Briefs

stack of 100 dollar bills

Sununu to end $300 weekly federal unemployment payments

BY: - May 13, 2021

Following the lead of at least 14 other Republican-led states, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday he will end the additional $300 weekly federal unemployment payments before the program expires in September.  Sununu cited complaints from employers who’ve said they can’t fill positions because unemployment benefits are too high. He had already announced that as of […]

An empty classroom

Senate approves bill allowing funding of religious schools

BY: - May 13, 2021

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill Thursday allowing public school districts to enter into tuition agreements with private religious schools – a significant move in the direction of direct public funding of religious education. In a 14-10 party-line vote, Republicans in the Senate voted “ought to pass” on House Bill 282, sending the bill […]

An electricity meter on the side of a house.

Senate approves net metering increase for municipalities, adding it to community power bill  

BY: - May 13, 2021

On Thursday, the Senate approved an increase in how much municipalities are allowed to net meter, moving the cap from the current limit of 1 megawatt up to 5 megawatts. Lawmakers have been pushing for this increase for years with the backing of environmental and clean-energy advocates, but previous attempts to increase the cap have […]

Closeup of handcuffs

‘Qualified immunity’ amendment added to police reform bill

BY: - May 12, 2021

A Democratic state lawmaker is pushing to overhaul “qualified immunity” in New Hampshire in a last-minute amendment to a bipartisan police reform bill.  In an amendment released Tuesday, Rep. Paul Berch of Westmoreland proposed making New Hampshire public employers liable for any actions by their employees that are unconstitutional. The change would mean a town, […]

A person receives a vaccine

CDC advisory panel signs off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15

BY: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel is recommending that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be administered to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, making it the first shot available to those under 16. The green light granted Wednesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is expected to be affirmed swiftly by […]

State house dome

Lawmakers debate statute of limitations for PFAS-related health problems

BY: - May 12, 2021

Lawmakers and advocates discussed what an appropriate statute of limitations would be when it comes to PFAS-related health problems during a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rep. Bob Healey of Merrimack and other local elected officials spoke about the effect of PFAS on their community. Contamination has been found in the air, soil, […]

A woman pays bills online

New broadband assistance program to start Wednesday

BY: - May 11, 2021

Starting Wednesday, qualifying New Hampshire households can apply for broadband payment assistance as part of a $3.2 billion temporary federal program. At a press conference Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster urged those who are eligible to sign up for the aid. “We want as many people in New Hampshire as possible to […]

A person gets a vaccine

FDA green lights Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15, with CDC still to act

BY: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed off on expanding the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15, clearing one key hurdle before that age group can begin receiving the two-shot vaccine. But another step is needed before tweens and teens can line up for shots. The […]

A man picks up a handgun at a gun store

‘Gun Line’ bill divides Republicans on House committee

BY: - May 10, 2021

A Republican effort to dismantle New Hampshire’s state handgun background check system could be in jeopardy, after a key House committee recommended killing it Monday. Senate Bill 141 seeks to end New Hampshire’s “Gun Line” – the system in which State Police reviews would-be buyers of handguns before approving the sales. Currently, State Police gets […]

State house dome

Senate panel discusses voting rights for prisoners, campaign finance, absentee voting

BY: - May 10, 2021

On Monday, advocates and lawmakers debated proposals on voting rights for prisoners, reporting contributions to political committees, and procedures around absentee ballots during a hearing before the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee.   House Bill 555 wouldn’t expand voting rights, but it would make it clear that people in penal institutions can vote by […]

State House dome blocks out the sun

House Democrats want funding for remote access to hearings included in budget

BY: - May 7, 2021

This story was updated on May 10, 2021 at 5 p.m. to correct the legislative expenses related to COVID-19. In a press conference Friday, House Democrats called on Speaker Sherman Packard to include funding for ongoing remote access to legislative hearings in the next state budget. Their federal lawsuit seeking a court order requiring remote […]

NH state house

Lawmakers vote to lift State House mask mandate

BY: - May 7, 2021

Top New Hampshire lawmakers voted to remove the State House mask mandate Friday, in a move described as timely by Republican leaders but opposed by Democrats.  In an 8-4 vote Friday morning, the Joint Legislative Facilities Committee opted to remove a mask mandate that had been in effect since last year. All four Democrats – […]