NH Politics

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers this week will hear about a report released last month which shed a bad light on the state’s child protective services. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In one of his very first acts in office, Governor Chris Sununu called for a 90-day moratorium on new state regulations. But lawmakers who oversee New Hampshire's regulatory process said the new governor Friday: no can do. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has narrowly approved a bill to limit the power of unions to charge non-members for representation.

Related: Click here to see a New Hampshire Right-to-Work explainer 

 

The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.

 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 20, 2017

Jan 19, 2017

Governor Sununu picks a former rival to head the education department, and orders restrictions on state hiring.  First District Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter will not attend Donald Trump's inauguration, going to a religious service instead. And new numbers show the state's unemployment rate at just 2.6 percent. 

GUESTS:

The Women's March on Washington

Jan 19, 2017
Flickr

The day after Donald Trump's inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women are expected to protest in the Capitol and in cities around the country, including New Hampshire.  But about forty percent of female voters chose Trump, and so more widespread unity may be an elusive cause. 


Governor Chris Sununu has nominated former political rival Frank Edelblut as commissioner of the state Department of Education.

The announcement was a brief, unceremonious item on the Executive Council’s agenda Wednesday morning as Governor Chris Sununu read off a list of nominations.

“For the Commissioner of the state of the New Hampshire Department of Education I nominate Frank Edelblut of Wilton New Hampshire.”

But the choice signals a big shift in priorities for the state agency.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a bill that would require corroborating evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

Current Population Survey, © 2016 by Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson

New Hampshire lawmakers are again debating Right-to-Work laws, with bills currently moving through both the House and Senate. With Republican majorities in both chambers, and a newly-elected governor who favors Right-to-Work, the policy stands its best chance of passing in more than a decade.

But Right-to-Work isn’t exactly a kitchen-table kind of issue. If you aren’t in a union, or a large business owner, you may not know much about its history, what Right-to-Work does, or why it matters.

Over the new few months, NHPR is bringing you a new way to experience Granite State stories from a whole new angle — literally. With 360-degree videos like this one, we're hoping you'll be able to more closely explore the places, and meet the people, we reporting on.

Cathy Merrill, Facebook

Traditionally, New Hampshire's poet laureate reads a poem at the inauguration of a new governor. This year, however, Gov. Chris Sununu chose someone with a different talent. 

Todd Bookman

We tackle two of the hottest issues of the week at the Statehouse: repealing concealed carry and Right-to-Work legislation.  In the first half-hour we'll address SB12, which would allow gun owners to carry their weapons concealed without a special permit.  In the second half-hour, we look at SB11, which prohibits unions from collecting dues from nonmembers.  Both have come up repeatedly in recent years, but with Republicans in control of both the legislature and executive branch, they have a good chance of becoming law. 


Jason Moon for NHPR

A bill that would require towns to sign off on new electric transmission lines is before lawmakers in Concord.

The bill would require power companies to win approval from a town’s governing body or via referendum before building high voltage transmission lines through a community.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A public hearing on Right-to-Work legislation drew hundreds of people to the statehouse, with public comments lasting more than four hours.

Pexels.com

An agency under fire, under staffed, and under review: That's how a recent report describes the situation at the state's Division of Children Youth and Families.  It reveals an agency in crisis: too few social workers and inadequate training, compounded by weak laws that leave children under-protected. We ask how officials and lawmakers will address this.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State financial experts say New Hampshire is starting the year off in better fiscal health than expected. That’s good news for lawmakers charged with crafting the next two-year state budget.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hearings for the new legislative session officially kick off this week in Concord. And lawmakers are getting right to business with two controversial bills already on the docket.

NHPR

We sit down with state House and Senate leaders, on their goals for the new session.  The state budget will be their first priority, but other policy matters, from Medicaid to gun laws to voting rules, will be debated. What do you hope the Legislature does this year? 


Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 6, 2017

Jan 6, 2017

Chris Sununu was sworn in this week as the state's first Republican governor in twelve years.  We discuss the themes in Sununu's inaugural address, and the implications for  the next legislative session, as lawmakers get back to business in Concord.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Governor Chris Sununu was sworn in at the New Hampshire State House Thursday.

He then gave an address that focused on the state's opioid crisis, business climate, and bi-partisanship.

Listen to the full audio of his address below, as well as the post-speech responses by Democratic State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn and Republican House Majority Leader Dick Hinch.

Listen to the speech:

Listen to Senator Jeff Woodburn's respond to the speech with NHPR's Laura Knoy. Woodburn is a Democrat, and the State Senate Minority Leader.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Chris Sununu is sworn in as Governor later today, he'll deliver an inaugural speech outlining his vision for state government. But what about the people served by state government? What do they want to hear from their next governor? Voters in Concord and Manchester weighed in on the days before inauguration day.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s governor doesn’t have a whole lot of executive power, at least compared to peers in other states. But one of the few ways a governor can exert his or her influence is through nominations to fill open seats across state agencies.

C-SPAN

Sen. Maggie Hassan made it official Tuesday, formally taking office as the newest member of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Hassan was sworn-in by Vice President Joe Biden in a series of ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol in Washington – first, officially, on the Senate floor, and again during a reenactment meant to give senators a chance to mark the occasion with their families.

Via steelguru.com

When Chris Sununu takes office Thursday, he’ll be the youngest governor in the country. But his arrival will also be a restoration of sorts for his family.

The Sununus have been New Hampshire’s first family before, back in the 1980’s, when Chris Sununu’s father, John H. Sununu, was Governor.

But plenty has changed since then, including the family’s business interests.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

By the end of this week, New Hampshire will — technically — have had three different governors in the span of just a few days.

Governor-Elect Chris Sununu will be sworn into his new role Thursday afternoon, becoming the country’s youngest sitting governor and the first Republican to lead New Hampshire in 12 years. (Former Gov. Craig Benson, whose term ended in 2005, was the last Republican in the corner office.)

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

From changes in voting registration to changes to party primaries or the Electoral College, New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing a slew of bills aimed at reforming the state’s elections.

In all, at least 40 bills aimed at tinkering with the state’s election laws are in the works for 2017.

Toby Talbot

Last Wednesday at the State House, Governor Hassan declared December 21st to be “Jim Cole Day,” in honor of the Concord-based AP photographer. Over his more than 30 years covering the news, Cole assembled a portfolio that spans the state. But it was his pictures of New Hampshire’s political scene that had the biggest impact. 

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The United States is one of few countries in the world that doesn't guarantee paid family leave for workers. Four states have voted to adopt their own family leave policies in recent years, and Representative Mary Gile of Concord has been working to put New Hampshire on that list.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There are more than 2,500 drones registered in New Hampshire. And with their popularity on the rise you can expect to see more of these unmanned aircrafts buzzing around the Granite State skies in 2017.

But drone owners in New Hampshire may have to fly under new rules next year if lawmakers decide federal regulations are not enough.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 23, 2016

Dec 22, 2016

It’s our year-end review of the top 2016 news stories in New Hampshire, from politics to precipitation. It was a year in which PFOA. became a household term in many communities, the First In the Nation presidential primary seemed to last forever, and fentanyl made its mark, causing a steep increase in overdose deaths.  We'll also discuss this week's alarming report on the state's child protective services agency.


File photo

An independent report on New Hampshire’s Division of Children, Youth and Families says the state falls short of its obligation to protect abused and neglected children.

The report puts the responsibility for fixing that broken system – and protecting New Hampshire’s most vulnerable residents – in the hands of lawmakers. 

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