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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 69,384

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Trump budget threatens after-school programs for more than 10,000 N.H. students

Fourth-grader Ally Moore was wrapping up her reading homework a little before 4 p.m.

Ally, a student at Abbot-Downing School in Concord, said she probably gets the most help when it comes to writing. But the best part of her after-school program? That’s what comes after homework.

“I like the clubs the best. They’re usually pretty fun – like arts and crafts, or inventing things,” she said.

Next, Ally would go to the cafeteria, where students split into groups of five or six and worked on a Lego challenge. Down the hall in the gym, first- through fifth-graders were inventing sports games and teaching their peers how to play them.

Ally’s after-school program is one of thousands on the chopping block in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which zeros out funding for the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program starting next year.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/Afterschool-programs-on-the-chopping-block-in-Trump-budget-8931935

Legislators defeat bill on Russian liquor ban

Russian vodka is still being sold at New Hampshire state liquor stores after legislators defeated a bill that suggested suspending or banning it in response to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Senators on Thursday rejected the bill from Democratic Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, which would’ve set up a commission to consider the proposal, and reconsider state retirement system investments in Russian companies.

Woodburn said it’s only become clearer since he introduced the bill that the Russian government “exerted an unprecedented level of influence” in the election. He said New Hampshire ought to “seriously examine” its investments in Russian products and industry.

A declassified intelligence report earlier this year said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hidden campaign to influence the election. Putin on Thursday dismissed what he called “endless and groundless” accusations as the U.S. Senate intelligence committee opened a hearing.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/Legislators-defeat-bill-on-Russian-liquor-ban-9008420

House committee votes against banning gay conversion therapy

New Hampshire won’t ban gay conversion therapy for minors this year, after a House committee voted this week to hold back the bill.

In a 13-8 vote, the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee retained the legislation Tuesday over concerns that it limits parental rights and counseling for youth working through their sexuality, members said.

The decision marks another setback for LGBT-rights groups, which earlier this year saw the Republican-led House defeat a bill to expand anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.

“It’s another year to go without protections for people,” said Democratic Rep. Renny Cushing, a co-sponsor on both pieces of legislation.

Read more: http://www.concordmonitor.com/house-committee-retains-conversion-therapy-bill-8994318

Hassan proposes stricter water standards

PORTSMOUTH — U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a maximum contaminant level for two dangerous PFCs, 1,4 dioxane, and perchlorate in public water systems.

The EPA would have two years to set the maximum contaminant level or MCL for the contaminants.

There is no mandate now to regulate these emerging contaminants under the Safe Water Drinking Act, according to the press release from Hassan’s office.

This legislation would require the EPA to create safety guidelines and to determine legally enforceable standards that apply to public water systems.

Read more: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170331/hassan-proposes-stricter-water-standards

N.H. House Speaker: Sununu's Full-Day Kindergarten Plan 'Another Expansion Of Government'

House Speaker Shawn Jasper says it shouldn't be a surprise House Republicans aren't backing Gov. Chris Sununu's plan to spend $18 million in the next two-year state budget to fund full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire.

"Republicans I think look at the fact that that's another expansion of government," the Hudson Republican said, speaking to NHPR's Morning Edition Tuesday. "It's no secret that when half-day kindergarten was put in the budget, we were almost unanimously opposed to it at the time, so it shouldn't be any surprise that moving forward, we were not in favor of expanding that."

The House Finance Committee nixed Sununu's proposal, which would help subsidize full-day programs in communities that choose to offer it. It does not mandate districts to go beyond what's currently required, which is only a half-day program.

Jasper said there were aspects of Sununu's proposal that weren't "fully explained."

"The governor's plan was presented as a way to get people back to work. And one of the things I don't think was ever fully explained is that money would go to a city like Manchester, which already has full-time kindergarten. So if that was going to put mothers back to work, that would have already taken place. So there was obviously a concern I had and others shared that if we're giving money just replacing local money, we're not reaching the goal."

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/nh-house-speaker-sununus-full-day-kindergarten-plan-another-expansion-government

Bill Requiring Parental Notice on Sex-Related Classroom Material Heads to Governor

A bill that would require parents to get advance notice before sex-related course material is taught in the classroom has passed the state Senate and now heads to the Governor.

Parents can already opt their child out of any course material relating to sexuality or sex education.

But this proposal would require schools to provide up to two weeks’ notice before that kind of material is taught.

Republican Senator Bill Gannon says this bill keeps parents more informed on what’s going on in the classroom.

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/bill-requiring-parental-notice-sex-related-classroom-material-heads-governor#stream/0

N.H. Senate OKs Bill to Remove Insurance Barriers for Substance Abuse Treatment

A bill making it easier for people seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem unanimously cleared the New Hampshire Senate Wednesday.

Currently people seeking therapy for substance abuse need to get insurance approval to receive medication like methadone or suboxone.

In some cases that approval would need to be monthly.

But under this measure, patients would only be required to get approval from insurers once a year.

Senator Dan Feltes of Concord, who’s the bill’s prime sponsor, says it’s important for patients who need medication assisted therapy to get it quickly.

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/nh-senate-oks-bill-remove-insurance-barriers-substance-abuse-treatment

Voter Eligibility Bill Clears N.H. Senate Along Party Lines

A Republican bill adding new requirements for proving voter eligibility has cleared the state Senate along party lines. The measure would require create more stringent verification requirements for people registering to vote close to an election.

Lawmakers this year have considered dozens of GOP-backed bills aimed at fighting potential voter fraud. But Senate Bill 3, which seeks to tighten the definition of domicile for voting purposes, is the one leaders most want to become law. As she opened what proved to be a lengthy - and at at times prickly - debate on the bill, Senator Regina Birdsell, its prime sponsor, cast it as a benign effort to better spell out and verify the qualification of voters.

“No one will be denied the right to vote, and I repeat, no one will be denied the right to vote.”

But Democrats, like Senate minority leader Jeff Woodburn of Whitefield, view the bill, which is backed by Governor Chris Sununu and secretary of state Bill Gardner, something more far more noxious.

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/voter-eligibility-bill-clears-nh-senate-along-party-lines

N.H. Senate Kills Bill to Remove Redistricting Authority from State Legislature

The Republican-controlled state Senate killed a bill Thursday that would create an independent redistricting commission for state elections.

Under New Hampshire law legislators have the job of re-drawing the state’s political map after every census report. That includes drawing district lines for the state House and Senate, the Executive Council, and New Hampshire’s two congressional districts.

Democratic Senator Bette Lasky, the bill’s prime sponsor, says this process means the majority party has control on where these lines end up.

“Over the years this has become a process by which the party in power basically gets to make the rules and manipulate the numbers and lines to favor their particular viewpoint,” Lasky said Thursday on the Senate floor.

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/nh-senate-kills-bill-remove-redistricting-authority-state-legislature

In Nashua, Hassan Touts Bill to Reign in Prescription Drug Costs

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan was in Nashua Friday highlighting her new proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Under the measure, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would be required to monitor pricing spikes to ensure drug costs aren’t rising unfairly.

The bill would allow the department to negotiate prices for Medicare prescription drugs. It would also cap the amount of money patients and families can pay on prescription drugs annually out of pocket.

Hassan introduced the legislation this week.

Read more: http://nhpr.org/post/nashua-hassan-touts-bill-reign-prescription-drug-costs
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