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Although the federal budget is in its very early stages, President's Trump's proposal to severely cut funding for many federal agencies has several N.H. agencies contemplating a range of possibilities -- from best- to worst-case scenarios -- and gearing up to fight possible cuts to programs they deem essential.  

The Southern Illinoisian

Concord Lieutenant John Thomas has no sympathy for certain drug dealers.

“If you are providing the drug that kills that person, it’s just as if you’re sticking a knife in that person or shooting that person. You’re ending a life. You knew what you were doing, going into it,” Thomas said on The Exchange.

New Hampshire Public Radio

Not too long ago, New Hampshire was faulted for casting too wide a net when it came to institutionalizing people with mental illness.  That led to a lawsuit and a $30 million settlement, with the state agreeing to boost community-based care.

Now, though, according to Ken Norton, executive director of the NH chapter of the Alliance on Mental Illness, the state has swung too far in the other direction, with inadequate access to institutionalized care:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Compared with the University System of New Hampshire, which was flat funded under the budget Republican Governor Chris Sununu presented earlier this month, the community college system did pretty well.

Rick via Flickr/CC

Update: Governor Sununu signed this bill earlier today, Feb. 22,2017. 

 

 

N.H. is heading with seeming inevitability toward joining the states that do not require a special permit to carry a concealed weapon. Governor Sununu is expected to sign SB12, which has passed both the Senate and the House, mostly along party lines.

 

Similar bills have failed in the past. Former Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan twice vetoed similar efforts.  

 

Supporters of repealing the permit requirement say local officials too often deny permits.

Herry Lanford via Flickr/CC

Repeal, Replace, Repair, Retain. Now that they’re in a position to dismantle Obamacare, some in the GOP appear to be urging restraint. Even President Trump, who joined the Repeal and Replace rallying cry during his campaign, has recently sounded more hesitant, suggesting that a new plan may be in place next year.

Republicans in Congress have meanwhile been contemplating their next steps, said Dan Gorenstein, senior reporter for Marketplace's Health Desk, on  The Exchange.

Jonas Bengtsson via Flickr/CC

UPDATE: Reza Jalili was reunited with his brother, after a federal judge halted President Trump's executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran. Read the Union Leader story about their reunion

N.H.'s Moose Population Decimated by Winter Ticks

Jan 23, 2017
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

 New Hampshire's moose population is down to just over 4,000 animals, facing an unprecedented die off because of winter ticks, according to UNH Wildlife Ecology professor Pete Pekins. 

Speaking on The Exchange, Pekins says winter ticks have taken an especially harsh toll on moose calves each spring for the past three years -- one of several alarming findings in a four-year study of the state's moose population, involving the N.H. Fish and Game department and UNH. 

Yortw via Flickr/CC

Organizers of this weekend's Women's March on Washington have taken pains to avoid calling the event-- and the hundreds of "sister marches" planned across the country -- anti-Trump.  As Terie Norelli, former Democratic Speaker of the N.H. House and a longtime state representative,  said on The Exchange this week:

FLICKR/CC Waltarr

UPDATED & REVISED DECEMBER 16. 

 

On Monday, December 19, barring any extraordinary developments, electors will meet in each state and officially cast their votes for the President and Vice President.  

FLICKR Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor-elect Chris Sununu has said tightening voter laws, potentially eliminating same-day registration, is top on his to-do list once he takes office. 

I'm not saying that people are doing things illegally but the system allows for so much grey area in terms of who's a resident, who's not, how long have you been here, same-day voter, what are the checks and balances. It's just about getting that into place....It's  not necessarily about about fraud.  It's about having a system