Paige Sutherland

Reporter

Paige Sutherland reports from a political town hall in Londonderry in 2014=5
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Before joining NHPR, Paige was a freelance writer for Boston's NPR affiliate WBUR, a freelance political reporter for WATD, and a general assignment reporter at the Boston bureau of The Associated Press.

A graduate of the graduate journalism program at Northwestern University, Paige received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in New Hampshire for the first time since he announced his bid for President on Monday.

Ted Cruz made his first stop at a VFW hall in Merrimack where he told the hundred plus crowd that the country needs a president who honors the logic of the founders.

“This country was built on a promise. It was built on an extraordinary idea that our rights don’t come from government they come from God and our founding documents, the declaration, the constitution were designed to rein in government and protect those God-given rights, ” Cruz said on Friday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers,  are behind the House Finance version of the state's spending plan, which passed committee along party lines Thursday. 

The $11 billion budget trimmed hundreds of millions from Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposal including reducing spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation and University funding.

AFP State Director Greg Moore said the budget isn’t perfect but it is fiscally responsible.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has voted along party lines to send an $11 billion state spending plan to the full House, for a second time. 

For the past week or so Finance Chairman Neal Kurk has described this budget as “business as usual.”

But cobbling together this year's budget wasn't easy, as lawmakers scrambled to find money to fill a $68 million hole needed to avert deep layoffs in the Department of Transportation, after Kurk’s plan to hike the gasoline tax failed to gain traction.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House Finance Committee is heading back to the drawing board to come up with the money to avert deep funding cuts and hundreds of layoffs within New Hampshire's Department of Transportation.

DOT officials say the $88 million reduction from the Governor's proposed budget would result in more than 700 layoffs and severely limit road maintenance. 

During Wednesday's House session, House Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson disallowed the debate over the gas tax, he said, for procedural reasons 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House tried to put to rest the continued controversy of a bill it killed last week making the red-tailed hawk the state's official raptor.  

During the debate Representative Warren Groen compared the violent bird to Planned Parenthood. Other representatives mocked the idea, which came from a 4th grade class in Hampton Falls. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has wrapped up its work on the state budget proposal, which now heads to the House floor next week. 

The roughly $11 billion budget cleared the committee Tuesday with all Republican backing – undoing many spending increases from the Governor.  

They spent $88 million less for the Department of Transportation, $46 million for education aid and $140 million less for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

House budget writers are backing a proposal that would eliminate probable cause hearings for those facing felony charges in New Hampshire. 

The House Finance Committee voted in favor of the measure on Monday,  saying the change would save the state money. Meanwhile criminal defense lawyers say it will make it harder for anyone charged with a felony.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee voted along party lines Monday to eliminate the cap on education aid as well as reduce funding for the state's stabilization grants by 40 percent in effort to trim $46 million from the state's budget. 

Under this proposal, districts with growing enrollments would see more money meanwhile shrinking districts would receive less.

Karen Umberger, a Republican from Kearsarge, says with enrollment dropping in many school districts these cuts are needed.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul returns to New Hampshire just a day after hiring two key state staffers as he gears up for his anticipated presidential campaign. 

But despite recent media reports, the Republican has not officially announced his candidacy, but said he expects to announce in the coming weeks.

While attending an event at the Manchester internet service provider Dyn on Friday, Paul praised the initiative nature of the tech industry - saying that it does not just rely on government to fix its problems. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Kentucky US Senator Rand Paul is in New Hampshire again. He's one of a number of Republicans considering a presidential bid for 2016.

He spoke with All Things Considered following an event in Manchester.

 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Celebrity businessman Donald Trump joined fellow Republicans at a house party in Amherst, New Hampshire Thursday night while he continues to toy with the idea of running for president in 2016.

But this isn’t the first time Trump has flirted with the idea of running for President.

Four years ago he visited New Hampshire, but this time he took a step forward by forming an exploratory committee and hiring  staff in early voting states.

At the Amherst home of state representative Stephen Stepanek, Trump told Republicans that he would "make America rich again."

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill that would cut more than $88 million from the Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposed transportation funding will move to the House floor.

The House Finance Committee voted 15 -11 along party lines Thursday in favor of a measure, critics say would send a blow to New Hampshire’s infrastructure.

