Politics

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

NAMI New Hampshire

When we think about gun deaths in the United States, we usually think about mass shootings, like the one last week in Santa Fe, Texas -- tragedies that have deeply divided the country.

But in New Hampshire, most gun deaths are suicides.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a bill that would boost pay for state workers, end litigation with New Hampshire's hospitals, fix decaying bridges and fatten the state's rainy day fund.

And top lawmakers are confident the bill will win passage next week.

The $102 million dollar package pays for what negotiators considered musts: the new state employees contract and the Medicaid settlement.

But it also spends on a few pet initiatives, like recovery friendly workplaces. Governor Sununu wanted that one.

via Twitter

Marty Boldin, Gov. Chris Sununu’s top drug policy advisor, has been on paid administrative leave since the end of April.

But at least one month before that, concerns about Boldin’s behavior came to the attention of the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to interviews and an email obtained by NHPR.

Wikimedia

A controversial bill to restrict residency rules for voting is on its way to the state Supreme Court for a review. The Executive Council voted along party lines on Wednesday to approve Gov. Chris Sununu’s request to ask the court to look into House Bill 1264’s constitutionality.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Negotiators have reached agreement on a proposal to eliminate cash bail for most New Hampshire offenders. The plan won strong support from lawmakers but was reworked to address concerns of prosecutors and police.

Senate Bill 556 aimed to eliminate cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors so long as a judge ruled them not dangerous. In its current form, the elimination of bail with cash or conditions would only apply to Class B misdemeanors, crimes which carry no jail time.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of nearly identical bills to restrict residency requirements for voting coasted through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.  But now, both are running into roadblocks near the finish line.

House Bill 372 and House Bill 1264 both aim to impose stricter residency standards for voting in New Hampshire by changing the state’s definition of who counts as a “resident.” 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate will meet Tuesday to hash out differences over an $87 million dollar spending bill.

The plan would boost pay for state workers, settle a lawsuit with New Hampshire hospitals, and fix decaying bridges, among other things. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review whether proposed voting residency bills are constitutional.

But Representative David Bates, a Republican from Windham who sponsored one of the bills, contends the court is unlikely to intervene. He says the court declined last session to review a different voting bill, citing pending litigation.

Lincoln Soldati for Congress Facebook Page

In this Race for the 1st conversation, The Exchange on Monday interviews Lincoln Soldati, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Soldati served nine terms as Strafford County Attourney, and has worked as a trial lawyer, teacher, and public servant. As Strafford County Attourney, he created the Victim Assistance protocol. Soldati is a U.S. Army veteran, and served from 1969 to 1971. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand rolled out a new plan designed to give New Hampshire politicians more incentive to raise campaign money from small-dollar, in-state campaign donations instead of wealthy donors, lobbyists and corporate PACs.

“If somebody’s unable to give at least $250 or more, generally you’re told by your campaign staff and advisers that they are not worth calling or spending time trying to get money from,” Marchand told reporters on a press call outlining his new plan.

We take a break from our Race for the 1st series to look at the candidates for Congressional District 2. Annie Kuster (D), the incumbent, will be challenged by Steve Negron, a State Representative from Nashua, VA whistleblower and physician Dr. Stewart Levenson of Hopkinton, and Captain Lynne Blankenbeker, who recently retired from a career as a military nurse and lives in Concord. Political reporter Paul Steinhauser joins us to discuss the race. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate approved an expansion to the state's education tax credit program Thursday.

Under the existing program, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make a donation to scholarships that qualifying families can use for educational purposes including private school tuition and homeschooling.

Naomi Andrews

 

Retiring New Hampshire U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s chief of staff is throwing her hat in the ring for her boss’ congressional seat. Democrat Naomi Andrews joins eight Democrats and three Republicans in the September primary. 

 

Andrews, who is from Epping, said in a campaign video (scroll down to watch it) that her experience working for Shea Porter has taught her how to win in this tough swing district. 

 

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

One of two bills seeking to tighten New Hampshire’s residency standards for voting eligibility passed the State Senate on Wednesday after an hour-long debate during which Democrats accused Republicans of voter suppression and Republicans accused Democrats of promoting false narratives about what the legislation would actually do.

Courtesy, Human Society

The New Hampshire House on Wednesday approved an amended animal cruelty bill that backers say protects the due process rights of pet owners.

The bill, which passed the House on 222-111 vote, is substantially different than a Senate-backed bill, setting up a potential impasse on final legislation.

A bill that would have created a school choice program in New Hampshire based on education savings accounts was voted down in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The vote on SB 193 capped off a long and winding journey for a controversial piece of legislation that was originally introduced in January of 2017.

Given the deep field of candidates and its reputation as "the swingiest congressional district in the nation," New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District has attracted most of the spotlight this year, when it comes to campaign fundraising or otherwise. But there’s also plenty of money flowing into the 2nd Congressional District race — most of it going through the campaign bank account of incumbent Congresswoman Annie Kuster.

via bruce2018.com

Another Republican is joining the crowded race for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District seat.

Hampton Falls businessman Bruce Crochetiere is selling himself to voters as a candidate who is “not even close” to being a politician.

“We don’t need to just promote another politician. We need a fresh voice from an outsider, a completely different kind of leadership,” Crochetiere says in a campaign video.

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto a bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. But some of his fellow Republicans say ending capital punishment makes fiscal sense.

They're hoping that argument could, in part, help sway enough votes to overturn a veto.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, The Exchange on Monday interviews Levi Sanders, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

DOE

 

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is heading to New Hampshire for a GOP fundraiser next month.

The outspoken supporter of school choice, school vouchers and charter schools will headline the New Hampshire Republican Party's annual "Spring to Victory" fundraiser May 14 at the Atkinson Country Club.

New Hampshire GOP Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester says DeVos' presence "will serve as a great opportunity to energize and mobilize Granite State Republicans."

Sara Plourde

After years of having to choose between the same two candidates, voters in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional district are now faced with a flood of candidates who want to fill retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's seat. 

As of April 23rd, there are eight Democrats and two Republicans in the race. And with the September primary months away, there's always time for more to join. 

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we check in on the race with NHPR's State of Democracy reporter, Lauren Chooljian, who has been following the candidates and attending forums. We'll talk about campaign spending and various candidate events around the state. 

Democrat Maura Sullivan continues to blitz past all other candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district when it comes to fundraising — and, as was the case during her inaugural months in the race, most of her campaign money continues to come from outside New Hampshire.

Valentina Tabatchikova for NHPR

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump will spend part of Tax Day in New Hampshire. The two White House officials will host a town hall discussion on taxes Tuesday afternoon at the Derry Opera House to highlight passage of the recent tax overhaul.

The event kicks off at 1 pm and will be moderated by former Governor John H. Sununu.

NHPR Staff

Ahead of another student walk out to protest gun violence, around 200 gun rights advocates had their say outside the New Hampshire statehouse Saturday.

The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans organized similar events outside statehouses across the country. Despite biting cold weather, gun owners and second amendment advocates from across New Hampshire showed up to hear a range of speakers and to show opposition to any further firearm restrictions.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A crowd of about 600 New Hampshire Democrats gathered in Nashua for one of their biggest events of the year, the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Deaglan McEachern, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former Missouri Secretary of State (and possible 2020 presidential candidate) Jason Kander is returning to New Hampshire to headline a major Democratic party fundraiser Saturday night. 

But apart from his occasional appearances at party events over the past few months, Kander’s political committee, Let America Vote, has all the while been building an on-the-ground presence in the Granite State: rallying opposition to Republican-backed voting laws at the State House and support for Democratic candidates in local races. 

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