Press Releases

 

Entries in Legislation (152)

Friday
Jan302015

MPP - Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties Introduced in N.H 

State Lawmakers to Consider Removing Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession in New Hampshire 

Bill introduced with bipartisan support would replace criminal penalties and potential jail time with a civil fine of up to $100 for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana

 

CONCORD — A bill has been introduced in the New Hampshire House of Representatives that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The House passed a nearly identical bill last year by a vote of 215-92, but the Senate refused to consider it. 

HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. It would also make cultivation of up to six marijuana plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.  

"Criminalizing someone for possessing a small amount of marijuana causes far more harm than marijuana itself,” said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting the bill. "A criminal record can prevent someone from accessing employment, an education, and even a home.” 

Three out of five adults in New Hampshire (61%) support removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released in April 2014. Only 24% said they were opposed. 

“Granite State voters are sick of having the harshest marijuana penalties in New England,” Simon said. “It is irrational to treat people like criminals simply for possessing a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol.” 

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have removed the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession.

Friday
Jan232015

US Rep GUINTA KICK STARTS INTITATIVE TO SHRINK GOVERNMENT & SAVE TAXPAYER DOLLARS

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INTRODUCING BIPARTISAN BILL TO END DUPLICATIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS  

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH) launched Operation TAXPAYER, an ongoing initiative To AX Persistent Abuse of Your Earned Revenue.  The first part of this initiative includes introducing H.Res 45 – a bipartisan piece of legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Gwen Graham (D-FL).  H.Res 45 would fundamentally alter the way legislation is brought to the House floor with the intention of reducing government waste and spending.

 

Congressman Guinta released the following statement:

 

“Last year, billions of dollars were wasted funding duplicative government programs, crowding out dollars for worthwhile programs that serve our common goal of helping those in need.  This bill is a common-sense first step towards curbing this ‘spend first, pay later’ mentality.  Once we begin to eliminate the waste plaguing our government, we can begin to take sizable bites out of our debt and deficit while ensuring the protection of safety net for all Americans.” 

 

H.Res 45 requires every piece of legislation awaiting consideration by the House of Representatives and the Senate to receive a “duplication score” by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).  This legislation provides Members of Congress with the knowledge necessary to identify whether or not new legislation creates programs, offices or projects that already exist in our government to ensure no new taxpayer dollars are wasted to fund duplicative projects.

 

Congresswoman Graham released the following statement:

 

“There’s no excuse for our government to waste billions of dollars on duplicative programs. We owe it to the taxpayers of North Florida and across our country to ensure every dollar the government spends is spent wisely. This is common sense legislation that Democrats and Republicans can both support to save money and reduce our deficit.”

 

To read the bill, please click here.

 

Wednesday
Jan142015

Cornerstone Action announces legislative priorities for 2015 

Cornerstone Action

Cornerstone Action is a non-profit, non-partisan New Hampshire organization dedicated to legislative action towards public policy that respects life and strengthens families. For the 2015 legislative session, we've identified four broad priorities. 
 

1) Protect religious liberty for all people of faith in New Hampshire. This includes working for repeal of the ill-advised "buffer zone" law, which if enforced would make silent prayer on certain public sidewalks illegal. Enforced or not, the law is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen, as it is currently being challenged in court. A similar law in Massachusetts was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a subsequent settlement made Massachusetts taxpayers responsible for paying the plaintiffs' legal expenses. 

2) Protect and respect innocent human life from conception to natural death. Cornerstone supports legislation this term that would for the first time authorize collection of abortion statistics from providers statewide. We are also dedicated to supporting the passage of a fetal homicide law. Such laws are already in effect in more than three dozen states.
 
3) Protect the rights of parents to determine the best educational setting for their children, and prevent state imposition of Common Core standards on local districts and homeschooled students. We also support legislative efforts to protect privacy of student data, and to require greater accountability regarding student assessments.

