NH Politics

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The New Hampshire House backed a measure to put fetal homicide on the state’s books.

The bill, which was approved 208 to 155, would allow prosecutors to charge anyone in the death of a fetus over eight weeks.

To the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Leon Rideout of Lancaster, this issue is personal. Nearly two years ago his daughter was seven and a half months pregnant when a driver ran a stop sign and struck her car – ending her pregnancy.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Republican-led House is considering bills to gut parts of the Common Core education standards.

The House will debate several measures Wednesday aimed at the standards and tests associated with them. Most have a positive endorsement from the House Education Committee, signaling a strong chance of passage.

One bill says schools don't have to adopt the standards. Opponents of the bill say it's redundant because the state board of education does not force schools to use the standards. Passing the bill will make clear the House's skepticism of the standards.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

NHPR Staff

UPDATE: Sen. Ayotte released the following statement regarding her signing the letter:

Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Wednesday banning anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.

Lawmakers approved the bill 199 to 162 on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate.

Salem Representative Gary Azarian sponsored the bill, and says the measure is akin to existing bans on minors purchasing alcohol and cigarettes.

"It's inherently dangerous for persons under 18 years of age to use a tanning bed," he said. "It causes melanoma and cancers and they die from it. It's a reasonable request to ban persons under 18 from tanning in a tanning bed."

Mickki via Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers today will hear a proposal to allow the commercial composting of meat and dairy. The bill began with a group headed by a former UNH student.

The Post Landfill Action Network, or PLAN, got its start as a sort of student-run rummage sale, where students were encouraged to sell furniture and other items, rather than throw them out when they leave campus each year.

PLANs founder, Alex Fried, has since gone professional with his advocacy, starting a small non-profit.

One of their current projects is pushing to make UNH’s football stadium a zero-waste facility.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will hear arguments Tuesday on a bill that would ban smoking in a car when a minor is present.

The legislation would make it illegal to smoke tobacco products in a vehicle with a passenger under the age of 18.

State Senator David Watters is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering competing bills to either increase or eliminate funding to help victims of domestic violence.

A marriage license currently costs $45, with $7 going to towns and cities and $38 to a domestic violence grant program.

The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a public hearing Monday on a bill that would increase the fee to $50 and send $43 to the grant program.

Meanwhile, the full House will be voting Wednesday on whether to send the $38 that now goes to the domestic violence program into in the general fund instead.

File photos / NHPR

Update: The Republican-led House has rejected a short-term funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, increasing the likelihood of partial shutdown of U.S. anti-terror operations at midnight.

In a statement, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen urged House Speaker John Boehner to call a vote on a Senate bill that passed earlier today. "We cannot afford the consequences of an agency shutdown,” Shaheen said.

From Pope Francis and President Obama to the kid down the block, we have, for better or worse, become a world full of selfie-takers.

But as ubiquitous as they are, there are some places where selfies remain controversial — like the voting booth. The legal battle rages over so-called ballot selfies in the state that holds the first presidential primary.

This may be a fight of the digital age, but according to New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, it involves a very old American ideal — the sanctity of the secret ballot.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is in Washington, D.C., to attend a conference of the nation's governors, meet with President Barack Obama and the other Democratic governors and deliver a speech to a progressive organizing group.

School districts with growing populations could benefit from two pieces of legislation that got preliminary approval today from the New Hampshire House. 

The House voted this morning to move forward a bill that would lift a cap on how much state aid growing school districts can receive, as well as a measure to provide more money for school construction projects. The House Education Committee recommended passage of both. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The owner of the state’s largest chain of pain clinics would be forced to forfeit his financial interest in the practice if legislation pending in the House becomes law.

House Bill 517 would require physicians who lose their licenses to practice to cut their ownership ties to any health-care facilities.

The lead sponsor, Republican Rep. Don Leeman of Rochester, said the bill is aimed at one of the state’s most visible medical practices: Dr. O’Connell’s Pain Care Centers, Inc.

Governor Hassan Delivers 2015 Budget Address

Feb 12, 2015
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan delivered her 2015 budget address to a joint session of the N.H. Legislator Thursday.

Click through the gallery above to see photos of the address. Scroll down for our live blog, the full text of her speech, as well as the Republican response, related links, explainers, and photographs.

Reporting by Brian Wallstin, NHPR Staff. Photography by Allegra Boverman.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The high cost of two major lawsuits against the state are complicating the next state budget, and it's not the first time that's happened.

A settlement over mental health services will cost the state $24 million in the upcoming budget, and another suit over a hospital tax could take up to $80 million from the general fund. These costs won't be easily swallowed in an already tight budget of roughly $10.7 billion.

NHPR Staff

    

New Hampshire’s nursing home advocates are pushing back against a proposed $7 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

The cut is part of a plan recently unveiled by state officials to close a $58 million shortfall in the current Department Health and Human Services budget, which ends in June.

John Poirier is president and CEO of the New Hampshire Health Care Association, which represents more than 90 nursing homes and assisted living centers across the state.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about his concerns with the plan.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, what Mitt Romney's exit means for 2016, and a look at the issues up for debate this week at the N.H. Statehouse.

