Gov. Chris Sununu

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu issued a letter this week to the U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security asking for more H-2B temporary worker visas.

 

"With unemployment currently at 2.6%, New Hampshire has a tight labor market and it is critical for small seasonal businesses to have access to H-2B visas in order to meet their workforce needs," Sununu said in the statement.  

 

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

  New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu beamed as he looked out upon a room packed with 60 round tables, each one full of supporters.

“A little daunting once you finally get up here. I’m absolutely humbled, absolutely humbled at the turnout,” he said to the crowd.   

It may have been Sununu’s party at the Manchester Downtown Hotel Thursday night, but it was Vice President Mike Pence who got top billing.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Governor Chris Sununu said Wednesday he wants his hand-picked school safety task force to research the effectiveness of arming school employees and if stronger background checks could help prevent gun violence.

The first-term Republican's School Safety Preparedness Task Force met for the first time Wednesday, the same day students across the state walked out of the classroom to honor the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Fla.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he will veto a death penalty repeal bill if it reaches his desk.

The Republican released a statement on Wednesday saying that a top priority for his administration has been strengthening laws for crime victims and their families, and that “the most heinous crimes warrant the death penalty.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing a measure, SB 593, which would do away with capital punishment in New Hampshire. The bill has 13 co-sponsors in the Senate, enough votes to pass the chamber where similar bills have stalled in recent years.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says America’s gun law debate should be occurring in Washington, and not in Concord.

A week after a mass shooting at a Florida school, Sununu said the state's focus should be on continuing to invest in school security upgrades and in kids.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

Speaking to a group of reporters on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu would not say whether he  supports any changes to state-level gun laws in the aftermath of the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school last week.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says he wouldn’t have a problem with requiring state lawmakers to undergo anti-harassment training, at least in theory.

Courtesy

Following his State of the State speech this morning, Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order that aims to streamline services for New Hampshire's military veterans and their families.

The executive order would create a single point of contact for veterans seeking state services. It also gives the state's Adjutant General more authority to coordinate the efforts of the state's existing resources.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Just over a year in office, Gov. Chris Sununu is enjoying relatively high approval ratings, according to the most recent poll from the UNH Survey Center

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt was in New Hampshire Tuesday for an unpublicized private meeting with Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu spokesman Ben Vihstadt confirmed Sununu and Pruitt met privately in the morning, and said they had no other "stops scheduled later" in the day.

A statement from Sununu sent Tuesday afternoon says the two discussed the Coakley Landfill Superfund site, where the EPA plans to test bedrock to see if contamination is spreading in the local water supply. 

Twitter

Governor Chris Sununu and other lawmakers will enjoy a day on the slopes Monday.

NHPR File Photo

 

Governor Chris Sununu has announced the members of a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

The council includes representatives of state agencies, the university system, the ACLU, law enforcement, and others.

 

The group will be chaired by Rogers Johnson of the NAACP.

 

Sununu announced the creation of the council in December, following several high profile incidents of racial bias around the state.

 

The council's first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The full list of membership is below.

NHPR File Photo

Gov. Chris Sununu says he supports a bill that would increase the state's minimum age for marriage to 16 years old.

 

In a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, Sununu described the marriage of a 13-year-old girl as "unconscionable." That's the minimum age for girls to marry in the state; for boys, it's 14, though both require parental consent and approval of a judge.

 

The Republican-led House rejected a bill last year that would have raised the minimum age to 18. Lawmakers are now considering a bill to raise the minimum age to 16 for both genders. 

 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is backing a bill that he says will reform how New Hampshire’s state government works

Regulatory reform has been on Sununu’s to-do list since running for office. He once called New Hampshire a “regulatory police state.”

Last year, he pulled together an all-male group of lawmakers and business owners to figure out the best ways to cut red tape.

On Monday, they sent him a nearly 50-page list of suggestions that include processing permits faster and making fire marshals solely responsible for the fire codes in foster homes.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

Sununu Sends Transportation Plan to Lawmakers

Jan 17, 2018

  Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says his recommended 10-year transportation improvement plan for New Hampshire focuses on preservation, maintenance and safety of existing pavement and bridge infrastructure while "living within our means."

Sununu released a draft plan on Wednesday to be considered by lawmakers.

The plan, which emphasizes interstate as well as individual projects, assumes a level federal funding of about $185 million a year. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has a long to-do list for this year’s legislative session.

Sununu gathered Republican lawmakers together for a press conference early Tuesday morning that had the feel of a GOP pep rally. 

The New Hampshire Republican Party has sometimes struggled to unite, even with control of the Statehouse. But Tuesday, Sununu praised lawmakers for their work last year, expressed confidence in what’s ahead and tried to normalize potential splits.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Gov. Chris Sununu just made two announcements on equity issues at the state level. The state Department of Justice is launching a new civil rights unit. And the governor is forming a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

Peter Biello, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Andrew Smith, who will be involved in the new state efforts. Smith works in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He works with groups in New Hampshire after racial incidents occur.

 

Britta Greene / NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Justice is launching a new Civil Rights Unit to strengthen its enforcement of anti-discrimination law. The move is one of two equity and inclusion efforts announced by Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday.

A Republican-backed bill tightening definitions for voting eligibility in New Hampshire could run up against resistance from Gov. Chris Sununu, if he maintains the position articulated in a video clip that’s being circulated by a progressive group that advocates for voting rights.

Casey McDermott

Gov. Chris Sununu and neighboring Vermont Gov. Phil Scott are urging Congress to reauthorize funding for the states’ community health centers. 

Failing to do so would result in the loss of $16 million for New Hampshire alone.

Considering the circumstances, the alleged criminal remained remarkably stoic, barely flapping a feather as he stood at the front of the council chambers on Wednesday while Gov. Chris Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald presented the facts of his case.

Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg captured 2 percent in a preference poll ahead (way, way, way ahead) of the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

The UNH Survey Center asked people to pick from a list of "potential candidates" that the pollster provided.  By the way, Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he is not running. 

Moving on.

Other N.H. notables and stories this week: