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
4:31 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Key Law Enforcement Critics Don't Ask Senate to Kill House-Backed Medical Marijuana Bill

Credit Josh Rogers, NHPR

Go to any medical marijuana hearing and you will hear people suffering from severe illness or injury extolling the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. But in NH you have never heard things like this. Elizabeth Woodcock is with the NH Department of Justice:

The NH attorney general’s office is willing to work with the committee and with the medical community to see if we can resolve the concerns that we have about the bill, and that’s the only thing I came to say.

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NH News
6:11 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

AG Pick Foster Praised At Confirmation Hearing

Credit Josh Rogers, NHPR

Former State Senator Joe Foster is a bankruptcy lawyer who has never prosecuted a case, but his confirmation as N.H.'s highest law enforcement official looks assured. Former colleagues of both parties hailed his judgment and legal knowledge.  Foster now manages the McLane law firm and says he well understands his new role would be different.

"You role as a lawyer is to represent your client, and that’s what I did at the law firm. You role at the law firm is to represent the people of N.H. and that’s what I am going to do, I am going to look out for their interests."

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NH News
5:09 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

N.H. Senate Opens Budget Hearings

House finance committee chair Mary Jane Wallner opened her testimony on the house’s $11b spending plan by holding it aloft, and then setting it gently on the table.

"We brought you a present, all tied up in a big gold bow. So there it is, house bill 1 and 2 as passed by the house."

The senate accepted the House budget politely, but Senators  also signaled they will be taking a different approach.  Casino Gambling, which the Senate and Governor Hassan support, is likely to be at the center of the Senate spending plan.

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NH News
3:50 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

N.H. Senate Opens Budget Hearings

House finance committee chair Mary Jane Wallner opened her testimony on the house’s $11b spending plan by holding it aloft, and then setting it gently on the table.

"We brought you a present, all tied up in a big gold bow. So there it is, house bill 1 and 2 as passed by the house."

The senate accepted the House budget politely, but Senators  also signaled they will be taking a different approach.  Casino Gambling, which the Senate and Governor Hassan support, is likely to be at the center of the Senate spending plan.

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Politics
10:23 am
Mon April 8, 2013

On The Political Front For April 8

The House passes their budget, which does not include gambling, but funds some of Governor Hassan's priorities, such as mental health and higher education; the budget-writing process now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to see numerous changes; the Senate hears several high-profile bills this week, including a reinstatement of the state minimum wage; Scott Brown announces he "would not rule out" a Senate run in NH.

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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

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

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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