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June 8, 2014

Key legislation headed to Hassan's desk

No one knows how many governor will sign as legislative session ends

The legislative session may have just ended, but some of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s work is just beginning.

In the next few weeks, her desk at the Statehouse in Concord is expected to be flooded with bills awaiting her signature.

“We have over 200 bills that are still making their way through this building,” said William Hinkle, the governor’s spokesman.

Hassan will be asked to sign legislation calling for everything from a ban on hand-held cellphone use to granting limited driving privileges to some drunken drivers.

She will consider a Medicaid settlement with the state’s hospitals and a 10-year highway plan.

But as of Friday, only one bill had landed on her desk — legislation establishing a 25-foot buffer zone around health facilities where abortions are performed. Hassan will sign that bill into law at a ceremony Tuesday, Hinkle said.

The other 200-plus bills are still being finalized as they circulate through House and Senate offices, Hinkle said.

Once they hit the governor’s desk, she has five days to sign or veto them. It’s hoped they arrive before Hassan leaves June 20 for a weeklong trade mission to Turkey, but bills could still be coming well into July, Hinkle said.

“We’re expecting a lot in the next two weeks,” he said.

The legislation passed this session reflects a broad array of bills ushered through both the House and Senate with less resistance than in the past, spokesmen for both parties said.

“I think there was a lot more problem solving and an effort to focus on the economy,” said Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, speaking for the state party Friday.

That led to passage of pay equity legislation to narrow the wage gap between men and women, she said. The parties were also able to come together on other bills such as domestic violence legislation.

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