Politics

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

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers will hear testimony this week on bills on marijuana policy, the state’s business taxes and eligibility for food stamps.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted Thursday to kill a controversial Right-to-Work bill, as divisions within the Republican party ultimately sank the measure.

NHPR Staff

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she's disappointed that Gov. Chris Sununu hasn't been more forceful in rebutting voter fraud allegations in New Hampshire.

President Donald Trump says he lost New Hampshire in November because thousands of people came by bus to vote against him. Shaheen, a Democrat, says Trump is making that up. On Wednesday, she told reporters that it's disappointing that Sununu — a Republican who was elected in November — hasn't been stronger about pushing back.

josh rogers\nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu's pick to be New Hampshire's education commissioner, was approved by the executive council today.

The 3-2 vote confirming Frank Edelblut came a day after the State Board of Education wrote to Sununu expressing reservations about Edelblut's qualifications.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House will consider more than 50 bills Wednesday ranging, from policies for drones to regulations for veterinarians.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

While President Trump and some of his allies perpetuate the (unverified and unsubstantiated) idea that out-of-state voters are being sent across the border en masse to throw New Hampshire elections, we were wondering: What can we actually know about the people who are showing up to register for the first time on Election Day?

NHPR Staff

A new bill proposing that grandparents play a bigger role in guardianship cases involving their grandchildren had its first hearing at the State House Tuesday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu presented his $12 billion, 2-year state spending proposal to House and Senate budget writers for the first time Tuesday.

josh rogers\nhpr

The Executive Council was set to confirm Frank Edelblut at its last meeting, when councilor Andru Volinsky, a democrat who opposes Edelblut, questioned if the Governor had met his legal obligation to "consult" the state board of education about the nomination.

Sununu had spoken with the board's chairman, but decided to postpone the vote until he could meet with the whole board.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New Hampshire's budget process continues this week as House Finance members now take a crack at crafting a new state spending plan.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A new poll from the University of New Hampshire shows Granite Staters are split in their opinion of President Donald Trump’s performance in office so far.

Less than a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, 48 percent of New Hampshire residents disapprove of the job he’s doing, while 43 percent say they approve of his performance.

He didn't talk about it much as a candidate but as Governor Chris Sununu has made passage of a right-to-work law a top priority.

Sununu invoked it in his inauguraul address and in a speech at the state GOP's annual meeting. Right to work cleared the senate but may be losing steam in the house, where the labor committee voted to reject it by a 2-1 margin. The full house votes on it next week. Sununu says he expects a tight vote but won't take the lead in workign to convince those still on the fence.  

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu laid out his 2-year budget proposal Thursday afternoon at the State House.

The plan comes in at roughly $12 billion with increased spending for public kindergarten, state infrastructure and the opioid crisis.

http://aliengearholsters.com/

A bill doing away with the permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm is headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk after the House voted in favor of it Thursday. 

Plenty of lawmakers didn’t make it to through the snow to the State House Thursday, but the House still managed to pass a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s concealed carry law.

Speaking just before the roll call, Representative John Burt urged the House to vote as it had before.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

Dairy farmers in the Granite State hurt by the recent drought are one step closer to a helping hand after the senate voted in favor of a financial relief program Thursday.

Hannah McCarthy for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu delivered his budget address Thursday, outlining his priorities as the state Legislature kicks off its biannual budget writing cycle.

NHPR's newsroom has been reporting on what to expect this budget season — you can find a rundown on that right here — and now, we're offering more context on the things Sununu mentioned in the budget address itself.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A New Hampshire House Committee is recommending against passage of Right-to- Work legislation, which would prohibit unions from forcing non-union members to pay fees to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

Members of the House Labor Committee voted 14-7, with many Republicans joining Democrats in opposition to the often partisan issue.

The bill next heads to the full House, which will take up the measure next week.

Hundreds of opponents filled Representatives Hall in Concord Wednesday, many wearing red t-shirts, to voice their concerns to lawmakers.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

A paid family and medical leave bill won’t be voted on this year, despite community and bipartisan support. Representative Mary Gile, the primary sponsor of the bill, is still holding out hope for its future.

The bill, which would establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program in New Hampshire, was given a consolation prize in committee on Tuesday. Legislators voted to retain the bill, meaning that it will move to a subcommittee for further deliberation, and be voted on next year.

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu delivers his budget proposal to lawmakers this week. It’s the first step in a months-long journey to build a two-year spending plan that will affect nearly every aspect of life in New Hampshire.

To help you prepare for the months of headlines to come, NHPR reporters are highlighting areas of the budget that are likely to generate the most discussion.

 

No one has ever called crafting a state budget easy. There are thousands of decisions and myriad competing interests. And for a new governor, there is also the crunch of getting it all done and printed a mere six weeks after taking office.

But if Gov. Chris Sununu is at all anxious about his final product, he isn’t showing it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

While Representative Norman Silber, a first-term Republican from Gilford, initially hoped to get rid of same-day voter registration, he now says it seems like more trouble than it’s worth at this time.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At first glance, one of the voting bills introduced by Representative David Bates this week would seem to be just a minor change, removing just four words from an existing statute.

The Windham Republican wants to strike part of the state law defining what it means to be a resident or inhabitant, or what it means to claim residency — specifically, the part that extends that definition to include people who intend to remain in New Hampshire "for the indefinite future." Those definitions, in turn, are used to help decide who’s eligible to vote in New Hampshire.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire’s alcohol fund, which takes a small portion of state liquor sale revenues and puts it towards substance abuse prevention and treatment, has only been fully funded once since it was created in 2000. 

But one Keene lawmaker wants to change that.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for anyone following potential changes to the state’s election laws. At least 17 such bills are on deck for public hearings before House and Senate committees — a majority of which seek to restrict existing rules around voting.

joshrogers\nhpr

Four of the last five governors have used judicial selection commissions to help them find and vet possible judges. Governor Sununu says relying on outside advice, from lawyers, businesspeople and law enforcement worked for his predecessors, and helps inspire public confidence in the court system.

"It’s as system that's worked very well, and to make sure you are not just putting your political friends in there.  That's not the way we do things in NH, and so we thought the judicial selection commission was a great mechanism to ensure that type of transparency."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers face a stack of bills this week ranging election law, drug policy and child protection policies.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

It's a rite of passage in New Hampshire -- every year, hundreds of fourth graders make a pilgrimage to Concord for a State House tour. In this audio postcard, students from Woodland Heights Elementary School in Laconia learn the basics of law making -- and how to make their voices heard.

Scroll down for a 360 degree photo of the students in the N.H. Senate chamber.

CREDIT BIBLIOHOLIC / FLICKER CC

The New Hampshire House passed a pair of education bills Thursday that focused on parental control.

One would require school districts to give parents two weeks notice before teaching lessons involving sex.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

At the New Hampshire State House, lawmakers don’t limit debate to bills and the budget. Control of square footage in the building itself can be as controversial as any partisan policy. I took a tour with a man who has a set of keys to the shared rental.

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