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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Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

The Senate Finance Committee adopted a state budget along party lines Friday.  The $13 billion plan increases spending on education and mental heath services.

 

The budget proposal also includes tax changes opposed by Governor  Chris Sununu.

The Senate's proposed budget would boost funding for local schools by more than $100 million. It would also pay for a new secure psychiatric unit and increase beds for people in mental health crisis.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  The New Hampshire Legislature has banned capital punishment, overturning the veto of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. The outcome was narrow but anticipated.  And, for opponents of the death penalty, it was a long time coming.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House took a major step toward repealing the state's death penalty Thursday morning.

 

On a 247-123 vote, the House cleared the two-thirds majority necessary to override Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of a death penalty repeal bill.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

It’s a busy time of year at the New Hampshire State House, and no lawmaker may be as busy as New Hampshire Senate Majority leader Dan Feltes. 

josh rogers/nhpr

Democratic Senator Jeanne Dietsch of Peterborough aimed to ease the burden on property poor communities that struggle to pay for education.

Her plan would have extended the 6.2 % withholding on income up to $132,900 for Social Security to wages earned above that,  and directed the money – some $300 million -- towards reducing statewide property taxes.

 

A state Senate committee has given its approval to establish an independent panel to advise lawmakers on drawing New Hampshire's election districts. The unanimous vote makes it all but certain the plan will reach the desk of Governor Chris Sununu.

 

This plan would allow lawmakers to vote on redistricting maps and but would keep them out of the process of drawing them.

 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

The New Hampshire state Senate is now busy with next capital budget, and the overtaxed septic system atop the state's most iconic mountain appears to be a pressing issue.

Capital budget writers say the toilets and waste disposal system atop Mount Washington are falling short.

Wolfeboro Republican Jeb Bradley sits on the senate's capital budget committee. He's also hiked Mt. Washington many times.

Bradley says the current septic system is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the many people who summit Mount Washington, on foot, by car or via the Cog Railway.

Jack Rodolico / NHPR

New Hampshire's Executive Council has denied Pamela Smart's request for a hearing to reduce her life sentence.

Smart was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the 1990 murder of her husband, Gregg. Now 51, she submitted a lengthy petition to Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council with the most recent request for commutation and a chance of parole.

josh rogers /nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu made his announcement through a Medium post. He said after taking a deep look at what he termed his path of public service he concluded: “Nothing is more critical to our state’s future than ensuring strong leadership in the Corner Office and saving our New Hampshire Advantage.”

DAN TUOHY / NHPR

Joe Biden is heading home after his first swing through New Hampshire in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He visited Manchester Community College, a Hampton pizzeria, and a house party in Nashua. NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers was there for much of it, and he spoke with Peter Biello on All Things Considered about what he's noticed at Biden's first 2020 campaign stops.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Legislative Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against House Majority Leader Doug Ley, which alleges he violated ethics guidelines by testifying and voting on legislation that could affect the teachers union that employs him as its president.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed the paid family leave bill backed by Democrats, as expected.

Sununu said the bill amounted to an income tax.

The bill calls for a .5 % payroll tax that would fund up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker's salary. 

Gov. Chris Sununu paid a whirlwind visit to New York City this week. He hit a few reliable tourist spots: Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial. But much of his time was spent on a marathon series of appearances on the national media circuit.

 

There were interviews on CNBC’s Squawk Box, a sit-down on David Webb's SIRUS XM show, and multiple Fox News appearances.

 

Or, as Sununu put it in a tweet, “a full day of media hits promoting NH!”

josh rogers/nhpr

The state Senate hopes to collect millions more in business taxes by bringing New Hampshire into conformity with federal tax changes enacted in 2017.

By one estimate the state could see its business tax base grow by 13 % over the next decade if it moves to align state tax policy with the federal changes. But while such a move is expected to net the state millions, it's hard to know exactly how many.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Feltes says by his calculation that number could be about $50 million each year, but:

Josh Rogers / NHPR

 

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar visited a Nashua recovery center Monday to talk up her $100 billion plan to address mental health and addiction. Klobuchar says the country needs a president willing to lead on this issue.

 

Klobuchar says her background -- as a prosecutor, and as the daughter of an alcoholic -- shapes her approach to addiction policy. She says the country is long overdue for a truly national approach to boosting treatment.

