Politics

Politics
8:50 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Cruz Returns To N.H. -- This Time As A Presidential Candidate

Texas Senator Ted Cruz greets supporters in Merrimack during his first visit to New Hampshire since announcing his presidential candidacy.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in New Hampshire for the first time since he announced his bid for President on Monday.

Ted Cruz made his first stop at a VFW hall in Merrimack where he told the hundred plus crowd that the country needs a president who honors the logic of the founders.

“This country was built on a promise. It was built on an extraordinary idea that our rights don’t come from government they come from God and our founding documents, the declaration, the constitution were designed to rein in government and protect those God-given rights, ” Cruz said on Friday.

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Politics
12:07 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

N.H. Chapter Of Conservative Group Endorses House Finance Budget

AFP State Director Greg Moore says the House budget is fiscally responsible.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers,  are behind the House Finance version of the state's spending plan, which passed committee along party lines Thursday. 

The $11 billion budget trimmed hundreds of millions from Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposal including reducing spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation and University funding.

AFP State Director Greg Moore said the budget isn’t perfect but it is fiscally responsible.

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Politics
9:17 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Gov. Hassan: Cuts In House Budget 'Unneccesary,' New Revenue Needed

Gov. Maggie Hassan
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

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Politics
6:12 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

House Budget Clears Committee -- Again

The revised version of the House budget passes along party lines with reductions to University System funding and the renewable energy fund.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has voted along party lines to send an $11 billion state spending plan to the full House, for a second time. 

For the past week or so Finance Chairman Neal Kurk has described this budget as “business as usual.”

But cobbling together this year's budget wasn't easy, as lawmakers scrambled to find money to fill a $68 million hole needed to avert deep layoffs in the Department of Transportation, after Kurk’s plan to hike the gasoline tax failed to gain traction.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Gas Tax Falls Flat In N.H. House

The House Finance Committee are scheduled to meet Thursday to decide how to put more funds from the budget into the Department of Transportation.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House Finance Committee is heading back to the drawing board to come up with the money to avert deep funding cuts and hundreds of layoffs within New Hampshire's Department of Transportation.

DOT officials say the $88 million reduction from the Governor's proposed budget would result in more than 700 layoffs and severely limit road maintenance. 

During Wednesday's House session, House Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson disallowed the debate over the gas tax, he said, for procedural reasons 

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Politics
3:49 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Bill Sponsor Apologizes To 4th Graders For Lawmakers' Behavior

Rep. Renny Cushing of Hampton apologizes to 4th grade class for the "distasteful" debate last week on its bird bill.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House tried to put to rest the continued controversy of a bill it killed last week making the red-tailed hawk the state's official raptor.  

During the debate Representative Warren Groen compared the violent bird to Planned Parenthood. Other representatives mocked the idea, which came from a 4th grade class in Hampton Falls. 

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Politics
9:04 am
Wed March 25, 2015

N.H. House To Take Up Gas Tax Increase

Credit upupa4me via Flickr CC

 

Republican House budget writers are hoping to convince their colleagues to support an increase in the state's gas tax to avoid hundreds of layoffs and decreased road maintenance.

The House will debate the gas tax as part of a bill cutting $88 million from Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposed budget for the Department of Transportation. That cut would significantly lower what is in the state's highway fund, which officials say would have dire consequences for basic road and bridge maintenance.

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Politics
6:47 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

House Budget Clears Committee, Heads To Floor

Republican Richard Barry of Merrimack addresses the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee has wrapped up its work on the state budget proposal, which now heads to the House floor next week. 

The roughly $11 billion budget cleared the committee Tuesday with all Republican backing – undoing many spending increases from the Governor.  

They spent $88 million less for the Department of Transportation, $46 million for education aid and $140 million less for the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Politics
8:38 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Fate Of Probable Cause Hearings In N.H. Unclear

The House Finance Committee works to finalize the House budget proposal on March 23, 2015.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

House budget writers are backing a proposal that would eliminate probable cause hearings for those facing felony charges in New Hampshire. 

The House Finance Committee voted in favor of the measure on Monday,  saying the change would save the state money. Meanwhile criminal defense lawyers say it will make it harder for anyone charged with a felony.

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Politics
7:54 am
Mon March 23, 2015

On The Political Front: Gas Tax Hike May Be Tough Sell Among House Republicans

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the politics behind a push for an increase to the gas tax from the head of the House Finance Committee. 

