Senate passes cell phone ban

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On Thursday the state Senate passed HB 1360, a bill that bans any cell-phone use while driving, unless the device is hands-free.

Supporters argued that crash statistics justify a ban.

"This is not an infringement on the rights of citizens," said Sen. Jim Rausch (R-Derry), "but a reasonable limit on the use of the technology we have today to keep us safer."

Opponents argued the state was overreaching. 

"This is about what this legislative body tells people they can or cannot do," said Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford). "Clearly this shows we are walking toward a Nanny State."

The Senate extended the effective date of the bill to July 2015 and added a public education campaign.  The House must approve those changes before the bill goes to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) for her signature.

Do you think New Hampshire should forbid cell phone use while driving?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to learn more about New Hampshire's distracted driving laws.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

Do you know these terms?

The LFDA can help! read more →

Do you understand the terms in this picture? At this point in our legislative session, the 2014 NH legislature has voted on roughly 900 bills! As a service to our members, the Live Free or Die Alliance has not only divided these bills into 41 easy to browse categories, but also created a cheat-sheet on how to read a Bill Status on the NH General Court website.

CLICK HERE
to see the 41 categories, our easy to use Gen-Court lingo cheat-sheet, and more.  If you are not yet a FREE member, you will be prompted to register.

Death penalty repeal fails

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On Thursday the New Hampshire Senate voted 12-12 on a bill to repeal the state's death penalty.  The tie vote means the bill failed to pass.

New Hampshire has not come this close to a repeal since 2000, when Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) vetoed a repeal that passed the House and Senate.

This year a repeal had the support of some law enforcement, former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), and several legislators that used to oppose repeal. 

However, the repeal lost support when some legislators suggested the bill could change the sentence of Michael Addison, New Hampshire's only inmate on death row.

What do you think of this year's death penalty repeal vote?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

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

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.

Sup. Ct. considers tax credit scholarships

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On Wednesday the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments in the lawsuit against the state's tax credit scholarship program.

The program gives businesses a tax credit if they contribute to a scholarship fund for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit January 9, 2013 charging that the program violates the New Hampshire Constitution, which forbids the use of tax money for private religious schools.

On Wednesday state attorneys argued that the program involves private money and private decision-makers, and therefore does not violate the constitutional ban on state money for religious schools.

In June 2013 a lower court found that because of the tax credit, the scholarship funds amount to public money.

Do you think the scholarship tax credit program violates the New Hampshire Constitution?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE
to read coverage from Seacoast Online.

House panel OKs "Benefit Corporations"

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On Tuesday the House Commerce Committee voted in favor of SB 215, a bill to allow Benefit Corporations, also known as "B Corps," to form in New Hampshire.  The full House will vote on the bill later this spring.

When making decisions, B Corps are allowed to consider public benefit in addition to profit for shareholders.  Regular corporations are vulnerable to lawsuits if they make decisions that do not maximize profits. 

However, Rep. Emily Sandblade (R-Manchester) argued that the simultaneous goals of profit and public benefit would make corporations even more vulnerable to lawsuits.

"We are creating a whole new form of business," said Sandblade. "We are unleashing this, and people who are going the B Corp route are going to get their pants sued off."

Rep. John Hunt (R-Rindge) countered, "We are being way too nanny about this bill. Don’t worry your silly little heads about it. Some people want a touchy-feely corporation. What’s the harm?"

Do you think New Hampshire should allow B Corps?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHBR.

Voice your opinion on Northern Pass

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The state legislature is currently considering two bills that would require the Site Evaluation Committee to give preference to plans that bury electrical lines and place them along public rights of way: HB 569 and SB 245.  Both bills would impact the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project.

The LFDA knows this issue is important to our members, and we are working to make your voice heard.  First, we have summarized our fans' Facebook comments on the Northern Pass into a report for lawmakers:  CLICK HERE to read the report.

Here are some more ways to make your voice heard:

1. Contact your representatives and share your opinion
CLICK HERE to find your representatives' profile, including contact information.  Write an e-mail, snail-mail a letter, or make a phone call to let them know where you stand.

2. Sign a petition
Do you want New Hampshire to bury the Northern Pass transmission lines?  CLICK HERE to sign a petition in favor of burying or blocking the Northern Pass.  Do you want to express support for the Northern Pass?  CLICK HERE to sign a petition on the Northern Pass website.

3. Comment online
CLICK HERE to comment on a LFDA Facebook post about the Northern Pass, or CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.  CLICK HERE to see a discussion started by one of our members.

4. Learn more
The LFDA makes it easy to form an educated opinion on the issues.  CLICK HERE to see the LFDA issue page on the Northern Pass.

Senate passes cell phone ban

Do you know these terms?

Death penalty repeal fails

Sup. Ct. considers tax credit scholarships

House panel OKs "Benefit Corporations"

Voice your opinion on Northern Pass

Political Tracker
  
Groton Wind farm operator agrees to meet state demands

 Union Leader — 4/20/2014

Iberdrola Renewables has agreed to comply with all state building and safety codes at its 24-turbine Groton Wind facility by stated deadlines, according to the state.
Read More... 

 
Capital Beat: Death penalty repeal, marijuana decriminalization may not be dead just yet

Concord Monitor — 4/20/2014

Despite the New Hampshire Senate’s seeming defeat of bills to repeal the death penalty and decriminalize up to an ounce of marijuana Thursday, the prime House sponsors of both pieces of legislation still see an opportunity to push their bills through.

Read More...


 
Havenstein makes run for governor official
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Issue Tracker
State Gasoline Tax  
State Gasoline Tax 

The joint Public Works and Ways and Means Committee voted 26-11 last week to recommend passing a 4.2 cent gas tax increase, which was approved by the Senate earlier this year. The bill now goes to the House and would take effect July 1 if passed.
Learn More About the Issue...

Death Penalty  
Death Penalty 

The Senate voted 12-12 on a bill to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty on Thursday, preventing HB 1170 from passing. The House voted in favor of the repeal in a 225-104 vote in March and Gov. Hassan indicated her support for the measure as well.
Learn More About the Issue...

Gambling  
Gambling 

The latest NH casino bill, which would legalize two casinos with a total of 5,000 video slots and 240 table games, now includes a $25 million allotment to aid state communities and property tax payers. A one-casino bill was killed by the House last month.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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John L. Morgan
If you want to be just another footnote in the ever growing Darwin Award book...go for it! Don't need to legislate or regulate stupid as it comes naturally and easily to many!
Arthur Bradbury
Some one needs to make those not aware of how fast hypothermia can take hold in the fast moving waters of a river. Or how fast a person can become immobile from the shock of very cold water. A good friend lost his sister in a pond when she went through the ice. She was an athlete in her 20s, and a superb swimmer. This isn't a joke. Take it from a WSI instructor, and EMT.
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