NH House of Representatives

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The man appointed by House Speaker Shawn Jasper to lead House Republicans held his first GOP caucus on Wednesday.  Brookline lawmaker Jack Flanagan says he expects resistance from some backers of former House Speaker Bill O'Brien, but expects the controversy over who is the rightful leader of Republicans in the House to fade.

On Wednesday afternoon, Flanagan caucused privately with about 100 House Republicans.  Flanagan said the stated goal was to gather input of policy priorities for the next two year session.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A number of familiar faces will lead key New Hampshire House committees.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly elected New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper is planning to announce committee chairs for the upcoming legislative session.

Jasper, a Republican who won the speakership largely with support from Democrats, has promised to appoint only Republicans to serve as chairs and vice chairs. He will announce his appointments Thursday. The House has 21 committees, ranging from criminal justice and public safety to health, human services and elderly affairs.

Via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper has named former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas as House legal counsel.

Douglas's resume includes a term Congress, representing New Hampshire's 2nd district, and a stint as legal counsel for former governor Meldrim Thomson.

Douglas has also been counsel for the New Hampshire Republican state committee.

He now leads a Concord law firm, where he's  represented plaintiffs in lawsuits against the state on matters ranging from sexual harassment to judicial pensions.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It took multiple votes and more than 7 hours, but the NH House did choose a new speaker Wednesday – Hudson Republican Shawn Jasper.

Support from Democrats lifted Jasper to an upset win over former Speaker Bill O’Brien, who Republicans nominated to lead the House last month.  

The first sign that yesterday might not end well for Bill O’Brien, came early, when Republicans tried to alter the proposed rules for electing a Speaker.

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz


New Hampshire's House is considering a moratorium on new wind turbine and electric transmission line projects like the 187-mile power line proposed by Northern Pass.

Before going into recess, lawmakers in Concord will vote this week on the state budget and other deals reached during committees of conference, including Voter ID and medical marijuana. The Democratically-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate have been at odds over a number of policy issues, but areas of disagreement over the budget were smaller than possibly expected, with the final budget including provisions sought by both chambers and Governor Hassan.

The gambling bill goes to the floor of the NH House for a full vote on Wednesday, after receiving a narrow 23-22 supercommittee vote resulting in a recommendation to kill the bill; the recommendation means that none of the amendments being debated in the House will be under consideration unless Wednesday's vote also fails to approve the bill. One such amendment would look to beef up regulation, while allowing for more revenue. Issues on the docket in the NH Senate include the Stand Your Groud repeal, Voter ID, the gas tax, the tobacco tax, medical marijuana, and the minimum wage.

The New Hampshire House makes its first key vote as the casino bill is voted on by a supercommittee comprised of the House Finance and Ways & Means Committees; various amendments will be considered on Tuesday, with a committee vote and recommendation coming Wednesday. The New Hampshire Senate, meanwhile, continues to work on its budget, and the Senate Finance Committee prepares to hear from some of the larger state agencies - Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Environmental Services - on their budget needs.

Democrats Move To Ban Guns In N.H. House

Dec 20, 2012

The rules committee of the New Hampshire House has voted to reinstate a ban on guns in the House chamber.

A.G. Fraud Unit Proposal Stalls Again

Nov 8, 2012

The creation of a new fraud unit at the state Attorney General’s office has stalled again.  Thursday, the Legislative Fiscal Committee voted to table a request to approve funding for it. 

The governor and Executive Council have approved the unit, which would be funded by the state’s mortgage settlement with big banks.  But the Republican-dominated committee has resisted allocating money to it, saying it would ultimately add staff to the government payroll.  But the AG’s Consumer Protection Bureau Chief James Boffetti says a fraud unit is needed.

NH General Court Website

There was a big surprise waiting for New Hampshire politicos this morning. As the final votes were tallied in the four hundred races for the State House of Representatives, the Democrats had won a 221 to 178 majority with one race still undecided.

Prospects of a divided state legislature has both sides singing about bipartisanship. 

