Targeting yet another specific power project, the New Hampshire Senate passed H B 1 6 6 0 in the name of providing homeowner protections against the use of eminent domain in siting high pressure gas pipeline projects in the state. In response to the vote, District Nine Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, reiterated his complaint that the bill doesn’t go far enough. Said Sanborn, quote:
“While I believe this bill is a first step in the right direction to protect homeowners from being forced from their homes against their will by the use of eminent domain for high pressure gas pipeline construction, I don’t believe it goes far enough to provide the type of strong and effective protections that New Hampshire citizens should have. I look forward to continuing to strengthen these protections so that New Hampshire citizens can take comfort in knowing that they have some defense against losing their home to any energy project.”
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, praised the bill’s passage, calling it a reasonable bill that allows for future energy infrastructure projects to move forward and stronger protections for homeowners against the potential use of eminent domain for gas pipeline projects. Bradley said he also believed the bill’s provisions could withstand federal preemption on the issue.
The Senate also passed H B 1 5 8 9, which establishes a fine for negligent transport of exotic aquatic invasive species between bodies of water. Noting that the state’s lakes and waterways are some of its most important tourist attractions, Bradley said the state had an obligation to ensure its water resources are protected from invasive exotic aquatic weeds which threaten to overtake them.
Senators gave the thumbs up to H B 1 4 2 3, which requires the Board of Medicine, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Nursing, Board of Registration in Optometry, Board of Podiatry, Naturopathic Board of Examiners, and Board of Veterinary Medicine to adopt rules for prescribing controlled drugs. The bill contains mandatory standards for those rules and requires using the controlled drug prescription health and safety program database.
District Fourteen Senator Sharon Carson, Republican from Londonderry, supported the bill. She thanked Governor Margaret Wood Hassan for supporting the legislature’s efforts to refine the requirements governing controlled drug prescribing. Referencing the connection between the overuse of prescription opioid pain killers and the raging heroin/fentynl epidemic, Carson said the new guidelines would help prevent their overuse and help curb the epidemic. Said Carson, quote:
“We spent considerable time making sure the prescribing rules would provide a balance between curbing the overprescribing of opioid pain medication while ensuring there were no overreaching restrictions or unintended consequences that would make it needlessly difficult for prescribers to do their job and provide proper care for their patients.”
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith and candidate for governor, called on Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to “stop the political games” with respect to the state’s projected eighty million dollar revenue surplus. Hassan’s looking to spend the dough, which Forrester reminded her she said wouldn’t exist because business tax cuts proposed by the Senate would blow a big hole in the budget. Obviously, they didn’t.
Forrester also challenged Hassan’s rhetoric on state spending for drug use prevention saying if she truly believed more money was required for drug prevention, she had nobody to blame but herself. Said Forrester, quote:
“For years you and other politicians suspended the drug and alcohol fund and then underfunded it. Those dollars were dedicated to funding prevention programs. You spent that money on other projects until I called for an end to this practice.”
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation recently gave the New Hampshire Food Bank a thirty thousand dollar grant to support its Production Garden. This grant will help significantly increase the garden’s capacity, which grows vegetables on a one-acre site in Manchester to help supply their four hundred partner agencies. More than twelve hundred volunteers tended the garden last year.
The Manchester Police Department is hosting another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday from 10 to 2. Citizens may turn in their unused, expired or otherwise unwanted prescription medications so they can be safely discarded. Manchester residents may drop off their prescription meds at the Elliot Pharmacy at River’s Edge, the New Hampshire Army National Guard Armory and the Police Department Headquarters on Valley Street. If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of, but you’re not a Manchester resident, check with your local police department. Chances are, they’re participating too.
That’s News from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!