NH Politics

NHPR Staff


Nearly three months into the state's budget stalemate, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and top Republican lawmakers are trying to forge a compromise as a new deadline approaches.

The Legislature returns to Concord on Wednesday for override votes on 10 bills Hassan vetoed, including two dealing with the budget. Republicans don't have enough votes to override the budget vetoes, forcing both sides to seek a compromise that will put the state on stable financial footing.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With legislators scheduled to take up Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto in just one week, a bipartisan deal still appears elusive.

On Wednesday morning at a breakfast event at St. Anselm College in Manchester,  two top budget writers – Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and Senate Finance Chair Republican Jeanie Forrester – said the debate over the state's two-year spending plan remains stuck on whether to include business tax cuts or not.

Every four years, New Hampshire welcomes the national political spotlight in the months leading up to the presidential primary. As the hosts of the first primary in the country, Granite State voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the campaign trail, at town hall events, and most importantly, at the ballot box.

But it wasn’t always this way.

8.17.15: The Fight That Changed TV & The Speechwriter

Aug 17, 2015
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures / http://bit.ly/1MtHysd

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago is remembered for protests and violence, but one radical decision that came out of that convention has changed the nature of debate in this country. Today, how the face-offs between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley turned television debates into a blood sport. We’ll also speak with a speechwriter for Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor who added “hiking the Appalachian trail” to our lexicon. 

Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor

Neighborhood diners have been a staple campaign visit in New Hampshire for decades. They offer easy access to voters, a wide-range of age groups and personable settings. The Corner View Restaurant in Concord is one of the many popular stops candidates make on the campaign diner tour. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

With the state’s budget stalemate now in its second month, the impacts of the current stopgap spending plan are starting to come into view. But because it’s been a dozen years since the state last found itself in this situation, navigating these budgetary waters is proving a challenge -- both for state agencies and for those who rely on their services.

NHPR Staff

The Executive Council voted yesterday against renewing two family planning contracts for Planned Parenthood centers in New Hampshire. Here are two perspectives on that controversial issue.

Immigration and the Campaign Trail

Aug 6, 2015
John McIntosh / Flickr/CC

It’s been a top issue this primary season: how to fix what most everyone agrees is a system in need of reform. The remedies vary, from bolstering the border to establishing a path to citizenship.  In some cases, as with GOP candidate Donald Trump, the rhetoric has been heated. We’ll look at how this issue is playing out among both parties.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is teaming up with Utah Republican Sen. Orin Hatch to introduce legislation that would hold colleges more accountable for "overwhelming" student debt.

If the bipartisan proposal passes, colleges with repayment rates that are more than 10 percent below the national average over a three-year period would lose their eligibility to participate in the federal student loan system.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Sen. Andy Sanborn has called for New Hampshire's so-called "drug czar" to resign, two days before a legislative committee will decide whether to extend the official's contract.


More than anywhere else, New Hampshire political news breaks and is debated swiftly on Twitter. That includes tweets not just from reporters, but from the politicians themselves. Of course, all of this can be followed using the hashtag #nhpolitics.

Here's how news of Gov. Maggie Hassan's budget compromise unfolded on Twitter through the day. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With state budget negotiations largely stalled, Gov. Maggie Hassan presented what she called a new compromise proposal Thursday. But the plan seems to have done little to persuade Republicans to return to the negotiating table any time soon.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Constituents were banned from asking 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta about his campaign finance issues during a town hall meeting in Plaistow last night.

WMUR reports a woman’s attempt to ask Guinta about the issue was cut off by the post commander at the American Legion hall where the event was being held.

Commander David Meaney told the woman she couldn’t ask any political questions because the American Legion is a non-political organization.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of the Republican-backed state budget bill has dominated State House news in recent weeks. But Hassan’s veto pen has seen plenty of non-budget action this session, as well.

Governor Maggie Hassan on the Budget Stalemate

Jul 13, 2015
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

In June, the Governor made good on her promise to veto a Republican-backed plan. Now, with government agencies operating under a temporary resolution, political rancor has worsened. We sit down with Governor Maggie Hassan to get her thoughts on the prospects for compromise.

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at what's going on behind the scenes of New Hampshire's state budget battle.  

