Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Campaigning in Hampton, Hillary Clinton criticized republicans for not supporting the Export-Import Bank, which Clinton says has helped produce hundreds of millions of dollars of exports from N.H. businesses.

Clinton met with local businesspeople at the Smuttynose Brewery.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Senate Capital Budget Committee voted along party lines on Thursday to not spend $4 million to study building a commuter rail from Boston to New Hampshire.

Democrats proposed the measure, which Governor Maggie Hassan included the money in her state budget, saying a rail would boost the state’s economy.

flickr

All week long, we've has been looking at how disparities in early childhood can shape a child’s chances for later in life.

Issues surrounding what some call the opportunity gap and others call inequality of opportunity, are common concerns of politicians in both parties these days, starting at the very top.

NHPR Staff

 

In her second visit to New Hampshire since announcing her presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to visit the Seacoast area Friday for campaign events focused on small businesses.

Her campaign says she will visit Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton for a discussion with community members focused on business regulations, taxes and growing a small business. In the afternoon, Clinton will attend an organizing meeting with campaign supporters in Exeter. The campaign has not released details on the location of the Exeter event.

Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Whether or not to spend $4 million to study the impact of bringing commuter rail service from Boston to New Hampshire is coming up for debate before a key Senate committee

The Senate Capital Budget committee will meet Thursday afternoon as it finalizes a proposal for capital spending projects in the next 2-year state budget. The capital budget also includes spending on projects such as a new courthouse and a new women's prison in Concord.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Republican Jeb Bush is back in New Hampshire.

The likely presidential candidate told an audience in Bedford that the GOP field has a lot of talkers but he’s delivered results.

At the Bedford home of BAE Systems executive and former Republican Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh, Bush stressed his efforts to bring greater choice and accountability to Florida’s education system as that state’s governor, telling voters it was emblematic of his approach to leadership.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

On Wednesday the Senate Finance Committee restored millions of dollars for elderly services, the developmentally disabled and substance abuse treatment that was cut by the House.

This includes $23 million for developmental services, $2.9 million for substance abuse treatment and $4 million for emergency shelters. However, these numbers are less than what the Governor proposed in her version. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is questioning whether Congressman Frank Guinta can still do his job after settling with the Federal Elections Commission over illegal campaign donations. 

Last week Guinta agreed to pay back the more than $355,000 he used from his parents to fund his 2010 campaign. He must also pay a $15,000 fine.

Hassan joins  House Speaker Shawn Jasper, Senate President Chuck Morse and U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte in questioning Guinta’s ability to legislate.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan has signed into law a bill that allows the state to back $28 million in bonds to help pay for the redevelopment of the Balsams.

The resort closed in 2011.  And Hassan says re-opening it is worth the state’s investment.

“It is so important that we find a way to redevelop the Balsams it has been such an anchor for the economy up there, and that of course has a ripple effect for the whole state."

The state-backed bond will help Maine businessman Les Otten fund the $143 million he estimates is needed to reopen the Dixville Notch resort.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate budget writers are trying to make good on a promise to fully restore dedicated funds aimed to promote renewable energy.

Last week Senate budget writers fully restored the $50 million the House raided from the renewable energy fund but Wednesday voted to redirect $1.5 million towards homeland security.

Democrat Hosmer of Laconia said the move contradicts the Senate’s stated position on dedicated funds.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

House Speaker John Boehner has given an indirect answer to whether embattled New Hampshire Republican congressman Frank Guinta should remain in Congress.

Boehner says lawmakers must meet the highest ethical standards. The Ohio Republican says he hasn’t reviewed all the details of Guinta’s case yet but plans to do that soon.

The Federal Election Commission says Guinta illegally accepted campaign contributions from his parents and has been fined $15,000.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

Senate budget writers are putting the final touches on their version of New Hampshire's next 2-year budget.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets Tuesday to finalize revenue projections for the next biennium. Those numbers will determine how much more money Senate budget writers have to spend than their House counterparts, who finalized their own $11.2 billion budget in April.

Sheryl Senter for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Republican Party's Executive Committee has declined to ask U.S. Rep Frank Guinta to resign, despite calls from fellow Republicans that he step down after the Federal Election Commission found he broke the law by accepting campaign donations from his parents.

Guinta said he'll remain in office. The committee, meeting Monday night, stated Guinta answered its questions, is accountable to his constituents, and would be available to answer their questions.

