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Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Legislature facing hot-button issues
Three of last session's biggest issues will be back: Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, casino gambling and a gas tax increase. All three issues were killed in one form or another last session.
Bills on abortion are numerous this session, with one that would declare life begins at conception and another that would include fetuses under the wrongful death statute.
Both sides of the gun rights debate have filed bills, including proposals to require background checks, restrict ownership for the mentally ill and prohibit firearms in public places.
Rep. David Hess, R-Hooksett, wants to change the business enterprise tax so that nonprofits and charities such as hospitals would no longer be exempt.
The state's largest electric utility, Public Service of New Hampshire, would be required to sell its electricity generating plants under a bill proposed by Rep. David Borden, D-New Castle, House Science, Technology and Energy Committee chairman.
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Bills have also been proposed to exempt many state products from federal regulatory approval, such as state foods from Federal Food and Drug Agency oversight.
And an attempt will be made to prohibit smoking in veterans halls and other social organizations' facilities, which have long been exempt from state no-smoking laws.
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The House has to act on the 100 or more retained bills in the first three session days of the 2014 session, while the Senate usually takes its time with the bills it holds onto.
The one bill that is recommended to pass would encourage the developers of Northern Pass to bury the lines, which Public Service of New Hampshire has already said is prohibitively expensive.
The House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee could not decide what to do with former Senate President Peter Bragdon's bill to establish a recovery fund for the victims of Financial Resource Management.
The House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee believes senior citizens should still be able to use the state park system for free, unless it involves ski areas, but wants to do away with free passes for politicians and their staffs.
The House Ways and Means Committee wants the Lottery Commission to establish keno at bars and restaurants.
Executive Council Race:
The endorsements in the race to replace the late Raymond Burton of Bath as the District 1 Executive Councilor came fast and furious last week on the Republican side, where there is a three-way primary.
Then three prominent Republican state Senators lined up behind former Belknap County Commissioner Christopher Boothby.
"Sen. Bradley, just like Sens. Forrester and Odell, have been pillars of our state, and represent what's right about New Hampshire politics," Boothby said.
"Over the last week, I've traveled all across the district - from my home in Hanover to where I grew up in Littleton. Up to Coos County and throughout the Lakes Region, I am so excited to meet with the great people of this district and share with them my vision," he said, and then asked for people's help noting he served with Burton as a Grafton County Commissioner, who had such a passion for the North Country.
State Senate Campaign
Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, made it official last week he would run for reelection.
In 2012, Boutin was in a close race with former Manchester Board of Education member Kathleen Kelley, so this time he is taking no chances.
Provencher is a Manchester native and veteran of political campaigns throughout New Hampshire.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region One Office hosts an open house and public hearing Wednesday to discuss Seabrook Station owner NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC's testing programs and plans to address concrete degradation in light of its request to extend the nuclear's plant's operating life.
Comley contends shoddy construction and equipment make the plant - and others like it - unsafe and has demanded regulators do something about it.
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