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Garry Rayno's Statehouse Dome: Diverse group favors death penalty repeal
Rep. Robert Cushing, D-Hampton, has put together a group of co-sponsors for his repeal bill that includes Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives and House and Senate members.
In the early 1980s, Prejean corresponded with death row inmate Patrick Sonnier, becoming his spiritual adviser. After witnessing his execution, she wrote her book, which became a movie, an opera and a play.
Cushing's father was murdered by an off-duty Hampton police officer about 25 years ago. Cushing has sponsored similar repeal legislation that wound up being vetoed by former Gov. John Lynch.
Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she would sign a repeal bill as long as it was not retroactive, so Michael Addison's death sentenced could not be commuted. Addison killed Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006.
Guns: Two bills dealing with guns will be heard Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Amanda Grady Sexton of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said the change would help the state's law enforcement and criminal justice systems more easily identify instances of domestic violence.
The mother of a boy killed by his father in Manchester last August will testify in favor of the bill. Becky Ranes had a domestic violence protection order against Muni Savyon when Savyon shot and killed their 9-year-old son, Joshua Savyon, before turning the gun on himself at the Manchester YWCA visitation center.
Earlier that morning, the same committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 244, which would require those with mental illness to be placed on the federal registry of people prohibited from owning guns.
Bob Clegg, president of Pro Gun NH, said the bill needs a provision for people whose illness was temporary.
"We don't want people to have weapons who shouldn't have them," Clegg said. "We call mental health issues a disease, but why is it the disease where we punish people after they are cured?"
Another bill, House Bill 1379, would exempt firearms records from the state's right-to-know law.
Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Goley, D-Manchester, the bill attempts to prevent what happened in New York when a local newspaper published the names and addresses of people in the community with concealed carry permits.
"That put more illegal firearms on streets," Clegg said.
The public hearing on the bill will be held Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. in Room 208 of the LOB before the House Judiciary Committee.
House members will have to decide if they want to legalize marijuana, regulate it and tax it.
The bill would make New Hampshire the first state to have its legislature legalize, regulate and tax pot. Colorado and Washington legalized pot by referendum.
Granite State should receive in-state tuition rates at the University System of New Hampshire schools.
The bill has drawn the interest of the National Press Photographers Association which objects to the bill.
The four Representatives, one Republicans and three Democrats, will not be replaced because it is too late to hold special elections to replace them.
Those who resigned are:
Joy K. Tilton, a Northfield Democrat, serving her fourth term in the House;
Delmar Burridge, a Keene Democrat, serving his third term in the House;
And Nicholas Levasseau, a Manchester Democrat, serving his fourth term in the House.
The representative cited either moving out of their districts or a change in employment status as reasons for their resignations.
Under Hess's plan the change would be revenue neutral because the business enterprise tax rate would drop. His bill largely targets large non-profits such as hospitals and universities.
A public hearing on House Bill 1509 will be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Room 202 of the LOB before the House Ways and Means Committee.
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