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
6:08 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

N.H. House Passes $11B Budget

Credit Emily Corwin, NHPR

The 194-172 vote was near party line, and came after both sides compared this year’s spending plan to the current state budget, crafted by republicans.  Democrat Cindy Rosenwald of Nashua is vice chairman of the house finance committee.

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NH News
3:45 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Hassan To Nominate Former Sen. Joe Foster For AG

Joe Foster
Credit Courtesty of chambersandpartners.com

Joe Foster preceded Maggie Hassan as State Senate majority leader and like Hassan, was known for working closely with former Governor John Lynch. Foster sponsored bills to crack down on sex offenders, led the Senate’s Judiciary committee, and, after leaving office, served as vice chairman of Lynch’s gambling commission, which warned against making gambling decisions based on “immediate fiscal, political, or other pressures." Governor Hassan says she never spoke to Foster about the casino bill she favors -- which is opposed by the current attorney general.

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Politics
8:58 am
Mon April 1, 2013

On The Political Front For April 1

Credit Sara Plourde

The House votes this week on their State budget bill; an as-yet-introduced amendment to the casino bill seeks to limit any future casino from competing with the Verizon Wireless Arena with a large audience entertainment venue; gambling looks to have staying power in the legislative budget process.

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NH News
4:17 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Senate Opts For Study on Northern Pass and Wind Farms

The New Hampshire Senate rejects placing a one year moratorium on wind farms and new electric transmission projects, and instead opts to study how such projects are sited and whether new transmission lines could be buried.

The study passed 23-1, but only after a long debate and the defeat of two proposals to impose moratoria strongly backed by opponents of wind farms and the Northern Pass project.

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NH News
5:57 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

12 Cent Gas Tax Hike Clears House

The New Hampshire House has voted 206-150 increase the New Hampshire’ gas tax by 12 cents, phased in over 3 years for gas, and 4 years for diesel.

All but 8 Democrats supported the proposal -- which would raise $750,000,000 over ten years -- and all but 13 Republicans opposed it. The final vote came after almost 2 hours of debate. Nashua Democrat David Campbell is the bill’s lead sponsor.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

House Committee Readies Budget Plan

The $11 billion budget the full House will vote on next week is likely to send $32 million less to hospitals for charity care than the Governor proposed.

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Politics
8:56 am
Mon March 25, 2013

On The Political Front For March 25

Credit Sara Plourde

The House votes on the "Stand Your Ground" repeal, which would again require people to attempt to retreat before using deadly force, and a bill to increase the state's gas tax; gambling remains a heavily-debated issue, with differing proposals in the House and Senate, and one that could be affected by who replaces Michael Delaney as Attorney General.

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NH News
6:17 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

N.H. House Backs Pot Decriminalization

The 214-115 vote marks the 4th time in 5 years that the House has backed marijuana decriminalization. Under the bill, penalty for possessing a quarter ounce or less of marijuana would by a fine of up to $200. If violators were 18 or under they would have to attend drug rehabilitation classes or be fined $1,000. Prior to the vote,  Manchester Democrat Joel Winters told colleagues the policy strikes the right balance.

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NH News
5:25 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

N.H. House Kills One Gambling Bill, Tables Another

The vote to kill the first gambling bill -- which called for one casino on the Massachusetts border and another in the White Mountains -- bill was expected and overwhelming.

"249 having voted in the affirmative and 65 in the negative, the committee report is adopted."

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NH News
6:09 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Anti-Gambling Group Fetes Lawmakers and Hits Hassan Casino

The speakers at the N.H. Coalition Against Expanded gambling luncheon ranged from Phil McLaughlin, a Democrat who served as state Attorney General to Concord businessman and current RNC member Steve Duprey.  Democratic state Rep. Marjorie Smith, of Durham, spoke last. The former chair of the House Finance Committee took aim a central argument of Governor Hassan and democrats who back the casino: that the 80 million dollars included in the Governor's budget from a casino license is essential to properly funding higher education and social programs.

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NH News
5:02 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

N.H. House Backs Medical Marijuana 286-64

Medical marijuana bills have cleared both chambers of the legislature twice in recent years, only to be vetoed by former Governor John Lynch. But proponents say this plan, which would authorize 5 dispensaries and permit patients or caregivers to grow 3 plants, a careful one. Steve Schmidt, a Republican from Wolfeboro, stressed that allowing medical marijuana doesn't mean N.H would be inviting the problems seen in some other states.  

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NH News
4:21 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Two Police Unions Back Casino

The N.H. Troopers Association and the N.H. Police Association see a casino on the Massachusetts border as a way to boost law enforcement budgets.

Both unions have supported casino bills in the past, and at a morning news conference they said they don’t expect that position to change. Seth Cooper is President of the Troopers Association.

“It is our view belief that sb152 is a good plan for the state of NH, and will assist the funding of vital services for this state.”

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Politics
10:33 am
Mon March 18, 2013

On The Political Front For March 18

Credit Sara Plourde

Some key votes are coming up within a busy House docket: the tobacco tax increase, expected to pass, but at less than the Governor's proposed level; freezing the second phase of the Voter ID law, halting provisions set to take effect this fall that would eliminate some of the current acceptable forms of identification, namely college students' school IDs; a change of the "Stand Your Ground" law, reinstating the requirement that people make an effort to retreat before using deadly force.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

House Kills Abortion Waiting Period Bill

Last year, the GOP-dominated House twice passed bills to require women to wait 24 hours before receiving abortions. Neither ended up clearing the state senate.  But with Democrats now controlling the House, this measure, which critics called theologically driven, was voted down 229-121. Rep. Sylvia Gale (D-Nashua) spoke for many when she told colleagues lawmakers should butt out when it comes to abortion.

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NH News
4:05 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

N.H. May See Bump In Tobacco Settlement Money

The deal ended the dispute between 17 states and tobacco companies over payment amounts under 1998's master settlement agreement that requires cigarette makers to help states cover the medical costs of sick smokers. At issue, is money tobacco companies had withheld on the grounds that states were not forcing non-participating companies to pay into escrow, as required under the 46-state settlement. The total value of the new agreement is $4b, but Deputy attorney general Ann Rice says NH's piece is small.

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