Press Releases


Entries in Legislation (146)


NH Council of Churches - Death Penalty Alert: DATE CHANGE & NEW Expansion Bill Hearing Set 

Please note that the hearing on HB-147, the so-called "Kimberly Cates" bill in last week's alert, has been changed.

 The NEW date:


Public Hearing HB 147

Tuesday, February 1

10:00 AM

Representatives Hall in the Statehouse.

(House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee)



But just as critical is HB 162, which will also be heard Feb. 1, starting at 1 pm, Representatives Hall.


Background: HB 162 is even more expansive than the "Kimberly Cates" bill. HB 162 bill would make it a capital offense to "purposely" kill another. Under present law, purposely killing another is First Degree Murder, punishable by life without parole. On average, New Hampshire experiences about 25 homicides a year, half of which are charged as First Degree Murder. This bill has the potential to open the flood gates on capital murder prosecutions.


Please plan to attend these hearings and sign the sheet in opposition to these terrible bills.

If you can't make it to the Statehouse Feb. 1, please make it a point before the hearing to review the membership of the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee and contact members who represent you.


See below for more actions you can take on these bills and resources for further reflection, study and information.


Thanks to our friends at the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for this important information. For more info, see


Ways to take action:


 Attend the hearing

  • If you would like to speak, fill out a pink card and give to the committee chair or secretary and be prepared to wait to be called. If you submit written testimony, submit copies for all 21 committee members.
  • You may simply sign in on the bill without testifying. There is a sign-in sheet  in the hearing room, asking if you support or oppose the bill. Make sure you sign that you are opposed to it. Your signature matters.

Can't attend the hearing?

  • Contact the members of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee before the hearing next Tuesday. Of particular priority are those who represent you. Find contacts here.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
  • Gov. Lynch was recently interviewed on WMUR, saying he would like to hear from NH residents on the death penalty. Contact the governor to support abolition and oppose expansion efforts, 271-2121 or via webform.


More resources on the Death Penalty:

From the NH Council of Churches Joint Statement Opposing the Death Penalty


Scripture cautions us: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all" (Romans 12:17).  From this Christian perspective we are led to conclude that the death penalty does not provide justice.  Instead, the death penalty perpetuates inhumane retribution, fosters feelings of revenge, and exacerbates a cycle of violence upon the perpetuators and victims without regard for that which is noble.  These responses dehumanize society and blind us to God's image in all; perpetrators and victims, rich and poor, young and old, Christian and non-Christian, no matter what color their skin may be.  The use of capital punishment does not restore a broken society; it perpetuates the violence and injustice instead of condemning such intolerable acts.


House Republicans Present Legislative Agenda

Major Focus on Fiscal Issues


Concord—With the state facing a deficit that is nearing the $1 billion mark, New Hampshire House  Republicans today unveiled a legislative agenda aimed at reducing state spending, fixing a retirement system that is broken, passing a constitutional amendment for education funding, and creating a business friendly environment in the state.

At a press conference held at the Legislative Office Building in Concord, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (Salem) said that this caucus is focusing on why the voters returned control of the State House to Republicans.   “We intend to govern as we campaigned,” he said. “The voters recognized that fiscal mismanagement over the last four years has put the state into a serious financial hole.  They put us here to return fiscal sanity to New Hampshire and this agenda is a giant step in that direction,” he added.

The agenda is the result of a series of information gathering meetings that the Bettencourt held with members of the Republican caucus during the month of December.  “I wanted to make sure that our entire caucus had the opportunity to be heard as we formulated our agenda.  It soon became evident that every one of my colleagues that I spoke with heard the voters in November loud and clear,” added Bettencourt.

Within the Republican Agenda, legislation will fall under five major categories: Government Spending & Regulations; Business & Enterprise; Retirement Reform; Education Excellence; and Personal Rights & Social Responsibility. 

“It is time that we put an end to the erosion of the New Hampshire Advantage that we have enjoyed for so many years within the region.  Our intentions are to balance the budget without using accounting gimmicks,  by cutting taxes, and delivering on our campaign promise of fiscal responsibility this past election,” concluded Bettencourt.


House Republicans' - Press Conference Postponed 1/12/11 to 1/13/11

Due to the projected weather forecast for wind, snow and potential "white out conditions" for New Hampshire on Wednesday the House Republican Office has made the decision to postpone our press conference scheduled for Wednesday at 11:30 to Thursday at Noon.  At that time we will unveil our legislative agenda for the 2010-2011 session.


NHDP - In Case You Missed It: Proposed Bills Reflect New GOP Majority

Concord - Foster's Daily Democrat reviewed the nearly 1,000 bill requests that have been filed for the next session of the New Hampshire legislature.  They found numerous bills that would put New Hampshire's schools and environment at risk, end public kindergarten, restrict individual's rights to make their own medical decisions, and deny marriage rights to all Granite State citizens.


Specifically Fosters pointed to three specific legislative requests.   One by David Bates that would eliminate any and all standards for home schooling, another by Neil Kurk that would eliminate the job creating Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and a third by Warren Groen that would restrict a woman's ability to make he own medical decisions.


"Instead of focusing on job creation, these are the priorities for Republicans in the House and Senate," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  "They want to legislate discrimination, restrict individual rights, and eliminate as many education standards as possible."


"The incoming Republican legislators have already requested hundreds of pieces of legislation to advance reckless job killing economic policies and a Bible Belt social agenda that is out of touch with New Hampshire values," continued Kirstein.  "Apparently Republicans feel that this irresponsible and extreme behavior is appropriate, or at least worth wasting taxpayer time and money debating on the floor of the state House."


The full text of the article can be found here, and a list of all the Republican's out of touch requests for legislation can be found here.



Sunshine Review Launches Online Transparency Platform

Sunshine Review Launches Online Transparency Platform for Legislators and Activists

Platform and model legislation endorsed by leading state legislators

WASHINGTON, DC- Sunshine Review, the nation's leading state and local government transparency advocate, launched, an online platform for legislators and activists that will act as the national guide for launching reforms to expand the information available on state and local government web sites so that Americans may better hold elected officials accountable.

"Most state and local governments do not embrace transparency," said Mike Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. "Even fewer proactively share information." Transparency exists largely at the munificence of officials, with the burden of negotiating complex and costly FOIA petitions resting squarely on the shoulders of citizens and journalists.

Barnhart stressed that "state and local governments, and school districts, have an affirmative obligation to transparency reforms that proactively share the information people need to hold officials accountable for how tax money is spent and how the people's business is conducted. We must set the bar for state and local government transparency.

Sunshine Standard is a guide to these reforms being implemented across the country."

The Sunshine Standard online platform hosts tools for activists and model legislation that can be introduced and adapted by legislators and elected officials for state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Standard model transparency legislation was endorsed by the nation's leading state legislators at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Conference earlier this year.

For more information visit


Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a "10-point Transparency Checklist" to evaluate the content of every state and more than 5,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government. Learn more by visiting