Sununu signs dozens of bills

Jul 06, 2018
Gov. Chris Sununu

Over the past week Gov. Chris Sununu has signed dozens of bills.  Here are some of the notable new laws:

SB 313

This bill continues New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program, with some notable changes.  Learn more about SB 313.

Drug deaths up again in 2017

Jun 15, 2018
drug overdose deaths

Overdose deaths reached an all-time high in New Hampshire in 2017, according to the latest data from the chief medical examiner

There were 487 drug deaths in 2017. Almost three-quarters involved fentanyl.

While 487 is an all-time high, it is only slightly higher than the number of drug deaths in 2016. Drug deaths have almost tripled since 2012, so the small increase from 2016 to 2017 may indicate that trend is slowing down.

New report shows increased drug-related child abuse

Jun 06, 2018
child neglect drugs

According to a new report, child abuse and neglect reports have increased dramatically over the past few years in New Hampshire, due in part to the opioid addiction epidemic. 

The report was published by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

From 2013 to 2016 the state Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) accepted 21% more reports of child abuse and neglect for assessment.

Sununu vetoes rehab for parole violators

Apr 04, 2018
rehab and parole

Gov. Chris Sununu recently vetoed HB 143, a bill that would give the parole board power to send a parole violator to residential substance abuse treatment rather than to jail.

About HB 143

Current state law requires a 90 day sentence for anyone who violates parole. A parole violation could be anything from failing a drug test to committing a new crime.

Current state law allows the parole board to shorten the 90 day sentence if the following is true:

Do you support legislation that would reduce the penalty for a first-time drug offense to a misdemeanor?

Jan 13, 2018

In 2018, New Hampshire lawmakers will consider HB 1678, a bill that would reduce the penalty for first-offense drug possession charges to a misdemeanor. In the case of repeat offenders, the sentencing court may decide whether to sentence them to a misdemeanor or a felony.

Do you support legislation that would send parole violators who are drug addicts into rehab instead of back to jail?

Dec 18, 2017
parole and drug rehab

A bill currently being considered by the NH Legislature, HB 143, would give the adult parole board the option of suspending the jail sentence of someone who violated their parole, if he or she “enters and successfully completes a residential or intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program deemed acceptable by the board.”

Current policy on parole violations

Currently, there is a standard minimum jail sentence of 90 days for violating parole. The parole board is allowed to make an exception to that rule under certain circumstances:

Using immigration checkpoints for drug searches?

Dec 13, 2017
drug sniffing dog enforcement search

The New Hampshire branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit that challenges the legality of drug arrests that were made during checkpoints on Interstate 93 in Woodstock near the border with Canada.

A mix of immigration and drug enforcement

This summer U.S. Customs and Border Protection collaborated with New Hampshire state and local police to search cars at a checkpoint about 90 miles from the Canadian border.

A tax to stop opioid abuse?

Sep 07, 2017
opioid tax

This year several states - including Massachusetts - have considered a tax on opioid-based prescription painkiller sales.

The proposals vary from state to state, but can involve taxing some combination of manufacturers, producers, importers, and distributors. The taxes can be based on gross receipts, the number of pills, or the amount of addicting substances in the drugs. Some proposals have exceptions for opioids used for hospice and cancer patients.

All of the proposals send the tax revenue to opioid addiction treatment or prevention.

NH sues over OxyContin marketing

Aug 10, 2017
oxycontin

The New Hampshire Attorney General is suing the manufacturer of OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

According to the court filing, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, violated New Hampshire law by:

More state funding for drug treatment?

Aug 08, 2017
drug addiction treatment funding

Treatment for drug addiction is expensive. For some addicts, private insurance plans will cover all or part of the cost. New Hampshire residents covered under the state’s Medicaid expansion can also get treatment paid for, while more limited benefits are available to standard Medicaid patients.

However, uninsured addicts can still be left struggling to pay for treatment, and even those who are covered can have difficulty finding space in residential or intensive outpatient treatment centers, where demand far exceeds capacity.

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