JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Here are some of the issues facing New Hampshire citizens today. We hope that you will take this opportunity to join in and become engaged in issues of relevance to you or your community.
New Hampshire is one of five states with a law sanctioning same-sex marriage. There are two movements to repeal that law. The first wants to prohibit any legal alternatives to heterosexual marriage. The second wants to revert to the 2007 civil union law that preceded the same-sex marriage law.
Under New Hampshire’s capital punishment law, the death penalty can be sought in cases involving the murder of police and court officers, judges, murders for hire, and/or murders connected to drug deals, rape, kidnapping and home invasions.
New Hampshire is the only state that does not require adults to wear a seat belt. Under current law, only children under 18 have to buckle up in New Hampshire.
Property taxes on land and buildings are used predominantly by local governments to finance schools, police and fire protection, trash collection, street maintenance, and public recreation, among other local services. The state property tax is used to help fund K-12 education. NH citizens are led to believe that we have the highest property taxes in the U.S. But how high they are depends on how you measure the tax--on some measures we are in the top few; by others we range between 13th and 45th highest taxed states.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has found that the state, and not our local communities, is responsible for ensuring the funding of an adequate education for all citizens. The NH legislature has attempted to comply with the court's order, but has not done so in a way that many communities and citizens have accepted. All recent NH governors have recommended to the legislature a constitutional amendment that gets the courts out of the picture, and puts the decisions on education funding in the hands of the legislature. But since the NH legislature has failed to agree to any amendment language, none has ever gone to the citizens for a vote.
The Old Man of the Mountain came crashing down in May 2003. Following several years of debate, a task force decided against rebuilding this symbol of New Hampshire and supported the creation of an abstract replica in a park near Profile Lake.
As a result of Senate Bill 2, adopted in 1995, any town, school district or cooperative school district that raises and appropriates funds at an annual meeting can adopt a process whereby all warrant articles are given their final vote by official ballot. The law effectively takes the voters’ power away from the traditional town meeting, and turns it into a "deliberative session." If the town budget is not approved by the voters on the written ballot, a "default budget" takes its place. The default budget can be higher or lower than the proposed town budget.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the first cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases in the U.S. RGGI is an agreement among 10 Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to reduce global greenhouse gases. In New Hampshire, enabling legislation was passed in 2007.
The state legislature has wrestled with several bills related to gambling over the past few years. The proposals included legalized video slot machines to a full-fledged casino in southern New Hampshire. The state already has many gambling activities like our lottery, race tracks and charitable events. Expanded gambling offers the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues, but these revenues come with potentially significant economic and social costs.