 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Republican Governor Chris Sununu has made good on a promise to veto a bill repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire. Sununu did so at a community center named after Michael Briggs, the Manchester police officer who was killed more than a decade ago, and whose killer is the state's only death row inmate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A House Committee has voted overwhelmingly to reject a Senate-backed plan to allow casino gambling in New Hampshire.

 

The House has always opposed what gambling backers like to call expanded gaming, and  Tuesday's 17-2 vote by the Ways and Means Committee indicates that's not likely to change this year.

 

The bill, which would allow full-fledged casinos in New Hampshire, passed the state Senate by a 13-11 vote in March.  

 

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Three bills aimed at tightening New Hampshire's gun laws were heard by a New Hampshire Senate committee today. The hearing revealed a sharp divide on policies that may get decided by Governor Chris Sununu.

One bill would mandate background checks on all gun sales; another would create a seven-day waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.

The third would limit the carrying of firearms on school property to law enforcement, members of the military and those authorized by the local school board. 

Snow Plow
Nedra / Flickr Creative Commons

The state's top transportation official says New Hampshire managed to keeps its roads safely plowed this winter, but she says it could be a challenge next year without more money.

Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan says the cost of keeping state roads clear of snow -- the equipment, the salt and chemicals used to treat roads, and the labor -- are growing faster than revenue the state has allocated for the job. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Vice President Joe Biden becomes the 20th Democrat to get in the 2020 presidential race. Josh Rogers, NHPR’s senior political reporter, joined Emily Quirk to talk about Biden kicking off his campaign and the state of the race as it now stands in New Hampshire.

After eight years as vice president and decades of representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden is definitely a known quantity. But what's his political experience been like here in New Hampshire?

josh rogers / nhpr

Seth Moulton is the 19th Democrat to get into the race for president. He's in his third term representing Massachusetts in Congress. Before that, he served four tours of duty in Iraq.

"I am going to talk about how we lead with moral authority around the world. I am going to talk about what a new generation of national authority looks like, for our country and for the world. I am going to confront President Trump on these issues of safety and security."

josh rogers /nhpr

 

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is taking aim at two bills backed by Democrats to rollback laws passed by Republicans in recent years.

One would eliminate new steps in the voter registration process.

Another bill aims to make it easier for transient populations, like college students and members of the military, to vote here without running afoul of other state laws.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Governor Sununu's opposition to the spending plan the New Hampshire House passed last week has been conspicuous.

He's railed against it at rallies, and called it a mess on Twitter. On Friday,  Sununu also wrote state agency heads telling them to prepare for for a possible veto.

josh rogers / nhpr

 

 

A Sunday morning at 8:30, months out from an election isn’t - at least on paper – prime time for any candidate to fill a room,

Yet, this Cory Booker house party in Bedford, New Hampshire is packed

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has voted 17 to 6 to pass a bill to repeal the death penalty.

The vote Thursday follows the House voting 279 to 88 -- also reaching a veto-proof majority -- in support of abolishing capital murder.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee passed its version of the next two-year state budget along party lines Wednesday.

A key issue for budget writers going forward will be forecasting state tax revenue.

The House committee's budget rejected many of Gov. Chris Sununu's top priorities, including a new forensic psychiatric hospital and further business tax reductions.

The House also adds a new tax on some capital gains.

josh rogers/ nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu got a standing ovation during his budget address in February when he promised to build a new forensic hospital outside the walls of the state prison.

The facility would treat people with mental illness who are considered dangerous to themselves or others.

But Sununu's vision -- a $26 million, 40-bed facility -- which he included in his budget without a building site or staffing plan, has become a flash point.

House budget writers, citing lack of detail and other pressing needs, stripped it from their their spending plan.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House Democrats are putting the final touches on a $13.4 billion two-year budget that spends more and significantly departs from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's proposal on mental health, education and other issues.

The House will vote next week on the plan being crafted by its Finance Committee. Top Democrats on the committee shared some details with reporters on Monday, saying their focus has been crafting a budget that provides property tax relief to towns and cities by boosting education aid.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate have voted through a bill to exempt college students and members of the military from having to register their cars in New Hampshire if they vote here. The bill was one of several party line votes on bills governing elections.

The bill would blunt a key provision in a GOP-backed law enacted last year, which required all people voting in state elections to register their cars here and get New Hampshire drivers licenses.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has voted to prohibit businesses from asking prospective workers about their criminal records on job applications. The bill's backers say it will help workers and might help companies fill open jobs.

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