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NH Lawmakers Consider Potatoes – and Pot

A look at some of the more interesting bills going through the 2013 legislation.

The elections are over and it is time for our elected officials to get to work.

First, here are the eleven standing Senate committees for 2013-14 announced by Senate President Peter Bragdon, including chairmen:

Capital Budget: Chr. David Boutin

Commerce: Chr. Andy Sanborn

Energy & Natural Resources: Chr. Russell Prescott

Executive Departments & Administration: Chr. Sharon Carson

Finance:  Chr. Chuck Morse

*Health, Education & Human Services: Chr. Nancy Stiles

Judiciary: Chr. Sharon Carson

Public & Municipal Affairs: Chr. David Boutin

Rules, Enrolled Bills and Internal Affairs: Chr. Russell Prescott

Transportation: Chr. Jim Rausch

Ways & Means: Chr. Bob Odell

Also, below is a list of Legislative Service Requests (LSR) being considered by the NH General Court. These are the first notice the community has that a legislator is considering introducing a bill. 

There are few available details to these bills as it is early in the process. When the text of the bill becomes available, the list of active bills will be updated to refer to the bill:

Here are some of the more interesting bills being considered by our New Hampshire lawmakers:

  • Rep. John O’Connor (R) is sponsoring a bill to establish the potato as the state vegetable.
  • Rep. Jacqueline Cali-Pitts (D) is sponsoring a bill relative to coin-operated rides.
  • Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (D) and Rep. Donald LeBrun (R) are both sponsoring bills relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Vaillancourt is also considering raising certain speed limits to 75 mph.
  • Speaking of marijuana, Rep. Michael Garcia (D) is sponsoring a bill prohibiting the designation of industrial hemp as a controlled substance.
  • Charles Weed (D) is sponsoring a bill to increase the beer tax in New Hampshire.
  • Charles Townsend (D) is sponsoring a bill relative to the availability of hand sanitizer to patrons at restaurants. He is also considering a bill that prohibits certain state employees from wearing fragrances
  • In honor of New Hampshire’s only U.S. president, Dick Patten (D) is sponsoring a bill to establish Franklin Pierce Day.
  • Rep. Robert Rowe (R) is sponsoring a bill relative to attorneys' fees for indigent defendant parents in termination of parental rights cases. He is also sponsoring a bill relative to NH E-Court Project fees.
  • A bill relative to town library and cemetery budgets in towns that have adopted official ballot voting is currently sponsored by Rep. Peter Hansen (R). He is also considering a bill relative to the land use change tax.

A full list of Legislative Service Requests can be found on the NH General Court website.

One Man Wolf Pack December 07, 2012 at 03:57 PM
No you have not Ray; you have made further assertions about the speed for which a road is designed yet do not know what road or roads are being suggested so how exactly do you know what the as of yet unnamed road design speed is. All you have done is continue to be completely one sided refusing to even be rational. Typical from you it seems. Take care.
Jan Schmidt December 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Oh yes, we can feel safe and secure in our right to make our own decisions...
Ray Guarino December 07, 2012 at 04:48 PM
No Charlie, I told you what the design speeds are for highways, limited access highways, sometimes called "freeways". Anything over the design speed, which is what the proposed 75 MPH is, will not be safe. That's common sense reasoning, but that ability that most people have somehow eludes you. You think you want to hear all sides, but there is only one person you are fooling with that line. (it's you).
Watts December 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
This one is a no brainer for both main political parties (actually, not even an issue for Green, Libertarian, etc.). About 10 years ago, I watched Tucker Carlson say that the Republican party had to start to parse their love of all things Reagan, because he was the face of the war on drugs and 10 years ago, you still had Republicans pushing this agenda about stiffer penalties. At the time, Carlson said that it's legalization was an inevitability, because you could not find a person under the age of 30 who didn't think that it should be legalized, no matter what the party affiliation. Those 30 year olds are now 40 years old and the 18 to 40 voter block is massive and the public discussions have swayed many within the 40 to 50 block. I think that we are going to start to see state after state follow the lead of WA and in two years I bet that we have a wave of about 5 states that will follow once they see not only what it generates in revenue, but what it saves in policing and court costs for each state.
Watts December 07, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Once we see 14% of states legalizing recreational use (on top of an already massive push of states that have legalized medicinal use), it will force the hand fo the federal govt to reclassify and research marijuana further. 1) reclassification would open it up for research in the private sector for health and industrial (hemp) uses 2) the most important societal issue is to figure out how to gauge when somebody is "intocicated" Marijuana isn't like alcohol, where a "unit" can be figured out for users to self monitor themselves no matter if they are drinking wine, beer or spirits. With marijuana and it's varying potencies and affects, there needs to be certain elements in labeling the product and that police can look/test for more than just if there is THC in somebody's blood (which can test high even weeks after use). It is a lot trickier and if there is any potential for state level legalization to have an epic fail, it will be if there is a significant uptick in vehicle related deaths from stoned drivers and/or that police start throwing DUI charges at anybody with THC in their blood. And as a side note, there needs to be more uniformity to how states are handling legalization whether medical or recreational. For instance, in the state of CA, employers can still fire an employee for testing positive for marijuana, even with a medical card, but in CT, they can not. As people frequently cross state lines for employment, how this is handled is yet another issue.

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