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Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Almost no suspense in vote for Senate boss
The Senate is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m., and most senators should be on their way back home by 11.
On Tuesday, Morse, who is serving his fourth term in the Senate, will take over the reins of power from Peter Bragdon in an orderly fashion, not like the last mid-term change when a coup ousted then-Senate President Tom Eaton and replaced him with Ted Gatsas, who is now mayor of Manchester.
When Morse assumes power, offices and staff will have to be shuffled around, but there are not expected to be any significant changes.
Morse's management style is pretty well-known. As Senate Finance Committee chairman for three of his four terms, Morse has sat down with department heads, legislative budget experts and others to gather as much information as possible about any given issue.
In the past, Democrats on the Finance Committee had criticized Morse for not keeping them in the loop, but that was not the case this year.
Also last week, Entergy, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, announced it would close the plant by the end of next year and begin the decommissioning process.
Natural gas plants are cleaner than other types of fossil-fuel burning generators, much cheaper to operate and not radioactive.
Entergy cited economic reasons for closing the plant, saying the cost of natural-gas-generated power is so low the plant is losing money.
The low cost of natural gas has also meant PSNH's plants, particularly Merrimack Station in Bow, do not operate all the time as they once did. In fact, the two plants on the Seacoast, Schiller and Newington stations, do not operate much at all.
There is little for lawmakers to do until several things become clearer, including: how much of the $425 million PSNH invested in a new emissions scrubber at Merrimack Station the company will be allowed to recoup from customers; whether natural gas-generated electricity continues at its current level; and how fast PSNH power customers switch to cheaper, independent suppliers.
Questions have arisen about whether legislators would be accepting something worth more than $25 by traveling at someone else's expense. Such a situation would be inappropriate.
The committee chairman, Concord attorney Martin Gross, ruled that if a trip is related to legislative issues that could be of interest to the state, accepting reimbursement is OK.
He will focus on design-build and public-private partnership project development and transportation business development within the Northeast, according to a news release from the company.
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