Chris Sununu

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt was in New Hampshire Tuesday for an unpublicized private meeting with Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu spokesman Ben Vihstadt confirmed Sununu and Pruitt met privately in the morning, and said they had no other "stops scheduled later" in the day.

A statement from Sununu sent Tuesday afternoon says the two discussed the Coakley Landfill Superfund site, where the EPA plans to test bedrock to see if contamination is spreading in the local water supply. 

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Officials in Massachusetts are still debating the future of a big renewable energy contract for their state.

That’s after their initial pick, Northern Pass, hit a major roadblock in New Hampshire – though the transmission proposal still has support from Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Commonwealth picked Eversource's Northern Pass plan last month for a long-term contract that must start in 2020. That choice was thrown into limbo a week later, when New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee denied the project its final permit.

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Governor Chris Sununu and other lawmakers will enjoy a day on the slopes Monday.

NHPR File Photo

 

Governor Chris Sununu has announced the members of a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

The council includes representatives of state agencies, the university system, the ACLU, law enforcement, and others.

 

The group will be chaired by Rogers Johnson of the NAACP.

 

Sununu announced the creation of the council in December, following several high profile incidents of racial bias around the state.

 

The council's first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The full list of membership is below.

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Gov. Chris Sununu says he supports a bill that would increase the state's minimum age for marriage to 16 years old.

 

In a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, Sununu described the marriage of a 13-year-old girl as "unconscionable." That's the minimum age for girls to marry in the state; for boys, it's 14, though both require parental consent and approval of a judge.

 

The Republican-led House rejected a bill last year that would have raised the minimum age to 18. Lawmakers are now considering a bill to raise the minimum age to 16 for both genders. 

 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is backing a bill that he says will reform how New Hampshire’s state government works

Regulatory reform has been on Sununu’s to-do list since running for office. He once called New Hampshire a “regulatory police state.”

Last year, he pulled together an all-male group of lawmakers and business owners to figure out the best ways to cut red tape.

On Monday, they sent him a nearly 50-page list of suggestions that include processing permits faster and making fire marshals solely responsible for the fire codes in foster homes.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

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Gov. Chris Sununu voiced opposition to a commuter rail in New Hampshire during his campaign. But now he's supporting a $4 million feasibility study to look at how commuter rail could work.

NHPR's Jessica Hunt spoke with rail expansion advocate E.J. Powers on what Sununu's position change could mean for commuter rail in the state.

What do you make of Sununu's new position on commuter rail?

Sununu Sends Transportation Plan to Lawmakers

Jan 17, 2018

  Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says his recommended 10-year transportation improvement plan for New Hampshire focuses on preservation, maintenance and safety of existing pavement and bridge infrastructure while "living within our means."

Sununu released a draft plan on Wednesday to be considered by lawmakers.

The plan, which emphasizes interstate as well as individual projects, assumes a level federal funding of about $185 million a year. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

During his run for Governor, Chris Sununu called commuter rail a “boondoggle” – a bad investment.

Now he’s putting his support behind a $4 million feasibility study to look at how commuter rail could work. On Wednesday morning in Nashua, Sununu said that with Amazon potentially coming to New Hampshire and more private partnerships available, he thinks it makes sense to explore rail.

A new office created to help better protect children in New Hampshire might be led by a woman who has held a similar position in Connecticut.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday will nominate Moira O'Neill to serve as the director of the Office of the Child Advocate. O'Neill has served as an assistant child advocate for the state of Connecticut for 11 years.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State lawmakers on Tuesday reaffirmed their support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The RGGI program lets polluters across nine states either cut carbon emissions or buy carbon allowances. Right now, New Hampshire puts a fifth of the money from selling those allowances into energy efficiency projects, and rebates the rest to customers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has a long to-do list for this year’s legislative session.

Sununu gathered Republican lawmakers together for a press conference early Tuesday morning that had the feel of a GOP pep rally. 

The New Hampshire Republican Party has sometimes struggled to unite, even with control of the Statehouse. But Tuesday, Sununu praised lawmakers for their work last year, expressed confidence in what’s ahead and tried to normalize potential splits.

