NH Politics

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Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that would repeal a ban on the sale and use of some firecrackers in New Hampshire.

Hassan said Tuesday that it's unnecessary to change current law, which already provides public access to fireworks while aiming to minimize safety risks.

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Followers of New Hampshire politics might’ve noticed a familiar face (and voice) at Donald Trump’s much-hyped press conference on Tuesday morning: Al Baldasaro, a state representative from Londonderry who Trump has referred to at varying times as “The King” and his “favorite vet.”

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A former state representative from Rochester has been arrested on charges related to voter fraud.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, during the recent presidential primary Don Leeman voted in a district he no longer lived in and then tried to bribe a local employee to cover it up.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

This week lawmakers will have their final say on dozens of bills still left over from this year's legislative session. Wednesday is the last chance any bills have of making it to the Governor’s desk this year.

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A controversial practice that seeks to convert minors from being gay is likely to remain legal in New Hampshire.

Lawmakers this week failed to agree on a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for those under 18.

Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to spend nearly $2 million on body scanners for state prisons and county jails is heading to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk. Senators approved the legislation Thursday on a party line vote.

Republicans, like Andy Sanborn of Bedford, told colleagues that making anyone who sets foot in a jail or prison prison pass though scanners is a way to deal with an obvious problem.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan says last week's shooting of two Manchester police officers by a suspect who with mental health problems illustrates the need for New Hampshire to do a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

"I think this issue needs to be looked at by a broad coalition of stakeholders and that is certainly one of the questions that they should address. I think we should work together to take steps forward to improve public safety and public heath of New Hampshire," Hassan said.

NHPR Staff

A new WBUR poll of likely New Hampshire voters shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a slight edge over Republican Donald Trump. In the state's U.S. Senate race, the poll also found Democrat Maggie Hassan with a small lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. For more on this poll, we turn to Steve Koszela, president of the MassINC polling group, which conducted the survey. He spoke with NHPR's All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

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Republican Gubernatorial candidate Jeanie Forrester wants New Hampshire to step up efforts to recruit businesses to move here, and she wants to reward businesses that expand with tax relief.

As Forrester sees it, New Hampshire has been held back for years because Concord, under a string of Democratic governors, has become set in its ways.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race is, and is likely to remain, the state political race that gets the most attention. But the race for governor, which features crowded primaries among Republicans and Democrats and no big favorite, is also starting to crank up. Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition's Rick Ganley to talk about it.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan used a speech at an event at St. Anselm College to promote what she says is her record of working across the aisle. Hassan told the crowd of business people at politics and eggs that Republicans and Democrats in Concord may argue, but they also compromise in the interest of their constituents.

"Time and again in New Hampshire we have shown that we can put out differences aside and get results for out people and our businesses and it is long past time for Washington to take the same approach."

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House lawmakers have voted 217-132 to require local officials to issue conceal weapons permits to person not barred from owning a gun.

The mostly party line vote came after the GOP-controlled house overturned a committee recommendation to kill the bill.

Seabrook Republican Max Abramson told colleagues this bill was about making sure a constitutional right is unabridged.

"Senate bill 336 would simply restore the right of law abiding gun owners, who have the lawful right to open carry, to simply put on their jacket."

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 The New Hampshire House has again voted decriminalize marijuana. This proposal would make first offense possession of a 1/4 ounce or less a violation.

The 289-58 vote marked the seventh time house lawmakers have tried to make marijuana possession a violation.

Backers of this proposal, like Hampton Democrat Renny Cushing pitched it as a middle ground.

"This is a compromise that will allow us to have first time offenders who have a small amount of marijuana escape a lifetime of draconian punishment for that and have a second chance."

freestateproject.org

Recently, this movement announced success in its plan to encourage twenty-thousand libertarian-minded people from around the country to move to New Hampshire.  And already, Free Staters have had an influence on Granite State politics, although it's not always been welcome.  We'll check in on this project and its impact.