Deputy Commissioner of the DOT Patrick McKenna said these cuts would lead to more than 600 layoffs, the closure of nearly 200 bridges and devastate the state’s maintenance and plowing operations.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Department of Transportation is warning New Hampshire House budget writers from voting to slash more than $88 million in funding from the Governor’s proposed budget.

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote on the bill Thursday morning.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Patrick McKenna said he is appalled by the cuts,  adding that it would result in the loss of more than 600 jobs, the closure of hundreds of bridges and would drastically affect the state's infrastructure by limiting road maintenance and plowing. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.

So far the House Finance Committee is proposing roughly $117 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The former New Hampshire state supreme court Chief Justice is stepping down from the UNH School of Law Warren B. Rudman Center.

John Broderick , who was Dean of the UNH Law School before he left that post to lead the Rudman Center last year, told NHPR that he and university administrators differed over the Rudman Center's future.

"I love the Rudman Center and what it stood for and its potential, and I can assure you I would never have left a job I love that much and a center that I helped found if I was getting support from the university," Broderick said. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is making stops in the Granite State Monday as he continues to flirt with the idea of whether to run in next year’s presidential race.

The Senator says having the funds to support a competitive campaign is one of the major issues holding him back.

Courtesy of Loon Mountain

The owner of 16 major ski resorts including New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee is considering leaving the ski industry.

The real estate investment trust CNL Lifestyle Properties says it is still weighing its options, which may include a private buyout or listing the properties as a publicly traded exchange.

The firm owns resorts from Maine to California including Sunday River and Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Brighton in Utah,  Crested Butte in Colorado and Sierra-at-Tahoe in California..

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was in the Granite State Friday making several stops in Manchester including to meet with law enforcement and statewide agencies to advocate for her new legislation on human trafficking.

If passed the Senator’s bill would funnel more funding into treatment programs as well as cleanse a victim’s record of offenses such as prostitution or drug smuggling that occurred while being trafficked.

U.S. Department of State

Two prominent staffers in U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office will be leaving to lead Hillary Clinton’s efforts in New Hampshire as she prepares for her likely 2016 presidential bid.

Mike Vlacich was Shaheen’s 2014 campaign manager and Kari Thurman served as the campaign’s political director.

Vlacich received national attention last fall after defending Shaheen’s seat against well-funded Republican challenger Scott Brown.  

Shaheen, who was in the Granite State this week, tells NHPR she wishes her fellow employees all the best.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

Jim Cole / AP

The killer of Pamela Smart’s husband will be a free man this spring.

William Flynn, who turned 41 today,  was unanimously granted parole Thursday after the New Hampshire Parole Board cited his decade of good behavior – adding that he was an “exemplary” inmate throughout his 25 years in prison.

At sixteen Flynn pleaded guilty to conspiring with his former teacher and lover Pamela Smart to shoot and kill her husband, Greg Smart, in Derry in 1990. Smart is currently serving a life sentence.

NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted in a nearly a 2-1 margin to reject a bill to require criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

Prior to the vote, Republican John Burt from Goffstown, argued that requiring criminal background checks would be a waste of time.

“All this bill is going to do is interrupt law-abiding citizens, that’s all any gun legislation does, because the criminal will always have his gun,” Burt said yesterday.

NHPR

For the sixth time the New Hampshire House has OK’d a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

The bill, which cleared the House by 297 to 67 yesterday, would make the possession of half an ounce of marijuana subject to a violation rather than jail time.

Republican Adam Schroadter of Newmarket told colleagues the harm associated with this plant is not enough to justify a criminal penalty.

NHPR

The New Hampshire House backed a measure to put fetal homicide on the state’s books.

The bill, which was approved 208 to 155, would allow prosecutors to charge anyone in the death of a fetus over eight weeks.

To the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Leon Rideout of Lancaster, this issue is personal. Nearly two years ago his daughter was seven and a half months pregnant when a driver ran a stop sign and struck her car – ending her pregnancy.

New Hampshire residents may have to pay five more dollars for marriage licenses after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would put the added revenue into domestic violence prevention programs across the state.

Currently residents pay $45 for a license, which hasn’t been increased in roughly 22 years.

Democrat Renny Cushing of Hampton says, despite the state making domestic violence a crime last year, New Hampshire ranks last in funding domestic violence prevention programs.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

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