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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With Republicans controlling the Executive Council, Gov. Chris Sununu's pick to lead the New Hampshire Department of Education, former gubernatorial candidate Frank Edelblut is expected to win confirmation. But Democrats pushed Edelblut on his background – he has no professional  experience in education and homeschooled all seven of his children - and core beliefs. 

The new women's prison in Concord was slated to open more than a year ago, but cost overruns turned the $38 million dollars project into a $50 million dollar one and pushed back its opening date by a year.

NHPR Staff

Top New Hampshire house budget writers had blunt questions for the expert hired to review policy at the state's child protection agency.

http://aliengearholsters.com/

The New Hampshire Senate has voted on party lines to allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. With Republicans leaders and Governor Chris Sununu favoring the bill, it’s expected to become law.

Similar bills have cleared the GOP-controlled legislatures in the past but have been vetoed by Democratic governors. With Governor Sununu promising to sign this bill, Republicans are moving fast. Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley is the bill's lead sponsor.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has narrowly approved a bill to limit the power of unions to charge non-members for representation.

Related: Click here to see a New Hampshire Right-to-Work explainer 

 

The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.

 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated longtime state fire marshall Bill Degnan to another term.

Degnan has held the job since 2004 but his reappointment caused a feud in the state firefighting community.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Frank Edelblut is a staunch school choice advocate who homeschooled his seven children. Governor Sununu says Edeblut's experiences, which include no professional work in education, make him a good pick for education commissioner.

One bill would allow hepatitis C patients to use marijuana even if they're not receiving antiviral treatment; another would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patient suffering “severe pain” that hasn’t responded to medication, surgery, or for which other treatments produced serious side effects; a third measure would allow medical marijuana to be used in facilities for people with developmental disabilities or mental illness.

The bills cleared a senate committee on unanimous votes and are expected to pass.

josh rogers/nhpr

Senator Maggie Hassan is urging local care providers to fight for President Obama's signature health law.

Hassan used a visit to a Concord community mental health center to urge local care providers to lend their voices to what she termed the battle over Obamacare, which Washington Republicans have begun repealing. The law has helped 63,000 people in New Hampshire obtain coverage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen questioned Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary about NATO during confirmation hearings today.

As a candidate, President–Elect Trump questioned the utility of NATO, but in picking General James Mattis to lead the military, Trump selected a former NATO commander.

Shaheen asked Mattis about Trump’s NATO comments and about a a slated boost in U.S. funding for NATO under an initiative known as ERI.

“Will you support the ERI continuing as secretary of defense?

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

 

In his inaugural address last week, Gov. Chris Sununu made it clear he thinks the state must — and can — act to reduce the state's high cost of electricity.

“We can’t be passive anymore," Sununu said. "We have to find the right solutions to get it done and get it done our way. Do we need to look at Northern Pass? You bet we do — 1,100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy? How do we say no to that when we have the highest rates in the country? We can help ratepayers.”

When he ran for governor Chris Sununu described NH as "a regulatory police state."

This 90-day review, which is Sununu's first policy move since taking office, is aimed at easing mandates across government.

For a regulation to survive,  Sununu wrote, department heads should be able to show that there is a clear need for it; that it is best addressed by the agency; that its cost does not exceed its benefit and that its effectiveness can be measured.

josh rogers/nhpr

 

To hear Chuck Morse tell it, being Governor isn’t anything to get too excited about.  

“Somebody has to be in charge and the constitution provided for the senate president to do that, so it’s truly an honor.”

 

Morse was outside his state house office. A paper sign reading governor was taped over his usual senate nameplate. As he made his way down the hall, occasionally looking over his shoulder at the state trooper assigned to protect him until Governor-elect Sununu is sworn in, Morse offered terse greetings to lawmakers and lobbyists…..

 

  New Hampshire was one of the first states to fight REAL ID and is among the last states to issue licenses and ID cards that meet the standards of the the Sept. 11th-inspired law.

Via steelguru.com

When Chris Sununu takes office Thursday, he’ll be the youngest governor in the country. But his arrival will also be a restoration of sorts for his family.

The Sununus have been New Hampshire’s first family before, back in the 1980’s, when Chris Sununu’s father, John H. Sununu, was Governor.

But plenty has changed since then, including the family’s business interests.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor-elect Chris Sununu has named some of his key staffers. 

