NH Politics

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On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the New Hampshire primary and the state budget.

So, it’s official: the Democratic presidential primary will include more than just Hillary Clinton. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in the race, and says he’s in it to win.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  

Senate budget writers are likely to hear pleas for a restoration of funds for people with developmental disabilities, programs for the elderly and substance abuse treatment during an upcoming budget hearing.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

350 Vermont/Flickr

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is heading back to New Hampshire this weekend, his first trip after announcing he's running for president.

Sanders will be in Manchester Saturday morning for a house party.

Later in the day, he’ll address the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Convention in North Conway.

As a Senator, Sanders identifies as an independent, but says he plans to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has again rejected casino gambling, killing the bill by a vote of 208 to 156.

On Wednesday, more than a dozen lawmakers spoke for or against the measure – many others left the chamber saying “they have heard this all before.”

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A bill repealing New Hampshire’s long-standing law requiring a concealed firearms permit was repealed by the House 212 to 150 on Wednesday.

In a statement Governor Maggie Hassan said before the vote that she would veto the bill, adding that the permitting system allows for local law enforcement to better keep the community safe.

But Republican John Tholl of Whitefield, a former state police officer, told his colleagues these public safety concerns are overblown.

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House lawmakers are set to vote Wednesday on a bill to legalize two casinos in the Granite State.

New Hampshire is just the latest New England state to look to casino gambling as a way to fill budget holes, raising the question of whether the Northeast gambling market is getting too crowded.

Carly Fiorina
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

As she moves toward a likely presidential bid, Republican Carly Fiorina is heading back to New Hampshire for four days.

A former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who has never held political office, Fiorina is using her business background and her gender to stand out in a crowded, otherwise entirely male, Republican primary field.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign plans to hold more than a dozen open houses across the Granite State in the coming weeks.

Campaign officials say the events will be held in each of the state’s ten counties, where supporters are expected to call on volunteers to help with her campaign.

The dates and locations of the open houses have not yet been disclosed.

The former Secretary of State will not be present.

She held roundtable discussions in Keene and Concord earlier this month.

Robert English / flickr

New Hamsphire tourism officials say they’re concerned about the impact of proposed cuts in the state’s next two-year budget.

The plan put forth by the House Finance Committee last month cut nearly $3.8 million from $4.7 million Gov. Maggie Hassan requested for each of the next two years for the Division of Travel and Tourism Development.

Courtesy Craig Michaud via Wikimedia.

Republican hopefuls with their eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave are flooding New Hampshire this month. Decrying the state of the nation and the Democrat in the Oval Office is part of today's rhetoric, but history shows us, is nothing new. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look back to the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit held in Nashua over the weekend.

So Josh, a big weekend for Republicans and Hillary Clinton arrives in New Hampshire this afternoon. 2016 is upon is.

Josh Rogers via Twitter

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her first stop in the Granite State Monday since formally announcing she’s running for president.

The former First Lady is in Keene Monday afternoon, where she’ll tour Whitney Brothers, a children’s furniture manufacturer.

And on Tuesday, Clinton will visit New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, where she’ll hold a roundtable with students and educators.

NHPR Staff

Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to make her first trip to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate next week.

Officials from the Clinton campaign say she will participate in small events Monday and Tuesday, including roundtables with students, educators and small businesses. She will also speak at private meetings with elected officials and activists around New Hampshire. The campaign did not provide event specifics.

Clinton announced her second White House bid Sunday, kicking it off with a trip to Iowa featuring similar small-scale events.

New Hampshire Republican Party

The state Republican Party kicks off its First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua Friday.

Virtually every Republican thought to be considering a presidential run is scheduled to speak at the two-day event.

James Pindell covers the New Hampshire primary for the Boston Globe.

He joined Morning Edition to give us his take on this weekend’s summit.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Congressman Frank Guinta worked the counter -- and met with lobbyists from the National Association of Convenience Stores during a stop at Cumberland Farms in Portsmouth.

He said he would work to make sure compliance with federal regulations like the new food labelling law isn’t unwieldy for convenience stores:

I will now,  when I’m back in Washington,  take a look at the current rule. And there’s legislation to fix that – proposed legislation -- so I’m going to take a look at all of that.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Senate is weighing a bill that would give those who report overdoses immunity from possession charges if they remain on scene.

