NH Politics

The bills considered high priority by New Hampshire's legislative drug task force, which is designed to address the state’s opioid crisis, passed the N.H. House with ease Wednesday afternoon.  

After getting through the Senate last week, these bills will now head to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who will sign them into law Thursday.

nshepard via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/rS6ha

When it comes to the players and intrigues of primary politics, Fergus Cullen, has plenty of stories. On today’s show, the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party dishes on some key moments of primaries past.

Plus, a look back at the first woman from a major party to run for President - Margaret Chase Smith.

And we'll remember an environmental issue that dominated the headlines decades before climate change was on the radar.

Whatever happened to the hole in the ozone, and other stories from a not-so-bygone-era.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Republican leaders in the New Hampshire House and Senate say they’re willing to consider reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion after its sunset date at the end of 2016 — as long as they can find someone to help foot the costs.

On Monday’s edition of The Exchange, House Speaker Shawn Jasper said it doesn’t seem politically feasible to expect him to pass a plan that requires more public spending.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House wrapped up its second day of the new legislative session Thursday after voting on dozens of bills and even hosting a few GOP presidential candidates.

Former Governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore was the first candidate to join the House as part of a month-long series leading up to the presidential primary on February 9.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It was a long first day for the New Hampshire House, as lawmakers debated dozens of bills to begin the 2016 session.

The House passed a proposal, 206 to 146, to allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a license. A similar measure passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Hassan last year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The new legislative session began in Concord Wednesday morning on a slightly unusual note.

Before voting started, House Speaker Shawn Jasper pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to respect each other - both in and out of the State House.

On his latest swing through New Hampshire, Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley stopped by NHPR's offices in Concord for a conversation with The Exchange

We caught up with O'Malley — a former mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland — on his way up to the studios to ask for his (literal) elevator pitch pitch on why he should be president.

CNN

Republican Presidential candidates had their last debate of 2015 in Nevada Tuesday night. In Manchester, dozens of New Hampshire voters gathered at Murphy’s Taproom to watch.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In three weeks the House and Senate will return to Concord for a new legislative session and although election year sessions are typically quiet affairs, next year could prove an exception. 

During this session come January, lawmakers will have their hands full with two issues in particular: the opioid crisis and whether to continue the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When they return to Concord next month, New Hampshire lawmakers will have hundreds of bills to sift through to begin the new legislative session.  At a forum in Bedford Tuesday morning, top Republican leaders said the focus this session will be on addressing the state’s opioid problem and whether to renew Medicaid expansion.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For GOP Chair Jennifer Horn, Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown" on allowing Muslims into the county was too much. In a statement, she called out Trump's policy statement.

"It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American."

The state's top elected Republican official, US Senator Kelly Ayotte, wasn't nearly as pointed but made the same basic argument when asked to weigh in Trump's call to ban Muslim immigration.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As more details come out about the shooting in San Bernardino, terrorism threats and measures to restrict guns have become part of the debate surrounding national security.

NHPR spoke with both of New Hampshire’s Senators this morning about one of President Obama’s proposals: banning the sale of guns to those on the government’s no-fly list.

On the night of President Obama’s address, Republican Kelly Ayotte tweeted that the country needs to prevent those on the no-fly list from accessing guns.

NHPR Staff

After being forced by a lawsuit to spend more on mental health, New Hampshire is winning praise from a national advocacy group for increasing funding and passing bills in 2015 aimed at giving people better access to care.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness on Tuesday released a report tracking state spending and legislation on mental health that shows New Hampshire is one of 11 states that increased mental health funding every year since 2013.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Lawmakers are meeting again this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in an effort to figure out how to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. So far, the drug task force has covered topics such as stricter penalties for fentanyl possession and increasing funds for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. 

FILE

Both of New Hampshire’s Congressional representatives voted Thursday in favor of a bill to add extra screening steps for refugees resettling the United States from Syria and Iraq.

Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat, was one of 47 members of her party who sided with 242 Republicans to pass the bill.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

George Pataki’s polling average in New Hampshire is hovering under one percent, and he was shut out of the most recent "undercard" debate — but he’s not planning to bow out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Earlier this month, Dan Innis announced his candidacy for the congressional seat held by embattled Republican Frank Guinta. If he wins, Innis could become the nation’s first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.

Innis says for fellow New Hampshire Republicans, being gay hasn't been a problem. It’s his liberal and gay friends who have had the strongest reaction -- to his political affiliation. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers Wednesday overwhelmingly signed off on a joint task force charged with addressing the state’s opioid epidemic. The vote came in a special session of the Legislature.

JK Kalef via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4KfBSC

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is introducing legislation to improve treatment programs for pregnant women and mothers who have a substance use disorder, including a pilot program that allows funds to help women in non-residential settings.

Ayotte, a Republican, was introducing the Senate version of the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act on Tuesday. A similar bill was recently introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat from New Mexico.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas

Manchester's mayoral election is tomorrow. Incumbent Ted Gatsas faces challenger Joyce Craig. This morning on Morning Edition we heard from Craig about her approach to a variety of issues at stake in this election. All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with Gatsas.

Geoff Forester / NHPR

Voters in Manchester will cast their ballots Tuesday in the hard-fought race for mayor between three-term incumbent Ted Gatsas and Alderwoman Joyce Craig. The campaign has touched on several big issues, including crime in the city and the heroin epidemic. 

But perhaps the issue that has loomed largest is education, with the two candidates offering very different views of the challenges facing the state’s largest school district.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

  The filing period for New Hampshire’s presidential primary begins on Wednesday. That means nearly every major presidential hopeful is expected visit the state over the next few weeks.

Big spending by superPACs has become a fact of life in federal election campaigns, permitting wealthy donors to spend millions to support candidates for president, and increasingly for Congress. Now, superPACs are becoming players in state and local elections as well.

Three superPACs raised and spent more than $10 million total in Philadelphia's mayoral election this year. That's roughly twice the spending of the candidates themselves, who were bound by contribution limits in city election law.

Screenshots from Brigade App

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Republican Jack Flanagan, majority leader of the New Hampshire House, is exploring a run for Congress against Democratic incumbent Annie Kuster.

Kuster, now serving her second term, represents the state's 2nd Congressional District, which spans the western half of the state and includes the cities of Concord and Nashua. Flanagan is the first Republican to announce interest in challenging her.

Flanagan, of Brookline, is in his third term in the House and his first as majority leader.

 Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is urging the state's congressional delegation to back President Barack Obama's proposal to significantly cut power plant emissions by 2030.

Hassan, who recently announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, sent a letter Thursday afternoon to the delegation, saying it is clear that climate change is threatening the economy and people's way of life.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

N.H.’s Executive Council took its show on the road Wednesday to the town of Mason. There was no high-profile item before the council, but regardless of the agenda, expect the council to be front and center politically through next November.

 The 2016 race for New Hampshire governor is rapidly gathering momentum, even with Election Day more than a year away. Candidacies are being launched by the day, it seems. Pledges made. Priorities listed. Promises floated.

And now we have the first campaign ad of the race. It comes courtesy of Republican Frank Edelblut, a state legislator who's apparently hoping to ride-share his way to the governor's office. 

via C-Span

Democrat Mark Connolly is best known for an 8-year run leading N.H.'s Securities Bureau, where he pursued high-profile fraud cases, including against Tyco International and the Ponzi scheme known as FRM.  

After clashing with the Attorney general’s office and former Governor John Lynch over the state’s handling of FRM, Connolly resigned in 2010, and wrote a book accusing the state of a cover-up.

He then set up shop as an investment advisor. When Connolly spoke at last month’s New Hampshire  Democratic Convention, he stressed his work policing the world of high finance.

Jared and Corin via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/b55bw

The federal government is giving New Hampshire a six-month extension to comply with the "Real ID" law that aims to strengthen security screenings for boarding airplanes or entering federal facilities.

The extension means airports and federal buildings will continue to accept existing New Hampshire drivers' licenses through at least June 1. Real ID was passed in 2005 in response to 9/11, and New Hampshire remains one of several states that haven't complied with the law.

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