NHPTV and Rooms & Meals Go to Vote | Front Door Politics

In what is shaping up to be the busiest period yet for lawmakers this session, the House will meet twice next week to vote on dozens of bills — on Tuesday after Gov. John Lynch’s budget address to the Legislature and on Wednesday for its regularly scheduled session.Two bills that we have reported on this session in Front Door Politics — one to cut state funding for public television and the other to cut the state’s rooms and meals tax rate – will have full House votes next week.

Read more via NHPTV and Rooms & Meals Go to Vote | Front Door Politics.

Back to Basics: Repealing Public Kindergarten | Front Door Politics

More than three years after the Legislature mandated public kindergarten in New Hampshire, the debate has returned with a House proposal that would repeal the law.

via Back to Basics: Repealing Public Kindergarten | Front Door Politics.

Testing Tax Cuts | Front Door Politics

Republican leadership at the State House has made tax cutting and budget balancing top priorities and today, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold public hearings and may have executive session votes on nine tax-related bills.

They include three measures we are watching that could lead to tens of millions in tax cuts on tobacco sales, rooms and meals and gambling winnings — but possibly make budget balancing even more difficult.

Read more via Testing Tax Cuts | Front Door Politics.

Who Pays for Planned Parenthood | Front Door Politics

For the third time since 2007, legislation has been filed to cut off all state funding for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, which runs six health centers in New Hampshire.

Planned Parenthood logoThe House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee will hold the first public hearing on House Bill 228 Tuesday. While no state or federal funds can be used for abortions — except in the case of rape, incest, or danger to mother’s health — the bill’s primary sponsor claims the state’s taxpayers are paying for them, all the same.

Read more via Who Pays for Planned Parenthood | Front Door Politics.

Constitutional debate over federal health care action | Front Door Politics

A Constitutional showdown could be on the docket if New Hampshire lawmakers pass a bill set for a full House vote. The session has been cancelled tomorrow [February 2, 2011] due to snow, so the House will likely take up the bill next Wednesday.

(Photo: N.H. Attorney General Michael Delaney refutes the Legislature’s authority to demand that he take action against “Obamacare.”)

Republican-sponsored House Bill 89, which passed out of committee on a party line vote, would require the Attorney General to join some 26 other states in a lawsuit challenging the federal health care reform act passed last year. Attorney General Michael Delaney testified last month that the proposal itself was unconstitutional because the legislative branch can make laws but not tell the executive branch how to enforce them. He promised to challenge the law in court if it passes.

Read more via the Daily Dispatch from Front Door Politics

Postponing Changes to Education Funding | Front Door Politics

A year after a similar measure failed, a House committee will likely vote Tuesday on a proposal to postpone scheduled changes to education funding for New Hampshire cities and towns. The funding formula was settled on by the Legislature in 2008. It is due to change beginning July 1.

Sponsored by Rep. Kenneth Gould R-Derry, House Bill 34 would maintain current levels of education grant funding to municipalities for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday in executive session and could make a recommendation to the full House about the bill at that time.

via Postponing Changes to Education Funding | Front Door Politics.

Cold Case Unit Could Become Permanent | Front Door Politics

More than 120 unsolved murders in New Hampshire stretch back over four decades. Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to make the state’s temporary investigative Cold Case Unit a permanent entity.

via Cold Case Unit Could Become Permanent | Front Door Politics.

Pondering Pensions | Front Door Politics

Public employees and unions are keeping a close eye on big changes to the New Hampshire Retirement System that could be coming down the pike — and on a newly created House committee on pension reform.

When the recession hit, the state’s public employee pension system was already battered from a decade of chronic underfunding. Now, lawmakers are looking for ways to deal with more than $3 billion in unfunded liabilities for future retirees. The pension system serves over 75,000 active and retired teachers, fire fighters, police officers and public employees from more than 450 New Hampshire municipalities.

via Pondering Pensions | Front Door Politics.

Redefining “Adequacy” in Education | Front Door Politics

Less than four years after a bipartisan measure in the Legislature met the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s order to define an “adequate education,” a Litchfield lawmaker has filed a bill to change that definition. Republican Rep. Ralph Boehm, vice chair of the House Education Committee, will present House Bill 39 for a public hearing in the committee on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Among other changes, Boehm’s bill would eliminate education in the arts, world languages, health and technology as part of the adequate education requirement for school districts that was passed in 2007 as part of House Bill 927.old fashioned red schoolhouse

via Redefining “Adequacy” in Education | Front Door Politics.

Pharmaceutical Take-Back | Front Door Politics

Unused pharmaceuticals increasingly fuel addiction and environmental concerns, but two new bills could help keep New Hampshire’s excess medications off the streets and out of the water supply — while getting some of them to patients for whom costly pills are largely out of reach. Read more via the Daily Dispatch…

Snow Day: Public Hearings Rescheduled | Front Door Politics

Withdrawing state funding for public television and repealing the moratorium on school building aid are among the public hearings that were cancelled today due to the snow.

via Snow Day: Public Hearings Rescheduled | Front Door Politics.

PS: Front Door Politics posted an update on the Republican’s investigation of state Democratic Party leader Rep. Mike Brunelle. “The hearing scheduled for Jan. 13 has been indefinitely postponed. A special hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 27, at which legal experts will be consulted to determine the validity of the Republicans’ case against Brunelle.” Read more via the Daily Dispatch…

Conflicting Interests: Republicans Investigate State Dem Leader | Front Door Politics

The most bitter political fight of the new legislative session could end up to be not over taxes or budget cuts, but a constitutional provision enacted in 1792. How that provision is defined at hearings this week could determine the fate of a Democratic House member from Manchester who could be expelled from the Legislature by the Republican majority.

via Conflicting Interests: Republicans Investigate State Dem Leader | Front Door Politics.

Proceed with Caution, Says One Budget Hawk | Front Door Politics

How cautious should lawmakers be when crafting the 2011-2013 biennium budget? Plenty cautious, according to one budget watcher who will give a briefing to a legislative committee today.

The third and final full day of economic briefings for a joint House-Senate committee will include presentations from three experts on the state budget and economy. Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, says, “I think this particular Legislature is prone to caution and it is an attitude to encourage.”

Via… Proceed with Caution, Says One Budget Hawk | Front Door Politics.

Photo: Charlie Arlinghaus urges caution in the next budget-writing session.

Halfway Home? | Front Door Politics

Halfway Home? New Hampshire lawmakers will hear that the state is “halfway home” in economic recovery measurements at a briefing set for today at the State House.

Check out the Daily Dispatch… Halfway Home? | Front Door Politics.

NH House committees start to organize

paper chain peopleFront Door Politics NH touches on “hemp and headwaters to judges and taxes,” in today’s Daily Dispatch: “Getting Organized for the New Year.” Michael McCord reports, “Shortly after the House and Senate go into session Wednesday morning, five House Committees will begin their work in the afternoon. At least, they’ll start getting organized for the work ahead.” Read more via today’s Daily Dispatch at Front Door Politics.

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