NH Senate Roundup: Home-grown marijuana for ill people not happening
Senators voted 14-9 to send the bill to interim study, which the next Legislature does not have to take up.
Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, said that patients qualified under the program would benefit from growing their own marijuana but questions remain how the home-grow provision would coordinate with alternative treatment centers and need further study.
“We want to get the alternative treatment centers up and running as soon as possible,” Stiles said.
The program established in House Bill 1570 is used by most other New England states and relieves cities and towns of the cost of disposing of old oil-based and latex paints and make disposal more convenient for consumers, said Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth.
Five Democrats joined 11 Republicans to defeat the bill on a 16-7 vote.
The House passed the bill on a 161-142 vote, nearly down party lines.
People driving vehicles that use alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or propane will no longer escape paying the state’s gas and diesel tax.
The Senate preliminarily approved House Bill 1142, which would expand the state’s current 18 cents per gallon gasoline tax to 22.2 cents starting July 1 and apply to alternative fuels.
“Vehicles that use alternative fuels use the same roads as vehicles that use gas and diesel,” Rausch said. “They are getting a free ride at the expense of those using traditional fuels.”
The tax rate would be calculated through a formula to be the same per-gallon rate as the gas tax.
The Senate has a May 15 deadline to act on House bills.
Tightening regulations and controls over the charitable gaming industry will ensure that the state and patrons are treated fairly, supporters of House Bill 1630 say.
Supporters say the bill would provide greater transparency and the assurance of integrity for those playing the games, the beneficiaries and the state.
The bill would provide greater oversight over the industry, have the state regulate video gaming machines now regulated by local communities or “gray machines” and establish a commission to do an in-depth study of the industry and the state’s regulatory role.
When the law was changed to allow private facilities to host charity gaming events, the charities were to receive a guaranteed 35 percent of the net earnings, but the charities’ take eroded over time.
Without debate and on a voice vote, the Senate killed a bill to allow Keno.
Under House Bill 485, the Lottery Commission would have been able to install electronic keno games in bars, restaurants and clubs that serve alcohol. Keno would generate an estimated $9 million annually with the money going to the Education Trust Fund to support local school districts.
Keno players select from an 80-number card while a computer selects 20 winning numbers every six minutes, showing them on a video screen. Players can bet from $1 to $30, with higher payouts if the player selects a higher percentage of winning numbers.
The Senate killed the “Good Samaritan” bill, which would have granted immunity to those reporting drug or alcohol overdoes through the state Emergency-911 system.
House Bill 1159 supporters said people are often reluctant when someone overdoses to call for emergency help for fear of prosecution, costing people their lives.
Rapists as parents
The Senate killed a bill that would make it easier to terminate the parental rights of a rapist.
New Hampshire is one of 15 states that require a sexual assault conviction to terminate the parental rights of the rapist and one of 26 states to allow rapists to have full parental rights.