CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

My Opinion

August 8, 2012

My Opinion: August 9, 2012

RAYMOND - Sorry, dear readers. I had a little glich and didn’t get any article in for last week.

This is a continuation on with the new laws from bills passed. As you can see from these articles, there were some very good legislative accomplishments this past term, working in the best interest of the people of New Hampshire.

Protecting Local and County Property Taxpayers:

SB-1

- A new law eliminating the “evergreen” requirement that all communities continue public employee contracts after they expire.

HB-337

- The new education funding formula guaranteeing that all communities will have stability in education aid funding for the next two years by ensuring that they will maintain the same levels as last year.

SB-196

- Teachers will now wait five (5) years, instead of three (3), before receiving tenure, giving schools additional time to evaluate their performance to ensure that students will get high quality instruction in classrooms.

HB-382

- Removes the mandate that cities and towns have fences around public cemeteries.

The legislature also lifted a number of restrictions on communities and counties, including: (1) Making it easier to transfer funds. (2) Strengthen collective bargaining rights for cities and towns. (3) Allowing counties more investment opportunities. (4) Removing permit application waiting periods for town road work if it meets best practice standards. (5) Limiting local liability for dog bites. (6) Providing more flexibility for communities to appoint members to volunteer boards. (7) Giving communities a chance to adjust their school and municipal budgets based on education funding changes at the state level.

Strengthening Property Rights:

HB-648

- Establishes a commission to: (1) Investigate procedural rights of landowners when a petition is presented to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by a utility seeking eminent domain. (2) Develop a framework for the state to provide use rights to transmission developers on state owned rights-of-way. (3) Develop policies to encourage burying such lines where practicable. (4) Establish a structure for payment.

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