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Entries in Legislation (130)

Thursday
Mar212013

MPP - NH: Medical Marijuana Bill Approved by 80% of House 

House approves bill by record 286-64 margin

Statement below from the nation’s largest marijuana policy reform organization, the Marijuana Policy Project

CONCORD – A bill allowing seriously ill New Hampshire residents to use marijuana for medical purposes moved one step closer to becoming law Wednesday afternoon when the House voted in favor by a record 286-64 margin.

Similar bills passed the House with more than two-thirds support in 2009, 2011, and 2012, but this year’s total represents the strongest show of support yet by the House.

House Bill 573, sponsored by Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), was previously approved 14-1 by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. The committee made a number of changes to the bill, including a language change — from “medical marijuana” to “therapeutic use of cannabis” — which was suggested by the New Hampshire Medical Society. As amended, the bill would allow qualifying patients to cultivate up to three mature plants or obtain cannabis from one of five non-profit, state-regulated alternative treatment centers.

The bill will next be considered by the Senate, which passed similar legislation in 2009 and 2012. Gov. Hassan previously expressed support for making medical marijuana legal in the Granite State.

Statement from Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project:

“This overwhelming vote comes as a great relief to patients who have been waiting years to legally follow their doctors’ advice. Patients should not have to live in fear of arrest in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, and it’s a great relief for them to see such strong, bipartisan support from the House.”

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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit http://www.marijuanapolicy.org.

Wednesday
Mar132013

Bill Cosponsored by US Rep Shea-Porter Garners Bipartisan Support, Passes House 

Builds on Shea-Porter’s promise to stand-up for middle class Granite Staters and updates banking laws to eliminate a costly, duplicative requirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. –This evening, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 749, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act. This bill was cosponsored by Congresswoman Shea-Porter and will cut red tape for local banks and credit unions while eliminating duplicative mailings to consumers.

“To create a strong economy and a growing middle class, we need a regulatory system that works for both businesses and consumers,” Shea-Porter said. “This bill supports that principle, and I hope it’s an indication that Congress will work together to cut red tape for businesses, ease burdens on middle class families and keep our economy moving in the right direction.”

Under current law, all financial institutions are required to give annual privacy notices to all of their customers that explain information sharing practices.  Financial institutions are required to give these notices each year even if privacy policies have not changed from the previous year. This at best creates unnecessary and redundant waste for financial institutions and customers, and at worst causes consumers to ignore notices that may contain information about important changes.

Under the bill passed today, institutions must send notification only when they change privacy-related policies or practices. As a result, businesses will save millions of dollars each year on duplicative mailings and each mailing is more likely to contain information relevant to the consumer.

H.R. 749 was endorsed by the Credit Union National Association, the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Consumer Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable.

Thursday
Feb212013

NH: Medical Marijuana Hearing

House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs will discuss proposal to allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes

CONCORD – The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs is will hold a hearing Thursday on a bill that would allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST in Rooms 205-207 of the Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St.).

Under H.B. 573, introduced by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), patients with certain debilitating medical conditions would be able to grow up to four marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five state-licensed alternative treatment centers. Gov. Maggie Hassan has expressed support for passing medical marijuana legislation. A similar medical marijuana bill that passed with bipartisan support last session was vetoed by then-governor John Lynch.

Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, is available for comment at 603-391-7450. 

WHAT:  Hearing on H.B. 573, which would allow seriously ill patients to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

WHEN:  Thursday, February 21, 10 a.m. EST

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Rooms 205-207, 33 N. State St., Concord

WHO:  House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs

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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit http://www.mpp.org.

Thursday
Feb212013

NH House Republican Leaders Comment on Passage of Bill Repealing School Choice Tax Credit

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene G. Chandler (R-Bartlett), Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett) and House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) offered the following comments following the passage of HB370, a bill that would repeal the school choice tax credit program. The bill passed the House 188-151.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“Choice in education should not only be available to the rich. No parent should be forced to send a child to a school that does not meet the child’s needs. This program became law less than one year ago. Its first program year was to be this year. We now have businesses who have committed donations and families who have applied for scholarships who are in limbo, not knowing if they will be able to receive those scholarships. This program should be given a fair chance to succeed or fail on its own merits.”

Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett)

“This bill repeals a completely need based scholarship opportunity that makes programs of academic excellence available to moderate and low income families. We poured hundreds of hours into ensuring the program would not adversely affect school districts or state revenue. Now a politically motivated bill has threatened to end the program before it can be fully assessed. It’s unfortunate for those families and children who could benefit.”

House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)

“No child learns exactly the same and each child has his or her talents and strengths. Unfortunately, other than the choice to uproot and move to a different school district, most middle class families have lacked choice in education, which is a barrier preventing many children from achieving their full potential. It’s a real shame the Democrat controlled House voted today to take that opportunity away from our state’s lower income families. Parents know their children best and we should allow families to make choices together that are in the best interest of individual students. We made a promise to the hundred of families who have already applied for financial assistance. We hope the repeal fails in the Senate and we’re able to give this program and the children it helps a chance to succeed.”

Saturday
Feb162013

Congresswoman Shea-Porter Cosponsors Sugar Reform Act 

Signs on as Original Cosponsor to bill that saves consumers, taxpayers and businesses $3.5 Billion a year

Washington, DC –Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter joined thirty-six of her colleagues in introducing the bipartisan “Sugar Reform Act.”  This bill removes unnecessary sugar subsidies that have kept sugar prices too high.  Sugar subsidies have hurt consumers and driven manufacturing jobs out of the United States, which is why this reform is supported by a broad array of business, consumer advocacy, and environmental groups.

In Congress, we have a responsibility to protect taxpayers by rooting out waste in government,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “Sugar subsidies are unnecessary.  We can find significant savings by eliminating programs like this one.”

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Background:

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Kirk sponsored companion legislation in the Senate. 

 

The Sugar Reform Act would:

 

  • Repeal unnecessary trade restrictions.  The 2008 Farm Bill restricted the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to allow additional sugar imports when needed in the U.S. market.  The 2008 Farm Bill required USDA to set import quotas (also known as tariff-rate quotas) at a legal minimum each year, with very limited flexibility to then respond to changing market conditions as needed.  This bill would repeal these unnecessary restrictions that have further restricted supply, providing greater flexibility to those implementing the program.
  • Repeal the Feedstock Flexibility Program.  The 2008 Farm Bill added a $193 million program that requires the government to buy surplus sugar, and then sell that sugar to ethanol companies at a loss.  This bill would save taxpayers from footing the bill for keeping prices high.
  • Eliminate higher price support levels.  The 2008 Farm Bill facilitated higher price supports for sugar growers.  Reducing these rates would help put prices back in line with historic levels and reduce liability for taxpayers.
  • Reform domestic supply restrictions to provide more flexibility to USDA.  This bill would eliminate the current artificial guarantee of 85 percent of consumption and ensure that the current program is administered with sugar-using industries also in mind.  In addition, the bill would restore the Secretary of Agriculture’s authority to modify or suspend these domestic marketing allotments.
  • Provide flexibility to USDA in administering quotas.  This bill would also give USDA more flexibility in administering the import quota system.  The bill encourages greater efficiency by allowing qualifying countries to trade their quotas among themselves on a temporary and voluntary basis.  In addition, the amendment establishes a target stocks-to-use ratio for USDA to ensure that implementation of the federal government’s sugar policy is transparent and consistent.
  • Provide savings.  The federal sugar program has cost consumers and businesses an estimated $14 billion over the last 4 years.