Former state GOP chairman Jayne Millerick, who has a communications business, will be Sununu's Chief of Staff. 

josh rogers/nhpr

 

Chris Sununu came out on top in November's elections, but in a speech to New Hampshire’s Forum on the Future Tuesday, he repeatedly called the 2016 campaign "terrible," and said it drove his family to get rid of cable TV to escape the rhetoric and campaign ads. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The ritual formality of the state’s Electoral College vote was observed in the Executive Council chambers in Concord Monday: ballots were cast, documents were signed and sealed with wax.

The outcome was as ordained by the local results: New Hampshire's four votes, from four Democratic electors, went to Hillary Clinton. But the sting of the election – at least for Democrats -- remained visceral.

Demonstrators chanted outside the statehouse.

“Recount the vote, recount the vote, recount the vote."

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Even if you're a veteran of New Hampshire politics, chances are you've never heard this story before.

We certainly hadn’t - until last week, when Gov-elect Sununu spoke at a party celebrating the holidays, and the renovation of the Bridges House, New Hampshire’s governor’s residence.

Via marinalife.com

  The state’s highest court has affirmed the public’s access to a beach in Rye across land owned by the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, but the court overturned a court order that would have forced the club’s owner owner, Bill Binnie, to pay the plaintiffs legal fees.

The decision is the final turn in a legal fight that started in 2012, when Wentworth by the sea owner Bill Binnie used boulders bushes and a fence to blocked public access to Little Harbor Beach via Sanders Poynt.

NHPR Staff

Speaking at a Business and Industry Association energy symposium, Chris Sununu said New England needs more natural gas and anyone who disagrees is wrong. He said the pipeline proposed for NH and scuttled by the Kinder Morgan company earlier this year would have been wrong for the state. But Sununu added he hopes Kinder Morgan and other companies will look to build here in the future, and said if the project is designed with local input, and he’s persuaded it works for New Hampshire, he’ll fight for it.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

As rivals vying for their party's gubernatorial nomination, Jeanie Forrester clashed with Chris Sununu. Forrester said Sununu lacked wisdom, was immature and mocked him as a product of a political dynasty. But no sooner had Forrester announced for GOP chair, and promised to "make NH red again, " than Chris Sununu was there to offer his backing. In a statement he praised her as someone who could build on what Sununu called the GOP's "strong voter contact program and aggressive fundraising operation."

2016 was a mixed bag for New Hampshire Republicans. The party’s top elected official, Senator Kelly Ayotte, lost her seat to Governor Hassan. But Chris Sununu’s win over fellow executive councilor Colin Van Ostern gave the GOP the Governor’s office for the first time in a dozen years.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Raymond Buckley, the longtime leader of New Hampshire’s Democratic party, is now running to be his party’s national chairman. Buckley may lack the name recognition of some of his potential rivals, who include a member of congress, a former presidential candidate and a current cabinet secretary. 

josh rogers/nhpr

What Plymouth State University is calling the The Raymond S. Burton ’62 Open Laboratory  is a computer-enhanced meeting and study space.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Three women ticketed for going topless at a Weirs Beach earlier this year will get a trial after a judge rejected their motion to dismiss the case on Constitutional grounds.

The women argued that their conduct -- topless sunbathing and yoga -- amounted to political speech with artistic value.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, one of President-elect Donald Trump's most prominent local backers, is in the running to join Trump's cabinet as secretary for veterans affairs.

As Scott Brown left Trump Tower he told reporters his meeting with the President-elect was "great," and that he expects to hear if Trump has selected him to lead the VA after Thanksgiving.

josh rogers/nhpr

No sooner had Chris Sununu slipped into the council chambers though the back door than the well-wishing began.

First, there was Maj. Gen.William Reddel, the adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard: "Sir, congratulations."

And then Public Utilities Commission Chairman Marty Honigberg: "Congratulations."

"OK, thanks, good to see you," Sununu replied. "Everything going good over there?

"Oh, every day is better than the day before," Honigberg said.

"That’s the attitude man, that’s the attitude," Sununu said. "I love it."

josh rogers/nhpr

Charlie Arlinghaus works in the basement of a down-on-its-heels apartment building a few blocks south of the State House. The building, and the no frills feel of the office, would work in an odd, very New Hampshire-politics film noir, one where the detective decorated his office with posters of free-market economists Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek and pitched himself as connected to the budget process.

josh rogers/nhpr

On the night before any election tend to go for broke to drive voters to the polls. Donald Trump west to far as to pitch his possible presidency as a kind of national salvation.

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