Politics

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

NHPR Staff

Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Confederate flag "shouldn't fly anywhere."

The Democratic presidential contender calls the deadly shootings of nine black church members in South Carolina "an act of racist terrorism perpetrated in a house of God."

She's welcomed news that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and legislators are working to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.

The House and Senate will be voting on the $11.3 billion state budget proposal on Wednesday. But what is different from most budget cycles – is this time lawmakers will also vote on a temporary spending plan to extend past June 30, which will keep government running if the governor does make good on her promise to veto it. NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley 

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is joining with three fellow Republicans to introduce legislation to eliminate what they view as an outdated and duplicative government agency.

The bill, dubbed the "Just Google It Act," would eliminate the National Technical Information Services. Ayotte and her co-sponsors say the agency prints and sells copies of government documents that can be found for free online through a simple search.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Iowa and New Hampshire have historically been the opening bells in the presidential nomination process.

But there are growing signs that the states may be losing their clout. Candidates appear to be more focused on running national campaigns, as opposed to connecting with voters in early primary states.

The financial partnership between local governments and the state of New Hampshire has splintered since the recession. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After a stretch of long days at the State House and a threat of a veto from the governor, Senate and House budget writers signed off on a two-year spending plan Thursday afternoon.

The $11.3 billion Republican-backed budget passed without any of the significant changes Gov. Maggie Hassan called for earlier that morning.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s promise to veto the state budget unless Republican leaders remove or offset proposed business tax cuts is drawing support from Democrats and galvanizing GOP opposition.  It also suggests the budget impasse may not be resolved for months.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Negotiators in the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of the next two-year budget earlier this week. Here's a summary of how the deal was reached.

NHPR

In his first visit to the state after announcing his candidacy for president, Donald Trump told a crowd in Manchester that because he's a businessman and not a politician, he’s the only one to solve the nation’s problems.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After multiple days of long hours at the State House, lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on the two-year state budget.

But Governor Maggie Hassan last night described the plan as “fiscally irresponsible and unbalanced,” and urged budget writers to go back to the drawing board or she will veto it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A government watchdog group wants the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether New Hampshire Republican Frank Guinta violated U.S. House rules or federal law.

The complaint filed Tuesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows recent action by the Federal Elections Commission, which found that Guinta accepted $355,000 in illegal campaign donations from his parents. Guinta told the FEC the money belonged to him because for years he contributed to and managed a "family pot" of money.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Jeb Bush spent his first full day as an official presidential candidate in New Hampshire on Tuesday. The former Florida governor used a Derry town hall meeting to stress his executive experience.

Bush told a crowd of several hundred voters at the Derry Opera House that if he were president he’d  fix a “few big things:" the tax code,  the entitlement system, and the economy.  Bush also took a swipe at rivals who he says may talk better than he does, but haven't gotten things done.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton’s been officially running for president for two months, and the rain was falling in a steady drizzle, but for core supporters of Clinton – and that’s who made up much of the crowd of more than 300 – yesterday remained a day to celebrate.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate and House budget writers say they hope to have a final two-year spending plan by the end of the week, but after two days of meetings, little to nothing has been settled.

So far, all the major sticking points between the two proposals have been put on hold. That's left no room for discussion on issues such as increased funding for mental health, substance abuse, elderly care or developmental disabilities that were all put in the Senate version.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State budgets contain multitudes: billions of dollar signs, thousands of policy decisions, and almost as many political calculations. For any governor, the budget is likely to be the single biggest political test in his or her two-year term. For Gov. Maggie Hassan, this year’s budget poses a particular challenge: how to get a product she likes, or can at least claim to like, from an all-Republican legislature while heading into a big election year. 


Courtesy photo

 

The New Hampshire House is pushing back on Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto of a bill related to depicting minors on alcohol advertisements.

State law prohibits references to minors in alcohol advertising. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill removing that part of the law.

Rep. Keith Murphy, who owns a Manchester bar, sponsored the legislation because he wanted to be able to sell Founders Breakfast Stout, a beer brewed in Michigan that features a baby on the label.

NHPR Staff

From the start of this year's budget negotiations, Republican leaders, as well as many business groups, have stressed that New Hampshire's corporate taxes, among the highest in the country, are driving away business.

