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.

Follow Josh's live tweets from the Statehouse and campaign trail on Twitter at @JoshRogersNHPR

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NH News
5:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Former N.H. AGs Back Death Penalty Repeal

Credit orangesparrow via Flickr CC

Former Attorney Generals Phil McLaughlin and Greg Smith both told the House Criminal Justice Committee they’d prosecuted dozens of murders in their careers, and had they’ve come to believe the death penalty is wrong.

McLaughlin said the very rarity of capital punishment in N.H. is an argument for its basic unfairness.

"If punishment supposed to be neither cruel nor unusual, how do you take 1 in a 1000 over 75 years and persuade people that’s not unusual?"

Greg Smith went even further.

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NH News
2:01 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

N.H. House Rejects License Plate Scanner Bill

The House not only rejected allowing police to use license plate scanners, it then took the extra step of voting 214-135 to forbid that the issue be revisited in any form this year.

While supporters argued that plates information would be retained in the scanners for just 3 minutes, and might help solve crimes, critics like Manchester Democrat Joel Winters argued they erode privacy and embolden police to improperly conduct surveillance on the innocent.

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NH News
3:58 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Plan to Create Crime Of Domestic Violence Wins Strong Backing

This bill wouldn’t change any existing laws but would groups them together in  new section of the criminal statutes.

According to backers like, Earl Sweeney, the state’s Assistant Safety Commissioner, such a re-codification could save lives.

“This is very important bill. The majority of murders that occur in the state every year are the result of a domestic violence situation, many times something that’s been festering for many many years.”

NH is one of just 15 states without that doesn’t consider domestic violence a specific crime.

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NH News
5:29 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Bill Would Force N.H. To Report Mental Health Findings to Background Check Index

The bill aims to make it harder for New Hampshire residents with mental problems to acquire guns, and its dividing gun rights groups.

The proposal sponsored by Dover democratic Senator David Watters doesn’t tighten any gun laws.

Instead, it forces the state to share information regarding people who have been deemed incompetent by a court with the federal government.

N.H. is currently one of more than a dozen states that doesn’t share such mental health information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check index. 

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NH News
4:18 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Bill Would Make Large Nonprofits Pay Business Tax

A veteran state lawmaker wants large non-profits -- like hospitals and colleges -- to pay the state’s business enterprise tax.

Hooksett Republican David Hess says making large nonprofits like hospitals, private colleges and prep schools pay the business enterprise tax would allow that tax’s rate to drop for everyone else.

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Politics
3:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

On The Political Front For January 13

This week, the legislature returns and hears new bills. Up before the Senate judiciary committee are a proposal to establish domestic violence as a separate crime and one requiring certain persons with mental illness to be barred from owning guns and placed on a federal registry. On Thursday, the House holds its first hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty.

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NH News
1:28 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Supreme Court Says LGC Must Pay Out Millions

Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

The state’s highest court has upheld a regulators’ order forcing the Local Government Center to pay cities and towns $33 million in overpayments and to refund  $17 million it transferred from a health insurance pool to a workers comp pool.

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NH News
4:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Supreme Court To Rule On LGC Appeal

The N.H. Supreme Court building in Concord
Credit NHPR Staff

The ruling hinges on the authority of a State Securities Bureau hearing officer, and if he had the power to impose precise operating standards for the former Local Government Center that aren’t specified in law.

The Local Government Center -- or LGC --  which provides insurance to cities and towns,  has argued that hearing officer Don Mitchell violated its rights in a 2012 order compelling it to return money to its members, and for its Property-Liability Trust to repay its HealthTrust $17.1 million.

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It's All Politics
11:44 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Protesters Greet Scott Brown At New Hampshire GOP Event

Republican Scott Brown (center) waves to the crowd at the conclusion of his Massachusetts Senate race concession speech Nov. 6 as his daughter Ayla Brown (left) and wife Gail Huff applaud.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 2:43 pm

Scott Brown still knows how to make an entrance.

The former Massachusetts senator — and a soon-to-be official resident of Rye, N.H. — arrived at the New Hampshire GOP's holiday party in his trademark pickup truck Thursday evening, and was greeted by more than 100 chanting protesters.

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NH News
11:31 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Brown Hits GOP Holiday Party, Draws Protestors, Divulges Little

Credit www.scottbrown.com

Scott Brown and his wife arrived in Nashua in his now-famous pickup truck.

The Browns were preceded by about a hundred protestors, mostly gun activists, who don’t like Brown's past support for a ban on assault weapons.

"It's clear why we are here: Scott Brown does not support New Hampshire values."

Media weren’t allowed inside the party, but on his way in the back door, Brown was asked if he plans to seek office here. He said he would "deal with that later," adding that his becoming a fulltime resident of Rye wasn’t driven by politics.

