NH Politics

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire House on Thursday rejected a measure to protect intoxicated people from drunken-driving charges while they are sobering up in their cars.

The bill passed the Senate last month, but House members voted it down, 209-122. It would have specified that sleeping or resting in a parked car would not be considered driving or attempting to drive under drunken-driving laws.

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we check in on the race with NHPR's State of Democracy reporter, Lauren Chooljian, who has been following the candidates and attending forums. We'll talk about campaign spending and various candidate events around the state. 

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr/Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is denying allegations made by Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky that the state-run agency is engaging in questionable business practices surrounding all-cash transactions and possible money laundering.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Senate has again passed a bill that would ban therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.

The bill approved Thursday is identical to one the Senate passed last year, but the House killed in January. The House later passed a slightly different version, and those differences would have to be reconciled in order for the bill to advance to the governor.

Charles Tasnadi / AP

Former First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush, who died Tuesday at the age of 92, traveled to New Hampshire often to support her husband's presidential campaigns—and those of her sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. She was more than just the matriarch of a political dynasty, former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu recalls. 

NHPR Staff

A proposed constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law hit a road block with House lawmakers Wednesday.

The amendment is designed to give victims of crime a greater say in the criminal justice system by establishing a list of constitutional rights.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday endorsed a proposal meant to protect patients from surprise out-of-network bills at in-network medical facilities — otherwise known as “balance billing.”

But that stamp of approval came only after several last-minute rounds of negotiations to respond to lingering concerns from lobbyists representing the state’s doctors and hospitals.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire's new child advocate is pressing for changes to the law to strengthen her office's ability to protect the state's most vulnerable residents.

Lawmakers created the office last year as part of larger effort to reform New Hampshire's Division of Children, Youth and Families, which has been under scrutiny since two toddlers under its supervision were killed in 2014 and 2015.

Valentina Tabatchikova for NHPR

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump will spend part of Tax Day in New Hampshire. The two White House officials will host a town hall discussion on taxes Tuesday afternoon at the Derry Opera House to highlight passage of the recent tax overhaul.

The event kicks off at 1 pm and will be moderated by former Governor John H. Sununu.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state of New Hampshire sets aside money in its budget for hospitals that treat patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid.  Thanks to a court decision last month, the state now owes much more to hospitals than it had planned to owe.

Reporter Ethan DeWitt of the Concord Monitor broke the story and he spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

(This transcript was lightly edited for clarity.

NHPR Staff

Ahead of another student walk out to protest gun violence, around 200 gun rights advocates had their say outside the New Hampshire statehouse Saturday.

The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans organized similar events outside statehouses across the country. Despite biting cold weather, gun owners and second amendment advocates from across New Hampshire showed up to hear a range of speakers and to show opposition to any further firearm restrictions.

N.Y. Department of Taxation

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office says it is investigating how the state Liquor Commission handles large volume, all-cash sales at its retail outlets across the state. 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Deaglan McEachern, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Farmers would be allowed to carry loaded rifles across their fields under a bill passed by the New Hampshire House.

The bill seeks to modify a current law that prohibits the carrying of loaded rifles or shotguns in motor vehicles, snowmobiles or aircraft. The bill passed by the House on Thursday would limit the prohibition to vehicles in motion, and would create an exemption for farmers protecting their crops and livestock.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former Missouri Secretary of State (and possible 2020 presidential candidate) Jason Kander is returning to New Hampshire to headline a major Democratic party fundraiser Saturday night. 

But apart from his occasional appearances at party events over the past few months, Kander’s political committee, Let America Vote, has all the while been building an on-the-ground presence in the Granite State: rallying opposition to Republican-backed voting laws at the State House and support for Democratic candidates in local races. 

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.  

 

NHPR Staff

A bill that would establish a position for a New Hampshire state demographer cleared the Senate Thursday.

 

The bill’s supporters argue that hiring someone to study the state’s changing population is key to making informed decisions on proposed laws and budgets.

 

Eric Herr, formerly the Board Chair of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, testified during a hearing earlier this month.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Senate has rejected a bill that would have rolled back the requirements needed to be a school nurse.

The bill would have repealed requirements added a few years ago that school nurses have specific skills in public health and at least three years’ experience in pediatric medicine.

Some school districts have argued the added requirements have made it hard to fill school nurse positions.

Sununu Vows Veto of Proposed Fee on Fuel-efficient Cars

Apr 12, 2018
NHPR File Photo

Governor Chris Sununu promises he will veto a bill that would effectively tack a fee on fuel-efficient vehicles registered in New Hampshire.

 

House Bill 1763 would establish a road usage fee for motor vehicles registered to travel on New Hampshire roads based on the equivalent miles per gallon of the vehicle.  

 

The fee would be collected at the time of annual registration of the vehicle and deposited in the highway fund.  

 

Molly Kelly

Former state Senator Molly Kelly of Harrisville announced that she is running for governor. She will face former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand in the Democratic Party primary and possibly face Republican incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu in November. 

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with Kelly about her campaign.

So why did you decide to enter the race now?

Courtesy Photo via Cole Riel

A proposal to change New Hampshire’s residency laws as a way to tighten voting eligibility drew hours of testimony, most of it in opposition, before the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A proposed amendment to the state constitution known as Marsy's Law faced tough questions in a hearing before House lawmakers on Tuesday.

The proposal is designed to give victims of crime greater say in the court system by enshrining a list of constitutional rights.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Surrounded by family and friends, Robert Lynn was sworn in as Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Monday.

After being tapped for the job by Governor Chris Sununu, the Windham resident sailed through his confirmation hearing in the New Hampshire Executive Council. He becomes the 36th Chief Justice in the state’s history, taking over for Linda Dalianis, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Lynn, who is 68, will serve less than two years in the role.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire hospitals are stepping up to make sure the state’s alcohol fund is financially sound for the next five years.

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Terence O'Rourke, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

O'Rourke is the City Attorney for Rochester and a military veteran who served as an officer in the Iraq War. O'Rourke also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Alabama, and in New Hampshire as assistant county attorney in Rockingham and Carroll counties. 

Our Race for the First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 6, 2018

Apr 6, 2018

It's feeling a lot like primary season in New Hampshire, with two past, and possibly future, Presidential hopefuls making the rounds in the state.  The Internal Revenue Service also visits New Hampshire, examining state liquor sales.  And despite several high-profile animal abuse reports in the state, a bill to tighten breeding regulations gets pushback.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion another five years cleared a major hurdle in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The House approved the bill by a vote of 222-125, over the objections of some Republicans who argued Medicaid expansion has been a failure and has driven up health insurance costs.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

The New Hampshire House of Representatives dealt a blow Thursday to one of Governor Chris Sununu’s key priorities on the opioid front, the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative.

The effort aims to link the private sector to the drug crisis by helping businesses better attract and retain people in recovery.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is backing Executive Councilor Chris Pappas in the crowded 1st Congressional District race.

It’s pretty early for a big endorsement like this -- the primary election isn’t until September. But Hassan, a Democrat, told a crowd of people inside Water Street Books in Exeter that people keep asking her who she’s voting for and she decided it’s best to tell them now.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senators heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would expand the state’s only existing school choice program.

Under the existing system, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make donations to scholarships which can be used on a number of educational purposes, including private school tuition, college courses, and homeschool expenses.

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