 

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Governor Chris Sununu says he opposes oil drilling off New Hampshire's coast, as the federal government proposes opening the North Atlantic region and much of the nation's coastline to oil and gas production.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management wants to hold two auctions for offshore drilling space between New Jersey and Maine, in 2021 and 2023 – plus four more auctions in the South and Mid-Atlantic.

Allegra Boverman

A massive winter storm is moving along the eastern seaboard on Thursday.

 Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Gov. Chris Sununu about how New Hampshire is preparing for the storm and how to access assistance in a case of an emergency.


Federal Communications Commission/Flickr

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is criticizing Governor Chris Sununu’s support for the repeal of so-called net neutrality laws, arguing the FCC’s decision could harm consumers, as well as the state’s longshot bid to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to the state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

People living with either physical or intellectual disabilities often face financial hardships. Good paying jobs can be out of reach, while the costs for transportation or assistive devices such as a wheelchair can be prohibitive.

A new investment account for New Hampshire residents may ease some of that burden. Similar to a “529” college saving account, qualified participants can now invest money and use those funds on a range of needs.

Allegra Boverman

Gov. Chris Sununu has come out in favor of the repeal of so-called “net neutrality” rules by the Federal Communications Commission, saying that “over regulation protects monopolies and hurts consumers.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Gov. Chris Sununu just made two announcements on equity issues at the state level. The state Department of Justice is launching a new civil rights unit. And the governor is forming a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

Peter Biello, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Andrew Smith, who will be involved in the new state efforts. Smith works in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He works with groups in New Hampshire after racial incidents occur.

 

Britta Greene / NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Justice is launching a new Civil Rights Unit to strengthen its enforcement of anti-discrimination law. The move is one of two equity and inclusion efforts announced by Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday.

A Republican-backed bill tightening definitions for voting eligibility in New Hampshire could run up against resistance from Gov. Chris Sununu, if he maintains the position articulated in a video clip that’s being circulated by a progressive group that advocates for voting rights.

Sununu Urges Congress to Refund Community Health Centers

Dec 8, 2017
Casey McDermott

Gov. Chris Sununu and neighboring Vermont Gov. Phil Scott are urging Congress to reauthorize funding for the states’ community health centers. 

Failing to do so would result in the loss of $16 million for New Hampshire alone.

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Governor Sununu says he supports the GOP tax bill working its way through the Senate, calling it a “net positive” for the majority of low and middle income families in America.

Sununu met Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about the tax plan, as well as New Hampshire’s Medicaid program and ongoing opioid crisis.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has requested a major disaster declaration and federal emergency assistance for five counties following an October storm that caused widespread damage and power outages.

The combination of heavy rainfall and damaging winds caused severe damages to hundreds of miles of local and state roadways and dozens of bridges and culverts in New Hampshire Oct. 29-Oct. 30. The high winds damaged many trees and power lines, disrupting electricity to approximately 270,000 customers.

Considering the circumstances, the alleged criminal remained remarkably stoic, barely flapping a feather as he stood at the front of the council chambers on Wednesday while Gov. Chris Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald presented the facts of his case.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg captured 2 percent in a preference poll ahead (way, way, way ahead) of the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

The UNH Survey Center asked people to pick from a list of "potential candidates" that the pollster provided.  By the way, Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he is not running. 

Moving on.

Other N.H. notables and stories this week:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has removed a member of the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Commission who wrote an op-ed piece saying there is no cancer cluster.

Sununu said Tuesday he's removed Steve Kenda of North Hampton, a past Republican candidate for state Senate and governor, from the commission. He said Kenda's participation has become too much of a distraction.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

News that the Trump administration plans to stop issuing cost-sharing payments, or CSRs, provoked swift outcry from New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation. These payments to insurers help to offset the cost of coverage for low-income patients. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Sununu repeatedly called on Trump to make sure the payments continue — but he isn't criticizing the president for the decision to take them away.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A committee appointed by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu in hopes of making New Hampshire more business-friendly is starting its work.

Sununu, who called New Hampshire a "regulatory police state" during his campaign, last month appointed a regulatory reform steering committee to conduct in-depth reviews of state regulations and recommend changes.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

During a wide-ranging speech in Bedford Wednesday morning, Governor Chris Sununu touched on Washington politics, President Trump, health care, millennials, and, almost as an afterthought, confirmed he’s running for re-election in 2018.

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