Read a summary of the hour-long conversation here.

Ted Siefer / for NHPR

Earlier this session, the state Senate voted — once again — to reject a casino gambling bill. The move prompted the owners of Rockingham Park, the expected site for a casino, to at long last put the former horse-racing track on the market.

The news has not gone over well at the storied institution, where the regulars make up a small but committed bunch.

NHPR

With Ted Cruz and John Kasich pulling the plugs on their presidential campaigns, it's a big week for backers of likely Republican nominee Donald Trump.  

And that's got some conservatives in New Hampshire coming to terms with a new reality: Donald Trump is now the official face of their party.  

NHPR

Citing public safety concerns, Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that aimed to limit the power of local building inspectors. This is Hassan's first veto of the year.

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A bill seeking to legalize Keno in New Hampshire fell flat once again in the state Senate.

Lawmakers voted 13 to 10 to kill the proposal which would have allowed Keno, a form of electronic bingo, in places with liquor licenses, but only after individual approval from cities and towns. 

Senator Jerry Little of Weare said Keno would mean money for the state - $8 to $9 million a year he calculated.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Citing strong state revenue numbers, Governor Maggie Hassan is calling on Republican leaders to act on a number of spending priorities. But top Republicans say much of what the governor seeks is already in the works.

The strange and bitter Democratic primary in the first congressional district got even stranger and more bitter today.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House killed a bill Wednesday to fund a program designed to teach substance abuse prevention in high schools.

HOPE, which stands for Heroin and Opiate Prevention Education, is run by Plymouth State University and offers peer to peer prevention. But not every school in the state participates.

Under the measure, roughly $51,000 would be available to public and charter high schools in the state who want to join the program.

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A bill aimed at cracking down on people who put sexually explicit photos of a person online without his or her consent in New Hampshire is now heading to the Governor.

On Wednesday the full House passed the measure through a voice vote – something the full Senate did last month.  

Under the bill, those found to have participated in the practice of so-called “revenge porn” will be charged with a felony. 

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The New Hampshire House on Wednesday backed a bill calling for an additional $5 million to help combat the state’s current opioid crisis.

Under the measure, $3, million will go to treatment services while $2 million will help to provide housing for those battling an addiction. It also includes money to hire a state attorney to prosecute drug cases.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House Wednesday backed a measure that would allow the state Division of Children, Youth and Families to investigate parents suspected of having an opioid dependence. 

As written, the bill would exempt parents currently involved in treatment or actively seeking treatment.  

Democrat Skip Berrien of Exeter said this bill would ensure that DCYF can offer services before problems escalate.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The classic gerrymandered map you learned about in high school civics class is full of oddly-shaped legislative districts, drawn with obvious intent to boost one party.

But in New Hampshire, that’s rarely the case: It’s very hard to see, just by looking at the election maps, which districts might help or hurt a certain party’s chances.

So has gerrymandering been a factor in the state’s politics? And if so, how much?

Digitization supported by the Cogswell Benevolent Trust. / Image obtained via the New Hampshire Historical Society

Here’s a confusing reality about New Hampshire politics today.

Democrats are having success like never before, scoring wins that would have been impossible just two decades ago.

But despite that shift, there’s one place where Republicans still have a leg up on Election Day: the state Legislature.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After a slow week at the State House, lawmakers will have long session days in both chambers with roughly 60 bills on the docket in the House and Senate. 

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First, we'll talk about a bill that aims to repeal a state law that allows abortion clinics to establish twenty-five foot buffer zones, keeping protesters that distance away. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate will be in session this week but with a pretty light agenda – only about 20 bills are on the docket in both chambers.

But lawmakers will still hold dozens of public hearings – some to look at loosening up the state’s drug laws and others to build them up.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After more than a year of debates and discussion, lawmakers could take their final vote Thursday on whether to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program for another two years.

If the Senate passes the bill without change, it could be signed into law as early as this week.

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