Dave Juvet, senior vice president of the state’s Business and Industry Association, says as other states have made efforts to lower their rates, New Hampshire has lost ground.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she is likely to veto a bill that would require a person to live in the state for at least 30 days before being able to vote.

NHPR Staff

With lawmakers facing a June 30 deadline to pass a two-year state budget, Senate and House leaders say speculation about a government shutdown is unfounded.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Senate President Chuck Morse and House Speaker Shawn Jasper said leaders in state government are doing everything in their power to make sure a budget is passed before the deadline.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Carly Fiorina is campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire this week.

On Wednesday Fiorina spent the morning touring the manufacturing company Cirtronics, a business that makes products such as circuit boards and airport screening devices.

The former CEO of Hewlett Packard walked around the facility sounding both like a candidate and a corporate veteran– greeting nearly every employee she with a blend of small talk and business. But what makes this company a handy campaign backdrop for Fiorina – is that its story mirrors her own.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dozens of the state’s top Republicans are urging Fox News not to limit the number of participants in its upcoming presidential debate.

In the letter signed by more than 50 members of the New Hampshire GOP, including two former governors and nine current state senators, the network is asked to reconsider its decision to only include 10 candidates in a debate scheduled for Aug. 6.

Despite more than a dozen confirmed or prospective Republican presidential candidates in the field, the network says it will use national polls to determine who makes the cut.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Former technology executive Carly Fiorina is campaigning across New Hampshire this week after announcing endorsements from more than a dozen state representatives.

Fiorina's campaign released a list of 13 New Hampshire endorsements on Monday, including Deputy House Speaker Gene Chandler.

Her visit to New Hampshire began Monday night at a house party in Londonderry and continues through Wednesday with several local events, another house party and a tour of a Milford business.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If you’re hoping to follow the money in the 2016 presidential primary race, you’ve got a tough task. The fundraising tools available to candidates and their supporters are perhaps more complicated now than in any previous campaign. You've got your political actions committees (or PACs), your super PACs, your exploratory committees, your run-of-the-mill candidate committees, and countless other groups throwing their 2 (billion) cents into the 2016 presidential race.

NHPR Staff

On the Political Front is a weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the challenge facing lawmakers on coming to agreement on a new, two year state budget.

It’s getting to be that time of year in Concord – where House and Senate committees meet to negotiate agreements, or fail to negotiate agreements, on key issues. The state budget is, of the course the biggie.

Kate Harper for NHPR

 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will visit New Hampshire the day after he plans to announce his 2016 presidential campaign.

Bush's campaign aides say he'll announce his run for the Republican nomination on June 15 at Miami Dade College in Florida. His website says he will travel to New Hampshire the next morning for an event at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry.

Bush's visit will come a day after Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton will be in New Hampshire — home of the first presidential primary.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has made it his mission to shine a spotlight on drug addiction as he tests his presidential appeal in the early primary state of New Hampshire.

In Franklin Friday, Christie met with local officials and advocates at Webster Place, a 42-bed treatment house, for a candid, personal discussion.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After a long debate Thursday evening, the Senate decided to table a bill that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana, essentially killing it this session.

Under the bill, those found with half an ounce of marijuana or less would receive a $100 fine rather than be charged with a crime. 

Currently all other New England states have similar laws already on the books. Although a similar measure has passed the House numerous times, it has never passed the Senate.

The Senate has passed a bill giving immunity to those who report drug overdoses in only certain situations.

The measure aims to encourage people to call 911 by removing the fear of facing any jail time.

But the included amendment, introduced by Sen. Molly Kelly,  is to make sure only true witnesses are given this immunity.

“So the language that was taken out was any thought or anyone would think that they would have immunity from domestic violence, rape or murder,” she told her fellow colleagues.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Senate has passed a bill 14-10 that would remove a tax provision brought to the legislators’ attention last week by Planet Fitness.

The New Hampshire based gym franchise, who recently decided to go public, told lawmakers that if the provision remained on the books, they would leave the state.

Currently 200 jobs would be lost if the company moved headquarters. The company, which began in Dover in 1992, has more than 950 locations nationwide.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After hours of debate and more than a dozen failed floor amendments, the Senate voted 14-10 along party lines Thursday to pass a $11.3 billion budget. 

The Senate proposal spends $99 million more than the House version but $66 million less than what the Governor proposed. A fact many Democrats were not shy to point out Thursday, including Sen. Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester.

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