NH Senate

Senate Democrats Outline Priorities

Jan 17, 2013

Senate Democrats say job creation and infrastructure investment are at the top of their to do lists, as the legislative session gets under way.

New Leaders Call for New Tone at Statehouse

Dec 5, 2012
Brady Carlson / NHPR

It's called Organization Day at the Statehouse - it's the day lawmakers are sworn in, leaders are elected, and, as they say, the future is yet unwritten.

NHPR's political reporter Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson with more on the House and Senate leaders and whether their calls for a new tone in the legislature were comments on the previous legislative session.

NH General Court Website

There was a big surprise waiting for New Hampshire politicos this morning. As the final votes were tallied in the four hundred races for the State House of Representatives, the Democrats had won a 221 to 178 majority with one race still undecided.

Prospects of a divided state legislature has both sides singing about bipartisanship. 

Given that many of the races for the NH House are decided by fewer than a hundred voters, there will likely be a couple dozen recounts.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Races for State House and Senate were still wrapping up early this morning. Republicans lost some ground in the House, but we’re still learning how many seats were gained by Democrats.To start with, the Speaker of the House, Bill O’Brien, was reelected. He finished second to a Democrat in a two-member district.

Democrat Woodburn Takes North Country's Senate Seat

Nov 7, 2012

Democrat Jeff Woodburn of Dalton has won the senate race in the North Country, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press.

With 90 percent of the precincts reporting Woodburn had 13,664 votes.

That compared to 9,071 for Republican Debi Warner of Littleton.

The senate seat was vacated by Republican John Gallus of Berlin who chose not to seek re-election.

WMUR Granite State Poll / UNH Survey Center

The second in a series of polls out this week from WMUR and the UNH Survey Center predicts that Democrats will win the governorship and majorities in both the House and Senate.

This is the fourth poll in a row that shows a widening lead for Democrats in the “generic ballot” question: that’s to say “will you be voting for the Democrat or the Republican in your local House or Senate race?”

Analyst Dean Spiliotes talks with Morning Edition's Rick Ganley about some Granite State Senate races to watch this election season.

Courtesy Photo

This year there are nine state senators not returning to their seats. Most of the chairs are being vacated by Republicans, and that’s got Democrats banking on winning some of those seats back. And in district 7, one traditionally red seat is up for grabs.

With eight incumbent Republicans leaving their seats, and only one Democrat, even Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley will tell you it’s not an ideal situation.

WMUR Granite State Poll

The latest WMUR Granite State Poll predicts that if the election were held tomorrow, New Hampshire Democrats would win a majority in the State House and the Senate.

UNH survey center pollster Andy Smith says his model predicts 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the Senate, and 204 Democrats to 196 Republicans in the House.

Toben Hansen / Flickr/Creative Commons

The House and Senate reached agreement today on a medical marijuana bill

This final version would allow patients with a doctor’s prescription to possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Medicinal use would only be granted to people with debilitating conditions or terminal diseases.

Senator James Forsythe, a Republican from Strafford, believes the bill is designed to ensure public safety.

The flurry of activity continues at the New Hampshire statehouse. NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest, including a Senate vote on a constitutional amendment to ban personal income taxes, a proposal to track prescription drugs and several House bills related to abortion.

The Senate has unanimously voted against a bill that would have prohibited the use of International Baccalaureate curriculum in New Hampshire Schools.

The state's IB program became controversial after parents in Bedford and Merrimack complained that it has political, anti-american overtones.

But even Senators who have concerns, like Republican Jim Forsythe, decided Wednesday not to supersede local schools’ decision to use IB.

It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.

NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.

Senator John Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, was one of nine Senators who voted to kill a resolution voicing support of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

The motion to kill the resolution failed 15 – 9.

Then, the motion of support was approved on a voice vote for which there is no record of how senators voted.

Less than two weeks after Sen. John Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, said he wouldn’t seek another term representing the North Country two Democrats say they would like to take his place.

They are Jeff Woodburn and Paul Ingersoll, each of whom has previously served in the House of Representatives.

Woodburn, 47, is a free-lance reporter and owns White Mountain News.com.  Before that he had a real estate business focusing on historical buildings and was a teacher. The Whitefield native lives with his family in Dalton.

North Country's Gallus To Retire From Senate

Apr 26, 2012

Sen. John Gallus, who has represented the North Country in the Senate for about a decade, is retiring.

“I’ve been in the legislature going on 13 years and it is time to call it quits and go fishing,” he told NHPR.

After serving in the House, Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, was elected to the Senate in November 2002 to represent  District  One.

The core of district is the North Country but it runs south to the Waterville Valley.

He said changes to the district were not a factor.

Nine of the fifteen North Country representatives voting on Wednesday were in favor of Senate Bill 409 which would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Six representatives voted against the action and one was excused from voting.

Sponsors of the effort included Sen. John Gallus of Berlin as well as Representative Evalyn Merrick, a Democrat from Lancaster.

The bill already passed the Senate and now goes to Gov. Lynch.

High Profile Votes in House and Senate

Mar 29, 2012

It's been a busy week at the statehouse, with high profile votes on issues ranging from redistricting and abortion, to medical marijuana, gambling and school building aid.

NHPR's Josh Rogers has been following the action. He recaps the latest with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.

A busy day at the statehouse today - House lawmakers voted to send money to the  "rainy day fund," and on a raft of other bills. The State Senate, meanwhile, passed a redistricting map and unveiled what Senate President Peter Bragdon called a bipartisan education funding constitutional amendment.

NHPR's Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss the day's action.

The New Hampshire Senate has voted to strengthen the rules for taking private property by eminent domain. But there are questions as to what the wording of the final Senate bill really means.

Mark McCulloch lives in North Stratford, way up North on the Vermont-New Hampshire Border.

His house is smack in the middle of the route for the hydro-electric transmission project, Northern Pass, the 180 mile transmission line that would bring electricity from Canada to New England.

A minor bill to make technical corrections to the budget has caused a rift between Senate and House Republican leadership. The Senate President says the House’s actions yesterday will cost taxpayers several million dollars.

On Wednesday House lawmakers approved a bill that reduces the number of people of eligible for welfare assistance.

The change would save the state about a half a million dollars a month.

The Senate was on board with that move.

But then the House added a completely unrelated amendment, which puts the bill in limbo.

Pages