The Exchange

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It's been about a month since N.H. Governor Chris Sununu delivered his budget address, which included $18 million for full-day kindergarten.  The House meanwhile appears to have somewhat different priorities  -- eliminating that funding in its version of the budget.

Scroll down to watch our Facebook Live video stream of Governor Sununu on The Exchange.

We'll get the Governor's take on this development, as well as his views on last week's collapse of the GOP health care bill. And we'll find out how far along he is on achieving his goal of talking with 100 companies in 100 days in hopes of convincing them to come to the Granite State.


Wikipedia Commons

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.  

Stefan Fussan via Flickr/Creative Commons

It's very early in the federal budget process, but President Trump's proposal  -- with its boost in military spending and severe cuts for several agencies, including the EPA, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. State Department  -- has made major waves,  including here in New Hampshire.   Now, Congress, which has the power of the purse, takes it from here, so whether President Trump's budget priorities hold sway,  is far from certain. 


Michael Brindley for NHPR

A Senate bill that would alter the definition of “domicile” for voting purposes has caused an outcry among Democrats and others who claim it unnecessarily complicates the voting process and would suppress the vote among certain groups, including college students.

At a recent packed hearing, the vast majority were in opposition to the proposed changes.

Republican State Senator Regina Birdsell, lead sponsor of the bill, says her intention is not to exclude anyone. 

New Hampshire Public Radio

We're discussing proposed changes, under Senate Bill 3, to the state's legal definition of domicile:  An inhabitant's domicile for voting purposes is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.  A person has the right to change domicile at any time, however a mere intention to change domicile in the future does not, of itself, terminate an established domicile before the person actually moves.  

Supporters of Senate Bill 3 say the above definition needs clarifying and tightening in order to avoid voting abuses. Opponents say proposed changes are, at best, unnecessary, and at worst, could dissuade certain people from going to the polls. 


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.

The Southern Illinoisian

Their mug shots are now regularly featured in the news -- people swept up in Operation Granite Hammer, an anti-drug enforcement program that started in 2015. Since then, police have made more than 100 drug arrests. They have been particularly tough on dealers whose deals turn lethal, pursuing long sentences in those cases.  But many on the treatment end warn tough sentences and tactics do little to quell the demand for drugs, and dealers themselves are often addicts, who need care, not incarceration.


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:

New Hampshire Public Radio

Under a court settlement, the state agreed to boost support for community-based services, with the aim of keeping people out of institutions like psychiatric hospitals. But the need for this kind of care has not abated, raising the question: Does the state need to re-think how it spends it mental health resources, to shore up both ends of the system?


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.

N.H. Debates Gun Rights and Restrictions

Feb 20, 2017
Rick via Flickr/CC

 New Hampshire lawmakers have been debating a number of gun-related bills this year, looking at where firearms should be permitted, who should be allowed to have them, and how they can be worn in public.  We'll look at these proposals, the issues they raise - also who's behind them and who isn't. 


Allegra Boverman for New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Republican Governor Chris Sununu reinforced his support for President Trump during an in-depth Exchange interview  last week, even as he acknowledged that certain matters could have gone more smoothly in recent weeks.   He also discussed his budget, defending his decision to boost funding for community colleges but not the university system, which expressed "deep disappointment" in the decision.

Caring for Those With Chronic Pain: A Doctor's Story

Feb 15, 2017
openDemocracy via Flickr/Creative Commons

In his new book, Needless Suffering: How Society Fails Those With Chronic Pain, Dr. David Nagel says that when the medical system can't cure patients' pain, it often blames them instead.  Nagel proposes what he calls a more effective and compassionate approach. 

  This program was originally broadcast on 8/10/16.

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.

Mark Goebel via Flickr/CC

Young and Old: They may seem like unlikely neighbors but millennials and seniors actually share many lifestyle preferences: walkable, diverse neighborhoods, smaller homes, and access to public transportation. Municipal officials and planners are taking note... We'll find out what they're doing around New England to encourage this mixing of generations. 


Linelle Photography via Flickr/CC

For years, the Republican mantra has been Repeal and Replace.  Turns out that's easier said than done. Now that they're in a position to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, some in the GOP seem more inclined to "Repeal and Repair," retaining certain popular elements of the law. We'll examine the proposals now in play and what they might mean for healthcare in the Granite State.  


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

How Divided Are We On Abortion?

Jan 30, 2017

Friday's annual March for Life in Washington occurred a week after the Women's March on Washington, which included an abortion-rights message.  And last week, the Trump Administration revived a ban on foreign aid to groups that provide abortion counseling, bolstering anti-abortion groups.  We ask how Americans feel about abortion, 44 years after it became legal --  and whether our laws reflect those feelings.


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:

Wally Gobetz via Flickr/CC

A recent survey finds most adults are a little rusty on their civics, with three-quarters unable to name all three branches of government -- the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.  That's the lowest showing in some time. We ask why and how much it matters.


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  

FLICKR/CC J. Stephen Conn

Democrats are doing some soul searching after this election season – not only because of their loss in the Presidential race but because they lost several governorships, including in New Hampshire, capping several years of state-level losses nationwide.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr/Creative Commons

How might a Trump Administration handle the many international dilemmas that defy easy answers -- threats from North Korea, European uncertainty after Brexit, and proliferating Middle East conflicts?  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Read All About It:  Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte recently joined NHPR's Laura Knoy and Josh Rogers for an hour-long discussion -- part of our Conversations with the Candidates series.

Bye Partisanship?

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte has been burnishing her bipartisan credentials on the campaign trail, emphasizing her willingness to cross party lines and stand up to her own party.

N.H.'s Efforts to Improve Mental Health System Stymied by Low Pay, High Stress, and Licensing Logjams.

Five positions filled, about 15 more to go, before Manchester gets its mobile mental health unit up and running. Meanwhile, the July deadline for doing so has come and gone.

Jessica Lachance, the unit’s director, admits it’s been a struggle to attract applicants. And Manchester is far from alone in this dilemma.  

NHPR

Even as the state moves forward with plans for meeting the mental health needs of Granite Staters, workers in this field, from psychiatrists to specially trained nurses, are scarce. The factors are many, ranging from inadequate salaries to licensing boards that make it difficult for job seekers to cross state lines. 


Government of Alberta via Flickr/CC

Public Health officials say the flu has arrived in New Hampshire and will be here through April or May.

Every year, scientists create a new flu vaccine to try to outwit the highly mutable influenza virus.   

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