The Finance Committee in the New Hampshire House hopes to finish its work on the House’s budget this week. Some of their decisions have been controversial, and there’s even been talk that mustering the votes to pass a budget in the House may be tough.

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Politics
6:20 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Cruz First Major Candidate To Jump Into 2016 Race

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says in a Twitter message that he is running for president.

Cruz released an early morning tweet on Monday confirming what had long been an expected White House run from the tea party favorite. He becomes the first major candidate for president when he launches his campaign and a rush of more than a dozen White House hopefuls into the 2016 campaign is expected in the next few weeks.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Likely 2016 Hopeful Rand Paul Makes Another N.H. Visit

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said in Manchester on Friday that he has yet to officially announce whether he would be running for president in 2016, but says he will announce soon.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul returns to New Hampshire just a day after hiring two key state staffers as he gears up for his anticipated presidential campaign. 

But despite recent media reports, the Republican has not officially announced his candidacy, but said he expects to announce in the coming weeks.

While attending an event at the Manchester internet service provider Dyn on Friday, Paul praised the initiative nature of the tech industry - saying that it does not just rely on government to fix its problems. 

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Politics
8:08 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Update: Speaker Demands Apology For Abortion Remark During Debate Over Fourth Graders' Bird Bill

Speaker Shawn Jasper
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated at 3:45 PM:

N.H. House speaker Shawn Jasper is demanding an apology from the state rep who made an abortion remark during debate over the bill proposed by fourth graders to designate the Red Tailed Hawk as the state's official raptor. 

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Politics
6:18 am
Fri March 20, 2015

House Asks N.H. Supreme Court To Weigh In On Proposed Voting Rules For Out-Of-State Students

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on a bill requiring people registering to vote — including out-of-state students or military personnel — to also register their cars and obtain drivers' licenses in New Hampshire.

The request for an advisory opinion was made in writing Wednesday and made public by the court Thursday.

A New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union lawyer says including the drivers' license requirement in establishing a voter's eligibility amounts to a poll tax that forces people to pay the state to vote.

Politics
11:40 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Trump Tells N.H. Republicans Interest In Presidential Bid No Joke

Businessman Donald Trump stops in New Hampshire Thursday night as he considers to run for president in 2016.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Celebrity businessman Donald Trump joined fellow Republicans at a house party in Amherst, New Hampshire Thursday night while he continues to toy with the idea of running for president in 2016.

But this isn’t the first time Trump has flirted with the idea of running for President.

Four years ago he visited New Hampshire, but this time he took a step forward by forming an exploratory committee and hiring  staff in early voting states.

At the Amherst home of state representative Stephen Stepanek, Trump told Republicans that he would "make America rich again."

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Politics
1:09 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

N.H. House Finance Chair Calls On Republicans To Back Gas Tax

House Finance Committee voted 15-11 on Thursday in favor of a measure that would cut $88 million in DOT funding from the Governor's proposed budget.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill that would cut more than $88 million from the Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposed transportation funding will move to the House floor.

The House Finance Committee voted 15 -11 along party lines Thursday in favor of a measure, critics say would send a blow to New Hampshire’s infrastructure.

Deputy Commissioner of the DOT Patrick McKenna said these cuts would lead to more than 600 layoffs, the closure of nearly 200 bridges and devastate the state’s maintenance and plowing operations.

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Politics
7:06 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Trump Visits New Hampshire As He Eyes Presidential Bid — Again

Donald Trump
Credit Wikipedia

 

Real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump is heading to New Hampshire as he again considers a presidential run.

Trump will attend a reception Thursday at the Amherst home of Republican state Rep. Steve Stepanek.

The visit comes one day after Trump announced plans to form a presidential exploratory committee, allowing him to raise money and hire staff as he weighs a White House bid. Trump says he's already hired political aides in the key early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

N.H. House Finance Chairman Says Transportation Cuts Will Pass Committee

The N.H. House Finance Committee debates cutting more than $88 million in Department of Transportation funding from the Governor's proposed budget.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Department of Transportation is warning New Hampshire House budget writers from voting to slash more than $88 million in funding from the Governor’s proposed budget.

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote on the bill Thursday morning.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Patrick McKenna said he is appalled by the cuts,  adding that it would result in the loss of more than 600 jobs, the closure of hundreds of bridges and would drastically affect the state's infrastructure by limiting road maintenance and plowing. 

