Blog: Politics & Policy

Data, news, and analysis of politics and public policy in New Hampshire.

Sharon Morrow

The manager for New Hampshire’s prescription drug monitoring program told lawmakers Tuesday that more funding would help the system to better handle an expected increase in use that could come with efforts to more closely monitor opioid prescribing.

As part of a special legislative session on heroin and opioid misuse, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley have each proposed giving the program $100,000 in state money to help with technology upgrades that would encourage more widespread use.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

E-mail solicitations from political campaigns tend to follow a pretty well-worn formula:

It may be hard for those of us in New Hampshire to believe -- but there's a whole other round of voting to come after our own presidential primary in February. And the outcome of that race will likely be shaped by factors impossible to predict at this point.

To help, the website FiveThirtyEight.com just published a guide to the seven major issues they believe will shape the 2016 White House race. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On the last day for candidates to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, Vermin Supreme, known for campaigning with a massive boot on his head, made his third run for President official. This year, Supreme who is from Rockport, Massachusetts, is running as a Democrat. But his platform remains a bit out of the mainstream.

www.brookscullison.com

Almost all the big names have walked through the halls of the New Hampshire Statehouse, strolled into the Secretary of State's Office, and plunked down the $1,000 needed to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary.

  Only Republican Ben Carson is left to file, and he's set to take care of that on Friday, the last day to do so.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

George Pataki’s polling average in New Hampshire is hovering under one percent, and he was shut out of the most recent "undercard" debate — but he’s not planning to bow out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

I don’t expect this will get me invited to many Manchester dinner parties or Sioux City porkfests. But here goes:

It’s time for Democrats to ditch Iowa and New Hampshire’s one-two punch at the front of the party’s presidential nominating calendar.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week we took a closer look at the most vigorous defender of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Over the past four decades, Gardner has met nearly every candidate to run for president. That access has provided him a fair share of stories -- so many stories, in fact, that we couldn't find room for even a fraction of them all.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Donald Trump has been at the front of the Republican presidential pack in New Hampshire since late July — at the moment, outpacing all other candidates in polling averages double digits.

For some, it's a chance to show off an army of supporters and pay homage to a long-running New Hampshire political tradition. For others, it's a chance to formalize their run for the presidency — however far-fetched their candidacy may be.

Graham 2016

With less than three months until the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has begun airing his first television and radio ads in the state.

Graham has been among the most avid on-the-ground campaigners in the state: Since August, he's spent 33 days here. But this will be the first time Graham has spent money on ads.

Courtesy David Mulder via Flickr Creative Commons

A bipartisan commission says New Hampshire lawmakers should consider adding comprehensive dental benefits to the state's Medicaid program for adults. The commission, which was created last year to analyze barriers to dental care in New Hampshire, released its final report on Monday.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A 64-year-old New Hampshire woman with terminal lung cancer has sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the state’s rollout of its medical marijuana program.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

For most presidential candidates, getting on the New Hampshire ballot is a fairly straightforward affair: Show up at the State House, bring $1,000 to cover the filing fee, and sign a form affirming  you’re registered with your chosen political party.

For Bernie Sanders, that last part has proven slightly more complicated.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The presidential candidates who start parading through Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s office this week might do well to pay special attention to the desk that’ll be on display nearby — its original owner is to thank (or blame) for why they’re spending so much time in New Hampshire these days.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Retired state workers under age 65 will have to pay 5 percent more in monthly premiums beginning in January, under changes approved by lawmakers Tuesday morning.

Andrew Walsh, NHPR

By now, those on the front lines at the Secretary of State’s office have come to expect two distinct types when it comes to presidential candidates.

There are the ones who treat the ballot filing period like a campaign event. They bring along throngs of supporters and make sure to call ahead to check that they won’t have to share the spotlight with any competitors.

And then there are the ones who just show up.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Reading this story on your iPhone or iPad? Download NHPR's new State of Democracy app and stay connected to the stories that matter from the 2016 campaign trail. Click here to get the app.

While the New Hampshire Primary has been humming along at top speed for months, it’s easy to overlook the fact that two basic details have yet to be wrapped up: the actual date of the Primary election, and the official candidate names to appear on the ballot. At least one of those should start looking a bit firmer this week.

When the Department of Education released its latest round of state-level reading and math scores this week, it was cause for cheer in New Hampshire. The state ranked in the top two or three states in every category and grade-level tests.

Those kind of high marks have been common in New Hampshire for years. But a recent report suggests the state’s status as one of the nation’s top test-takers should come down a few notches. 

GIF created using footage from CNBC

So, what did we learn from Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate? The candidates are happy to chime in as media critics, particularly if they don’t feel like answering the question before them.

Chris Jensen/NHPR

Here's an issue with bipartisan consensus: Both parties agree the opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing challenges facing New Hampshire. But Democrats and Republicans in the State House are not quite yet reading from the same script on how to tackle this problem.

Last week we examined the campaign money landscape in the New Hampshire Primary, both how candidates are raising money in the state, and how they're spending it.

But what do those dollars mean against the national campaign fundraising picture?

Jim Cole / AP

If you’d like to understand what a decline in civics education means for the future of the country’s political system, David Souter suggests a sports analogy.

“As somebody said a while back – you know, if you go to a baseball game and you don’t know what the rules of the game are, it’s incomprehensible. If you know something about the three strikes rule, it’s maybe a little bit more comprehensible,” the retired United States Supreme Court justice told an audience at Nashua Community College Monday afternoon. “Well, the same thing goes for government.”

Screenshots from Brigade App

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

New Hampshire voters might not have seen much of Lincoln Chafee before he bowed out of the presidential race Friday. If you happen to be involved with your local Democratic town committee, however, you might be on a first-name basis with the former candidate.

Back in May, right after Chafee announced he was mulling a run for president, the members of the Amherst and Milford Democrats wasted no time reaching out.

“We picked up the phone and called his home number,” committee chair Shannon Chandley recalled Friday. “’Do you want to come to our potluck?’”

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte that’s meant to address one particularly troubling side effect of the nation’s opioid crisis: growing drug dependence among infants.

The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review how it deals with “neonatal abstinence syndrome” (or “NAS”). It also calls upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states improve public health monitoring and data collection around NAS.

istock photo

Following a recent wave of mergers in the insurance industry, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is raising “serious concerns” about the potentially harmful impact of these deals on consumers. She nodded specifically to the projected effects of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger on New Hampshire’s insurance market.

Turn on the television in New Hampshire these days, and you won’t have to wait long before Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Chris Christie pops up on your screen. 

 The 2016 race for New Hampshire governor is rapidly gathering momentum, even with Election Day more than a year away. Candidacies are being launched by the day, it seems. Pledges made. Priorities listed. Promises floated.

And now we have the first campaign ad of the race. It comes courtesy of Republican Frank Edelblut, a state legislator who's apparently hoping to ride-share his way to the governor's office. 

I am I.A.M. via Flicker Creative Commons

There’s been a particularly competitive, expensive campaign season brewing in recent months that could have implications for the future of North American policies on trade, energy, the environment, immigration and more.

We are, of course, referring to the race playing out among our neighbors to the north. Canadian federal elections were held Monday — and, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, voters provided the country's Liberal Party with enough seats to upend the Conservatives. 

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