It would deter incidents 2- protect/defend the children.
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