Josh Rogers | New Hampshire Public Radio

Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.

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N.H. state representatives meeting in person at a Bedford sports facility Feb. 24, 2021
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

COVID-19 loomed over Wednesday’s meeting of the New Hampshire House.

Lawmakers met in Bedford at the 50,000 square foot NH Sportsplex, to keep social distance. 

The session opened with Merrimack Republican Jeanine Notter offering a teary recollection of former Speaker Dick Hinch, who died of the coronavirus in December, a week after winning the speaker’s gavel.

New Hampshire State House photo
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A federal judge has rejected a legal challenge by Democrats to force New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard to allow lawmakers with disabilities to attend House sessions remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Chris Sununu handed off his state budget to the House Finance Committee Wednesday, stressing what he called the plan’s “balance.”

NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated Eddie Edwards, a one-time Republican congressional candidate with a background in state and local law enforcement to be the next assistant commissioner at the Department of Safety.

House Speaker Sherm Packard
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democrats in the New Hampshire House want a federal judge to force Republican House Speaker Sherman Packard to allow legislators with serious health conditions to attend next weeks’ House session remotely.

N.H. House members meeting outside in December, 2020.
Todd Bookman / NHPR

The 400-member New Hampshire House has found a new place to meet indoors later this month, but the Legislature's top Democrat is threatening legal action to allow lawmakers who don't want to meet in person due to COVID-19 the right to participate remotely.

courtesy New Hampshire General Court

There was full remote attendance during the most recent meeting of the New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee. But one lawmaker, Committee Chairman Norm Major explained, would not be allowed to vote during the hearing.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill designed to ward off lawsuits stemming from COVID exposures went before a state Senate committee Monday.

The measure's backers say it's prudent to protect businesses from lawsuits over COVID exposure, as well as local governments, schools, and religious organizations, so long as they can show they've followed state and federal COVID guidance.

Speaker Sherman Packard
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard has announced plans for the 400-member House to meet in person later this month, though he declined to disclose the precise location.

The New Hampshire Executive Council has confirmed Nashua businessman Ryan Terrell to the state Board of Education.

The vote, which fell along party lines, was a reversal of Terrell’s previous effort to join the Board.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

A  New Hampshire House committee wants to give a legislative panel the power to overturn any emergency order issued by the state’s health commissioner.

The proposal cleared the House’s Health and Human Services Committee by a 19-2 vote Monday.

Durham voting polls
Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A New Hampshire House committee is considering proposals to move the date of state primary elections.  Backers of the bills say holding earlier party primaries will boost political participation; critics say it could do the opposite.

By law, New Hampshire holds state primary elections on the second Tuesday in September.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Tax cuts are a priority for the new Republican majority in the State House this year. Bills to reduce or eliminate several state taxes were before a committee of the New Hampshire House Thursday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill to waive sanctions against businesses cited by the state for violating COVID-19 health guidelines. The plan's backers say lifting penalties for violators, once the state of emergency ends, strikes a proper balance.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The state's most recently retired Supreme Court Chief Justice, who is now a newly elected state representative, is asking lawmakers to support changing the constitution to permit judges to remain on the court beyond the age of 70.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Absentee balloting - a policy put front and center in 2020 due to the coronavirus - was before a state Senate committee Monday.

Local election officials told lawmakers that a proposal to require images of a photo IDs to be included with absentee ballots and ballot requests would create a logistical burden that would disenfranchise eligible voters.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald has been confirmed as chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, ending a protracted political dispute over who should lead the state’s high court.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald was back before the Executive Council Thursday, for a public hearing over his nomination to be the next chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Mount Sunapee ski resort
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire ski patrollers are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations alongside front line health care workers.

The state’s original vaccine plan didn’t prioritize the 500-plus paid and volunteer patrollers who work at New Hampshire ski areas. The most conspicuous notice of the change in policy appears on the website of the New Hampshire Region Ski Patrol, which announced the change last week.

Pease Air National Guard sign
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

About 50 members of the New Hampshire National Guard are heading to Washington to bolster security during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

As NHPR's Josh Rogers reports, Gov. Chris Sununu is backing the deployment, which he said was "to protect and defend democracy."

Dave Lane / Union Leader

Gov.  Chris Sununu is criticizing President Trump's role in the storming of the Capitol last week, but he stopped short of calling for Trump's impeachment, saying the focus needs to be on ensuring an orderly transition of power.

Governor Sununu photo
Pool photo: Dave Lane / Union Leader

Gov. Chris Sununu was inaugurated for his third term Thursday, taking the oath of office in a closed-door ceremony and delivering his inaugural address via YouTube rather than before a live audience.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers sat in their cars on a cold January day and listened to the first legislative session of the year - by tuning into a radio frequency. Even their vehicles were socially distanced, each separated by a parking space, in Wednesday’s "drive-in" style meeting of the New Hampshire House in a UNH parking lot intended to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The state Senate voted unanimously today to make it easier for local officials to postpone town meetings and pre-process absentee ballots.

The bill would extend procedures enacted last year through the 2021 town election season.

Copyright 2021 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Things are getting busy again at the New Hampshire State House with the start of the new year. This week, both the Legislature and Gov. Chris Sununu begin new terms against the backdrop of a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. NHPR Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers discussed this with All Things Considered Host Peter Biello.

St. Pauls chapel
Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

St. Paul's School has agreed to take new steps to comply with a 2018 settlement with the New Hampshire Department of Justice that spared the Concord boarding school from potential criminal prosecution for child endangerment.

As part of the agreement, St. Paul's will hire an additional staffer and commission a new assessment of its student safety polices.

It happens at the beginning of every year: elected officials, legislative staff, lobbyists, journalists and the public gather in large numbers in state capitol buildings around the country for a relentless few weeks — or months — of lawmaking.

In 2020, official business had wrapped in many states by mid-March when lockdowns began. In others, the spread of COVID-19 sent lawmakers home early.

Pfizer.com

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster says she's received a COVID-19 vaccination. Her receipt of the first of two shots comes as Congress's attending physician is urging lawmakers to get vaccinated.

The physician who serves Congress was blunt in advising lawmakers to get shots as soon as possible.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says he doesn't know - and doesn't think the public has a right to know - how many state lawmakers or State House staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Sununu says if lawmakers choose to disclose a positive test that's their business, but, "It's not like the State House is infected and if you walk in you are going to get infected with COVID," Sununu said.

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