DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Senate Finance Committee will consider funding for the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday.

The Senate will take up the House budget, which ends funding for the state’s expanded Medicaid program, suspends ServiceLink - which connects elderly and disabled residents with funding and services - and delays a 10-bed mental health crisis unit at New Hampshire Hospital by one year.

While the House budget increased the Health and Human Services budget $110 million over the previous year, it fell $200 million short of Governor Hassan’s proposed budget.

The Senate has voted to wait before deciding whether to extend the state’s expanded Medicaid program, also called the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

Under the law that went into effect last year, the program will expire at the end of 2016. That’s the point when the federal government stops funding the entire expansion, dialing its contribution down to 90 percent.

In a bipartisan vote, the Senate tabled the extension in order to give more time to determine how the program is working.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The candidates split on key issues from the start. Asked to identify the greatest threat facing America, Scott brown was unequivocal:  radical Islamic Jihadists.

"It's something that’s real, that’s serious. Obviously we have Boko Haram in Africa, we have ISIS and Al- Qaeda elements, still, and their number one goal is to disrupt and dismantle the society as we know it.  Senator Shaheen has called what we are discussing fear-mongering. I call it a very rational fear."

hillary h via flickr Creative Commons

USA Today recently published the U.S. Senate handbook, a 380 page document of rules intended to keep Senate offices running smoothly. On today’s show, from carpet color to telephone hold music, we reveal the handbook’s most confounding regulations.

Plus, ‘tis the season of ghosts, witches, and vampires. We’ll explore how cultures around the world interpret the supernatural.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

lindalu23 / Flickr Creative Commons

We’re sitting down with a panel of leading lawmakers to talk about their top issues for 2014.  These will include some repeats from last year such as Medicaid expansion, a gas tax increase, and casino gambling.  Other major debates will include guns and mental health, as well as cell phone use while driving.



Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith says he's moving back to New Hampshire in an attempt to win back his old seat.

In the current American political system, some say larger states can be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to political representation in the U.S. Senate and electoral college, to a degree some say the Founders likely never imagined. Some are clamoring for a remedy of some sort, while others suggest the two Senators per State model still plays an important role in balancing political power. We'll look at both sides of this debate. 


The NH Senate will be voting on its budget this Thursday; their plan calls for $10.7 billion in spending over two years, coming just under the House's budget, which calls for $11b, but doing it with large policy differences. One of those differences is Medicaid expansion, which the Governor and House favor. Looking forward to the 2014 US Senate election, in which incumbent Jeanne Shaheen is expected to run for re-election, Jim Rubens has been added to the list of possible Republican contenders, along with Jeb Bradley, Frank Guinta, and Scott Brown.

Scrumshus via Wikimedia Commons

This week the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP) was narrowly rejected on the Senate floor.  The treaty, negotiated during the Bush administration, has already been ratified by126 other nations—including China, Russia, and Iran. 

Carol M. Highsmith / Library Of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection

In 2007, The Exchange ran a special series taking a look at 25 influential people in the Granite State, 25 In 25. As part of that series, we spoke to former U.S. Senator for New Hampshire Warren Rudman. We are reposting this episode as a special memorial, following Senator Rudman's death on Monday, November 19th.

From the original episode:

Flkr Creative Commons / Steve Rhode

The Senate Finance committee has voted unanimously to recommend banning a so-called “internet tax”. The bill would clear up the confusion surrounding the state’s Communications Services Tax.

Salem Senator Chuck Morse says two months ago, internet providers approached him to say that the state was starting to get serious about collecting taxes on internet. So he decided to do something about it.

"The amendment is very simple," Morse says, "New Hampshire is making a statement, it will not tax the internet, that’s it."

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

All eyes were on the State Senate today, where lawmakers voted down a bevy of bills that would regulate abortion and allow employers to opt out of covering contraception.

State lawmakers have traditionally rejected such measures, but the issue has become a point of friction between the house and Senate. That friction is set to continue.

Sam Evans-Brown


A senate committee has voted to send a bill that would allow communities to ask for a one year moratorium on refugee resettlement for further study.

The committee voted 3-1 to refer the bill to interim study, with Senator David Boutin from Hooksett dissenting. That vote is a polite way of asking the full senate to let the measure die quietly.

Committee Chair Senator Jack Barnes says he doesn’t think the state legislature has the authority to pass this bill.

Congressional Redistricting Moves Forward

Apr 11, 2012

New Hampshire lawmakers have reached agreement on a Congressional redistricting plan. With two incumbent Republicans in Congress, both wanted to keep their districts as GOP-leaning as possible.

Under the final plan, six towns will switch districts. Sanborton, Tilton and Campton move east from District 2 to District 1; while Deerfield, Northwood and Center Harbor will shift west to District 2.

House Committee Votes Against Sex Offender Board

Apr 3, 2012

After sailing through the Senate, a bill that would have created a ‘Sexual Offender Management Board’ hit a wall in the House today.

The bill calls for the creation of a 19-member board that would evaluate policies toward sex offenders.

Advocate Chris Dornin told the House Criminal Justice Committee that laws are often rushed through after a high-profile child murder or molestation.