Briefs

Solar panels in a field

Omnibus environmental bill on renewable energy and utilities moves to the House

BY: - June 1, 2021

The House will take up an omnibus environmental bill on Thursday that would require the state to adopt rules about energy storage, among three other renewable energy measures. The legislation also includes proposals regarding hydroelectric generation, group credits for net metering, and the purchase of energy across states. With battery usage and other energy storage […]

A patch of dry lawn

Environmental Services says state is approaching widespread drought

BY: - May 28, 2021

Half of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, according to a recent report from the Department of Environmental Services. The state agency is urging water suppliers to track drought conditions and to ask individuals to conserve water. The state has put out guidance for municipalities on lawn-watering restrictions. Restrictions can go into place in […]

A view of the NH Senate chamber

Senate OKs earlier state primary date, limits on governor’s emergency powers, PFAS protections

BY: - May 27, 2021

In a Senate session on Thursday, lawmakers approved proposals to move the primary from September to August, limit the governor’s emergency powers, and increase PFAS protections and funding. As senators approach the end of the session, they are up against a June 3 deadline to act on all pending legislation. Election law Two election law […]

A bible rests on a table with a cross necklace

‘Religious liberty’ bill amended to address discrimination concerns

BY: - May 26, 2021

An amended version of a “religious liberty” bill up for a Senate vote Thursday preserves a church’s right to stay open during a future state of emergency but eliminates what civil rights advocates said would allow for discrimination on religious grounds. Rep. Keith Ammon, a New Boston Republican and House Bill 542’s sponsor, supports the […]

State house dome

Sununu vetoes bill banning jet skis near coastal marshlands

BY: - May 25, 2021

On Tuesday, Gov. Chris Sununu issued his first veto of the session – shooting down House Bill 184, which would have banned jet skis within 300 feet of marshlands at the Rye estuary and the New Castle back channel. In his veto message, Sununu said the protection was unnecessary because the area does not experience […]

Closeup of handcuffs

Bill barring release of mug shots approved by Judiciary Committee

BY: - May 25, 2021

Senators on the Judiciary Committee approved a measure Tuesday that would bar police from releasing most mug shots after arrests, in a 3-2 committee vote that defied party lines.  House Bill 125 would still allow police departments to take post-arrest photographs of accused perpetrators. But the bill would prohibit the release of the mug shots […]

A view of the State House in Concord.

Democrats: Strike ‘divisive concepts’ language from the budget

BY: - May 25, 2021

On Tuesday, Democrats said that cutting House Bill 544 out of the state’s biennial budget would be nonnegotiable in Wednesday’s budget session. Senate Republicans will introduce their version of the budget policy bill on Wednesday and vote on it during the same session. HB 544 – a proposal that would ban teaching and training around […]

A homeless person sits on the curb in New York City

Republicans on Senate Finance vote against aid for homeless shelters

BY: - May 24, 2021

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted down a $20 million proposal to aid homeless shelters Monday, stopping an effort that Democrats and the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said was necessary to meet a growing need.   In a 3-4 vote, the committee declined to pass the measure, presented as an amendment to […]

State flag and the State House dome

Senate panel approves earlier state primary date

BY: - May 24, 2021

On Monday, the Senate Election Law Committee approved a proposal to move New Hampshire’s state primary election to August – a midway point between the House proposal to move the election to June and the current September primary date. The panel also approved two other proposals on Monday: one would require the attorney general to […]

Piggy Bank in a window with a stick holding a dollar bill like a carrot

Survey finds residents pessimistic about long-term economic outlook

BY: - May 24, 2021

Consumer confidence is rebounding in New Hampshire, but pessimism about the trajectory of personal finances is at Great Recession levels, according to a new poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The findings were released Monday and are the latest in the Business and Industry Association’s consumer confidence report.  As with UNH’s other […]

Students sit at their desks while wearing masks

House lawmakers retain bill on calculation of school adequacy funding

BY: - May 21, 2021

A House committee on Thursday pushed aside an effort to give additional funding to New Hampshire schools after COVID-19, continuing a growing rift between House and Senate lawmakers over how best to help public schools. In a party-line vote, the House Education Committee voted to retain Senate Bill 135, which would have required the Department […]

A woman walks outside toward a polling place

Senate amends, passes campaign finance bill

BY: - May 21, 2021

On Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that would remove voluntary expenditure limits, a spending program for candidates that has largely fallen into disuse. The proposal also increases the reporting threshold for campaign contributions and changes the maximum contribution a person can make. Sen. James Gray said the changes would create “an even playing field […]