Politics

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

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The House voted 216 to 145 to reauthorize Medicaid expansion for another two years. The bill now heads to the Senate.

But that was after much debate on the floor Wednesday – more than two hours of it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As a former lobbyist for the New Hampshire banking industry, Jerry Little had little trouble raising money for his 2014 campaign for state Senate.

 

Of the more than $100,000 in contributions Little collected, more than a third came from donors with ties to the financial sector. Little, a Republican, went on to win his race by a comfortable margin.

 

The results from Tuesday's four primary and caucus states are in: three wins for Trump, one each for Clinton and Cruz, and one surprising, narrow victory for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders' tight win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan is the biggest news out of Tuesday night's presidential nomination races. Though Clinton had led consistently in recent polls, Sanders won by less than 2 percentage points with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House will have a busy next two days with dozens of bills slated for a vote. A few of these bills focus on the state’s election laws, which have gained steam since last month’s presidential primary and ahead of this fall's general election.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On Wednesday the House will take up one of this session’s most significant pieces of legislation – whether to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program another two years. One of the biggest hurdles supporters of the bill have to overcome on the floor this week relies on the measure’s work requirements.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

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

NHPR Staff

 

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is facing a primary challenge in her re-election bid from Jim Rubens, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran in the GOP primary against Scott Brown in 2014.

Rubens tells The Associated Press that the Republican base has "divorced" itself from Ayotte and that the GOP will not keep the Senate seat if she is the nominee. Two-term Governor Maggie Hassan is running on the Democratic side.

Rubens says he has never seen such dissatisfaction with the Republican establishment, including Ayotte.

Photo Courtesy UNH

New Hampshire's senators are supporting fishermen in their fight against federal regulations that shift at-sea monitoring costs to them.

Fishermen of New England species such as cod and haddock must pay the cost of fishing monitors under rules that took effect Tuesday. The monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost several hundred dollars per day. Many fishermen say they can't afford the new cost and some say they will likely go out of business.

Senator Kelly Ayotte agrees the costs have to be covered now or people will be out of business.

When the news broke earlier this week that state rep. Kyle Tasker had been charged with felonies related to drugs, guns, and luring a minor online for a sexual encounter, many in New Hampshire asked the question, "How did he get elected?"

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A key House committee voted to support reauthorization of the state’s Medicaid expansion program for another two years. Under the bill, the state's insurance premium tax, along with hospitals and insurance companies, will have to cover the costs of the program that will no longer be paid for by federal dollars next year. For hospitals and insurers alone, that comes to about $24 million each year, starting in 2017.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's state Senate is slated to vote on suspending the use of the death penalty. According to the bill's lead sponsor, Republican Kevin Avard, suspending the death penalty is good sense.

Avard once supported capital punishment, but says there are too many examples of the people improperly ending up on death row to remain confident the punishment is worth the risk.

“You know we are all capable of fallibility, and if you have 156 people who have been exonerated, we should take a real sober look at this.”

Sara Plourde/NHPR

As the New Hampshire legislature debates whether to extend expanded Medicaid, house lawmakers continue to question whether the state will get a return on its investment. After two days of work sessions, the House Finance Committee heard its final testimony Wednesday before its scheduled to vote.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

House lawmakers continue to examine how New Hampshire would pay for Medicaid expansion for another two years. On Tuesday GOP leaders on the finance committee were again looking for a guarantee that if passed, private insurance rates will not increase.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers return to Concord this week after having a week off and they got right down to some controversial legislation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie now backing Donald Trump, New Hampshire's largest newspaper is calling its endorsement of the New Jersey governor a mistake.

"Boy, were we wrong," is the opening line of an editorial penned by New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid. 

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire might its run as one of the few states without an explicit prohibition on sex with animals. Backers of House Bill 1547-FN say it’s unfortunate, but it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Sexual conduct with animals has been banned in many states since the Colonial Era. But New Hampshire is one of 10 states where it’s never been specifically outlawed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers backing a New Hampshire bill to criminalize women exposing their breasts in public say that failing to pass it could hurt the state's tourism industry and lead to rampant nudity.

Reps. Brian Gallagher and Peter Spanos are co-sponsors of legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for women to show their breasts or nipples in public with "reckless disregard" for whether it would offend someone.

Three weeks after the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, nine months before the November election, and New Hampshire is already on to a new round of political ads.

It began today with a 30-second spot from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, which features her 11-year-old daughter, Kate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

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

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After having a 7-day vacation, lawmakers will return to Concord this week. The full Senate will be meeting on Thursday to take up more than 40 bills. Meanwhile the full House won’t come back until next Wednesday.

Newly announced 1st Congressional District candidate Pam Tucker said this week that she hopes to stand out in an already-competitive Republican primary by pitching herself as the only one who's consistently stood on conservative principles.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Rich Ashooh, a longtime defense executive and director of the Warren Rudman Center at UNH Law, says he’s “seriously considering” another run for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is calling on her Republican colleagues to do their jobs and hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Conventional wisdom holds that Bernie Sanders' and Donald Trump's big wins in New Hampshire’s presidential primary earlier this month were driven by hordes of irregular and first-time voters flocking to the polls.

But a review of preliminary voting data doesn’t exactly back up that premise.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Here's a twist in an election year in which the role of money is a dominant theme: A Super PAC created to blunt the influence of Super PACs in key political races is jumping into the Senate contest between Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In Manchester Tuesday, executives for the ride-sharing company Uber urged lawmakers to pass a measure that would create statewide regulations for the company's drivers.

The push comes in response to differences across New Hampshire cities in how drivers are regulated. Portsmouth requires Uber drivers to have insurance and undergo city-approved background checks. 

And in Manchester a proposal would require city licensing and random drug and alcohol screenings. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When she announced she was running for U.S. Senate, Governor Hassan said she would consider supporting the closure of Guantanamo Bay if it could be done in a way where the safety of U.S. citizens would not be at risk.

Hasssan says what she knows of Present Obama's plan to shut down the prison -- it envisions sending some detainees to unnamed sites in the U.S. -- doesn't meet that test.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan says she met with the FBI  Sunday to learn about security threats and says she will continue to encourage the federal government to coordinate with local homeland security officials.

But Hassan told reporters she's not ready to change her stance on Syrian refugees.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

Donald Trump will head into the Republican National Convention with at least 11 of the delegates from New Hampshire’s Republican State Committee, the state party announced Monday.

Until last year, the architect of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was an obscure political operative in New Hampshire.

Now, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski can claim to have engineered victories in South Carolina and New Hampshire and a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, a winning streak that gives Trump a strong shot at the Republican nomination.

On the night of his New Hampshire primary victory, Trump acknowledged Lewandowski's role in the win, asking, "Does Corey have a ground game or what?"

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