 
4) Support fiscal policies that strengthen New Hampshire families and respect the needs of small business owners. We support right-to-work legislation. We will also continue to work with a broad coalition of New Hampshire groups to keep the Granite State casino-free.
Thursday
Jan082015

US Rep Frank Guinta (NH CD-1) TRIA - "Ensures market stability for main street businesses, construction projects, public events and more" 

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WASHINGTON. D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Guinta delivered a floor speech in full support of H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, which passed the House of Representatives today with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 416-5. 

 

Click here to view Congressman Guinta’s floor speech.

 

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Wednesday
Jan072015

Rep. Jackie Cilley (D-Barrington) to introduce far-reaching minimum wage legislation 

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Fmr. State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate returns to Concord to pursue middle-class agenda

 

(Barrington, NH) After a four-year absence from the New Hampshire General Court, newly-returned Barrington representative Jackie Cilley announced that her first piece of legislation - and her chief priority in the coming session - is to give New Hampshire's struggling workers a raise with an increased minimum wage paired with the elimination of the so-called "tipped minimum wage." This legislation would mark a return to a state-based minimum wage and move tipped workers into the economic mainstream with a raise from the current rate of $2.90.

Cilley, whose legislation would raise the minimum wage to $14.25 per hour over a three year-period and eventually tie the tipped minimum wage to the same figure, argues the move from both a matter of fairness and economic common sense.

“Most of us want to get paid what we are worth, what we contribute to the companies and organizations for whom we work,” notes Cilley.  “If the minimum wage had actually kept pace with worker productivity, it would be $21.72 today.  Instead, workers’ wages peaked decades ago because of partisan divide.”

“Conservatives and progressives should both want to see the creation of livable wages.  Set aside for a moment the argument of fairness to workers and just consider what each of us is paying to help an employer keep a worker at sub-livable wages.  These workers can’t actually live on those wages. They often need such support services as food stamps, fuel assistance, housing assistance and so on.   If the minimum wage were raised to just $10.10 per hour that would mean 1.7 million people across this country would no longer need public assistance, saving us $7.6 billion.  I don’t yet have the exact figures for this for New Hampshire, but simply pro-rating it per capita suggests a savings of more than $30 million.”

"This is long overdue: They were one vote away from making a substantial start in the last session and I want to keep that momentum moving, regardless of the partisan makeup of the new legislature," Cilley said. "This doesn't have to be a partisan issue - Mitt Romney supports an increased minimum wage, for example - but we have to make the case on economic, not just fairness grounds."

"Bill O'Brien's decision to put what New Hampshire businesses pay their workers in the hands of bureaucrats in Washington, DC was terrible choice. We need to have a minimum wage that reflects the economy and values of New Hampshire, not DC - This legislation puts the decision back where it belongs, in New Hampshire."

 

Legislation pushed by then-Speaker Bill O’Brien repealed the state’s minimum wage law in 2011 and handed jurisdiction to the federal government. Gov. Lynch vetoed the legislation, but O’Brien’s allies in the House overrode the veto. The National Employment Law Project’s Christine Owens said at the time that “given the fact that minimum wage workers spend every penny they earn in their local businesses, a strong wage floor is also vital to stimulating the consumer spending necessary for real and lasting economic recovery.”

These economic facts of life haven’t changed. A study released in March of 2014 by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute echoes Owens words.

“Most notably, raising the minimum wage will increase demand for the goods and services sold by businesses operating in the Granite State. Low-wage workers, out of necessity, typically spend every dollar that they earn. As a result, the increased wages they will earn from a higher minimum wage will almost certainly be spent – and most likely be spent quickly – in the communities in which they live and work.”

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About Jackie Cilley: Born in Berlin, New Hampshire, Jackie Cilley was raised with four siblings in a third-floor walk-up tenement before graduating from Berlin High School. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from UNH and has served as an adjunct professor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics since matriculating from there in 1985. In 2004 she ran for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and won, serving one term in the House before being elected twice to the  New Hampshire Senate, representing the 6th District from 2006 - 2010. In 2012, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor, losing to Gov. Hassan. She was re-elected to the New Hampshire House in 2014 where she serves on the Committee on Executive Departments and Administration. Rep. Cilley was recently named by veteran NH political reporter John DiStaso as one of the "'Most wanted' NH Democrats for the 2016 presidential campaign.”