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
5:41 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Senate Votes 15-9 To Create Abortion Clinic "Buffer Zone"

Four Republicans --  Jeb Bradley, Bob Odell, Nancy Stiles and John Reagan -- joined all eleven Democrats to back the 25-foot buffer zone.

The GOP-led Health Committee had recommended the bill be killed, and Republicans could not muster the majority needed to table the measure when it reached the floor.

Lead sponsor, Manchester Democrat, Donna Soucy, argued the bill strikes a delicate balance.

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NH News
5:20 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

House Votes 231-97 To Prohibit Sex Offender Restrictions

Twelve towns have passed ordinances to limit where sex offenders can live --  barring offenders from living near schools, or child-care centers.

But law enforcement oppose such bans.  Renny Cushing of Hampton, a Democrat, told House colleagues that police know restrictions make monitoring offenders harder.

"The chiefs of police do not want to have a situation where you take away one of the tools they have which is to track where sex offenders are. And that’s also why the coalition against sexual and domestic violence is in support of this legislation."

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NH News
4:07 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Ex-Diocese Chancellor To Plead Guilty To Felony Theft Charges

Things started to go bad for Monsignor Edward Arsenault in May, when he stepped down as President of the St. Luke Institute, a priest treatment center in Maryland.

Arsenault quit the job – and its $170,000 salary -- when prosecutors announced an investigation into misuse of church finds and an improper adult relationship.

Prosecutors say between 2005 and March of last year, Edward Arsenault stole thousands of dollars from the Manchester diocese, the Catholic Medical Center and the estate of another priest.

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NH News
4:26 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Keno Bill Clears House, Moves On To Senate

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

New Hampshire's House has voted to allow electronic keno games to be played in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.  


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NH News
12:18 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

House Kills Proposed Moratorium On Wind Farms, Transmission Line Projects

Credit Chris Hunkeler / Flickr Creative Commons

The state’s House of Representatives has voted 194-148 to kill a bill that would have established a moratorium on wind farms and new transmission line projects, including Northern Pass.

This vote fell along party lines, with Democrats largely voting against blocking all projects, and Republicans, like Skip Reilly of Hill arguing that now is the time to wait -- for the state to complete its forthcoming energy plan.

"Remember we are elected by our constituents to serve them, not some power company."

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NH News
1:30 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Senate Panel Backs Bill To Allow Two Casinos

Credit NHPR Staff

  The Ways and Means Committee passed this casino bill as soon as the public testimony ended, but the full Senate is expected to slow things down by tabling the bill until the House considers a proposal allowing one casino with a beefed up regulatory scheme.

Prior to voting in favor of the senate plan, Derry Republican Jim Rausch observed what’s obvious to anyone who’s watched N.H.’s casino debate: without movement in the House gambling goes nowhere.    

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NH News
4:29 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Committee Dismisses 3 of 5 Ethics Complaints Facing Bragdon

Credit NHPR Staff

The complaints, all stemming from former Senate President Peter Bragdon's hire by the former Local Government Center (LGC), were brought by Concord Democrat Rick Watrous.

The committee made short work of most of them -- dismissing charges that Senator Bragdon knew he was being hired to help the LGC because of  his position in the Senate, that he used his status to get his job, and that appointed fellow Senator Jeannie Forrester to a committee studying the LGC to curry favor with his future employer.

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NH News
5:17 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Garcia Launches 2nd CD Bid With House Colleagues At Her Side

Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR

Marilinda Garcia’s voting record during her four terms in the N.H. House is staunchly conservative.

Flanked by several dozen GOP house colleagues, she said if she unseats Congresswoman Annie Kuster, she’d hope to “dismantle” so-called Obamacare and make Washington shrink.

"The continuous flow of government mandates, regulations and taxes are literally making it impossible for local governments to solve local problems."

The 30-year old Garcia faces former NashuaState Senator Gary Lambert in the GOP primary.

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NH News
10:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

N.H. GOP Director Subpoenaed In Chris Christie Bridge Scandal

Chris Christie appearing at the McCain Institute in Phoenix
Credit Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

Matt Mowers, the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, is one of 17 people being subpoenaed tonight by a panel of the New Jersey state Assembly.

The latest development in the controversy surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie comes a week after revelations that political associates of Christie, a possible presidential contender in 2016, may have ordered the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last September as an act of political retribution.

Mowers has worked as the New Hampshire GOP’s top staffer since November.

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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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