Given that many of the races for the NH House are decided by fewer than a hundred voters, there will likely be a couple dozen recounts.

Democrat Wayne Moynihan of Dummer has won the seat for Coos District 2, defeating Republican James Tierney of Northumberland.

With all the votes counted Moynihan had 1,259 votes compared to Tierney's 839, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press.

Democratic challenger Marcia Hammon of Whitefield has defeated incumbent Republican John Tholl, also of Whitefield, in Coos District 5.

With 100 percent of the votes counted Hammon had 1,235 votes and Tholl had 1,154, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a challenge to a plan to redraw the districts for the State’s House of Representatives.

The five petitioners representing towns across the Granite State argue that the House plan is too rigid in its interpretation of the US constitution’s one-man-one-vote clause. A lawyer for the petitioners, Martin Honigberg, says that a looser interpretation is not only legal, but required by an amendment to the New Hampshire constitution.

It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.

NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.

Crossover Day

Mar 22, 2012

Crossover Day is the time when bills that have passed the New Hampshire House go to the State Senate and vice versa.  And this year, much of that legislation has sparked enormous debate…on issues from contraception to unionized labor to public education.  We’ll look at what important bills are changing hands, how well they may do in their other House of government, and, if they do pass, how they may stand up against the Governor’s veto pen. 



The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted today to pass a bill that would allow the city of Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

The bill is a seen as a victory for Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who has been calling for a moratorium since last July.


The New Hampshire House has moved to reconsider passage of a controversial bill requiring pregnant women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. The bill would also require them to receive explicit information on fetal development.


 The New Hampshire House of Representatives has for the second time passed a so-called right to work bill. But  the margin was well short of what would be needed to override Governor Lynch’s promised veto.

Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders. Last year governor John Lynch vetoed a Right-to-Work bill, which republicans failed to override.

Republican Marshall Quandt told colleagues this year’s version will fare no better.

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill giving lawmakers final say on collective bargaining agreements with the State. The legislation is just the latest effort by Republicans in Concord to rein in the costs of public employee contracts.

"This gives the legislature the ability to look at an entire contract and say whether it is fair, and whether we should fund it," says Republican Neil Kurk of Weare.

(Please) Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

Feb 14, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons/Just Some Dust

A bill requiring New Hampshire students to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance passed a house committee today.

"Standing is a sign of national patriotism," says Republican Representative Lawrence Kappler.

Current law permits students to remain seated, as long as they are silent and respectful. The constitutionality of the bill is in question, however. Representative Gary Richardson believes that requiring someone to stand is clearly an issue of free speech. 

House Votes to End Chancellor's Office

Feb 8, 2012

The New Hampshire House today voted to eliminate the Chancellor’s Office within the University System. The bill calls for many of the responsibilities of the Office to be shifted to the Board of Trustees and to school presidents. Created in 1974, the Chancellor’s duties include government relations, purchasing and audits.

Here is how the North Country representatives voted on Wednesday when the House passed a resolution – HCR32 - calling for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations “so that the United States may retain its sovereignty and control over its own funds and military forces.”

It passed 188 – 129.

Here are the North Country representatives voting in favor:

* Lyle Bulis (Republican) of Littleton

* Edmond Gionet (Republican) of Lincoln.

American Red Cross


The New Hampshire house voted today to repeal the Emergency Powers Act, which allows the government to take private property during a declared state of emergency.

The bill’s supporters call the Emergency Powers Act a government overreach.

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The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the use of GPS devices to secretly track people. The bill would make such tracking illegal someone without a court order.

This was a bill that seemed destined to disappear: in committee it was voted 14 – 0 to refer it for more study. With an election coming up, that would almost certainly mean that the bill would never be seen again.


The 251 to 101 vote exceeds the 3/5th needed to send the proposal on to the state senate. Prior to the vote, Manchester Republican Keith Murphy warned that while the income tax isn’t popular in Concord right now, that could change.

“Lest we forget in 1999 this body did pass an income tax of 4 percent, and every year since an income tax has been proposed in this body. We need to take the temptation off the table now and forever.”