Seacoast news briefs

Seacoast news in brief

At the Statehouse

Legislators look at voting laws

State lawmakers in Concord are continuing to look at residency requirements for new Granite State voters. Members of the House Election Law Committee heard testimony on April 12 on SB 4, sponsored by state Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), which would require voters to have lived in New Hampshire for at least 30 days before they would be allowed to vote. The Senate approved the bill in January.

Meanwhile, the Senate will vote on April 14 on a similar bill previously passed by the House. HB 1313, sponsored by Rep. William Gannon (R-Sandown), proposes a 10-day residency requirement. Both HB 1313 and SB 4 also allow aggregated, non-identifying voter information to be provided to the legislature for hearings. The bill seems unlikely to pass — in March, a Senate committee recommended the bill as inexpedient to legislate. The bills are the latest effort among Republican lawmakers to adopt residency requirements for voting. Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a residency requirement bill in 2015.

Legislators may also soon take a look at short-term rental services like AirBnb. Members of the House Municipal and County Government Committee will hold a hearing on April 19 on SB 482, a bill sponsored by Sen. Martha Fuller-Clark (D-Portsmouth) that would establish a legislative committee to examine how short-term rentals affect municipalities. The bill has already passed in the Senate; if it’s approved by the House, the committee will present its findings sometime this fall.

In other Statehouse news, a legislative committee has scuttled plans to reinstate bobcat hunting and trapping in New Hampshire. On April 1, the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules voted against the state Fish and Game Commission’s proposal to open a hunting and trapping season for bobcats. Fish and Game commissioners approved the plan earlier this year. The proposal attracted a fierce debate; opponents said the hunt was unnecessary, while supporters said a bobcat hunt would help manage the species, which has experienced a rebound in population numbers in recent years. — Larry Clow


UNH sets application record

The University of New Hampshire is more popular with prospective students than ever before. This year, the university received more than 20,000 applications from prospective first-year students. According to Victoria Dutcher, vice president of enrollment management at UNH, the university received almost 1,000 more applications than it did last year, and the number of this year’s applications set a new record. Only a fraction of those 20,000 applicants will make it in, though. The university plans to accept only approximately 3,000 new freshman students this year. — LC


State of the city breakfast scheduled

City leaders will discuss their vision for the Garrison City and priorities for the year at the annual state of the city breakfast, taking place Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 a.m. in the café of the McConnell Center, located on Locust Street.

Speakers include city manager J. Michael Joyal, police Chief Anthony Colarusso, assistant city manager Christopher Parker, and superintendent Dr. Elaine Arbour. A question and answer session will follow the presentations. The event is $15 and open to the public. Registration is required. Call the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce at 603-742-2218 or visit — LC