The Latest: House passes drug court grant bill | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: House passes drug court grant bill

May 11, 2016 - 1:08 PM

CONCORD, N.H. - The Latest on action from the New Hampshire House session (all times local):

4 p.m.

The New Hampshire House is giving approval to the expansion of drug court programs across the state.

The body supports spending $2.23 million on a new grant program to aid existing or new drug courts in the state's 10 counties. Such courts are aimed at rehabilitating offenders who are addicted to drugs.

Under the bill, Coos, Carroll and Sullivan counties will be eligible for up to $100,000 annually. Grafton, Belknap and Cheshire can receive up to $150,000 per year and Strafford, Merrimack and Rockingham counties are eligible for up to $245,000. Hillsborough County, the state's largest, has two superior courts and each would be eligible for up to $245,000.

The House added an amendment regarding the state's rainy day fund to the bill, meaning it must go back to the Senate for final passage.

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2 p.m.

The House is once again backing an effort to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Members overwhelmingly support a bill that reduces the penalty for first-time possession of one quarter ounce of marijuana or less from a misdemeanour to a violation. That means the charge wouldn't stay on a person's criminal record.

This bill is narrower than a decriminalization effort from earlier this year, which the Senate rejected.

The House has also passed legislation to remove the permitting requirement for people to carry concealed guns. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is certain to veto the bill.

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12:20 p.m.

The New Hampshire House has defeated an effort to extend the life of records kept by the state's child protective services agency.

The legislation would have required the Division for Children, Youth and Families to keep records on substantiated abuse and neglect cases forever, compared to seven years under existing law. It also would've extended the life of investigated but unsubstantiated reports from three to 10 years and reported cases which are not investigated from one to seven years.

Advocates for the change say it would better help child services workers identify long-term patterns of abuse or neglect.

But opponents say the changes would be excessive.

The bill had already passed the Senate and was a recommendation of the Commission to Review Child Abuse Fatalities.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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