Politics

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

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Governor Sununu's pick to lead the state labor department went before the Executive Council for a confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Several proposals to loosen New Hampshire’s regulations on the use of marijuana got hearings at the Statehouse Tuesday. 

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A statewide drug enforcement program known as “Granite Hammer” is getting some pushback from lawmakers who argue it isn’t working.

The program, which began in Manchester in 2015,  is designed to get drug dealers off the streets.

Andrew Filer via Flickr/CC

When it comes to Senate Bill 7, which lowers the income threshold for food-stamp  eligibility, among other changes, Democratic state senator Dan Feltes has some choice words:  "One of the worst bills I've ever seen."  And, also, "horrible." 

Feltes joined The Exchange this week, along with Republican state senator Jeb Bradley, co-sponsor of SB7, who  sees things vastly differently.

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House lawmakers met Tuesday to review a bill that seeks to provide $36 million for road and bridge repair in the state. 

There are six highway districts in New Hampshire – but not all are created equal. That was the argument from the Department of Transportation as they argued for a formula change in the way highway repair money is handed out.

How many retirees represent Merrimack County in the Legislature? What percentage of state reps are under the age of 35? And how does the State House's male/female ratio vary by political party?

The makeup of the New Hampshire House of Representatives has a major impact on daily life in the state. After all, these are the people who make the laws that govern us.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New Hampshire has the largest state legislature in the country - by a lot. The 400 members of the House of Representatives are supposed to be “citizen legislators” - people who are just like the constituents they represent. They earn $100 a year, making them essentially volunteers, albeit volunteers with major responsibility and time commitment...and volunteers who don’t always show up.

Just ask Rep. Jim Belanger, chairman of the House Municipal and County Government Committee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate began its work on the state’s next two-year budget Monday.

Senate budget writers are using Governor Chris Sununu's proposal as a starting point, after the House failed to pass a budget plan of its own last week.

NHPR Staff

The state Senate began work Monday on crafting its version of the next two year state budget.

This comes after House lawmakers failed to pass their proposed $11.9 billion spending plan last week. It’s the first time in modern political history the House hasn’t passed a budget.

Senate Finance Chair Gary Daniels, a Milford Republican,  spoke to NHPR's Morning Edition about the process moving forward.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After the New Hampshire House failed to pass a budget proposal of its own last week, the state Senate begins its budget-writing work Monday.

Allegra Boverman

Governor Chris Sununu says he is optimistic about the state budget writing process, despite the recent failure by House Republicans to pass their version of the spending plan.

Earlier this week, conservative Republicans in the House refused to sign off on a budget crafted by GOP leadership. It’s the first time the House has failed to pass a budget in decades.

But Governor Sununu rejected the idea that state Republicans are anything but unified. He said the episode was just one step in the process, which now heads to the Senate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House will not have a budget proposal to work off when finalizing the next two year state spending plan this June.

It’s apparently the first time in decades the House finds itself in this position, after Republican leaders failed to rally a majority to support their preferred budget this week.

That leaves many wondering what the House’s role will be later  in the budget process. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers will try for a second time this week to pass a state budget proposal, after Wednesday’s failure of the Republican leadership’s preferred spending plan.

With Thursday's deadline for the House to produce a budget -  the pressure is on.

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Dates have been set for the special election to fill a recently vacated state Senate seat.

The Executive Council Wednesday voted to set the primary date for June 6th and the general election for July 25th for the District 16 special election.

The seat became available after Senator Scott McGilvray died last month. 

So far Republican David Boutin, who previously held the seat for four terms, and former State Representative Joe LaChance, a libertarian, have said they're running.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A major vote on the state’s new spending plan has been postponed in the House until Thursday.

That’s after the Republican-backed budget failed Wednesday in the House with more than 60 Republicans voting against it.

Courtesy of LinkedIn and Facebook

Governor Chris Sununu will nominate new commissioners for the state Department of Environment Services and Department of Labor at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting.

The full New Hampshire House is set to vote on the Finance Committee’s state budget proposal Wednesday. The spending plan has some slightly different priorities than what Gov. Chris Sununu laid out in his version back in February.

A few of the biggest policy and funding changes between the two versions are laid out in the graphic below ranging from public education to local aid for cities and towns.

The House has until Thursday to pass the budget before the Senate then begins crafting its version of the state’s next two year plan.

A final budget is due June 30th. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rare is the New Hampshire governor who will admit feeling ashamed of the state. But Chris Sununu’s been doing just that lately, over New Hampshire’s lack of state-supported full-day kindergarten.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing. This is the 21st century; this is New Hampshire.”

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A top counselor to President Donald Trump is headlining a New Hampshire Republican Party dinner this spring, continuing the steady stream of prominent politicos heading to the state.

Kellyanne Conway is slated to speak at the party's 2017 Spring to Victory Dinner on May 18 in Nashua.

Conway ran Trump's presidential campaign, making her the first woman to successfully run a presidential bid. She now serves as a counselor to Trump and frequently appears on television promoting his agenda.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House Speaker Shawn Jasper wants to give towns that postponed their elections due to a snowstorm a way out of facing potential lawsuits from voters who may have been disenfranchised.

Jasper is proposing letting towns ratify the results of their elections by holding another vote. A bill he's sponsoring would give towns that moved Election Day the option of letting townspeople vote to ratify, or confirm, the results on May 23.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The New Hampshire House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on its proposed state budget.

The $11.9 billion budget has opponents on both sides of the aisle, and it’s unclear whether it'll get enough support this week.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House lawmakers are set to consider a Republican bill that would add new requirements for proving voter eligibility.

The measure, SB 3, cleared the state Senate last week along party lines.

The bill would require those registering close to an election to provide additional documentation, tightening the definition of domicile for voting purposes.

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  A vote is expected Wednesday in the Republican-led New Hampshire House on its proposed state budget.

The two year, $11.9 billion spending plan has its share of critics, with Democrats arguing it doesn’t go far enough.

One of their complaints is the budget eliminates a proposal by Gov. Chris Sununu to expand full-day kindergarten.

But there’s resistance among Republicans, as well, who believe the budget’s price tag is too high.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Republican House Finance members laid out their budget proposal for lawmakers Monday morning, just days before the spending plan is up for a vote by the whole body.

But not all House members are pleased with how the proposal turned out.

Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand has announced he is again running for governor. The announcement comes more than a year and a half ahead of Election Day.

Former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte has joined the board of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp, which owns the New York Post, the Wall St. Journal and HarperCollins. 

Kelly Ayotte has kept busy since she left the Senate in January. She's helped the Trump administration introduce Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to her former colleagues and she's been a fellow at the institute of politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

NHPR Staff

Each week, NHPR Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition's Rick Ganley for On the Political Front, a rundown of the week to come in New Hampshire Politics.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House budget writers will try to sell their new state budget proposal to fellow lawmakers Monday at the Statehouse.

The spending plan will be up for a vote in the full House on Wednesday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu told the state’s Commission on Alcohol and Drugs Friday that workforce development and cutting regulation are key in addressing New Hampshire’s opioid crisis.

This is the first time Sununu has attended one of these meetings since taking office.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan was in Nashua Friday highlighting her new proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

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