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Cannabis, immigration, freedom accounts, and bail: What to watch in the final legislative session
06-12-2024 9:54 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

After a week of negotiations, “committee of conference” season is over. House and Senate representatives had until last Thursday to cobble together last-minute agreements on any bills the two chambers disagreed over. The process allowed select...

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Bill to prohibit racial profiling among police officers heads to governor’s desk
06-05-2024 9:43 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

Rep. Charlotte DiLorenzo knows it as “the talk”: the conversation Black parents have with their children about how to respond if officers stop them or pull them over. “Keep your hands visible, make no sudden movements, keep your mouth shut, be polite,...


As bail reform goes to negotiations, some say a compromise is finally possible
06-04-2024 10:18 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

Ever since the New Hampshire Legislature passed a bill aimed at reducing the number of people held without bail in 2018, lawmakers – particularly Republican ones – have sought to roll it back. But among those seeking to limit who can be released on...


Bill to require citizenship documents for NH voter registration would be unique in US
05-30-2024 10:19 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

New Hampshire Republican lawmakers are continuing to push to require residents to produce a birth certificate, passport, or other citizenship document to register to vote. Proponents say the measures would ensure that people could vote only if they...


The end of the legislative calendar, explained
05-28-2024 10:06 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

The New Hampshire House and Senate finished their last traditional voting days Thursday, taking action on hundreds of bills as they seek to wrap up the year. Now comes the messy part. While the hearings, floor debates, and major amendments to the...


Key members of House threaten to vote against cannabis bill after Senate changes
05-21-2024 10:08 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

When the New Hampshire Senate began its lengthy deliberations over marijuana legalization Thursday, sunlight spilled through the chamber’s high windows. By the end, night had fallen. The result was a threshold moment: After hours of debates and...


Bill advances allowing parental opt-outs for LGBTQ+ topics in school
05-13-2024 9:40 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

In early May, Democrats in the House defeated the “Honesty in Education Act.” The bill was the latest effort to require public school teachers to answer parents when they ask about changes to their child’s gender identity. But another bill is moving...


Senate Republicans clash with House over raising education freedom account eligibility
05-09-2024 9:49 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

Republicans in the House and Senate are both interested in raising the income cap for education freedom accounts this year. But the chambers disagree over how high.On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee rejected a proposal by the House to raise...


In New Hampshire governor’s race, some finance reports are clearer than others
05-08-2024 10:16 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

By last December, Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington had raised a total of $1.059 million for her campaign for governor – a number clearly visible on the cover sheet of her Dec. 6 campaign finance report. What is harder to see is who, exactly,...


House kills ‘HOMEnibus bill,’ voting against attempt to incentivize housing
05-07-2024 10:42 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

The New Hampshire House voted down a bipartisan bill meant to make it easier to build housing in the state, in a 188-173 vote last week that kills the legislation for the year.Proponents of Senate Bill 538, known as the “HOMEnibus,” argued it would...


House passes bill to raise minimum marriage age to 18, sending it to governor
05-03-2024 7:38 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Thursday raising the legal age of marriage to 18, sending the legislation to Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk after years of advocacy.Senate Bill 359, which passed 192-174, states that “no person below the age of 18 years...


House Republicans recommend eliminating most of anti-hunger bill
05-01-2024 9:27 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

House Republican lawmakers are moving to strip out major portions of a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing child hunger, arguing they are costly and unnecessary, in a decision that drew sharp criticism from Democrats and advocates.The House Finance...


Senate weighs farm-to-school pilot program
04-29-2024 10:26 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

Senators are considering creating a state-run “farm to schools” program to increase the amount of local produce that goes to school meals. House Bill 1678 would create a two-year pilot program to reimburse 10 public schools that purchase food from New...


As UNH hosts rally against Gaza war, lawmakers weigh campus free speech protections
04-26-2024 10:27 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

As campus demonstrations protesting Israeli actions in Gaza continue across the country, New Hampshire lawmakers are seeking to regulate how public colleges and universities respond to questions of free speech. House Bill 1305 would insert freedom of...


As lawmakers contemplate requiring voter ID, one organization is ready to help
04-25-2024 9:48 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

Sue Nastasi lost her birth certificate years ago. “Beats me where it is,” she said. But getting it back is not a simple matter. Nastasi was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in a hospital that doesn’t exist any more, under a different name, she said. She...


The fraught path forward for cannabis legalization, explained
04-19-2024 9:43 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

New Hampshire’s cannabis legalization effort has reached a tricky crossroads.A year after Gov. Chris Sununu announced he would support a legalization approach that meets a number of strict conditions, the New Hampshire House has passed a bill. That...


Mayors say need is growing for state homelessness prevention funds
04-17-2024 10:02 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

When homeless residents request housing assistance from Keene, the city must help, even when shelters are full. As the number of New Hampshire’s homeless has grown, that has become increasingly expensive.During the fiscal year that ended in June 2023,...


NH mayors want more help from state on homelessness prevention funds
04-16-2024 8:02 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

When homeless residents request housing assistance from Keene, the city must help, even when shelters are full. As the number of New Hampshire’s homeless has grown, that has become increasingly expensive.During the fiscal year that ended in June 2023,...


One year in, state says paid family leave program is stable and growing
04-10-2024 9:48 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

For years, Concord had a less-than-ideal policy for new mothers who were city employees: short-term disability insurance. After giving birth, the moms could use their six to eight weeks of annual disability leave for recovery and newborn bonding.New...


Lawmakers advance bill allowing landlords to evict at end of lease
04-04-2024 10:40 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

In July 2004, a national real estate company attempted to end a lease with one of its Nashua tenants. They did not explain the decision, but they gave her six weeks to leave.The tenant, Kasha Dziewisz, refused. She had paid rent on time and had not...


House passes bill barring trans girls from middle school, high school girls’ sports teams
03-22-2024 11:10 AM

By ETHAN DeWITT

The New Hampshire House approved a bill to bar transgender girls from participating in female sports teams in K-12 schools and public colleges and universities, in a 189-182 vote that drew criticism from LGBTQ+ rights groups.House Bill 1205 would...

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