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte sat down with medical staff and first responders at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester on Monday to discuss the growing number of infants being exposed to heroin and other opioids in the womb.

Ayotte announced she is co-sponsoring legislation along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to address this issue. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the wake of recent developments around Federal Election Commission rules, Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling on Representative Frank Guinta to step down.

Ayotte says she spoke with Guinta over the weekend, telling him, "if she was in his position she would resign."

Guinta has been fined $15,000 and must pay back the more than $355,000  his parents contributed to his 2010 campaign.

N.H. Senate President Chuck Morse along with N.H. House Speaker Shawn Jasper are also calling for his resignation. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It’s been a tough few days for first district congressman Frank Guinta. First, the news that the Federal Elections Commission found Guinta violated campaign finance laws by accepting $355,000 money from his parents in 2010,  then Joe McQuaid, publisher of The Union Leader ran a six word editorial: "Frank Guinta is a damned liar." Shortly after, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte said Guinta owes voters a full accounting.

 

Money to promote New Hampshire as a tourist destination remains in limbo as lawmakers put together a budget for the next two years.

Under state law, a percentage of the state's rooms and meals tax goes to the state Division of Travel and Tourism for marketing. But the House budget would suspend that law and allocate $1 million a year, compared the $4.7 million in Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposal.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be back in the state next week.

Her campaign announced the former Secretary of State will return to New Hampshire May 22.

The campaign did not provide details about the time or location of her campaign visit.

This will mark Clinton’s second trip to the state since formally announcing her bid for president.

She held roundtable discussions in Keene and Concord last month.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says many Americans living in cities are worse off than they were eight years ago, and Democrats in Washington wasted a chance to stop that from happening.

The former Baltimore mayor is considering a run against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Congressman Frank Guinta took $355,000 in illegal donations from his parents in 2009 and 2010, and that’s the conclusion of and FEC investigation.  Guinta, who had long denied he’s taken money from his parents, has agreed to pay that money back, plus a $15,000 fine. NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Federal Elections Commission says U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta illegally accepted more than $300,000 in campaign donations from his parents in 2010.

Questions over Guinta's finances arose in 2010, the year the Republican was first elected to Congress. He was defeated in 2012, but reclaimed the seat in November.

Associated Press

Campaigning in Londonderry, GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul went after fellow republican Jeb Bush on privacy issues, and said he will lead the filibuster effort against any extension of the Patriot Act.

The Kentucky Senator Paul ask voters to be wary of would-be presidents who, as he put it, don’t support  'the entire bill of rights.'

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire has a reputation as a place where liberties are prized yet it’s the only New England state where possessing even a small amount of marijuana remains a crime that can land people in jail. A bill before the state’s GOP-controlled legislature would change that, but first it needs to win the backing of Governor Hassan.

josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie’s first stop was the Farnum Center drug and alcohol treatment facility in Manchester. He stressed addition can affect anyone, and that recovery is possible.

"I just believe everybody deserves a second chance, that everybody deserves to understand that this is treatable."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill allowing doctors to prescribe the overdose reversal drug Narcan may soon become law after the Senate passed the measure on Thursday.

If Governor Maggie Hassan signs off on the legislation– doctors across the state will be able to put Narcan in the hands of family, friends and users. Currently first responders and law enforcement are allowed to administer it.

The Governor would not say if she would back the bill but said she will closely review it.

Republican Andy Sanborn of Bedford says this bill is about saving lives.

Sara Plourde

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing to get rid of a law put on the books last year allowing facilities that provide abortions to create 25-foot protest buffer zones.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar buffer zone law in Massachusetts last year, shortly after New Hampshire's law was passed. Since the decision, no New Hampshire facilities have put up the buffer zones. The House has already voted in support of a full repeal, and senators are taking up the repeal bill Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is returning to New Hampshire as he struggles to press forward with a likely presidential bid following indictments in the 2013 George Washington Bridge scandal.

The Republican will be in the early-voting state Thursday and Friday for several events.

The trip will include a visit to a drug treatment center and a keynote speech at a Lincoln Day dinner. He'll also lead another happy hour-timed town hall Friday at Fury's Publick House bar in Dover.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House has again voted to make fetal homicide a crime.

Lawmakers voted 193-159 on Wednesday to amend the Senate’s version, which applies the law to fetuses which have reached the stage of viability.  

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