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On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the New Hampshire primary and the state budget.

So, it’s official: the Democratic presidential primary will include more than just Hillary Clinton. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in the race, and says he’s in it to win.

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North Country reps were about evenly divided on whether to allow casino gambling, but the division wasn’t along party lines.

As NHPR reported  on Wednesday the House again rejected casino gambling, killing SB 113 by a vote of 208 to 156.

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The New Hampshire House has again rejected casino gambling, killing the bill by a vote of 208 to 156.

On Wednesday, more than a dozen lawmakers spoke for or against the measure – many others left the chamber saying “they have heard this all before.”

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House lawmakers are set to vote Wednesday on a bill to legalize two casinos in the Granite State.

New Hampshire is just the latest New England state to look to casino gambling as a way to fill budget holes, raising the question of whether the Northeast gambling market is getting too crowded.

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Gov. Maggie Hassan says she doesn't think a market exists for two casinos in New Hampshire, as proposed in a bill that has passed the Senate and is now before the House.


A key House committee is preparing to take public testimony on a bill that would legalize two casinos in New Hampshire.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which has previously rejected casino proposals, will hold a public hearing Tuesday morning. Casino gambling has never won approval in the House, but an endorsement from the committee would improve its chances this year.

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Senators gave initial approval to legalizing two casinos, giving another shot at life to a perennial New Hampshire issue.

The two-casino bill passed the chamber Thursday by a single vote, 13-11, and will now be sent to the House. Casinos have often found support in the Senate but the House has never voted to legalize any casinos.

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan supports a single casino as a means to bring new, non-tax revenue into the state, but she has not said whether she would sign a bill for two.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded the Boston-area casino license to Wynn Resorts, which plans to build a casino resort in Everett.

Bay State Gambling Debate: What It Means For N.H.

Aug 5, 2014
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We're checking in with the ongoing debate over casino projects in Massachusetts and the referendum coming this November on whether to repeal the three-year-old law. We'll also look into how the gambling debate in Massachusetts might impact New Hampshire.



Massachusetts' highest court says voters can decide the fate of the state's casino gambling law.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that a question calling for repeal of the 2011 law can be on the November ballot.

The ruling overturns Attorney General Martha Coakley's finding that the proposed ballot question is unconstitutional because it would cause casino developers to lose property without compensation.

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House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative deal on a bill to tighten rules for table games operated in the name of New Hampshire charities.

The House and Senate still must vote on Friday's deal. The bill establishes new financial record-keeping and reporting requirements for charities and deeper background investigations by the attorney general.

The bill clarifies the definition of so-called redemption slot machines and the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission's enforcement authority over them.

The House has decided not to reconsider the two-casino proposal it rejected by a single vote at last week’s session.

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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.”

A Senate plan to legalize two casinos could be headed for a familiar fate in the House, after members of the Ways and Means committee voted 11-9 Tuesday to kill the proposal.

Three weeks after claiming lawmakers had driven a stake through the heart of the gambling industry, anti-gambling activists are again raising alarm -- over a new casino proposal.

 A state senator who has tried for years to persuade New Hampshire lawmakers to legalize a casino is going to try again despite a House vote to reject one last week.

Sen. Lou D'Allesandro plans to ask the Senate to amend his bill Thursday to add the regulatory scheme in the defeated House bill and send it to the House in hopes his proposal will have a different outcome.

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The 173-144 voted showed house lawmakers remain skeptical of casino gambling.

This bill envisioned up to 5000 slot machines and 150 table games at one location, was touted as the product of study and hard-won experience.

Jaffrey Democrat Richard Ames was its lead sponsor.

"We took what we learned and make a New Hampshire plan."

But critics said the plan, which beefed up the regulations included in the proposal the House rejected last year, ceded too much power to a gambling authority.

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.    


On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses the results of last week's Republican primary to fill Ray Burton's Executive Council seat, as well as legislation on the docket for this week that would allow for casino gambling and legalizing marijuana in the Granite State.

A legislative stalemate over raising the gas tax and legalizing a casino could drive highway contractors out of New Hampshire to look for work in nearby states willing to fund infrastructure improvements.

The New Hampshire House passed a gas tax this year that the Senate killed. At the same time, the Senate passed a casino bill that the House rejected.

Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement said this past week that he worries funding won't be available to finish the state's top priority — expanding Interstate 93.