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NH News
4:45 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

As Vote Looms Federal Budget Deal Divides N.H.'s Senators

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte were arguing their respective views of the budget deal at well-chosen venues. Shaheen was at BAE Systems a defense contractor that faced cutbacks after budget sequestration took effect last spring.

“One of the pieces that I think is critical about this budget is that it begins to addresses sequestration, those automatic cuts that I know you have experienced here, just as so many businesses that do business with the federal government have experienced.”

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NH News
4:09 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

N.H. Dems Want Scott Brown To Disclose Clients

Credit www.scottbrown.com

Part-time Rye resident and Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has yet to decide if he’ll run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeanne Shaheen, but the N.H. Democratic party isn’t waiting to go on the attack.

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On the Political Front
8:33 am
Mon December 9, 2013

On The Political Front For Dec. 9

    

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses discussion in the Statehouse about expanded gambling and lack of funds for highway projects, as well as Republican Bob Smith, a former U.S. Senator, declaring his candidacy for his old seat.

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NH News
3:40 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Duprey And Janeway To Lead Anti-Gambling Push

The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling and Casino Free NH will be led by Concord businessman Steve Duprey,  former Chairman of the State Republican Party, and Harold Janeway,  former Democratic State Senator from Webster.

Duprey and Janeway were both active in the effort to kill the casino legislation backed by Governor Maggie Hassan earlier this year.  Janeway says their groups' new lobbying effort will focus on the N.H. House, which has never backed a casino bill.  He added that there is no time to waste.

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NH News
4:36 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Garcia Enters 2nd CD Race

Salem Republican Marilinda Garcia's voting record in the New Hampshire House is conservative – on fiscal and social issues -- and the 30 year-old conservatory-trained harpist says she wants to apply lessons she's learned in Concord in Congress. The big one, she says, is that the federal government needs to do less.

"In my four terms in the Legislature I’ve seen it cause the problem and be the problem that we as citizens have to solve and work around to get our state on the right track."

NH News
4:51 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

MA Man Indicted For Wrongful Voting In 2012 Presidential Election

State prosecutors say Lorin C. Schneider of Carver, Massachusetts cast a ballot he shouldn't have in Manchester.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Labonte says Schnieder once lived in Manchester, and came to the attention of authorities after he was seen voting in Ward 9 by someone who knew him, and knew he lived out of state.

According to Labonte, this wasn’t the first time Schneider wrongfully voted here.

"We also believe additional charges will be brought for voting in past elections, the 2012 presidential primary and the 2008 general election."

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NH News
4:06 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Senate Can't Agree On Medicaid Expansion

Governor Hassan answers questions after a plan to expand Medicaid failed in the statehouse.
Credit NHPR

The State Senate couldn’t pass the plan favored by GOP leaders, and then rejected a plan embraced by Democrats on party lines. Ultimately, the Senate adopted a second GOP proposal, before laying it on the table. Two hours later it rejected a Medicaid bill passed by Democrats in the N.H. House.

John Reagan is a Republican from Deerfield:

"I can contend with combinations of vagaries and certainties, but my friends to be steered and rushed is an invitation leading to rueful decisions."

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NH News
5:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Medicaid Compromise Looking Dicey

Gov. Maggie Hassan has spent the last several days taking her push to expand Medicaid out side of Concord, and into the districts of GOP Senators.

Speaking at SNHU, in the home district of Republican David Boutin, Hassan said the GOP needs to bend.

"Every time we put forward a compromise, we are told that it’s no good, it’s still their original plan."

Back at the statehouse, Senate President Chuck Morse insisted that’s not true.

"We are open to suggestions.'

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NH News
1:06 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Hassan Takes Medicaid Push On the Road; Rankles Morse With Criticism Of GOP

Governor Hassan stumped for expansion in Plymouth. That’s the home district of Republican Jeanie Forrester, the senate’s new finance chair.

Last week Hassan visited Hampton, a town represented by Republican Senator Nancy Stiles. And on Saturday night, speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Hassan told the crowd of 1000 that the Medicaid proposal backed by senate Republicans simply won’t work.

“The bad deal that the Senate Republicans are offering will hurt our citizens and our state more than no deal at all.”

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NH News
5:19 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Reams Will Get Chance To Fight Suspension Next Month

Rockingham county attorney Jim Reams arrived in court ready to fight challenge his suspension. But Judge Richard McNamara said such arguments would have to wait for another day.

McNamara told Reams' lawyer he’d need to file a motion for declaratory judgment to challenge Attorney General Joe Fosters power to suspend him.

Outside the court room, Reams’ lawyer, Michael Ramsdell, told reporters the state has yet to supply sufficient grounds to strip an elected official of his authority.