The measure aims to encourage people to call 911 by removing the fear of facing any jail time.

Devon Chaffee, head of the New Hampshire ACLU, says 22 states currently have a similar law on the books.

“If a person dies of a potential overdose, as we know, they can’t go into treatment, so what this bill is really about is providing second chances for those individuals,” she told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill aimed to decriminalize marijuana in New Hampshire is now being considering by the state Senate.

Under the measure, those found with a half an ounce of marijuana or less would receive a $100 fine rather than be charged with a crime. Currently all other New England states have similar laws already on the books.

But in New Hampshire no decriminalization bill has ever passed the Senate, and Governor Maggie Hassan said if it passes she would veto it.

Spotlight On The 2016 N.H. House Budget

Apr 7, 2015
Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr/cc

Last week, New Hampshire House Lawmakers sent their plan for state revenues and spending to the Senate.  We’ll dig into what they did –and didn’t do– with two House Finance Committee members.  We’ll also examine some of the rhetoric you might have heard and find out what’s true and what may be a matter of interpretation.

Guests:

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the state budget, as Senate lawmakers begin work on crafting their own version of a two-year plan.

The New Hampshire House did what some thought it wouldn’t – or couldn’t –  pass a budget. The process  now begins anew in the state Senate.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

With the House having passed its $11.2 billion two-year state budget this week, it’s now up to the state Senate to come up with its own version of a spending plan.

Jeanie Forrester is a Republican from Meredith and chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

She joined Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about the task ahead.

There’s a perception by some that the Senate will simply start from scratch, without any regard for what the House ended up passing. How accurate is that?

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A $11.2 billion budget was signed off on Wednesday by the New Hampshire House.

Although the plan is a modest increase from the last biennial, it cuts hundreds of millions from what the Governor proposed.

The reductions include $6 million less for substance abuse treatment programs as well as $53 million less for developmental disabilities.

Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House version of the $11.2 billion budget passed along party lines with reductions to the Governor's proposed funding for social services still left on the books. 

Advocates for the developmental disabled filled the capitol, but those in favor of more funding for substance abuse treatment drew out the largest crowd.

Three-hundred – that is the number of lives that were lost in New Hampshire last year from drug-related deaths, and that is the same number of people who came to the State House on Wednesday to advocate for more funding.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire house has passed an $11.2 billion state budget.

The proposal includes no tax and fee increases and lifts state spending by about $400 million, some $300 million dollars less than the plan proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan.

“This was an effort to look under every cushion of the sofa to look for loose change.”

Sean Hurley, NHPR

With House lawmakers set to vote on proposed two-year state budget Tuesday, one program that’s facing a potentially significant cut is the Meals on Wheels program.

The House Finance Committee is recommending a $10.6 million cut in general non-Medicaid appropriations, a 50 percent reduction to the fund that helps pay for Meals on Wheels.

Roberta Berner is director of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about how the proposed cuts could affect the people her program serves.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers speaks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the state budget going before the House this week.

The state budget, the version crafted by House budget writers, heads for a floor vote this week. House Speaker Shawn Jasper has indicated he’s ready to lock lawmakers in to get the job done. Is it going to come to that?

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in New Hampshire for the first time since he announced his bid for President on Monday.

Ted Cruz made his first stop at a VFW hall in Merrimack where he told the hundred plus crowd that the country needs a president who honors the logic of the founders.

“This country was built on a promise. It was built on an extraordinary idea that our rights don’t come from government they come from God and our founding documents, the declaration, the constitution were designed to rein in government and protect those God-given rights, ” Cruz said on Friday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers,  are behind the House Finance version of the state's spending plan, which passed committee along party lines Thursday. 

The $11 billion budget trimmed hundreds of millions from Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposal including reducing spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation and University funding.

AFP State Director Greg Moore said the budget isn’t perfect but it is fiscally responsible.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has voted along party lines to send an $11 billion state spending plan to the full House, for a second time. 

For the past week or so Finance Chairman Neal Kurk has described this budget as “business as usual.”

But cobbling together this year's budget wasn't easy, as lawmakers scrambled to find money to fill a $68 million hole needed to avert deep layoffs in the Department of Transportation, after Kurk’s plan to hike the gasoline tax failed to gain traction.

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