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Laws governing local ballot measures in New Hampshire
- 1 Types of local government
- 2 School districts
- 3 Local recall rules
- 4 Initiative process availability
- 5 Authority
- 6 Initiative process features
- 7 Initiative process in the top 10 most populated cities
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
|New Hampshire Constitution|
This article sets out the laws governing local ballot measures in New Hampshire. It explains:
- Which local units of government make the initiative process available to residents.
- How and whether local units of government, including school districts, can refer local ballot measures (such as school bond propositions) to the ballot.
- An overview of laws governing local recall elections.
Types of local government
Local government in New Hampshire consists of:
- Counties: There are 10 counties in New Hampshire. Although counties may adopt charters under state statutes Chapter 28-A, none have yet done so.
- Municipalities: There are 234 municipalities in New Hampshire. 13 have charters. Although some municipalities are called "cities" and others are called "towns," their legal authority does not differ.
- In addition, there are 132 special districts and 166 independent school districts.
New Hampshire does not require school districts to seek voter approval to issue new bonding. New Hampshire is one of nine states, along with the District of Columbia, to not require school bond or tax elections. All bonding is approved by the New Hampshire School Building Authority. A five person board determines all school funding requests. The State of New Hampshire guarantees $95 million per a fiscal cycle for issuing new bonds. If a school district has bonding approved by the Authority, the Authority must review the project, along with similar projects in the past, against the school district's needs to determine how much money is awarded. Also, the Authority must review requests within the $95 million dollar limit.
Local recall rules
As of January 2011, the settled view in New Hampshire about the availability of local recall elections is, "The courts in New Hampshire have not supported recall provisions in municipal charters because they are not granted that authority in state statute."
- For additional detail, see: Laws governing recall in New Hampshire
Initiative process availability
All 13 charter cities have mandated initiative and referendum for charter amendments. Charters may also adopt initiative and referendum provisions for ordinances. All 221 towns have mandated initiative and referendum for ordinances through their town meeting form of government.
| Ballot Law Portal|
|Laws Governing Ballot Measures|
New Hampshire Statutes 49-B:5 mandates an initiative process for charter amendments in home rule municipalities.
Initiative process features
|A guide to local ballot initiatives|
New Hampshire Statutes 49-B:5 details the initiative process for charter amendments.
Initiative process in the top 10 most populated cities
|List of Most Populated Cities in New Hampshire|
|City||Population||City Type||Next election|
The top 10 most populated cities operate under a charter. Initiative is available for charter amendments as provided above. Cities may also authorize initiative and referendum for ordinances in the city charter. 2 of the cities below, Nashua and Lebanon, have done so. Portsmouth grants a petition process that forces a council vote on the proposal, but it does not go to the ballot. Manchester grants a petition process which results in a non binding advisory referendum. The provisions below come from the individual city charter or code.
|Local I&R Laws in the 50 States|
|Source:Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with |
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- Laws governing ballot measures
- Laws governing local ballot measures
- Local ballot measures, New Hampshire
- Counties in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Local Government Center
- New Hampshire Municipal Association
- NHMA/LGC, "The Municipal Charter Process for Towns"
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Governments--Individual State Descriptions, Pg. 263
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- This is a quote from an email dated January 3, 2011 from David Scanlan, the Deputy New Hampshire Secretary of State to Leslie Graves, Ballotpedia's editor.
- Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state
- New Hampshire Statutes 49-B:5
- US Census Bureau "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011 (Population figures as of 2011 Census estimates)
- US Census, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in New Hampshire: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011