Politics

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

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire’s 400 plus state lawmakers had their last session day Thursday and they had one major item left on the agenda to get through – passing the state’s next two-year budget.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A contentious debate Thursday at the Statehouse revolved around pregnant women being allowed to murder people. This strange line of debate had to do with a possible mistake in a proposal that was passed earlier this month.

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

After a lengthy debate in both the House and the Senate, the full legislature passed a bill Thursday that funds full-day kindergarten by legalizing the electronic bingo game Keno.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The GOP-led legislature is sending Governor Chris Sununu a $11.7B dollar budget and a bill to fund full-day kindergarten via Keno.

The outcomes are big wins for a governor who hasn’t always gotten his way with the legislature.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After months of working on a new two-year state budget – the big moment has arrived. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the final version Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu says this year’s budget process has kept him busy meeting with Republicans, talking to lawmakers one-on-one, and trying to stick with the sales approach he’s learned works best.

On Thursday, a proposal to spend state money on full-day kindergarten heads to a final vote.

The bill, which pays for additional state spending on kindergarten by taxing keno, is making for tough decisions on both sides of the aisle.

Courtesy photo

Special elections always present a challenge for campaigns — and even more so in the summer, when vacations and other activities can easily take precedence over politics in the minds of most voters. With this in mind, those involved in the upcoming District 16 State Senate race are pushing absentee voting as a way to remind voters to participate.

Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green

Governor Chris Sununu’s pick to join New Hampshire’s Supreme Court, Bobbie Hantz, was questioned by the Executive Council Monday.  

Flickr: jonszcz

It was a busy Friday for Governor Chris Sununu, who signed more than three dozen new bills into law.

NHPR Staff

When Governor Chris Sununu looked for somebody to replace retiring state supreme court Justice Carol Ann Conboy, he didn’t have to look very far.

His pick, Bobbie Hantz, was, until the day she applied to join the state’s highest court, a member of the selection panel Sununu appointed to help him vet would-be judges.

Jason Moon for NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have settled on the final language for a bill to fund full day kindergarten in New Hampshire. But the bipartisan cooperation around the bill may be faltering.

josh rogers/nhpr

House and Senate negotiators say they have a deal on a two-year state budget that spends less than the $11.8 billion plan passed by the Senate, which trimmed money from than the $11.9 billion proposal backed by House leaders that failed to win approval in April.

Last fall, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire reached an important milestone: They managed to get 4 percent of the vote in the governor’s race, giving them official party status and a place on New Hampshire ballots. But a snag for one candidate seeking to run in the House special election highlights the fact that many of the state election laws were still built for a two-party system.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on Twitter

Governor Chris Sununu spent Monday in Washington, meeting with leaders from a number of federal agencies: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sununu said his goal, in part, was to make up for what he views as inefficient advocacy by New Hampshire's Congressional delegation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee today as the investigation continues into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions is expected to take questions about his recusal from the Russia investigation, his own meetings with Russian officials, and what if anything he knew about a private Oval Office meeting between President Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey. Here is Sessions' prepared opening statement to the committee, annotated by NPR journalists.

New Hampshire's legislative budget writers have until Thursday to reach agreement on a spending plan so the full House and Senate can vote next week. They have lots more work to do, but a decision that doesn’t involve money could shape the trajectory of this debate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The start of budget negotiations between the Senate and House start Friday. That means we’re near the end of a months-long process that’s had some surprises this year.

Lawmakers sitting on the Committee of Conference, the one's charged with finalizing the budget, need to sign off on a final version by next Thursday.  

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire legislators begin the final stage of the state budget-writing process this week. On Friday, a handful of senators and House members will gather to hammer out a compromise plan for state spending over the next two years.

Billions of dollars are at stake, and NHPR’s newsroom has been keeping an eye on several key policy areas. Here's an overview on where several big-ticket items stand.

Updated at 6:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that President Trump did ask him for "loyalty" at a January dinner and later told him alone in the Oval Office that he "hope[d] you can let" the investigation into former national security director Michael Flynn "go."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate and House budget writers will meet Friday to start negotiating a final version of the state’s next two year budget.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Part of Governor Chris Sununu’s political identity is built on science and thought. There’s Sununu’s oft-cited degree from MIT, his professional background as an engineer, and his family’s well-tended reputation for being smart.

But on two recent issues, the governor backed away from letting science - or expert opinion - guide his policy decisions.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu will be traveling to a few high-profile out-of-state events this week: an "infrastructure summit" hosted by the Trump administration in Washington and another retreat hosted by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu says he much hasn't thought about President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says the President's decision on Paris is "disappointing;" Vermont Governor Phil Scott calls it "concerning." Both are Republicans, and both say they plan to work across state lines to reduce carbon emissions.

Governor Sununu, meanwhile, says he's not completely sure what he thinks.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

A Republican-backed bill to add tougher scrutiny on voters who don’t have the right kind of paperwork to prove they live in the state sailed through the House of Representatives Thursday and is headed to Gov. Chris Sununu for a signature. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday to fund full-day kindergarten in the state. The final vote was 231 to 100.

FILE

A bill decriminalizing three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana in New Hampshire is headed to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he’ll sign it. 

NHPR Staff

House lawmakers will debate a bill Thursday that would define a fetus as a person in cases of homicide.

The Republican-backed bill has already cleared the state Senate, and if it passes the House, it goes to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he will sign it into law.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

After more than ten hours of debate, the New Hampshire Senate Wednesday night passed a GOP-crafted state budget along party lines.

Update: 12:55 PM:

This bill has passed the New Hampshire House by a vote of 186-170. We will continue to update this story.

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The New Hampshire House votes Thursday on a bill that would allow fetuses older than twenty weeks to be considered people in cases involving murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. The debate over what are often called fetal homicide laws isn’t a new one in Concord, but with Republicans controlling the legislature and the governor's office, this year the bill is expected to become law.

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