William O'Brien http://nhpr.org en N.H. Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of O'Brien Suit Against Dems http://nhpr.org/post/nh-supreme-court-upholds-dismissal-obrien-suit-against-dems <p></p><p>The state’s highest court has unanimously <a href="http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2014/2014018obrien.pdf" target="_blank">upheld </a>a lower court ruling that scuttled &nbsp;former House Speaker William O’Brien’s lawsuit against the N.H. Democratic Party over automated phone calls that targeted O’Brien without the proper disclosures.</p><p></p><p>At issue were 394 calls placed by Democrats in 2010.</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:22:34 +0000 Josh Rogers 44700 at http://nhpr.org N.H. Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of O'Brien Suit Against Dems Former House Speaker O'Brien Inches Closer To Congressional Run http://nhpr.org/post/former-house-speaker-obrien-inches-closer-congressional-run <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Representative Bill O’Brien says he will file paperwork next week to launch a campaign committee in advance of a possible run for&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New Hampshire’s </span>2<sup>nd</sup><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Congressional District.</span></p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:15:56 +0000 Todd Bookman 24561 at http://nhpr.org Former House Speaker O'Brien Inches Closer To Congressional Run Speaker O'Brien Can't Shake Election Spotlight http://nhpr.org/post/speaker-obrien-cant-shake-election-spotlight <p></p><p>A joke about being New Hampshire Speaker of the House is that you get a parking spot, $125 annual salary, and the chance to bang a gavel.</p><p>But when Bill O’Brien took the position in 2010, he took an important but largely under the radar position into the spotlight.</p><blockquote><p>"It’s been all about O’Brien," says Dante Scala, a political scientist at UNH. "For better or worse, O’Brien became the center of gravity in the New Hampshire legislature, and the face of the New Hampshire legislature, in a way that past Speakers rarely are."</p> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 21:32:15 +0000 Todd Bookman 16095 at http://nhpr.org Speaker O'Brien Can't Shake Election Spotlight Nepotism Inquiry Yields Little http://nhpr.org/post/nepotism-inquiry-yields-little <p>A nepotism inquiry by House Speaker Bill O&rsquo;Brien has turned up little evidence of improper hiring in state government.</p><p>The probe comes in the wake of last month&rsquo;s scandal at the Department of Employment Security. Two high ranking officials are accused of hiring their daughters, and then having them laid off by subordinates so that they could collect unemployment benefits.</p><p>Speaker O&rsquo;Brien requested that all agency heads disclose any family members working within their respective departments.</p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:25:35 +0000 Todd Bookman 9899 at http://nhpr.org Speaker O'Brien: Will Seek to Outlaw Gay Marriage If Re-elected http://nhpr.org/post/speaker-obrien-will-seek-outlaw-gay-marriage-if-re-elected <p>New Hampshire Speaker of the House Bill O&rsquo;Brien says he would again seek to outlaw gay marriage in the state if he wins another term as Speaker. Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:06:50 +0000 Ryan Lessard 9417 at http://nhpr.org O'Brien Defends Higher Ed Cuts and Targets UNH http://nhpr.org/post/obrien-defends-higher-ed-cuts-and-targets-unh <p>New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O&rsquo;Brien says the University of New Hampshire and its workers need to be more efficient. O&rsquo;Brien, while speaking on NHPR&rsquo;s the Exchange, defended lawmaker&rsquo;s nearly fifty percent cut to higher ed funding, the largest in the nation. The Speaker also criticized UNH for increasing its tuition and, he says, not making the cuts necessary to become efficient.</p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 19:59:25 +0000 Ryan Lessard 9415 at http://nhpr.org O'Brien Names New Majority Leader as Questions Remain About Bettencourt Conduct http://nhpr.org/post/obrien-names-new-majority-leader-questions-remain-about-bettencourt-conduct <p>Politics usually take a break over Memorial Day weekend, but not this year in New Hampshire. State House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt abruptly resigned after admitting he had falsified documents for a law school internship.</p><p>NHPR&rsquo;s Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest on the Bettencourt story, the potential political fallout for House Speaker William O&#39;Brien, and the newly named majority leader, Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua.</p> Tue, 29 May 2012 22:07:34 +0000 Brady Carlson & Josh Rogers 5765 at http://nhpr.org O'Brien-Vaillancourt Flap At Center of Busy, Contentious State House Session http://nhpr.org/post/obrien-vaillancourt-flap-center-busy-contentious-state-house-session <p>It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.