NH Politics

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s governor doesn’t have a whole lot of executive power, at least compared to peers in other states. But one of the few ways a governor can exert his or her influence is through nominations to fill open seats across state agencies.

C-SPAN

Sen. Maggie Hassan made it official Tuesday, formally taking office as the newest member of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Hassan was sworn-in by Vice President Joe Biden in a series of ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol in Washington – first, officially, on the Senate floor, and again during a reenactment meant to give senators a chance to mark the occasion with their families.

Via steelguru.com

When Chris Sununu takes office Thursday, he’ll be the youngest governor in the country. But his arrival will also be a restoration of sorts for his family.

The Sununus have been New Hampshire’s first family before, back in the 1980’s, when Chris Sununu’s father, John H. Sununu, was Governor.

But plenty has changed since then, including the family’s business interests.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

By the end of this week, New Hampshire will — technically — have had three different governors in the span of just a few days.

Governor-Elect Chris Sununu will be sworn into his new role Thursday afternoon, becoming the country’s youngest sitting governor and the first Republican to lead New Hampshire in 12 years. (Former Gov. Craig Benson, whose term ended in 2005, was the last Republican in the corner office.)

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

From changes in voting registration to changes to party primaries or the Electoral College, New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing a slew of bills aimed at reforming the state’s elections.

In all, at least 40 bills aimed at tinkering with the state’s election laws are in the works for 2017.

Toby Talbot

Last Wednesday at the State House, Governor Hassan declared December 21st to be “Jim Cole Day,” in honor of the Concord-based AP photographer. Over his more than 30 years covering the news, Cole assembled a portfolio that spans the state. But it was his pictures of New Hampshire’s political scene that had the biggest impact. 

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The United States is one of few countries in the world that doesn't guarantee paid family leave for workers. Four states have voted to adopt their own family leave policies in recent years, and Representative Mary Gile of Concord has been working to put New Hampshire on that list.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There are more than 2,500 drones registered in New Hampshire. And with their popularity on the rise you can expect to see more of these unmanned aircrafts buzzing around the Granite State skies in 2017.

But drone owners in New Hampshire may have to fly under new rules next year if lawmakers decide federal regulations are not enough.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 23, 2016

Dec 22, 2016

It’s our year-end review of the top 2016 news stories in New Hampshire, from politics to precipitation. It was a year in which PFOA. became a household term in many communities, the First In the Nation presidential primary seemed to last forever, and fentanyl made its mark, causing a steep increase in overdose deaths.  We'll also discuss this week's alarming report on the state's child protective services agency.


File photo

An independent report on New Hampshire’s Division of Children, Youth and Families says the state falls short of its obligation to protect abused and neglected children.

The report puts the responsibility for fixing that broken system – and protecting New Hampshire’s most vulnerable residents – in the hands of lawmakers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor-elect Chris Sununu has named some of his key staffers. 

Former state GOP chairman Jayne Millerick, who has a communications business, will be Sununu's Chief of Staff. 

House Speaker Shawn Jasper stands by his decision to appoint Rep. Frank Sapareto as Vice Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. 

Sapareto’s past criminal record has raised complaints about the appointment. 

josh rogers/nhpr

 

Chris Sununu came out on top in November's elections, but in a speech to New Hampshire’s Forum on the Future Tuesday, he repeatedly called the 2016 campaign "terrible," and said it drove his family to get rid of cable TV to escape the rhetoric and campaign ads. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The ritual formality of the state’s Electoral College vote was observed in the Executive Council chambers in Concord Monday: ballots were cast, documents were signed and sealed with wax.

The outcome was as ordained by the local results: New Hampshire's four votes, from four Democratic electors, went to Hillary Clinton. But the sting of the election – at least for Democrats -- remained visceral.

Demonstrators chanted outside the statehouse.

“Recount the vote, recount the vote, recount the vote."