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Politics
6:19 am
Wed March 18, 2015

House Budget Writers To Vote On Transportation Cuts

Credit NHPR Staff

 

House budget writers are preparing to vote on whether to cut millions of dollars from the Department of Transportation's budget, forcing layoffs and a decline in road maintenance.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

N.H. House Budget Writers Slash H.H.S. Funding

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.

So far the House Finance Committee is proposing roughly $117 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”

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Politics
4:30 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Transportation Officials To Committee: $41M Cut Would Lead To Layoffs, Safety Hazards

Credit Alex1961 via Flickr CC

New Hampshire transportation officials say a $41 million budget cut proposed by House budget writers would have dire consequences on public safety and result in more than 300 layoffs.

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Politics
4:24 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

In N.H., Cruz Says GOP Needs Conservative Nominee

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Ted Cruz says history shows the GOP has been ill-served by presidential candidates based on their perceived electability.

Cruz favors abolishing the IRS in favor of a flat tax, and repeatedly said he plays to repeal every word fo so-called Obamacare, says the way to to avoid what he called the mushy middle,  is draw a line in the sand and make the race a clear choice. If that happens, Cruz says, the right sort of conservative would win broad support.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Sanders In N.H. -- Still Pondering 2016 Presidential Bid

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders attended a "Pints and Politics" event at The Barley House in Concord Monday afternoon. He has yet to decide if he will run for president in 2016.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is making stops in the Granite State Monday as he continues to flirt with the idea of whether to run in next year’s presidential race.

The Senator says having the funds to support a competitive campaign is one of the major issues holding him back.

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Politics
8:20 am
Mon March 16, 2015

On The Political Front: In NH, Bush, Walker Lay Groundwork For Presidential Run

Jeb Bush
Credit NHPR / Josh Rogers

It’s Monday morning. NHPR’s Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition to discuss developments on NH’s political front.

Lots of political activity over the weekend Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz all paying their respects to local Republicans. House budget writers busy. Let’s start with presidential politics.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Riding High Into N.H., Walker Pushes Back On Alleged Flip-Flops

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker arrived in New Hampshire preaching small government and working to rebut claims he’s changed his stances on key issues.

His surging popularity among Republicans was on full display in Concord.

Unions protested outside his speech; Republicans inside cheered as Walker called for tax cuts and “eradicating” terrorism.

“We need a commander-in-chief who stands up and once and for all says our biggest problem is radical Islamic terrorism and we are going to do whatever it takes to weed it out all over the world.”

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Politics
11:15 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Jeb Bush Touches Down In N.H

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Easygoing amid a swarm of media, the former Florida Governor chose a Hudson biotech firm for his first  N.H. stop in his likely presidential bid.

"I am joyfully pursuing the possibility of this," Bush said.

Along they way, Bush talked policy with members of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce. He faced questions on education and immigration, areas where his views are at odds with many conservatives in his party.

The  “grown up” approach to immigration policy, Bush told the crowd,  is to provide  undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Shaheen Staffers Leave To Join Clinton's Likely 2016 Presidential Campaign

Credit U.S. Department of State

Two prominent staffers in U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office will be leaving to lead Hillary Clinton’s efforts in New Hampshire as she prepares for her likely 2016 presidential bid.

Mike Vlacich was Shaheen’s 2014 campaign manager and Kari Thurman served as the campaign’s political director.

Vlacich received national attention last fall after defending Shaheen’s seat against well-funded Republican challenger Scott Brown.  

Shaheen, who was in the Granite State this week, tells NHPR she wishes her fellow employees all the best.

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Politics
6:19 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Senators Narrowly Pass Two-Casino Bill

Credit SalFalko via Flickr CC

 

Senators gave initial approval to legalizing two casinos, giving another shot at life to a perennial New Hampshire issue.

The two-casino bill passed the chamber Thursday by a single vote, 13-11, and will now be sent to the House. Casinos have often found support in the Senate but the House has never voted to legalize any casinos.

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan supports a single casino as a means to bring new, non-tax revenue into the state, but she has not said whether she would sign a bill for two.

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Politics
5:03 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

N.H. Senate Passes Fetal Homicide Bill

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Senators have joined the House in supporting efforts to create a crime of fetal homicide, which would allow charges to be brought for the death of a fetus in certain cases, excluding abortion or other medical procedures.  

Thirty eight states have some type of fetal homicide law. The version passed by senators Thursday applies the death of a fetus that has reached the stage of viability - when it can live outside the womb. A House version passed Wednesday applies the law to fetuses past eight weeks of development. 

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Politics
4:41 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Fails In N.H. House

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

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