Executive Council

Courtesy the NH House of Representatives

Executive Councilors chose not to reconsider the nomination of a judicial appointee whose rejection drew scrutiny from New Hampshire’s legal community.

Councilors had voted 3-2 at a meeting earlier this month to reject the nomination of long-time public defender Dorothy Graham to the Superior Court bench.

All three Republican councilors voted against confirming Graham. Councilor Joe Kenney said he couldn’t confirm an attorney who defended child sex offenders.


Concord attorney and Democratic activist Andru Volinsky  is running for the Executive Council.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

For the first time in recent memory, New Hampshire’s Executive Council voted not to confirm an attorney nominated to a seat on the state's Superior Court bench. The rejection, which occurred last week, went largely unnoticed at first. But as word spreads, some among the state’s legal community are voicing concern.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Executive Council Wednesday voted 3-2 along party lines against renewing two family planning contracts for Planned Parenthood centers in New Hampshire. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Executive Council confirmed the appointments of three new judges Wednesday, including two to the Superior Court.

The council unanimously confirmed New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Chairman Amy Ignatius as one of the new additions to the Superior Court bench.

The council also confirmed two other judicial appointments: Manchester attorney Andrew Schulman to the Superior Court and Senior Assistant Attorney General Suzanne Gorman to the Circuit Court.

Governor Maggie Hassan says she’s pleased with the confirmations.

The state’s Executive Council will consider Tuesday whether to raise the dollar amount for contracts that must come before the five-member body for approval.

Currently, the council votes on all state contracts $10,000 or more and all personnel contracts of more than $2,500.

Councilor Colin Van Ostern says the policy bogs down the agenda with dozens of contracts that should be handled by state agencies.

Josh Rogers

In a race that was too close to call Tuesday night, Republican Joe Kenney declared victory this morning in a special election to fill the vacant District 1 Executive Council seat.

He fills the seat left vacant by longtime North Country Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who died late last year.

Kenney took 51 percent of the vote, just enough to defeat Democrat and Grafton County Commissioner Mike Cryans.

Republican Joe Kenney and Democrat Mike Cryans will face off in a special election March 11 to replace longtime District 1 Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who died in November.

A retired colonel in the United States Marine Corps, Kenney spent 14 years as a state legislator, in both the House and the Senate. He was the Republican nominee for governor in 2008 and lost to Democrat John Lynch. Kenney won a three-way Republican primary in January.

The Executive Council has confirmed four judges for the circuit court nominated by Governor Maggie Hassan.

Photo courtesy of Grafton County Commission

Michael Cryans, a Grafton County Commissioner, plans to run for the Executive Council seat left empty by the death of Ray Burton.

Cryans is a Democrat and Littleton native who for sixteen years has been a county commissioner, serving alongside  Burton, a Republican.

In 1996 Cryans ran against Burton for executive council and lost.

But last year, in the race for county commissioner, Burton endorsed Cryans over a Republican challenger.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses the legacy of longtime Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

Burton, a Republican from Bath, announced over the weekend that he would not be seeking reelection after learning that his kidney cancer had returned. 

The Executive Council has confirmed Governor Hassan’s appointees for the commissioner of both the Banking Department and the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The council voted unanimously to confirm Jeff Rose as DRED Commissioner and Glenn Perlow as Banking Commissioner.

Rose, a Republican, held positions in both the public and private sector, most recently as head of communications for BAE Systems in Nashua. Perlow is moving up from the number two spot in the Banking Department.

In the North Country, a longtime Executive Councilor held on to his seat and a Democrat snagged an open senate seat.  NHPR’s Chris Jensen has more.

Executive Councilor Ray Burton, a Republican from Bath, faced a challenge from Beth Funicella, a Democrat from Jackson.

Probably to nobody’s surprise the veteran Burton easily beat Funicella.

With 90 percent of the precincts reporting Burton had almost 68,000 votes.

That was roughly 22,000 more  than Funicella.

The other big race was for the senate seat vacated by Republican John Gallus.

District 4 Executive Council candidates Chris Pappas and Bob Burns met in debate Wednesday. They are vying to replace outgoing councilor Ray Weiczorek.


An Executive Council race in the Manchester area turned out to be one of the state's closest primary races.

Colin Van Ostern won the Democratic nomination for the District 2 chair on the Executive Council.  The district includes the Concord area, and stretches from Vermont to the coast.
He beat opponent John Shea, who held a seat on the Council from 2006 to 2010.

Van Ostern says the Council’s decision last June to cut funding to Planned Parenthood spurred him to run.  But he made his campaign about the economy.

Flikr Creative Commons / Lorenzo Blangiardi

New Hampshire's Executive Council has approved hiring a consultant to assist the state in reviewing proposals from several companies to run its prisons. The council approved a contract Wednesday of $171,347 to hire consultant MGT of America of Tallahassee, Florida

Governor John Lynch says it’s a lot of money, but necessary to figure out which proposal is really the best deal.

[View the story "N.H. Executive Council Passes $2.3 Billion Medicaid Contract" on Storify]N.H. Executive Council Passes $2.3 Billion Medicaid Contract

Storified by · Wed, May 09 2012 12:48:16

RT @FostersDailyDem: BREAKING NEWS: N.H. Executive Council OKs $2.3 billion Medicaid contract http://bit.ly/JxiCxxNHPR NewsNH Executive Council OKs $2.3 billion Medicaid contractBy JIM HADDADIN CONCORD – On a split vote, members of New Hampshire's Executive Council approved a $2.3 billion contract establishing...Managed Medicaid could significantly shake up service for some 140,000 NH residents. HHS officials believe this reform is critical.Dan GorensteinExecutive Councilors are talking about how they will vote on managed medicaid contract.Dan GorensteinDozens of managed Medicaid opponents are in Executive Council chambers. Many are opposed to how plan would change services for the disabled.Dan GorensteinExecutive Council meeting getting under way. Councilors expect to vote on $2.3 B managed Medicaid contract. Insiders say contract will pass.Dan Gorenstein


State and Managed Care company officials met today with the executive council to discuss the contract that would change the state’s Medicaid Program. The councilors have serious concerns, and many questions.

The $2.2 billion dollar proposed contract is the biggest in the history of the state. Supporters say Managed Medicaid would streamline services for the some 130,000 people in the program. Health-care providers worry the new contract may hurt their patients and their business.

The Executive Council refused to give New Hampshire Consumer Advocate Meredith Hatfield another term.

Some on the all Republican council feel she’s been too political in her opinions.

The Executive Council voted three to two against re-appointing Meredith Hatfield to represent the interest of consumers against the state’s public utilities.

Councilor Chris Sununu, of Newfields, says he was concerned about her stance on the Laidlaw Biomass Plant in Berlin as well as some of her opinions on the PSNH power plant in Bow.