It’s now been a couple of weeks since Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the state budget. Very quiet weeks if the measure is true progress towards a budget deal, but very loud ones in terms of the partisan rhetoric about the budget. 

Top N.H. Lawmakers Discuss State Budget Impasse

Jul 2, 2015
Sean_Marshall / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since Governor Hassan’s budget veto last week, lawmakers have called for compromise, though there’s been little action on that front. Meanwhile, as state government continues to operate under a temporary resolution, agencies are struggling with uncertainty. We sit down with leaders from both parties to discuss the way forward.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte kicked off her re-election bid Tuesday night in Manchester.

She spoke with NHPR's Morning Edition about seeking a second term, and weighed in on last week's two historic decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Historically, this is a bit early to make an announcement. We’re still 17 months out from the election. Is this is a move as some have suggested to get a jump on your likely Democratic opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan, who’s embroiled in her own state budget battle?


Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte kicks off her bid for reelection Tuesday night in Manchester.

Ayotte is seeking her second term in the U.S. Senate, but the election isn’t until November of next year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


The regular legislative calendar may be coming to an end, but work is far from done for New Hampshire lawmakers and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

A timeline for continuing work on the budget hasn't been finalized, but members of the Senate Finance Committee will gather Tuesday for a work session. The Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee will also meet monthly through the summer, as is standard practice, and will take on the task of approving emergency funding requests necessary with the short-term budget in place.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s promise to veto the state budget unless Republican leaders remove or offset proposed business tax cuts is drawing support from Democrats and galvanizing GOP opposition.  It also suggests the budget impasse may not be resolved for months.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Negotiators in the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of the next two-year budget earlier this week. Here's a summary of how the deal was reached.

Courtesy photo


The New Hampshire House is pushing back on Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto of a bill related to depicting minors on alcohol advertisements.

State law prohibits references to minors in alcohol advertising. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill removing that part of the law.

Rep. Keith Murphy, who owns a Manchester bar, sponsored the legislation because he wanted to be able to sell Founders Breakfast Stout, a beer brewed in Michigan that features a baby on the label.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Former technology executive Carly Fiorina is campaigning across New Hampshire this week after announcing endorsements from more than a dozen state representatives.

Fiorina's campaign released a list of 13 New Hampshire endorsements on Monday, including Deputy House Speaker Gene Chandler.

Her visit to New Hampshire began Monday night at a house party in Londonderry and continues through Wednesday with several local events, another house party and a tour of a Milford business.

NHPR Staff

On the Political Front is a weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the challenge facing lawmakers on coming to agreement on a new, two year state budget.

It’s getting to be that time of year in Concord – where House and Senate committees meet to negotiate agreements, or fail to negotiate agreements, on key issues. The state budget is, of the course the biggie.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR


Former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter says she is ready to win back the seat she lost to Republican Frank Guinta now that the Federal Election Commission has found that he accepted illegal campaign donations from his parents.

The case involves $355,000 that Guinta reported lending himself in 2010. He ran ads calling Shea-Porter a liar and denied the money came from his parents, but the FEC said recently it did.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Former New York Governor George Pataki announced his bid for president this morning at a rally in Exeter. The Exeter town hall was sweltering and packed with perhaps as many New Yorkers as Granite Staters.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

One day after Planet Fitness announced it was going public, the New Hampshire-based gym tells legislators it might not be able to afford to stay in the state.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley introduced a measure Wednesday hoping to keep the company here, by exempting businesses from being taxed on the share they sell to a corporate partner once they go public.

Currently 200 corporate jobs would be lost if the company moved headquarters. The company, which began in Dover in 1992, has more than 950 locations nationwide.

Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte continues to call for 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta to resign.

In an interview with NHPR's Morning Edition, Ayotte said if Guinta stays in office, the attention will continue to be on the Federal Election Commission's finding that he accepted more than $300,000 in illegal campaign donations from his parents in 2010. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Former technology executive Carly Fiorina is returning to New Hampshire as she campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination.

Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., is speaking at the President's Circle Leadership Forum at Rivier University on Tuesday. Following that event in Nashua, she'll head to a luncheon hosted by the Derry GOP and a house party in Bedford.