NH Senate Okays District Court Funding Compromise

Senate vote today that will allow for four district courts slated for closure to remain open if their local communities contribute financially. Also attached is a photo of Senator Bob Odell as he spoke on the Senate floor today about the bill.

The NH Senate voted today to allow for four district courts slated for closure to remain open if their local communities contribute financially. Senator Bob Odell spoke on the Senate floor today about the bill.

The NH Senate voted today to allow for the continued operation of district courts in Claremont, Colebrook, Milford and Keene that were slated for closure in 2011. House Bill 1516 would require these four communities to pick up the costs for leasing the courtroom space if they want to maintain their local district court. But it also calls on the state court system to cover security for these four district courts within its existing budget, according to  the NH Senate Office release.

“We’ve heard from the communities about the importance of these courts and seen a willingness by them to financially participate in order to keep their courts open,” said Senator Odell (R-Lempster). “The city of Claremont was among those willing to come forward and participate in funding their district court so access to the court could be maintained in that community. This is a good compromise.”

“In Cheshire County and the city of Keene, leaders came together and made a commitment to keep their district court,” said Senator Molly Kelly (D-Keene).

“I brought together a task force, which has been moving forward to find a home for the district court in a new court complex in Keene,” said Kelly. “Passage of this bill allows that process to continue and for us to maintain the district court in Keene over the long term.”

House Bill 1516 was amended by the Senate to provide for local financial support and will have to return to the House to garner approval there.

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