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

NHPR Staff

From the start of this year's budget negotiations, Republican leaders, as well as many business groups, have stressed that New Hampshire's corporate taxes, among the highest in the country, are driving away business.

Dave Juvet, senior vice president of the state’s Business and Industry Association, says as other states have made efforts to lower their rates, New Hampshire has lost ground.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she is likely to veto a bill that would require a person to live in the state for at least 30 days before being able to vote.

NHPR Staff

With lawmakers facing a June 30 deadline to pass a two-year state budget, Senate and House leaders say speculation about a government shutdown is unfounded.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Senate President Chuck Morse and House Speaker Shawn Jasper said leaders in state government are doing everything in their power to make sure a budget is passed before the deadline.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Carly Fiorina is campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire this week.

On Wednesday Fiorina spent the morning touring the manufacturing company Cirtronics, a business that makes products such as circuit boards and airport screening devices.

The former CEO of Hewlett Packard walked around the facility sounding both like a candidate and a corporate veteran– greeting nearly every employee she with a blend of small talk and business. But what makes this company a handy campaign backdrop for Fiorina – is that its story mirrors her own.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dozens of the state’s top Republicans are urging Fox News not to limit the number of participants in its upcoming presidential debate.

In the letter signed by more than 50 members of the New Hampshire GOP, including two former governors and nine current state senators, the network is asked to reconsider its decision to only include 10 candidates in a debate scheduled for Aug. 6.

Despite more than a dozen confirmed or prospective Republican presidential candidates in the field, the network says it will use national polls to determine who makes the cut.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Former technology executive Carly Fiorina is campaigning across New Hampshire this week after announcing endorsements from more than a dozen state representatives.

Fiorina's campaign released a list of 13 New Hampshire endorsements on Monday, including Deputy House Speaker Gene Chandler.

Her visit to New Hampshire began Monday night at a house party in Londonderry and continues through Wednesday with several local events, another house party and a tour of a Milford business.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If you’re hoping to follow the money in the 2016 presidential primary race, you’ve got a tough task. The fundraising tools available to candidates and their supporters are perhaps more complicated now than in any previous campaign. You've got your political actions committees (or PACs), your super PACs, your exploratory committees, your run-of-the-mill candidate committees, and countless other groups throwing their 2 (billion) cents into the 2016 presidential race.

NHPR Staff

On the Political Front is a weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the challenge facing lawmakers on coming to agreement on a new, two year state budget.

It’s getting to be that time of year in Concord – where House and Senate committees meet to negotiate agreements, or fail to negotiate agreements, on key issues. The state budget is, of the course the biggie.

Kate Harper for NHPR


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will visit New Hampshire the day after he plans to announce his 2016 presidential campaign.

Bush's campaign aides say he'll announce his run for the Republican nomination on June 15 at Miami Dade College in Florida. His website says he will travel to New Hampshire the next morning for an event at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry.

Bush's visit will come a day after Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton will be in New Hampshire — home of the first presidential primary.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has made it his mission to shine a spotlight on drug addiction as he tests his presidential appeal in the early primary state of New Hampshire.

In Franklin Friday, Christie met with local officials and advocates at Webster Place, a 42-bed treatment house, for a candid, personal discussion.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After a long debate Thursday evening, the Senate decided to table a bill that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana, essentially killing it this session.

Under the bill, those found with half an ounce of marijuana or less would receive a $100 fine rather than be charged with a crime. 

Currently all other New England states have similar laws already on the books. Although a similar measure has passed the House numerous times, it has never passed the Senate.

The Senate has passed a bill giving immunity to those who report drug overdoses in only certain situations.

The measure aims to encourage people to call 911 by removing the fear of facing any jail time.

But the included amendment, introduced by Sen. Molly Kelly,  is to make sure only true witnesses are given this immunity.

“So the language that was taken out was any thought or anyone would think that they would have immunity from domestic violence, rape or murder,” she told her fellow colleagues.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Senate has passed a bill 14-10 that would remove a tax provision brought to the legislators’ attention last week by Planet Fitness.

The New Hampshire based gym franchise, who recently decided to go public, told lawmakers that if the provision remained on the books, they would leave the state.

Currently 200 jobs would be lost if the company moved headquarters. The company, which began in Dover in 1992, has more than 950 locations nationwide.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After hours of debate and more than a dozen failed floor amendments, the Senate voted 14-10 along party lines Thursday to pass a $11.3 billion budget. 

The Senate proposal spends $99 million more than the House version but $66 million less than what the Governor proposed. A fact many Democrats were not shy to point out Thursday, including Sen. Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester.

Emily Corwin

Ohio’s Republican Governor and potential presidential candidate John Kasich stopped in Portsmouth Thursday to test his appeal with a handful of Seacoast Republicans. Kasich was the 10th presidential hopeful to luncheon with Renee Plummer and her politically active friends. Some consider Plummer the region’s most active Republican networker.

