Politics

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

New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid Program, which offers health insurance to 48,000 Granite Staters, will continue another two years. That’s after Gov. Maggie Hassan promised to sign the legislation that cleared the Senate Thursday 16 to 8.   

ourkidsnh.org

Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand is running for governor, the third Democrat to enter the race. 

He announced his campaign via Facebook.

He tells Seacoast Online that combating the state's heroin and opioid crisis will be his top priority.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire's top elected Republican, says women should not be punished for seeking out an abortion if it were banned.

Ayotte was weighing in on a controversy sparked Wednesday by the comments of her party's presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump.

"Women should not be punished, and I'm glad Mr. Trump has retracted his troubling comments," Ayotte said in a tweet Wednesday evening.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After more than a year of debates and discussion, lawmakers could take their final vote Thursday on whether to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program for another two years.

If the Senate passes the bill without change, it could be signed into law as early as this week.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, is bringing together lawmakers, health providers, academics, and other national leaders to figure out what can be done to curb the abuse of opioids. New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta spoker earlier today at the summit as part of a panel of lawmakers dealing with drug abuse in their states, and he joined All Things Considered to talk about it. 

josh rogers/nhpr

Senator Jeanne Shaheen took to the steps of the federal courthouse in Concord to call on Senate Republicans to "get on with it" and take up Merrick Garland's nomination.

She says putting it off runs afoul of the constitution and senate tradition.

Flickr

Law enforcement officials are pushing back against a bill that allows people to drop off illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, and drug paraphernalia at police stations.

Currently police stations accept unused prescription drugs in designed drop boxes.

NH Bar Association

Former New Hampshire Public Defender Dorothy Graham has taken a job with the New England office of the Federal Public Defender. Graham, who was nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan last year to serve as a judge on the state Superior Court, saw her hopes for the bench scuttled after a conservative website accused her of a “history of trying to get child rapists off on technicalities.”

Read Emily Corwin's story about Graham's nomination and rejection.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

After clearing a key Senate committee Monday, sponsors of the bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion are making sure they have the votes needed to pass the full Senate.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Longtime defense executive Rich Ashooh is running again for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

The Republican is expected to make a formal announcement on his bid for the seat next week, according to the Union Leader.

Ashooh, who lives in Bedford, finished a narrow third in the 2010 Republican Congressional primary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After a lengthy debate, the Senate's Finance Committee on Monday backed a bill re-authorizing New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program for another two years.  The bill was the same piece of legislation the House overwhelming approved earlier this March. 

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In New Hampshire, pretty much only rape and murder convictions can land a defendant behind bars for the rest of his or her life. Burglary? With a record? You might get fifteen years. Unless you’re Kevin Balch.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Although the Senate is the only chamber meeting in full this week both bodies have a long list of public hearings to get through.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate unanimously passed a bill to put more money towards combating the state’s drug crisis. The measure now heads to the House. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Kelly Ayotte says she's gotten mixed feedback from voters over her stance on filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Flickr

A bill to regulate the use of drones in New Hampshire cleared a major hurdle Wednesday in the House. Despite receiving a negative recommendation from the House Criminal Justice Committee, the bill overwhelmingly passed the House 250 to 114 and now heads to the Senate.

Getty Images

The New Hampshire House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalize needle exchange programs. The measure now heads to the Senate.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The question of whether New Hampshire should continue its expanded Medicaid program is now before the state Senate.

The Senate Finance Committee heard hours of testimony on the issue Tuesday, and the debate there is falling along the same lines as it did in the House – it all comes down to cost. 

Courtesy photo

 

State Sen. Jeanie Forrester is poised to become the fourth Republican candidate to enter New Hampshire's gubernatorial race.

Mike Dennehy, a GOP strategist who is working with Forrester, says she'll announce her bid on March 30 in her hometown of Meredith.

She is running to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running for U.S. Senate. Forrester is entering a four-way GOP primary alongside Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and state Rep. Frank Edelblut.

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz each notched victories in Tuesday's Western contests, but Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's big wins in Arizona still mean their overall delegate lead won't change much.

On the Democratic side, Sanders won big victories in the Utah and Idaho caucuses, but the much smaller prizes could end up netting him roughly the same number of delegates Clinton will get from her Arizona win.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is on her way back to the United States, having left Brussels the day before deadly explosions happened at the city's airport and metro station.

Don McCullough/Flickr

On the Political Front is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

Flickr

State lawmakers are set to tackle a pile of bills this week, many of which address New Hampshire's drug crisis.  The bills include proposals to legalize needle exchanges and the creation of a statewide drug court program. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

James O’Keefe, a conservative activist known for his undercover videos in New Hampshire and elsewhere, marched into the State House Thursday afternoon looking to make a point about how the state enforces its voting laws.

He left with a subpoena.

Over the past few weeks, the attorney general’s office had been asking O’Keefe to preserve the raw footage from a series of videos filmed around last month's presidential primary.

New Hampshire's political boundaries get drawn every ten years, after new Census data comes out.

The idea of the bill taken up by the N.H. Senate today was to take the pen out of the hands of lawmakers and let an independent commission to draft the map of state house legislative districts—one that reflects voters’ wishes and “eliminates partisan distortions.”

But the Senate effectively killed that proposal Thursday—moving it to interim study as legislators are gearing up for election season.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas has joined the race for New Hampshire governor. In his campaign announcement early Thursday morning, Ted Gatsas says the state's next governor needs executive experience like his to deal with issues like opioid abuse.

Via oregonlive.com

A bill that would have legalized casino gambling in New Hampshire fell flat once again in the state Senate.

If signed into law, the bill would have legalized video lottery games at a single location in the state. Originally the measure named Rockingham Park in Salem as the location - but in an effort to gain more votes – a revised bill called for an open bidding process.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas is running for governor.

Gatsas launched a campaign page on Facebook making his candidacy official.

WMUR reports he's expected to make a formal announcement and file his candidacy paperwork Thursday.

Gatsas was sworn into his fourth term serving as Manchester's mayor in January.

Flickr

The Senate meets Thursday morning to weigh in on roughly 30 bills, including one touching a frequent topic at the State House in recent years: gambling.

Mark Fischer via Flickr CC / www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos

New Hampshire's US Senators are split on what the Senate should do now that President Obama has chosen Merrick Garland as his nominee to the US Supreme Court. 

Pages