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Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Will House, Senate continue the feud?
The negotiations look to be fierce and ugly this year, foremost because the House is controlled by Democrats and the Senate by Republicans.
The Senate last Thursday killed two bills the House passed to increase revenue, a 20 cent tobacco tax increase and a 12 cent increase in the gas tax over three years.
Some key House and Senate players had worked out a deal that if gambling passed the House, the Senate would go along with a 4 or 5 cent increase in the gas tax to raise money for road and bridge projects. That increase would at least pay for finishing the Interstate 93 expansion from Salem to Manchester and avoid layoffs at the Department of Transportation.
The House Public Works and Highways Committee will also decide on Bragdon's pet project, Senate Bill 3, to eliminate one of the three ramp tolls off the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack, the largest town in his Senate district.
Here's betting the gas tax may show up on this bill.
The Next Big Fight: Now that each body's preferred revenue source has been killed, all eyes are likely to turn to Medicaid expansion for the next big battle between the House and the Senate.
Expansion would also provide state health care providers with an estimated $2.5 billion over the next seven years when the federal government pays from 100 to 90 percent of the cost of the new Medicaid recipients.
But GOP senators have balked at expanding the program, saying the federal government has not lived up to its promises, using special education as an example.
He and Morse say they want more information before expanding the program, a frequent refrain from critics.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to add its weight to the fight Tuesday when it decides on a bill concerning the state and federal partnership for the state's health insurance exchange required under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicaid expansion will be one of the major sticking points during budget negotiations between the House and Senate.
Social Media Passwords: The Senate takes up a bill this week that would prevent employers from requiring an employee or prospective employee to divulge his or her password to social media or email accounts.
The bill would not limit an employer's right to adopt and enforce workplace policies on equipment or Internet use or to monitor an employee's use of company equipment.
The 21st century comes to the New Hampshire General Court.
READER COMMENTS: 8
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