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NH News
5:12 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

A Look Back At The Life And Career Of Ray Burton

Ray Burton

Ray Burton, the state’s longest serving Executive Councilor, and a political force in the Northern part of the state for more than 30 years, has died at the age of 74. Burton had kidney cancer.  Across the state leaders on both side of the aisle remember Burton as a consummate public servant.

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Politics
9:39 am
Mon November 4, 2013

On The Political Front For November 4

After the commission's recommendation last month, lawmakers will be debating expanding Medicaid in a special legislative session called by Governor Hassan; it remains to be seen how much bipartisan support the measure will have. We'll be watching the mayor's race in Manchester, where incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas is being challenged by Alderman Patrick Arnold, and a special House election in Nashua, which pits former House Majority Leader Peter Silva against Democrat Latha Mangipudi.

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NH News
2:45 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

"Dashboard" Aims To Inform N.H. Economic Plan

State policymakers will have fresh numbers at their disposal when they return to concord next year.

The "economic dashboard" was put together by NH Center for Public Policy Studies and commissioned by the Business and Industry Association.

It finds N.H. doing well in areas that suggest past economic strength -- like homeownership rates -- but lagging in areas indicative of future economic strength -- like low student debt load and affordable housing.

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NH News
4:18 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Anti-Death Penalty Group Launches Repeal Effort

The Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty includes, liberals and conservatives, N.H.’s Catholic and Episcopal bishops, as well as the former Chief Justice of the State’s Superior Court.

It also features State Rep. Renny Cushing, whose father was shot to death in 1988. Cushing has been a key player in past efforts to repeal N.H.’s death penalty law, but thinks this time the chances are good.

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NH News
3:56 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

State Looks To Avert Shutdown-Related Layoffs

Credit DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is getting ready to furlough some state workers whose salaries depend on federal funding.

The Hassan administration and the union that represents most state workers have reached a deal that both sides say will prevent layoffs.

Under the agreement, the federal shutdown qualifies as a “emergency” that will allow workers to be furloughed rather than laid off. State Employees Association president Diana Lacey says the deal holds the promise of saving the state money and saving workers benefits that would be lost if they were laid off.

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NH News
2:17 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

NEC Poll Finds GOP Blamed For Shutdown

Yellowstone is one of several national parks that closed in the wake of the federal government shutdown.
Credit NPCA via Flickr Creative Commons

The poll taken last week found 49 percent think Republicans are responsible for the ongoing gridlock in Washington, 30 percent think it’s President Obama’s fault,  and 16 percent blame the President and Republicans equally.

NEC poll director Ben Tafoya says people who identified as Democrats tended to blame republicans and people who identified as Republicans tended to blame the President.  Self-described independents, meanwhile, mostly blamed the GOP.

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NH News
2:57 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

UNH Dean Dan Innis Joins Race for Congress

Republican Dan Innis, Dean of the University of New Hampshire's business school, is running for Congress in the state's First District.

Dan Innis  was the first in his family to attend college but has spend the last 20 years in academia.  He also owns a Portsmouth inn with his husband. Innis says he wants to change Washington.

"I am running for congress to give N.H. a stronger voice in Washington on the things that really matter to us, things like smaller government lower taxes, more freedom."

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NH News
6:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Ayotte Puts Hold On Air Force Nominee

Senator Kelly Ayotte’s hold on the nomination of Deborah Lee James as Air Force Secretary won’t be lifted until she gets what a spokesperson called  “a substantive response” about the future of the A-10 aircraft, a plane her husband flew in combat in Iraq.

The A-10 fleet may face reduction or elimination due to budget cuts.

Ayotte publicly raised her concerns with the President’s pick to lead the Air Force during a confirmation hearing.

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NH News
4:35 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

State Employee Contract Negotiations Head To Fact Finding

Credit NHPR Staff

Contract negotiation between the Hassan administration and the state employees association are heading into a fact finding stage. The move comes eight months into contract talks and after 4 days of mediation failed to produce agreement. State employees association president Diana Lacey says the Hassan administration has been unwilling to provide proof to back up its claims on contracts costs.

"I am not necessarily willing to say that I think it’s bad faith, but the closest I could get to that is to say they are in a different league now."

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NH News
2:36 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Gambling Consultant Says N.H. Has Models For Casino Regulation

UMass Dartmouth Professor Clyde Barrow cited the states of Delaware, West Virginia, and Rhode Island as possible models for New Hampshire. All place gambling regulation under their states' lottery commissions - and none, said Barrow, needed to hire a huge number of people to do the job.

"As you can see in the case of Delaware and Rhode Island, which respectively have two and three casinos, have 59 and 51 employees respectively, and that is to supervise traditional lottery, virtual and live table games, VLTs and charitable gaming combined."

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