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 16, 2016

Dec 16, 2016

Join us for the top Granite State headlines this week, including N.H. political races caught up in revelations about Russian hacking.  Another grim record set as drug deaths in the state reach near 400.  And the state seeks to have a suit against DCYF dismissed in a child abuse case.


Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 16, 2016

Dec 15, 2016

Join us for the top Granite State headlines this week, including N.H. political races caught up in revelations about Russian hacking.  Another grim record set as drug deaths in the state reach nearly 400.  And the state seeks to have a suit against DCYF dismissed in a child abuse case.

GUESTS:

  • Casey McDermott, NHPR digital reporter.
  • Ella Nilsen, Concord Monitor reporter.
  • Dave Solomon, Union Leader reporter.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Even if you're a veteran of New Hampshire politics, chances are you've never heard this story before.

We certainly hadn’t - until last week, when Gov-elect Sununu spoke at a party celebrating the holidays, and the renovation of the Bridges House, New Hampshire’s governor’s residence.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Wednesday was Organization Day for the New Hampshire Legislature, when all 400 members of the House of Representatives gather for the first time since being elected. Reporter Hannah McCarthy spoke to three brand-new reps about their decision to run.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 9, 2016

Dec 8, 2016

The state legislature chooses its leadership, election laws are up for examination, and a  hotel on Mt. Washington is considered even as the AMC withdraws it's application for a new hut in Crawford Notch. 

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bill Gardner, best known as the guardian of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary,  was elected to his 21st consecutive term as Secretary of State Wednesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After winning the support of the full New Hampshire House, Republican Rep. Shawn Jasper is set to serve another term as House Speaker.

And unlike the last contest for speaker, this year's election went largely as expected.

Heading into November, New Hampshire Democrats talked a big game when it came to their hopes for retaking control of the state Senate.

But when the Republicans ended up maintaining the same 14-10 margin they’ve held for the past two years, Democrats placed at least part of the blame for their losses on gerrymandered district lines.

As it turns out, they might have a point.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State lawmakers will chose the next Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives Wednesday.  

Current Speaker Shawn Jasper looks in good position to keep his speaker’s gavel, with Republicans holding a solid majority in the House. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

President-Elect Trump's statement that "massive voter fraud" occurred in New Hampshire this election has been widely rejected by state officials. But, the issue itself, of the potential for voter fraud, has gained a lot of attention in recent years. We discuss New Hampshire's ballot system. 


Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 2, 2016

Dec 1, 2016

A four-way fight for House Speaker requires two rounds of voting. Republicans look to tighten voting laws. And lawmakers in the U.S. House pass a bill setting aside $1 billion for states battling the heroin and opioid addiction crisis.

 


2016 was a mixed bag for New Hampshire Republicans. The party’s top elected official, Senator Kelly Ayotte, lost her seat to Governor Hassan. But Chris Sununu’s win over fellow executive councilor Colin Van Ostern gave the GOP the Governor’s office for the first time in a dozen years.  

A New Rep Learns The Ropes On State House Orientation Day

Nov 30, 2016
Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The New Hampshire House has 400 members. But few of them are under 30. Donovan Fenton is among the young newcomers. He's 27 years-old, and will soon represent his hometown of Keene.

FLICKR/CC J. Stephen Conn

Democrats are doing some soul searching after this election season – not only because of their loss in the Presidential race but because they lost several governorships, including in New Hampshire, capping several years of state-level losses nationwide.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New state representatives got a crash course in lawmaking on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In preparation for the 2017 legislation session, representatives-elect crowded into a large room in Concord's Legislative Office Building.

One of the incumbents tasked with teaching the newcomers — Rep. Tara Sad — made things interesting, acting out the process of drafting a bill.

"I have a really good idea for a bill," Sad said, playacting to Jill Sieveking, Director of Legislative Office Services. "But I don't know anything about it. Can you help?"

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Raymond Buckley, the longtime leader of New Hampshire’s Democratic party, is now running to be his party’s national chairman. Buckley may lack the name recognition of some of his potential rivals, who include a member of congress, a former presidential candidate and a current cabinet secretary. 

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