legislative issues

2011 Legislative Wrap-Up

Barring unforeseen events, by the time you read this, the New Hampshire legislature will have finished its regular business for the 2011 session. At this writing, all bills that survived the committee of conference process were on their way to the full House and Senate for final action. June 23 was the last day for both houses to act on committee of conference reports.

The Need for Speed

Does your community have broadband or do you still have to access the internet by dial-up? If your community has cable, DSL, or other broadband service, do your residents wish they had more choices? Are you happy with the speed, service and price offered by your service providers? 

Legislative Policy Conference Will Determine Advocacy Efforts

The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) Legislative Policy Conference will be held Friday, September 17, at 9:00 a.m. at the Local Government Center in Concord. Every NHMA member is encouraged to send a delegate to vote on legislative policy proposals for the 2011-12 legislative term.

Looking for a Few Good Ideas: NHMA’s 2011-2012 Legislative Policy Process

In April 2010 the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) will begin its Legislative Policy Process for the 2011-2012 biennium. While it is difficult to focus on dates seemingly so far away, now is the time to think of things about your municipal responsibilities that might work better with a legislative change. Consider questions such as these:

Special Municipal Budgeting Legislation for the 2009 Budget Year

Two special laws passed by the New Hampshire Legislature this summer will allow municipalities to take immediate action in response to federal stimulus programs and reduced revenue from the State. These laws, which apply only to the 2009 budget year, permit special meetings with streamlined procedures in certain circumstances.

Municipal Action Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

New Law Defines ‘Unnecessary Hardship’

In 2009, after several years of effort, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a bill to codify the standards for granting a zoning variance and, most significantly, to overrule the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s decision in Boccia v. Portsmouth, 151 N.H. 85 (2004).

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding Highlights

From new, red firehouses to old, red-listed bridges, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is on its way to dozens of New Hampshire towns and cities to assist in designing, repairing, replacing, remodeling, modernizing, hiring, retaining, cleaning up and building out municipal infrastructure, personnel, programs and departments.

Expanded Health Benefits Coverage for Dependents What to Know Regarding Taxation

The New Hampshire State Legislature passed several laws during the 2007 session that expand the availability of group health plan coverage and also raise certain federal taxation issues. As a pooled risk management program, New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) is not subject to State insurance laws, per New Hampshire RSA Chapter 5-B. However, LGC’s Board of Directors regularly reviews laws impacting group health plan coverage and determines whether to follow the provisions of such laws in administering benefit programs.

Transportation: Are We Moving in the Right Direction?

Transportation affects all of our lives in myriad ways. Former Transportation Commissioner Carol Murray liked to refer to transportation as the “game board" upon which all other aspects of life are played. She made that observation because transportation affects our overall economy, our tourist industry and our education, recreation and health care systems. Without an ability to be mobile, our quality of life can diminish as our options to participate in events or to satisfy the basic needs of everyday life become limited.

Legislature to Address Important Municipal Issues

The New Hampshire legislature convened for its 2007 session on January 3, and House and Senate committees have begun meeting to consider the approximately 1,200 bills that have been filed. There are many bills that have the potential to have significant impacts on municipalities, and it will be important for municipal officials to share their opinions with legislators.

The following are some of the topics that are likely to be particularly hot this year.