Let’s start with Presidential politics – Mitt Romney won't make said a third run for president. What was more surprising, that he said no, or that he was thinking of running again in the first place?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

    

The Senate Judiciary committee is expected to hear testimony Thursday afternoon on a bill that would repeal the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed gun.

The hearing is likely to draw a large crowd of gun rights advocates and those who have concerns about loosening the state’s firearms regulations.

Wolfeboro Republican and Senate Majority Leader Jed Bradley is the bill’s prime sponsor.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about his proposal.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire is one of only two states where the governor’s term is only two years, Vermont being the other.

In most other states, governors serve four-year terms.

Lawmakers will once again debate this session whether to amend the state constitution and make the governor a four-year term.

Such efforts have failed in the legislature in the past.

Democratic Rep. Mario Ratzki of East Andover is the bill’s prime sponsor.

NHPR Staff

A bill going before New Hampshire lawmakers would require employers to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

House Democrat Mary Stuart Gile of Concord is one of the sponsors, and says under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt.

"Essentially, this bill is looking at workers in the service areas and who work part-time," she said. "For example, under our bill, people who work in offices but are not full-time workers would be able to have paid sick days."

1.15.15: The Invisible Primary and Authentic Brands

Jan 15, 2015
cmh2315fl via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/neZUmD

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary may be a year away, but presidential hopefuls are already jockeying for position. Today,we’ll talk about why you should forget election fatigue and start paying attention to the race now – and we'll talk about signs that a politician is considering a run at the presidency.

And we'll continue our series on offbeat college courses, the Uncommon Core, with Beauty Pageants 101.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR’s Josh Rogers joins Rick Ganley Monday mornings to discuss developments on New Hampshire’s political front.

Governor Hassan has begun her second term. Republicans voted Saturday to give Jennifer Horn another turn as party chair. And back to work for lawmakers in Concord. Let’s start with the GOP state committee meeting over the weekend, the re-election of Jennifer Horn. Significant?

NHPR Staff

The new legislative session kicked off Wednesday, and by all accounts, the most pressing issue for lawmakers will be crafting a new, two year state budget.

The state is looking at potentially more than $100 million in new costs, and that’s before taking into account a possible multi-million dollar deficit in the current budget.

Republican Neal Kurk of Weare is the chairman of the House Finance Committee joined Morning Edition to talk about the task ahead for lawmakers.

N.H. Legislative Roundup: A Look Ahead To 2015

Jan 5, 2015
ahlasny / Flickr/CC

We sit down with New Hampshire House and Senate leaders to talk about what might be in store this new session. 2015 is a budget year, so expect state spending and revenues to take center stage.  And beyond that, we'll talk about a few of the 800 bill requests have been filed so far, on topics ranging from voter registration to restrictions on drones. 

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House Speaker Shawn Jasper was censured Monday night by the executive committee of NH's republican party.

The censure resolution, which was adopted on a 17-9 vote, says Jasper placed his own interest above the interest of the Republican party when he opposed former house speaker Bill O'Brien in the race for the house's top job.

The censure carries no penalty but won adoption over a weaker sanction that sought to express the GOP's "unqualified disapproval."

Jasper's censure comes as he prepares for a house republican caucus meeting called for Wednesday.

Friday New Hampshire News Roundup

Dec 5, 2014

An upset at the New Hampshire House as members choose Hudson Republican Shawn Jasper as Speaker over Bill O’Brien.  Hundreds turn out for a community discussion in Keene,on the future of the city’s Pumpkin Festival.  And FairPoint customers in Northern New England start to feel the effects of a worker strike.

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It took multiple votes and more than 7 hours, but the NH House did choose a new speaker Wednesday – Hudson Republican Shawn Jasper.

Support from Democrats lifted Jasper to an upset win over former Speaker Bill O’Brien, who Republicans nominated to lead the House last month.  

The first sign that yesterday might not end well for Bill O’Brien, came early, when Republicans tried to alter the proposed rules for electing a Speaker.

NHPR Staff

School's now in session for New Hampshire's newly elected state representatives, who are spending two days touring the State House and learning the ropes of legislative procedure.

Brady Carlson

Republican Bill O'Brien has been nominated by fellow Republicans to become the next speaker of the New Hampshire House.

O'Brien, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2012, narrowly defeated Gene Chandler – also a former house speaker -- on Tuesday.

Prior to the vote, O'Brien told the GOP caucus by working together they could “turn NH into the crown jewel of New England.”

Marc Nozell via Flickr CC

Former state Rep. Kevin Avard upset Democrat incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour on Tuesday, adding at least one seat to the Republican’s majority in the New Hampshire Senate. 

Avard took 50.8 percent of the 21,335 ballots cast in the District 12 contest to beat Gilmour by 323 votes. The narrow margin gives Republicans a 14-10 majority in the Senate, with at least one race that was too close to call.

In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer had a lead of about 100 votes over Republican challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago.

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