</p> Tue, 15 May 2012 22:06:28 +0000 Brady Carlson & Josh Rogers 4857 at http://nhpr.org House Votes Through Contraception Exemption http://nhpr.org/post/house-votes-through-contraception-exemption <p>&nbsp;The New Hampshire House voted to allow any employer with a religious objection to deny workers insurance coverage for contraceptives.</p><p>Adding an exemption to New Hampshire&rsquo;s 12-year-old law requiring contraceptives be covered in all drug plans has become a priority for&nbsp;House Speaker William O&#39;Brien. And his leadership team pushed the bill&nbsp;through over strong objection from Democrats and a gallery full of protesters.</p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 21:45:04 +0000 Josh Rogers 2364 at http://nhpr.org House Votes Through Contraception Exemption Contraception Fight Heading To House Floor http://nhpr.org/post/contraception-fight-heading-house-floor <p>House Speaker&nbsp;William O&#39;Brien&#39;s&nbsp;bill to allow&nbsp;any employer with a religious&nbsp;objection to&nbsp;exclude contraception coverage from&nbsp;employee&nbsp;health plans&nbsp;draws fire from&nbsp;Democrats and leaves&nbsp;GOP Gubernatorial hopefuls leery.</p><p>Democrats&rsquo; problems with this bill are by far the more pronounced. Gubernatorial hopeful Jackie Cilley, for instance, has urged supporters to &ldquo;take to the streets&rdquo; over the issue. Fellow candidate Maggie Hassan, meanwhile, took to the statehouse for a morning press conference.</p> Tue, 06 Mar 2012 23:19:51 +0000 Josh Rogers 2332 at http://nhpr.org House Passes Contraception Resolution http://nhpr.org/post/house-passes-contraception-resolution <p>&nbsp;</p><p>The resolution asks the federal government&nbsp;to undo a rule requiring insurance companies to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations.</p><p>House republican leaders say religious liberty is in jeopardy under the federal rule, even though it no longer requires religious organizations to directly pay for contraceptives. House Speaker William O&rsquo;Brien says the 227-to-121 vote sends the message that either way, the requirement&rsquo;s intent is simply wrong.</p> Wed, 22 Feb 2012 21:12:41 +0000 Josh Rogers 2044 at http://nhpr.org House Passes Contraception Resolution O'Brien Pushing Back On Contraception Mandates http://nhpr.org/post/obrien-pushing-back-contraception-mandates <p>The&nbsp;New Hampshire&nbsp;House&nbsp;will likely vote next week to ask the federal government to rescind a rule forcing insurers to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations.&nbsp;House Speaker William&nbsp;O&#39;Brien says he&#39;ll also work to undo&nbsp;a similar state law.&nbsp;</p><p>O&rsquo;Brien&nbsp;told the&nbsp;house state and federal relations committee it&#39;s&nbsp;unconstitutional for governments, federal or state,&nbsp;to tell insurers to offer contraception to workers at religious organizations.</p> Thu, 16 Feb 2012 22:00:11 +0000 Josh Rogers 1960 at http://nhpr.org Bragdon, O'Brien Differ On Tax and Spending Caps http://nhpr.org/post/bragdon-obrien-differ-tax-and-spending-caps <p>&nbsp;</p><p>Top house and senate republicans are at odds over constitutional amendments designed to keep government&nbsp;small.&nbsp;</p><p>The state senate&#39;s&nbsp;proposed&nbsp;constitutional change&nbsp;would require a 60 percent vote by lawmakers to increase state spending beyond the rate of inflation. As&nbsp;passed by the house, the proposal would have required&nbsp;that same&nbsp;super-majority&nbsp;to borrow money or raise taxes.</p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 23:27:12 +0000 Josh Rogers 1936 at http://nhpr.org Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Rally At Statehouse http://nhpr.org/post/same-sex-marriage-opponents-rally-statehouse <p>&nbsp;</p><p>About 200 people showed up to hold signs and&nbsp;hear speeches by gay marriage critics. House speaker William O&rsquo;Brien, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne and&nbsp;&nbsp;Republican national committeewoman Phylliss Woods all said its time to undo the two year old law allowing gays to marry. &nbsp;David Bates, a&nbsp;State Rep. from Windham, wrote the repeal bill and MC&#39;d the rally.</p> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 21:40:07 +0000 Josh Rogers 1746 at http://nhpr.org Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Rally At Statehouse O'Brien Wants Fatter Rainy Day Fund --Now http://nhpr.org/post/obrien-wants-fatter-rainy-day-fund-now <p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Legislature holds the purse strings and House Speaker Bill O&rsquo;Brien wants to prove it. O&rsquo;Brien is backing a measure to divert money generated by the state&rsquo;s insurance tax to New Hampshire&rsquo;s rainy day fund. NHPR&rsquo;s Josh Rogers reports</p><p>The measure aims to fatten the rainy day fund by $26 million, which was the state&rsquo;s surplus in fiscal year 2011. Speaker O&rsquo;Brien told the House ways and means committee that socking the money away amounts to simple prudence.</p> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 22:35:39 +0000 Josh Rogers 1444 at http://nhpr.org