NH Politics

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The commission studying marijuana legalization in New Hampshire is watching Massachusetts as pot shops become legal there on July 1.

Ed Shemelya says it could present some unique challenges—even in the Granite State.

Shemeleya is coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, a federal anti-drug effort focused on marijuana data. He addressed the study commission on behalf of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, established by the White House office of National Drug Control Policy.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says his fight against gerrymandering is a partisan attempt at good governing. Holder was in New Hampshire Friday, promoting what he calls "fair redistricting."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, Laura talks with Chris Pappas, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Pappas is the owner of the Puritan Backroom Restaurant, a restaurant in Manchester, and is a member of the N.H. Executive Council. He was formerly a state representative, and Treasurer of Hillsborough County. 

Our Race for the First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 

The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party has announced his support for including marijuana legalization in the party's platform.

Ray Buckley says he joins Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand, the two candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor, in support of legalization, regulation and taxation. He says he's willing to co-sponsor an amendment and vote for the platform change at the party convention June 23.

Jason Moon for NHPR

With lawmakers gone from Concord, the 2018 political season is now officially on, and one New Hampshire politician making a quick shift to campaign mode is Gov. Chris Sununu. 

New Hampshire’s first Republican governor in more than a decade is hitting the trail with a mixed record at the Statehouse but plenty of enthusiasm.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Businesses that focus on generating human organs won't have to pay state business taxes for ten years under a bill signed into law today by Governor Chris Sununu. Backers of the bill, including companies set to benefit, say it could mean great things for New Hampshire. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The issue of voter fraud in New Hampshire — or a lack thereof — was front and center at a meeting of New Hampshire’s Ballot Law Commission in Concord. The big takeaway?  Top state officials haven’t found any evidence that it’s running rampant in New Hampshire’s elections.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan said Tuesday she believes student activism will be what tips the scales in the gun debate and pushes Congress to pass gun control legislation. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Second District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is promoting the latest version of what she calls her Jobs and Opportunity Agenda.

Kuster talked up ways to develop the state's workforce during a visit to Nashua Community College. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

Bill Kristol, the founder and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, visited the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College today to speak at the traditional "Politics & Eggs" event. The conservative leader does have his sights set on 2020—he just wants someone else, someone formidable, to take on President Trump. 

Kristol joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to further discuss this administration, the mid-term elections, and the next presidential election. 

(The transcript below as lightly edited for clarity.)  

Rebecca Lavoie / NHPR

 

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather next March — the New Hampshire Legislature has failed to resolve the issue of who has the authority to postpone local elections.

Nearly 80 towns rescheduled their March elections in 2017 due to a powerful snowstorm, and questions about whether doing so was legal remained unsettled when another storm hit this year.

NHPR File Photo

 

Long live "Live Free or Die."

Written by Revolutionary War Gen. John Stark in 1809 and adopted as the state motto in 1945, the phrase won praise from then-candidate Donald Trump just before the 2016 presidential primary.

"What a great slogan," Trump said in a Facebook video. "Congratulations, New Hampshire. Wonderful job."

To Trump, the motto stood for everything from free enterprise and border security to "taking care of our vets."

Mark MacKenzie for Congress Facebook Page

In this Race for the 1st conversation, The Exchange on Monday interviews Mark MacKenzie, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

MacKenzie lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he serves as a Representative, and he also served as a firefighter for the city for many years. He is a former President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. 

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a bill that would boost pay for state workers, end litigation with New Hampshire's hospitals, fix decaying bridges and fatten the state's rainy day fund.

And top lawmakers are confident the bill will win passage next week.

The $102 million dollar package pays for what negotiators considered musts: the new state employees contract and the Medicaid settlement.

But it also spends on a few pet initiatives, like recovery friendly workplaces. Governor Sununu wanted that one.

NHPR File Photo

 

Organizers of an anti-death penalty coalition say they have delivered over 56,000 petition signatures to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, urging him to sign a bill to repeal the state's capital punishment law.

