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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  The 3-2 vote by clears the way for Republican Walt Havenstein to run for governor. Havenstein sought the hearing after Democrats argued the former defense contractor hadn’t met the 7-year residency requirement set by the state constitution.

At issue was whether Havenstein surrendered New Hampshire as his domicile by living part time in Maryland from 2007-2012.

By a 3-2 vote, in which democratic member Martha Van Oot and joined Republicans Michael Eaton and Brad Cook, the commission said no.

The Senator’s new disclosure will reflect that she and her husband no longer hold stock options in a California firm that received federal stimulus funding.

Ultrawave Labs Inc. is a California company working on technology to help better detect breast cancer.

In 2009, the Senator’s husband, William Shaheen, was named adviser to the company. He received stock options Shaheen included on US Senate disclosure forms, most recently filed in May.

According to that form, the Ultrawave stock options were to expire in 2019.

  Scott Brown drew the middle seat in this first debate featuring the major Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, but did his best to look past his party rivals towards the general election.

Brown called a united GOP Jeanne Shaheen’s  “worst nightmare,” and  challenged the incumbent to match him by allowing the media to inspect 8 years of tax returns.

"Senator Shaheen said if I release my returns, my wife and my returns, that she would do the same. So I hope she lives up to her word and releases her returns, so that she can be just as transparent as I am." 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Governor Hassan pointed to the state budget, the expansion of the N.H’s Medicaid program, and the passage of the first gas tax increase in more than twenty years as examples of what she called bipartisan progress.

“We’ve expanded healthcare for 50,000 hard-working granite staters and we are funding improvements to our roads and bridges and the completion of I-93. And we created balanced and fiscally responsible budget, without a sales or income tax, which I continue to oppose and would veto."

On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks about this year's legislative session, which wrapped up last week. 

Lawmakers passed some bills on contentious topics, but failed on others. And some notable names announced they won't seek office again.

The big bills that passed:

This week All Things Considered is looking at the key bills at the statehouse this year – which passed, which didn’t, and why.

Proponents of repealing New Hampshire's death penalty law had new allies this year, including Governor Maggie Hassan, who promised to sign a repeal measure as long as it didn't affect the sentence of Michael Addison, the state's lone death row inmate.

The State House approved a repeal measure, but the Senate deadlocked 12-12 over the bill and ultimately laid it on the table.

Josh Rogers

As he filed for office, Scott Brown said he was focused on the issues that matter.

“And what matters right now is making sure that people are getting  a good value for their dollars and they are not paying an exorbitant amount of many for their health care, and their medical care, obviously, and their energy prices.”

NHPR Staff

Lawmakers in the House and Senate this week will consider a deal between the state and hospitals on the Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

The deal, largely brokered by Governor Maggie Hassan, pulls 25 of the state’s 26 hospitals out of a lawsuit.

Two Superior Court judges had ruled the tax in its current form unconstitutional, and a ruling is pending before the state Supreme Court.

As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the deal isn’t being seeing a positive step by all.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

The deal hinges on a guarantee that hospitals will get more money for the care they provide.

It calls for payments for charity and uncompensated care to be no less 75 percent of costs at rural, so-called critical access hospitals,  and be as much as 50 percent at other hospitals. New London Republican Bob Odell helped broker the deal.

"This is not a perfect solution, but I think this takes us out of the courtroom for a while, and I think the fact that we have a tax decrease in this, however modest, is very important. So I think we made some progress."

To Liberty Caucus Chairman Aaron Day's way of thinking the symbolism of recent endorsements in this race is clear:

The GOP establishment has its candidate in former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and republicans who prize the constitution and tackle problems with ideas have theirs in Jim Rubens.

"He’s thoughtful, intelligent, and open to rational discussion and debate."


NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses plans to fix the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax, which has been ruled unconstitutional by two superior court justices.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are voting this week on possible fixes to the state’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax, which two superior court judges have ruled to be unconstitutional.

Dave via Flickr CC

The result was the same as every other casino bill ever taken up by the New Hampshire House, but the tally produced a gasp.


The 172-172 ties was broken by deputy house speaker Naida Kaen

“The chair votes in the affirmative….Senate bill 3666 is voted inexpedient to legislate.”

The N.H. Attorney General’s office will not file charges against Rep. David Campbell (D-Nashua) for  who running down five ducks in a hotel parking lot in December, or the former Nashua Police Commissioner Thomas Pappas who drove Campbell from the scene. 

The finding, which was detailed in a 14-page report,  comes  a day after David Campbell announced he won’t seek reelection, and almost 3 months after Thomas Pappas resigned over the incident.

