NH Politics

New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

A new report shows disparities in school funding in New Hampshire persist, two decades after a landmark lawsuit targeted the state’s education funding system.

Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green

Governor Chris Sununu’s pick to join New Hampshire’s Supreme Court, Bobbie Hantz, was questioned by the Executive Council Monday.  

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 16, 2017

Jun 16, 2017

N.H. House and Senate negotiators reach a deal on the $11.7 billion budget this week but the spending plan is facing pushback from both sides of the aisle ahead of next week's full vote. At a hearing on the Northern Pass project, opponents show up in force. And bears continue to make news in the Granite State. 


Jason Moon for NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have settled on the final language for a bill to fund full day kindergarten in New Hampshire. But the bipartisan cooperation around the bill may be faltering.

josh rogers/nhpr

House and Senate negotiators say they have a deal on a two-year state budget that spends less than the $11.8 billion plan passed by the Senate, which trimmed money from than the $11.9 billion proposal backed by House leaders that failed to win approval in April.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on Twitter

Governor Chris Sununu spent Monday in Washington, meeting with leaders from a number of federal agencies: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sununu said his goal, in part, was to make up for what he views as inefficient advocacy by New Hampshire's Congressional delegation.

New Hampshire's legislative budget writers have until Thursday to reach agreement on a spending plan so the full House and Senate can vote next week. They have lots more work to do, but a decision that doesn’t involve money could shape the trajectory of this debate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu will be in Washington D.C. Monday for a series of private meetings with Trump administration officials.

Sununu is slated to meet first with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Afterwards, Sununu will hold meetings with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

This comes after Sununu took part in a meeting focused on infrastructure at the White House last week, and spent the weekend in Utah at a summit hosted by former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 9, 2017

Jun 9, 2017

It was another busy week: former FBI Director James Comey gave testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, Governor Sununu aligned with President Trump on his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and there's more wrangling over the state budget. 


NHPR Staff

New Hampshire legislators begin the final stage of the state budget-writing process this week. On Friday, a handful of senators and House members will gather to hammer out a compromise plan for state spending over the next two years.

Billions of dollars are at stake, and NHPR’s newsroom has been keeping an eye on several key policy areas. Here's an overview on where several big-ticket items stand.

www.puc.nh.gov

After pulling his first nominee for the position, Gov. Chris Sununu brought forward a new nomination to oversee the state’s environmental agency at Wednesday’s executive council meeting: Public Utilities Commissioner Robert Scott, of Bow.

Firecrackers Now Legal (And For Sale) In New Hampshire

Jun 7, 2017
Samantha Fogel

Last Friday, Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill to legalize firecrackers in New Hampshire.  They are now for sale at licensed fireworks dealers in the state.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate and House budget writers will meet Friday to start negotiating a final version of the state’s next two year budget.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Part of Governor Chris Sununu’s political identity is built on science and thought. There’s Sununu’s oft-cited degree from MIT, his professional background as an engineer, and his family’s well-tended reputation for being smart.

But on two recent issues, the governor backed away from letting science - or expert opinion - guide his policy decisions.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu will be traveling to a few high-profile out-of-state events this week: an "infrastructure summit" hosted by the Trump administration in Washington and another retreat hosted by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 

FILE

A bill decriminalizing three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana in New Hampshire is headed to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he’ll sign it. 

NHPR Staff

House lawmakers will debate a bill Thursday that would define a fetus as a person in cases of homicide.

The Republican-backed bill has already cleared the state Senate, and if it passes the House, it goes to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he will sign it into law.

Update: 12:55 PM:

This bill has passed the New Hampshire House by a vote of 186-170. We will continue to update this story.

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The New Hampshire House votes Thursday on a bill that would allow fetuses older than twenty weeks to be considered people in cases involving murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. The debate over what are often called fetal homicide laws isn’t a new one in Concord, but with Republicans controlling the legislature and the governor's office, this year the bill is expected to become law.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been a busy session for anyone with an interest in New Hampshire elections, with dozens of bills filed to tinker with different parts of the state’s voting systems. 

Most of the proposals filed this session didn’t make it out of committee or have otherwise lost steam, for now at least. But on Thursday, three significant pieces of voting legislation will be up for a final vote in the House.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It was a festive scene inside party headquarters in Concord on Tuesday, as New Hampshire Democrats celebrated the 100th birthday of President John F. Kennedy with cake and song.

While party elders old enough to remember Kennedy sat and swapped stories, young staffers scurried around doling out chocolate cake to mark the occasion.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on a Republican-sponsored bill that would stiffen residency requirements for voters who register in the month before an election. Under the bill, those voters would be required to provide additional documentation to show where they live and that they intend to stay in the state.

Republican Barbara Griffin is chair of the House Election Law Committee, which is recommending the bill’s passage. Speaking to NHPR’s Morning Edition, Griffin says the bill ensures the integrity of the voting process.

Jason Moon for NHPR

With 14,000 students from a huge variety of backgrounds, the Manchester School District is both the largest and most diverse in the state.

But those distinctions come with challenges that sometimes result in stark disparities between schools just a few miles apart.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate budget writers will be pitching their version of the next state spending plan to lawmakers Tuesday morning at the Statehouse.

The full Senate are scheduled to vote on the budget Wednesday.

Governor Chris Sununu thinks the state and Dartmouth-Hitchcock have cleared the air over their dispute about mental health staffing at New Hampshire hospital.

That was Sununu's take after a meeting Wednesday with Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Jim Weinstein.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican leaders in the Senate are confident the body will pass a GOP-backed version of the state budget next week.

But how the process will unfold after that is different than usual this year.

This story has been updated to make note of the AP's correction to its original story, issued Wednesday.

Last week, the Associated Press — along with other local news outlets — covered Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s visit to New Hampshire to speak at party fundraiser.

The New Hampshire Republican Party took issue with the AP’s decision to report from inside the closed-press event, the accuracy of its brief story and the integrity of the reporter who filed it — and responded with a firestorm of criticism, on social media and elsewhere. 

josh rogers/nhpr

The Senate Ways and Means committee has adopted revenue figures for the next state budget.

The numbers are higher than the senate's earlier forecasts, but about $20 million shy of what Governor Sununu proposed.

In the context of a $12 billion dollar budget, a $20 million difference may seem small, but reaching agreement was a challenge.

The final vote added $53 million dollars to what the senate projected last week by bumping up estimates on businesses taxes, real estate transfers, and the tax on interests and dividends.

josh rogers/nhpr

Budget writers in the New Hampshire Senate are predicting Medicaid caseload will drop over the next two years.  But underestimating caseloads in the program that benefits the poor helped cause the current state budget shortfall.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House overwhelmingly OK’d a proposal Thursday to allocate $33 million to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to make up for a budget shortfall.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Maggie Hassan said the latest round of news out of Washington only heightens the need for independent investigations into the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey and Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections.

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