Politics

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

NHPR Staff

A proposal to require firearm safety training for New Hampshire lawmakers wishing to carry guns on the House floor has been defeated.

Democratic Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff proposed the rule Thursday after a representative dropped her loaded gun during a committee hearing this month.

House rules say lawmakers with the proper license can carry hidden guns in the House chamber. The new rule would have required them to take a speaker-approved gun safety course before being allowed to carry concealed weapons.

All members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation have signed on to a letter to President Trump demanding that he exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs from his executive order freezing federal hiring.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, all Democrats, say a hiring freeze at the VA will delay veterans’ access to health care and resolution of their disability claims.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Windham lawmaker is hoping to rewrite New Hampshire's election laws in an effort to prevent what he calls potential voter fraud.

One of his proposals received some pushback Wednesday particularly from those who would have to abide by one specific change to current law.  

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New Hampshire lawmakers are working to clarify the state’s Rape Shield Law in order to ensure it applies throughout the entire legal process.

DOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT

New Hampshire lawmakers heard several bills Tuesday aimed at retooling how the state pays for public education. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Lawmakers heard input Tuesday on a bill that, if left unchanged, could drastically expand the power of the Secretary of State’s office.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The sponsors of a bill requiring corroboration for sexual assault cases in New Hampshire have pulled their support for the proposal.

NHPR Staff

Top New Hampshire house budget writers had blunt questions for the expert hired to review policy at the state's child protection agency.

Duncan Hull via Flickr CC

Some New Hampshire lawmakers are proposing that the state secede from the populous Eastern Time Zone and join in with Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico on the Atlantic time zone, dropping daylight saving time.

Opponents of daylight saving time argue that traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes increase when we change time.

New England states have considered similar bills before, but they haven't passed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers will tackle an array of issues this week, from barring firearms at polling places to establishing a state minimum wage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers this week will hear about a report released last month which shed a bad light on the state’s child protective services. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In one of his very first acts in office, Governor Chris Sununu called for a 90-day moratorium on new state regulations. But lawmakers who oversee New Hampshire's regulatory process said the new governor Friday: no can do. 

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Organizers of this weekend's Women's March on Washington have taken pains to avoid calling the event-- and the hundreds of "sister marches" planned across the country -- anti-Trump.  As Terie Norelli, former Democratic Speaker of the N.H. House and a longtime state representative,  said on The Exchange this week:

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The New Hampshire Senate has voted on party lines to allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. With Republicans leaders and Governor Chris Sununu favoring the bill, it’s expected to become law.

Similar bills have cleared the GOP-controlled legislatures in the past but have been vetoed by Democratic governors. With Governor Sununu promising to sign this bill, Republicans are moving fast. Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley is the bill's lead sponsor.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is asking Congress to give states as much flexibility as possible to design their own health care systems as part of the federal effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sununu is offering his thoughts in a letter to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent Wednesday. Congress is soliciting governors' feedback on changes to health care. Sununu says a new system should avoid "onerous regulations" on states.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has narrowly approved a bill to limit the power of unions to charge non-members for representation.

Related: Click here to see a New Hampshire Right-to-Work explainer 

 

The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.

 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated longtime state fire marshall Bill Degnan to another term.

Degnan has held the job since 2004 but his reappointment caused a feud in the state firefighting community.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Frank Edelblut is a staunch school choice advocate who homeschooled his seven children. Governor Sununu says Edeblut's experiences, which include no professional work in education, make him a good pick for education commissioner.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

Officials with the University System of New Hampshire tell lawmakers they'll freeze in-state tuition for the next two years -- if they get more money in the next state budget.  

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a bill that would require corroborating evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Due to what he says is a projected budget shortfall, Gov. Chris Sununu is calling on state commissioners to hold off on new hiring for the next six months. 

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As President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration approaches this weekend, Washington is bracing itself for “hundreds of thousands” of inaugural attendees and protestors – a crowd that will likely include more than a few Granite Staters.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Lawmakers have decided that, for the time being, New Hampshire will only be accepting a portion of a federal grant intended to help the state Medical Examiner work through a backlog of opioid-related autopsies. 

Attorney General Joseph Foster met with resistance during Friday’s fiscal committee meeting in Concord when he requested that the state accept approximately $285,000 in federal grant money to aid the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Courtesy

It’s been a busy week in Washington, D.C. Lawmakers have heard from some of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for his Cabinet and they’ve also taken steps to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and the Armed Services Committees, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen had the opportunity to question two of Trump’s nominees—Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and James Mattis for Secretary of Defense—and she joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk about those hearings and other news of the week.

josh rogers/nhpr

Senator Maggie Hassan is urging local care providers to fight for President Obama's signature health law.

Hassan used a visit to a Concord community mental health center to urge local care providers to lend their voices to what she termed the battle over Obamacare, which Washington Republicans have begun repealing. The law has helped 63,000 people in New Hampshire obtain coverage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen questioned Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary about NATO during confirmation hearings today.

As a candidate, President–Elect Trump questioned the utility of NATO, but in picking General James Mattis to lead the military, Trump selected a former NATO commander.

Shaheen asked Mattis about Trump’s NATO comments and about a a slated boost in U.S. funding for NATO under an initiative known as ERI.

“Will you support the ERI continuing as secretary of defense?

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

 

In his inaugural address last week, Gov. Chris Sununu made it clear he thinks the state must — and can — act to reduce the state's high cost of electricity.

“We can’t be passive anymore," Sununu said. "We have to find the right solutions to get it done and get it done our way. Do we need to look at Northern Pass? You bet we do — 1,100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy? How do we say no to that when we have the highest rates in the country? We can help ratepayers.”

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

One New Hampshire lawmaker wants to add a new charge to the state’s criminal code: Under his proposal, someone who provides another person with a lethal dose of heroin or fentanyl would be charged with manslaughter

AP

A bill looking to eliminate New Hampshire’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm has passed committee and now heads to the full Senate for the third year in a row. 

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