Upupa 4me via Flickr CC

The 193-141 vote means the state’s gas tax will rise 4.2 cents, the first increase to the state’s current 18-cent per gallon levy on gasoline and diesel since 1991.

The battle over NH’s gas tax has been pitched in recent years. When Governor John Lynch was in the corner office, he promised to veto any increase to the gas tax.

Last year the democratically- controlled N.H. House passed a 12-cent tax hike that was rejected by the GOP led State Senate.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the fallout from last week's Senate vote on the death penalty repeal.

They also talk about Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's stance on political issues and what's coming up at the Statehouse this week.

NHPR Staff

Michael Briggs, the Manchester Police officer shot in the line of duty in 2006, and his killer, Michael Addison, who now sits on death row, both loomed large in the debate.

An indication of how large could be seen in the front row of the senate gallery.

That’s where Manchester police officials, including the chief and he lead investigator of the Briggs muder stood in full uniform the whole time. 15 feet down in the senate floor Michael Briggs name came up almost immediately – by people on both sides of the issue.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

N.H. Republicans have a new candidate for Governor, former defense contractor Walt Havenstein, of Alton.

Havenstein launched his campaign in Concord.

He offered a forceful denial to claims that he is ineligible to run due to a time he listed Maryland as his primary residence on tax documents.

"This is my home and has been for 15 years. This is my domicile, which it the criteria to run and serve as Governor."

    Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers talks with Rick Ganley about the past weekend in political activity in the Granite State and an upcoming vote in the Senate regarding repealing New Hampshire's death penalty.

NHPR Staff

Senate lawmakers are set to take up a bill this week that would repeal the state’s death penalty.

On the first stop of what Scott Brown's campaign is calling his "Obamacare isn't Working Tour," the candidate worked hard to hit his message.

When the President of  Next Step Bionics and Prothestics told Scott Brown insurance premiums for his company are expected to increase by 30 percent, Brown was quick with a diagnosis.

"A major part of it because of Obamacare...And that’s something that Senator Shaheen was a deciding vote on and we’ve got to try to fix it."

But Brown’s supplied few specifics on how he’d do that, save for arguing it should be handled by states.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Technically, Scott Brown’s been a candidate in this race since last month, when he filed with the FEC. But last night in a Portsmouth hotel ballroom the Republican who now lives in Rye, erased any remaining doubt.

“I am running to be a true independent voice for the people of NH and I will need you strength you help and you voters to succeed.”

Brown’s remarks stressed his connection new home state, where he’s summered as an adult and spent the earliest days of his childhood.

Daniel S Hurd via Flickr CC

The 3-2 margin came two days after an initial vote ended in a tie

The revote was requested by  Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester).

Soucy's district was where N.H.’s lone death row inmate, Michael Addison, committed the crime that persuaded a jury to sentence him to death -- the 2006 shooting of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Soucy says given that, and the importance of the issue, she didn’t want to give the impression she might have been dodging it.


Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about questions being raised regarding potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's residency. 

Rogers also talks about big changes at two major New Hampshire newspapers and what's on the docket at the Statehouse this week.

Opponents continue to raise questions about whether a Republican expected to join the race for governor meets the state’s residency requirements.

NHPR Staff

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice and current UNH Law School Dean, John Broderick told lawmakers that  NH is better than countries like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, where the death penalty is used.

Broderick said anyone who's spent time in a prison knows it's a hopeless and demeaning place, and asked lawmakers to consider what it would be like to by laying on a gurney,  a lethal injection headed your way, knowing you were innocent.

Broderick stressed mistakes can happen.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers speaks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the state Senate considering a bill to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Medicaid expansion is now state law, making some 50,000 poor adults in New Hampshire eligible for federal subsidies under so-called Obamacare.

Governor Maggie Hassan signed the expansion bill at a crowded public ceremony using 18 separate pens -- one for each letter of her full name.

She hailed the new law as a bipartisan proposal that moves the state forward.

“Today we are signing into law the most significant piece of health care legislation that the state of N.H. has seen in decades.”

The N.H. House killed two proposals to delay or limit the effect of the Common Core education standards and voted to study a third.

The debate stretched nearly three hours, and votes split mostly along party lines. Concord Democrat Mary Stuart Gile, a backer of Common Core, which was adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010,  noted that education reform regimes come and go, but insisted that common core will benefit NH students.

"Make no mistake my colleagues the Common Core state standards raise the bar for teaching and learning."

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The Vice President didn’t waste much time doling out praise and thanks, first for Governor Maggie Hassan and N.H.’s hard-won deal to expand Medicaid.

"Thank you for the health care expansion you just passed. Its going to change the lives of an awful lot of people."