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May 9: Hassan acts on legislation

Saturday, May 9, 2015 5:47
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(Before It's News)

Gov. Maggie Hassan this week signed a bill that protects New Hampshire workers with disabilities from being paid sub-minimum wages.

She also vetoed a bill that prohibits the state Department of Education from implementing Common Core standards.

And she indicated she will sign a bill that helps give state backing to a loan for the redevelopment of the Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch.

With time beginning to run out on the 2015 edition of the state Legislature, more bills are advancing out of the House and Senate and onto the desk of the governor.

One significant piece of legislation she signed this week was SB 47, which prohibits employers from paying sub-minimum wages to people who experience disabilities. The act repeals a measure that had allowed this practice, which, at one time, was seen as a way to get people with disabilities into the workforce, but it became more of a measure that allowed employers to take advantage of these workers.

“I am honored to sign Senate Bill 47 into law in order to continue our state’s efforts to help ensure that people who experience disabilities can fully participate in our communities and achieve greater economic independence,” Hassan said in a statement.

She vetoed the anti-Common Core measure contained in SB 101, which prohibits the state from adopting the education standards. See an explanation of Common Core here.

Individual school districts can decide whether to adopt the Common Core standards or not. It is not a state mandate, and the governor noted that SB 101 “serves no real function.”

But she expressed concern in her veto message that the bill  “would send a message to the business and education community that New Hampshire does not value high standards in education, standards that will help prepare our future workforce for success in the innovation economy.”

The governor said in a statement that she would sign SB 30, which permits counties with unincorporated areas to establish tax increment financing districts. The measure is needed to advance the redevelopment of the Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch.

The formation of a tax district in the unincorporated area around the closed Balsams Resort allows the state’s Business Finance Authority to consider whether to put a state guarantee behind a $28 million commercial loan to Balsams developer Les Otten.

“Senate Bill 30 is an important step forward for advancing the Balsams redevelopment project, which has great potential to create jobs and boost the North Country's economy, and I look forward to signing this bipartisan legislation into law,” the governor said.

In other legislative action

The Senate passed HB 271, which provides easier access to Narcan, an emergency treatment for a heroin or other opioid overdose. The bill removes Narcan from the state’s controlled drug list, making it available by prescription to a person at risk of overdosing, a family member, friend or other person who could assist a person at risk. See a Union Leader story here.

The Senate was poised this week to approve a House-passed measure that repeals the 25-foot buffer around abortion clinics in the state. It delayed the vote until next week. See a Seacoast Online story here.

The House voted to make fetal homicide a crime. The House version amends a previously passed Senate version so the measure will have to be resolved in a conference committee. See a Concord Monitor story here.

And the House placed a restriction on the sale of so-called synthetic drugs that are sold over the counter in all kinds of stores. See a Concord Monitor story here.

On the campaign trail

The University of New Hampshire Survey Center this week released three WMUR Granite State polls regarding the first-in-the-nation presidential primary:

Read some analysis here and here.

Don’t forget that we always have some lively discussions going on our Facebook page. Join the conversation.

Live Free or Die Alliance


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