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This week’s Senate votes include amending the N.H. Constitution regarding education funding, plus voter identification and payday loans.
With the deadline to “Crossover Day” on March 31 fast approaching, both the House and Senate are in session this week to finish work on their remaining bills.
The two main budget bills are the top remaining bills in the House. The Senate will clear its docket of more than 49 bills and amendments.
On Friday, House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) threw his support behind a measure that would make the Legislature – not the courts – the final authority on educational standards and funding.
The move comes midway through an extended public hearing on one of New Hampshire’s most challenging public policy debates: a constitutional amendment on education funding. The public hearing continues Wednesday …
Our midstream progress report continues today, checking up on the status of some featured legislation we’ve covered so far this session.
For more background on each bill, click the links to the corresponding dispatches in the bolded heading.
A scaled-down bipartisan proposal to revive gambling will have its first public hearing today. It comes a year after a bill to allow expanded gaming in New Hampshire passed the Senate but died in the House.
House Bill 593, sponsored by Rep. Edmond Gionet (R-Lincoln) would establish two casinos — “at least 100 miles apart” — offering video poker, slots and table games. The House Ways and Means Committee will consider how the bill proposes permitting the casinos, plus how it would distribute the state’s proceeds to offset the state education property tax and contribute to the highway fund.
A new standard for local control — letting towns and cities establish their own revenue options such as an income or sales tax to replace the property tax — will have a public hearing this morning in the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee will also consider two bills which would turn back the clock on scores of taxes and fee increases enacted since 2006 (House Bill 646) and 2007 (House Bill 645) and would impact every generating office in state government.
When Democratic Gov. John Lynch delivers his state budget address tomorrow, it will be a dramatic change from his last budget speech in February 2009.
Democratic majorities in both the N.H. House and Senate have been replaced by Republican super-majorities, and the state’s budget crisis has deepened. The next two-year budget hasn’t even been crafted yet, and deficit estimates range from $400 million to the $1 billion figure claimed by Republican leaders.
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.
The House Education Committee is expected to make a recommendation today on House Bill 631, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Maltz (R-Hudson). The bill would both repeal a provision of the 2007 adequate education law for public kindergarten and exempt school districts that eliminate public kindergarten from having to repay the state aid they’ve gotten to add it.
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.
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.
It’s a lightning rod in many states, and New Hampshire’s education system is no exception. So far nearly three dozen education-related bills have been filed for the upcoming legislative session. Today we take a look at a handful we find noteworthy at this early stage of the game.