NH Council of Churches - Public Policy Update, 26 January 2010

Public Policy Update February 19, 2010 

Expanded Gambling Alert 


NH Senate Considers
 17,000 Slot machines
+ 900 table games in NH


Hearing March 4 - Please Take Action

A bill to permit six casinos (1 in Hudson, 3 at the tracks, 1 each in Coos and Grafton Counties) and a total of 17,000 slot machines in New Hampshire will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee:

Thursday, March 4

10:30 am
Room 100, State House

If passed, SB489 would make NH second in slots per capita only behind Nevada. The bill would also permit up to 900 tables of table gambling* among the 6 casinos.
Against the backdrop of a down economy, a critical shortage of revenue to fund the state budget, and a reluctance by policy-makers to examine other significant sources of revenue to prevent cuts to critical services and infrastructure, expanded gambling this year may prove irresistible.
If stopping expanded gambling is a priority for your denomination, the time to act is now. Here is how you can help:
-- Forward this information to your clergy and membership to inform and alert them to the proposal and new threat of passage
-- Denominational leaders may wish to testify on behalf of your denomination at the hearing, making it as factual and as specific to impacts on your constituencies as possible;
-- Encourage your members to attend the hearing to sign up in opposition to the bill
-- Encourage your members to contact their State Senators about SB489 (see list of Senate members and contact info).
New information is available at the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling website. You can also view materials at the NH Gaming Study Commission website.
*Definition of Table Games under SB489: "Table game" means ... roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, craps, big six wheel, mini-baccarat, red dog, pai gow, casino war, asia poker, Boston 5 stud poker, Caribbean stud poker, Colorado hold 'em poker, double attack blackjack, double cross poker, double down stud poker, fast action hold 'em, flop poker, four card poker, let it ride poker, mini-craps, mini-dice, pai gow poker, pokette, Spanish 21, Texas hold 'em bonus poker, three card poker, two card joker poker, ultimate Texas hold 'em, winner's pot poker and sic bo and any other games approved by the commission.



Governor's Commission to Hold
Public Hearings April 6

The NH Gaming Study Commission will hold public hearings tentatively in Concord and Conway on April 6. Exact time and location to be posted. We will inform as we learn of these locations.


Update: Commission to Study NH Death Penalty

A  public hearing of the Commission to Study the Death Penalty in NH (formed per passage of last year's HB 520) was held recently. Information about the Commission, including Commission members, meeting transcripts and more is at the Commission's website.

Links to information about the most recent hearing is available at the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty website.  Visitors to their website can also sign up for alerts and further information about the Study Commission and any other efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Meanwhile, SB472, a bill that would expand the death penalty, awaits a recommendation in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which heard the bill on Feb. 2.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a DVD (online and available on disc) and study guide entitled "A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death." It is a call for the nation to abandon the use of the death penalty and move one step closer to building a culture of life. People like Bud Welch whose daughter died in the Oklahoma City bombing and David Kaczynski, brother of the Unibomber, are some of the voices that have joined with the bishops in this campaign to end the use of death penalty. Click here for more information and to order.

The Diocese of Manchester offers a Parish Program to provide Catholics and others with an overview of Catholic teaching on the death penalty as well as information about the use and effects of capital punishment in the United States. Contact Diane Quinlan, Chancellor, at dquinlan@rcbm.org or 603-669-3100 for further information about this program.



Nonprofits and Right-to-Know: House Votes on Bill to Open Records on Some Nonprofits

The NH Center for Nonprofits has alerted nonprofits, including church-related social service entities, to provisions contained in HB1356. This bill, up for vote March 3 by the NH House, would subject nonprofits with budgets over $100,000 and who receive 2/3 or $50,000 (whichever is greater) or more of their funds from government sources (i.e, to administer social service programs) to the state's Right-to-Know law. This would force private, nonprofit operations to turn over internal records, meeting documents, board documents, etc. upon demand and within tight timeframes. The House Judiciary Committee has recommended this bill ought to pass 10-8. Denominations with social service links may wish to learn more. More at NH Center for Nonprofits.


Quick Takes:

  • Find New Hampshire legislation proposed in 2010.
  • Find NH state legislators' contact information here.
  • Reach your Congressman or Senator by calling the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Or, type in your ZIP code here to link to both NH Senators and your Congressperson's pages.