Kasich, a longtime congressman, former Fox TV host, and current Ohio governor, says he knows how to navigate Washington bureaucracy. And, he said – his administration would be sensitive to issues like mental illness and drug addiction. 

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR


The New Hampshire House is backing a bill that would require a person to live in the state for 30 days before they can vote.

Supporters of such legislation say they want to crack down on "drive by" voting to ensure people voting in New Hampshire elections actually live here. But critics say the state shouldn't restrict who can and can't vote. Students or others who move to the state less than 30 days before an election shouldn't be barred from voting, they say.


The full Senate is taking up its $11.3 billion budget proposal as a partisan and contentious budget season continues.

Senate budget writers restored most of the House cuts to social service programs that prompted a backlash of criticism.

Republicans maintain the Senate plan restores money for the state's most vulnerable citizens while Democrats say it cuts taxes for big businesses at the expense of everyone else.

Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee is expected to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday evening for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’ll make the announcement at George Mason University in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Chafee left the governor’s office in January with low approval ratings. And there’s debate about whether Chafee can actually impact the Democratic presidential race.

The difficulties of his one term as governor seem far away as Lincoln Chafee drives north to to look for support among voters in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Campaigning in Manchester, Republican Lindsey Graham said if he were president, he’d deploy 20,000 troops to the Middle East. Graham said national security dictates that the fight ISIS in Iraq and join those trying to topple Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad.

Sheryl Senter for NHPR

New Hampshire 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta continues to deny any wrongdoing, despite reports released Tuesday that contradict his story about $355,000 he spent on his 2010 campaign.

Despite calls for his resignation from the state's top Republicans, Guinta said in a statement Tuesday he has no plans on stepping down.

The Senate Finance Committee presented to colleagues its $11.3 billion budget proposal Tuesday at the State House calling it a "conservative but compassionate budget."

But Democratic Senate leaders say the two-year spending plan is not in the best interest of New Hampshire residents, claiming that it is riddled with “budget gimmicks” such as double counting and unspecified budget cuts to key social services.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn also criticizes the plan,  claiming it gives business tax breaks to “special friends” such as Planet Fitness.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Federal Election Commission reports released today shed more light on the finances of district congressman Frank Guinta. 


Federal investigators relied in part on statements from relatives of Congressman Frank Guinta to conclude that he used illegal donations to fund his 2010 campaign, according to recently released reports.

AP Photo

A movement to push Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to enter the presidential race will come to an end next week.

MoveOn.org and Democracy for America say the Run Warren Run movement will be suspended next Monday. The campaign began six months ago, though Warren has repeatedly insisted she isn’t running for president.

Organizers say the movement was successful in getting Democratic candidates in the race to focus on progressive issues such as income inequality.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has served in the Senate since 2002, where he has focused mainly on foreign policy and military issues.

Before being elected to the Senate, he served eight years in the U.S. House.

Graham has also served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force, the South Carolina Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR


A day after jumping into the presidential race, Democrat Martin O'Malley is vowing to fight hard in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary and a stronghold for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After greeting voters at a diner, O'Malley told reporters Sunday that he relishes tough fights.

O'Malley is kicking off his presidential bid with trips to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He is the third Democrat to enter the race, behind Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Kate Harper for NHPR


Top advisers from Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign are speaking with substance abuse prevention advocates in Iowa and New Hampshire as they develop campaign policies around drug addiction and treatment.

Ann O'Leary and Maya Harris, two top policy advisers to the campaign, held video conferences last week with leading advocates in both early voting states, campaign officials said. Clinton said in April she would make mental health and substance abuse treatment a "big part" of her campaign after hearing about it on the trail in both states.

Kate Harper for NHPR


Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for early presidential candidate debates — possibly this summer — to flesh out opinions and stimulate voter interest.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Sanders said early debates will highlight policy differences and help voters understand candidates' positions.

Sanders, an independent, last week officially declared his candidacy, taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley entered the Democratic race on Saturday

Presidential GOP hopefuls are back in New Hampshire again this week including Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsay Graham.

Lindsay Graham will make his first stop in N.H. Tuesday – a day after he officially kicks off his presidential campaign for the Republican ticket in his home state.

The South Carolina Senator is scheduled to drop by MaryAnne’s Diner in Derry as well as attend a house party later that night in Tuftonboro hosted by Beverly Bruce. Graham will also be in Portsmouth and Manchester on Wednesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It will be a busy week at the State House with the Senate having its chance to weigh in on the state budget. 

After weeks of sorting through the numbers, the Senate Finance Committee has sent its $11.3 billion version of the budget to the Senate floor Thursday – where it is expected to pass.

The Republican-backed plan restores funding to developmental services, elderly care and substance abuse treatment that was cut in the House version. It also puts back money in the state’s rainy day fund as well as the renewable energy fund.