Gov. Maggie Hassan’s proposed two-year budget does not contain revenue from a casino as it did two years ago. Instead, she proposed $26 million from the legalization of keno, an online form of playing a lottery type game.
But Hassan this week indicated her continued support for legalized casino gambling in the Granite State.
She offered her support for a casino during a hearing before the House and Senate finance committees on her $11.5 billion two-year budget that starts on July 1, 2015.
“I put Keno into this budget, because we see there is a lot of revenue that we expect is being spent by Granite Staters being paid over for Massachusetts. I’d prefer to bring that money home. But I continue to believe that one high end casino makes sense of our state, all the marketplace studies show that it does,” Hassan said to lawmakers.
See a WMUR report here
There is a casino proposal from state Sen. Lou D’Allesadro, a champion of casino gambling over the years. His SB 113
proposes two casinos for the state. Casino bills have historically passed the Senate, but have failed in the House. Hassan refused to say Tuesday whether she would sign a bill legalizing two casinos.
There was also discussion at the finance committees’ hearing on Hassan’s proposal to create the position of chief operating officer for the state. The COO's office would create standardized procedures for state agencies, such as a uniform way to measure progress, with the goal of streamlining state government and saving taxpayer dollars.
Republican lawmakers said the governor should be handling that work herself.
See a Seacoast Online story here
.Also in Concord
If right-to-work legislation passes the Republican House and Republican Senate, Democrat Hassan said she would veto them. See a Concord Monitor story here
The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard arguments Thursday on decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The state already has a medical marijuana law on the books, but it has yet to be fully enacted. See an NHPR story here
The House rejected a measure to change the current annual motor vehicle inspection to every other year. See an NH1 story here.
The New Hampshire House also voted to send all the state’s proceeds from regional cap-and-trade auctions back to ratepayers, opting not to continue investing a portion into energy efficiency projects. See a Concord Monitor story here
.On the 2016 campaign trail
It was a busy week for developments in the 2016 presidential race.
Vice President Joe Biden signaled his interest in running for the Democratic nomination. He is coming to the first-in-the-nation primary state next Wednesday with stops in Concord and Manchester. See an NH1 story here
Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have committed to attending the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit scheduled for April 17-18 at the Nashua Crowne Plaza. See a Concord Monitor story here
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has started hiring staff in the Granite State for a likely 2016 run. See a Foster’s Daily Democrat story here
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attended a GOP dinner in Concord and took shots at both President Barack Obama and Gov. Hassan. See a Union Leader story here
Funding for the university system, education standards and Planned Parenthood funding were among the topics of note on our Facebook page
this week. Join us there for some lively discussion.
See you next week.