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 Finance Committee will be busy this week with just about two weeks remaining to complete its version of the state’s new two-year budget.

Stefan Fussan via Flickr/Creative Commons

It's very early in the federal budget process, but President Trump's proposal  -- with its boost in military spending and severe cuts for several agencies, including the EPA, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. State Department  -- has made major waves,  including here in New Hampshire.   Now, Congress, which has the power of the purse, takes it from here, so whether President Trump's budget priorities hold sway,  is far from certain. 


Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

 

When Governor Sununu unveiled his $12 billion state budget last month he stressed some priorities: full-day kindergarten, money to hire more state troopers, and a fund to help cities and towns pay for road and school projects.

PEXELS.COM

A bill that would create a statewide child advocacy office got the full support of the New Hampshire Senate Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would hire a full-time attorney to enforce state election laws  unanimously cleared the Senate Thursday. 

Currently the state has one half-time employee charged with investigating potential voter fraud.

Senator Bette Lasky, who sponsored the bill, says this workload is “virtually impossible” for one person to do part-time.

FILE

A  bill that would reduce the number of people who can receive food stamps in New Hampshire cleared the Senate Thursday along party lines.

According to the bill's critics, an estimated 17,000 families with children could lose benefits as a result.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Republican-controlled Senate Thursday yet again killed a bill along party lines to create a state minimum wage in New Hampshire.

josh rogers\nhpr

State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut says he anonymously donated $1,000 to help fund a school board’s legal defense against the department he now leads.

Emily Corwin/NHPR

The Senate Finance Committee Wednesday OK’d a bill that would give nearly $37 million to cities and towns to fix local roads and bridges.  

FLORIANHUAG / FLICKR/CC

The Senate Finance Committee approved a measure Wednesday to help Amherst residents get access to clean drinking water.

According to the Assistant Environment Services Commissioner Clark Freise, more than 100 homes in the town have been contaminated by the chemical PFOA.

TSCELEB NEWS / FLICKR/CC

A proposal to spend more state money to fight drug trafficking on New Hampshire’s highways unanimously cleared the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday. But estimating how much that effort will cost – is no simple task. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Tuesday saw a collision of two great New Hampshire traditions: nor’easters and town meeting day. They might not seem like the best pairing, but as NHPR’s Jason Moon reports the two found a way to coexist.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

A Senate bill that would alter the definition of “domicile” for voting purposes has caused an outcry among Democrats and others who claim it unnecessarily complicates the voting process and would suppress the vote among certain groups, including college students.

At a recent packed hearing, the vast majority were in opposition to the proposed changes.

Republican State Senator Regina Birdsell, lead sponsor of the bill, says her intention is not to exclude anyone. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu wants lawmakers to fast-track a bill to hire five new state troopers to focus on cutting off the drug supply from out of state. That's on top of the ten additional troopers Sununu proposed in his state spending plan last month

This measure went before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday afternoon.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

House budget writers heard six hours of public testimony last night regarding the state’s upcoming two-year spending plan.

The dozens of people who spoke mainly focused on funding for services for developmental disabilities, substance abuse and mental health.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

Updated at 4:30 PM:

After consulting with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General's office and holding a conference call with local election officials Governor Sununu says differences remain over who has the power to decide when an election can be postponed.

josh rogers/nhpr

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan were joined by heath care providers, hospital officials and a recovery advocate as the railed against what they called Trumpcare during a visit to Concord Hopital. Shaheen said based on her review of the GOP bill, the prognosis for New Hampshire is grim.

"It will be a real disaster for people in New Hampshire. It will result in higher healthcare costs and less coverage."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Members of the public get a chance to weigh in on the proposed 2-year state budget this afternoon at the Statehouse.

Faith/FLICKR

The New Hampshire House killed a bill Thursday that would have raised the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 years, from the current ages of 14 for males and 13 for females.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would add gender identity to New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination laws was all but killed by the Republican controlled House Thursday without debate.

But it wasn't easy, as the bill’s fate was in doubt for much of the day.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted 187 to 179, along near party lines, to table a bill that would extend anti-discrimination protections to people who are transgender in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House worked its way Wednesday through dozens of bills.

Among the measures approved are proposed changes to the state’s drug laws and public school funding.

NHPR’s Paige Sutherland has been covering Wednesday’s session and joins All Things Considered Host Peter Biello from the Statehouse in Concord.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster will step down at month's end after four years leading the state's justice department.

In his resignation letter to the Executive Council Foster called his time as A.G. "an extraordinary honor."

Governor Chris Sununu says he expects to name his pick to replace Foster shortly.

"The sooner the better. I mean I can't give you an exact time table, but we are working very diligently through the process now. We are not going to wait."

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill adding opioid addiction to the state’s policy on mandated treatment received broad support at a public hearing Tuesday.

Nearly 40 other states have similar policies on the books.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he would not support legislation if he believed it would hurt voter turnout. And as he sees it, a new bill that would impose new requirements on voters who register within 30 days of an election does not run the risk of doing that.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The top Republican in the New Hampshire House says he fears long-term harm if New Hampshire joins twenty other states – including Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine – in extending non-discrimination protections in housing, employment and public accommodations to people who are transgender.


FILE

The public will get the chance to weigh in on a bill  Tuesday that would allow people battling an opioid addiction to be mandated to seek treatment.

About 40 states including Massachusetts have similar laws already in place.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The New Hampshire Hospital Association says a federal court ruling last week means state budget writers owe hospitals $80 million on top of what the governor has already proposed. But the head of the house finance committee disagrees. 

josh rogers/nhpr

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited former Iraqi refugee Tamam Mohamad, at the Spice Center market in Manchester to call attention to her opposition to President Trump's new executive order banning U.S. from 6 Muslim-majority countries and freezing all refugee resettlement.

Mohmmad came from Iraq in the late-1990s with $20. He eventually became a citizen and returned to his home country for 3 years as U.S. military interpreter. He says Iraq may not be included in the President’s new executive order, but that doesn’t matter to him.

Elaine Grant / NHPR

Republican lawmakers have proposed dozens of individual bills to tighten up New Hampshire election laws this year, but one new proposal coming forward this week would on its own enact a number of changes in what’s required for voters to register and how officials are expected to verify those credentials.

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