William O'Brien

NH News
1:22 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

N.H. Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of O'Brien Suit Against Dems

The state’s highest court has unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that scuttled  former House Speaker William O’Brien’s lawsuit against the N.H. Democratic Party over automated phone calls that targeted O’Brien without the proper disclosures.

At issue were 394 calls placed by Democrats in 2010.

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NH News
4:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Former House Speaker O'Brien Inches Closer To Congressional Run

Credit NHPR

Representative Bill O’Brien says he will file paperwork next week to launch a campaign committee in advance of a possible run for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District.

The Mont Vernon Republican says polling he’s done shows widespread dissatisfaction with freshman Democrat Ann McLane Kuster. From overspending in Washington to late payment of her own property taxes in Hopkinton, O'Brien says, "Ann McLane Kuster doesn't get it."

O’Brien says voters in the district are unhappy with Kuster’s positions on taxes and the Federal deficit, and are already seeking change.

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NH News
5:32 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Speaker O'Brien Can't Shake Election Spotlight

Credit Dan Gorenstein / NHPR

A joke about being New Hampshire Speaker of the House is that you get a parking spot, $125 annual salary, and the chance to bang a gavel.

But when Bill O’Brien took the position in 2010, he took an important but largely under the radar position into the spotlight.

"It’s been all about O’Brien," says Dante Scala, a political scientist at UNH. "For better or worse, O’Brien became the center of gravity in the New Hampshire legislature, and the face of the New Hampshire legislature, in a way that past Speakers rarely are."

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NH News
12:25 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Nepotism Inquiry Yields Little

A nepotism inquiry by House Speaker Bill O’Brien has turned up little evidence of improper hiring in state government.

The probe comes in the wake of last month’s scandal at the Department of Employment Security. Two high ranking officials are accused of hiring their daughters, and then having them laid off by subordinates so that they could collect unemployment benefits.

Speaker O’Brien requested that all agency heads disclose any family members working within their respective departments.

NH News
4:06 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Speaker O'Brien: Will Seek to Outlaw Gay Marriage If Re-elected

New Hampshire Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien says he would again seek to outlaw gay marriage in the state if he wins another term as Speaker.

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NH News
3:59 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

O'Brien Defends Higher Ed Cuts and Targets UNH

New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien says the University of New Hampshire and its workers need to be more efficient. O’Brien, while speaking on NHPR’s the Exchange, defended lawmaker’s nearly fifty percent cut to higher ed funding, the largest in the nation. The Speaker also criticized UNH for increasing its tuition and, he says, not making the cuts necessary to become efficient.

 “Its union is seeking a 16 percent increase in its pay. Its workers are inefficient and unproductive. They don’t teach as many hours as they can.”

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All Things Considered
6:07 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

O'Brien Names New Majority Leader as Questions Remain About Bettencourt Conduct

Politics usually take a break over Memorial Day weekend, but not this year in New Hampshire. State House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt abruptly resigned after admitting he had falsified documents for a law school internship.

NHPR’s Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest on the Bettencourt story, the potential political fallout for House Speaker William O'Brien, and the newly named majority leader, Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua.

Politics
6:06 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

O'Brien-Vaillancourt Flap At Center of Busy, Contentious State House Session

It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.

NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.

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NH News
4:45 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

House Votes Through Contraception Exemption

Josh Rogers NHPR

 The New Hampshire House voted to allow any employer with a religious objection to deny workers insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Adding an exemption to New Hampshire’s 12-year-old law requiring contraceptives be covered in all drug plans has become a priority for House Speaker William O'Brien. And his leadership team pushed the bill through over strong objection from Democrats and a gallery full of protesters.

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NH News
6:19 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Contraception Fight Heading To House Floor

House Speaker William O'Brien's bill to allow any employer with a religious objection to exclude contraception coverage from employee health plans draws fire from Democrats and leaves GOP Gubernatorial hopefuls leery.

Democrats’ problems with this bill are by far the more pronounced. Gubernatorial hopeful Jackie Cilley, for instance, has urged supporters to “take to the streets” over the issue. Fellow candidate Maggie Hassan, meanwhile, took to the statehouse for a morning press conference.

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NH News
4:12 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

House Passes Contraception Resolution

Todd Bookman, NHPR

 

The resolution asks the federal government to undo a rule requiring insurance companies to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations.

House republican leaders say religious liberty is in jeopardy under the federal rule, even though it no longer requires religious organizations to directly pay for contraceptives. House Speaker William O’Brien says the 227-to-121 vote sends the message that either way, the requirement’s intent is simply wrong.

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NH News
5:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

O'Brien Pushing Back On Contraception Mandates

The New Hampshire House will likely vote next week to ask the federal government to rescind a rule forcing insurers to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations. House Speaker William O'Brien says he'll also work to undo a similar state law. 

O’Brien told the house state and federal relations committee it's unconstitutional for governments, federal or state, to tell insurers to offer contraception to workers at religious organizations.

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NH News
6:27 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Bragdon, O'Brien Differ On Tax and Spending Caps

 

Top house and senate republicans are at odds over constitutional amendments designed to keep government small. 

The state senate's proposed constitutional change would require a 60 percent vote by lawmakers to increase state spending beyond the rate of inflation. As passed by the house, the proposal would have required that same super-majority to borrow money or raise taxes.

According to Senate President Peter Bragdon the senate version amounts to common sense -- low taxes, he says, result from low spending.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Rally At Statehouse

Josh Rogers, NHPR

 

About 200 people showed up to hold signs and hear speeches by gay marriage critics. House speaker William O’Brien, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne and  Republican national committeewoman Phylliss Woods all said its time to undo the two year old law allowing gays to marry.  David Bates, a State Rep. from Windham, wrote the repeal bill and MC'd the rally.

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NH News
5:35 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

O'Brien Wants Fatter Rainy Day Fund --Now

 

The Legislature holds the purse strings and House Speaker Bill O’Brien wants to prove it. O’Brien is backing a measure to divert money generated by the state’s insurance tax to New Hampshire’s rainy day fund. NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports

The measure aims to fatten the rainy day fund by $26 million, which was the state’s surplus in fiscal year 2011. Speaker O’Brien told the House ways and means committee that socking the money away amounts to simple prudence.

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