Senate Public Hearings Today
While the N.H. House continues its budget bill session today, the state Senate will get back to work with committee hearings on the deluge of bills that successfully passed and crossed over from the House.
In this Dispatch, we highlight two public hearings on bills we have tracked this legislative session.
Big Bird in the Hot Seat
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a public hearing and perhaps hold an executive session vote on House Bill 113, which would prohibit any state funding for New Hampshire Public Television.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester) passed the House 262-102 along largely partisan lines (a handful of Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the bill). NHPTV, which is overseen by the University System of New Hampshire, could lose more than $5 million in funding for the 2012-2013 biennium if the bill becomes law. The station said that it received $2.7 million — or about one third of its budget — from the state for its current 2010-2011 budget cycle.
Rail Authority Fate
The Senate Transportation Committee will consider repealing the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority.
House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Dan McGuire (R-Epsom) was strongly pushed by House Republican leaders. It passed the House earlier this month by a 190-119 vote. More than two dozen Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the bill.
As we noted in an earlier Daily Dispatch, the 2007 legislation that created the NHRTA, which is not state-funded, was co-sponsored by Senate President Peter Bragdon (R-Milford). The committee could take executive session votes on any or all of the bills it will consider today.
>> Senate Finance Committee public hearing on HB 113, Room 103 in the State House, 1:00 p.m.
>> Senate Transportation Committee public hearing on HB 218, Room 103 in the Legislative Office Building, scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
This Daily Dispatch was written by Michael McCord.