Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines. Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.

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NH News
6:27 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Bragdon, O'Brien Differ On Tax and Spending Caps

 

Top house and senate republicans are at odds over constitutional amendments designed to keep government small. 

The state senate's proposed constitutional change would require a 60 percent vote by lawmakers to increase state spending beyond the rate of inflation. As passed by the house, the proposal would have required that same super-majority to borrow money or raise taxes.

According to Senate President Peter Bragdon the senate version amounts to common sense -- low taxes, he says, result from low spending.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Senate Adopts School Funding Amendment

 

The New Hampshire Senate has approved a constitutional amendment to give the state more leeway in how it distributes school aid. 

The amendment would make it easier for lawmakers to target money to poorer communities but not explicitly undue the Claremont rulings that require the state to fund an adequate education for every child. After the vote Governor Lynch described the proposal as “a significant milestone.”

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Governing
12:01 am
Wed February 15, 2012

N.H. Lawmakers Consider Rolling Back Gay Marriage

Couples Gretchen Grappone and Rose Wiant (left). and Wendy Waterstrat and Holly Henshaw hold hands before their civil union, in front of the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 1, 2008.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 1:31 pm

As several states debate measures to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire is considering a repeal of its same-sex marriage law. The repeal has the backing of some top leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. But rescinding rights is never easy, particularly in a state that takes its liberties seriously.

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Campaign 2012
6:05 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Cilley Declares For Governor

Josh Rogers, NHPR

 

Former Barrington state Sen. Jackie Cilley stressed her blue collar roots has she kicked off her campaign at the Manchester YWCA. Cilley recalled growing up in a tenement and taking a job at the Waubec mill before heading to college and going on to teach at UNH’s Whittemore School of Business. Cilley said she believes in compromise, but said she won’t stand for what she called attacks on education, workers, women and gays being made by “The Free State/Tea Party/John Birch politicians in Concord.” Cilley also she won’t be taking a pledge to veto a sales or income tax.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Rally At Statehouse

Josh Rogers, NHPR

 

About 200 people showed up to hold signs and hear speeches by gay marriage critics. House speaker William O’Brien, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne and  Republican national committeewoman Phylliss Woods all said its time to undo the two year old law allowing gays to marry.  David Bates, a State Rep. from Windham, wrote the repeal bill and MC'd the rally.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

New Ed Funding Amendment Caps Full Day For Lawmakers

A busy day at the statehouse today - House lawmakers voted to send money to the  "rainy day fund," and on a raft of other bills. The State Senate, meanwhile, passed a redistricting map and unveiled what Senate President Peter Bragdon called a bipartisan education funding constitutional amendment.

NHPR's Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss the day's action.

NH News
6:17 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Lynch Challenges GOP In Final State of State

Governor John Lynch used his final state of the state address to ask GOP lawmakers change the tone in Concord, and to reverse course on cuts to higher education and a reduction to the state tobacco tax. 

 Drawing sharp lines has never been Governor Lynch’s style, but in this speech, Lynch did, repeatedly.

“The cut in the tobacco tax was nonsensical……”

 “We hear from some a lot of anti-government talk, but to me that doesn’t make any sense,

 Sadly, it has become too commonplace to attack state employees, and that needs to stop.”

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NH News
4:17 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Lynch Vetoes Bill Allowing 400% Annual Interest Rates

  

Under the bill, lenders could charge 15 percent monthly interest. 

Governor Lynch’s veto message notes the annual percentage interest rate on these so-called installment loans translates to more than 400%. Lynch says allowing such rates would hurt New Hampshire families, communities and the economy.

Lynch’s message also says the bill limits the state’s regulatory authority.

Lenders would get advance notice before the banking department conduct exams and regulators would have reduced power to levy administrative fines.

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NH News
5:49 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

House Hears Bill To Allow Students To Drop Any Class

The New Hampshire House is considering a plan to allow students replace any two public school courses with courses designed and taught by a parent or their designee. 

Under the bill, schools couldn’t veto subjects or teaching methods of parents but would have to grant students credits toward graduation. The measure’s sponsor, JR Hoell of Dunbarton, says the proposal affords parents a needed bit of freedom.

“Parents are taking a greater role in overseeing the academic progress of their children; the school system is taking a reduced role.”

 

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NH News
6:07 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Voter ID Bill Wins Key Backers

 

State and local election officials get behind Senate proposal.

The bill would require voters to present a photo ID or be photographed to receive a ballot starting in 2016, but still allow those without an ID to vote. The bill’s author, Kingston Senator Russ Prescott, hopes his plan can forge accord on a topic that tends to produce partisanship.

"People will come to the polls, present their ID, and not be presented a provisional ballot if they don’t have an ID; they would fill out a affidavit and vote. We are working within the system that we have today."

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NH News
4:18 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

House Takes Up Bills To Curb Unions

 

N.H. House lawmakers took testimony today on several bills that would reduce the power of unions.

They include a repeal of collective bargaining for state employees, and banning public sector unions from charging non-members the cost of negotiating contracts. The hearings drew a big crowd of opponents, including many union members. Diana Lacy is president of the state employees association.

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NH News
3:11 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

House Takes Aim At Abortion Providers

 

The New Hampshire House has voted to bar any organization that performs elective abortions from receiving any state or federal funds.

The measure backed by GOP leaders means Planned Parenthood of Northern New England would no longer be eligible to enter into contracts with the state to provide non-abortion reproductive health services to the poor – a role the organization has played in NH for 40 years. Warren Groen of Rochester is the measure’s lead sponsor.

“Mr. Speaker, this is our opportunity to reclaim the sanctity of life in one small area -- public funding.”

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NH News
3:06 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

House Backs Amendment To Bar New Taxes On Income

 

The 251 to 101 vote exceeds the 3/5th needed to send the proposal on to the state senate. Prior to the vote, Manchester Republican Keith Murphy warned that while the income tax isn’t popular in Concord right now, that could change.

“Lest we forget in 1999 this body did pass an income tax of 4 percent, and every year since an income tax has been proposed in this body. We need to take the temptation off the table now and forever.”

NH News
5:35 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

O'Brien Wants Fatter Rainy Day Fund --Now

 

The Legislature holds the purse strings and House Speaker Bill O’Brien wants to prove it. O’Brien is backing a measure to divert money generated by the state’s insurance tax to New Hampshire’s rainy day fund. NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports

The measure aims to fatten the rainy day fund by $26 million, which was the state’s surplus in fiscal year 2011. Speaker O’Brien told the House ways and means committee that socking the money away amounts to simple prudence.

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Campaign 2012
2:56 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Romney Wins Big, Makes History

Tracy Lee Carroll for NHPR

 

Last night was vindication for Mitt Romney as the former Massachusetts governor claimed nearly 40 percent of the vote; Texas Congressman Ron Paul took second with 23 percent.

"Thank you New Hampshire. Tonight we made history," said Romney.

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