Sununu has vowed to veto the bill, saying he stands with crime victims and members of the law enforcement community.

Before presenting the signatures, the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty held a news conference Thursday where family members of murder victims spoke in favor of repealing the death penalty.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are split on an upcoming confirmation vote for Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen says while she believes the use of torture is inconsistent with the nation’s values, she will vote for Haspel, citing her extensive experience within the CIA.

via Twitter

Marty Boldin, Gov. Chris Sununu’s top drug policy advisor, has been on paid administrative leave since the end of April.

But at least one month before that, concerns about Boldin’s behavior came to the attention of the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to interviews and an email obtained by NHPR.

Wikimedia

A controversial bill to restrict residency rules for voting is on its way to the state Supreme Court for a review. The Executive Council voted along party lines on Wednesday to approve Gov. Chris Sununu’s request to ask the court to look into House Bill 1264’s constitutionality.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A controversial animal cruelty bill appears dead after lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate failed to reach a compromise.

The two chambers passed substantively different versions earlier this year despite hearing relatively similar testimony from animal welfare groups, law enforcement and so-called hobby breeders.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Negotiators have reached agreement on a proposal to eliminate cash bail for most New Hampshire offenders. The plan won strong support from lawmakers but was reworked to address concerns of prosecutors and police.

Senate Bill 556 aimed to eliminate cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors so long as a judge ruled them not dangerous. In its current form, the elimination of bail with cash or conditions would only apply to Class B misdemeanors, crimes which carry no jail time.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of nearly identical bills to restrict residency requirements for voting coasted through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.  But now, both are running into roadblocks near the finish line.

House Bill 372 and House Bill 1264 both aim to impose stricter residency standards for voting in New Hampshire by changing the state’s definition of who counts as a “resident.” 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan met with employees of New Hampshire-based organic yogurt-maker Stonyfield Farm Monday. The company voiced concerns over the FCC's decision to end ‘net neutrality’ rules.

Representatives from Stonyfield are worried, among other things, that Internet Service Providers could start charging more for access to some websites and services.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate will meet Tuesday to hash out differences over an $87 million dollar spending bill.

The plan would boost pay for state workers, settle a lawsuit with New Hampshire hospitals, and fix decaying bridges, among other things. 

Shunichi kouroki via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pQoYLt

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission, which operates the state’s liquor stores, says it plans on getting into the business of shipping wine directly to consumers.

But at the same time, in its role as a regulator, the commission has been taking steps to limit out-of-state wine retailers from selling to New Hampshire customers, making the business of ordering a favorite Bordeaux a lot more complicated.  

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review whether proposed voting residency bills are constitutional.

But Representative David Bates, a Republican from Windham who sponsored one of the bills, contends the court is unlikely to intervene. He says the court declined last session to review a different voting bill, citing pending litigation.

Lincoln Soldati for Congress Facebook Page

In this Race for the 1st conversation, The Exchange on Monday interviews Lincoln Soldati, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Soldati served nine terms as Strafford County Attourney, and has worked as a trial lawyer, teacher, and public servant. As Strafford County Attourney, he created the Victim Assistance protocol. Soldati is a U.S. Army veteran, and served from 1969 to 1971. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says the New Hampshire Supreme Court should review two bills that would end New Hampshire's distinction between full-fledged residents and those who claim the state as their domicile for voting.

Current law allows college students and others who consider the state their domicile to vote without being subject to residency requirements, such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license or registering a vehicle.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program for another five years is on its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don't reauthorize it.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire has cleared both the House and Senate, but Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto the measure. Sununu says he's standing with law enforcement in his promise to veto.

N.H. Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy Sent to Sununu

May 10, 2018
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire House has sent to the governor a bill that would ban therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.

House lawmakers on Thursday agreed to accept changes made to the bill by the Senate and advance it to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who has said he supports banning such therapy.

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