Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Aug. 30, 2019

Aug 30, 2019

No signs yet of real progress on the stalled state budget -- and recent revenue extimates predicting business taxes will fall short of expectations may have deepened the divide between Democrats and Gov. Sununu, who vetoed the budget in June.   

State officials announce that New Hampshire's Division of Motor Vehicles had accumulated thousands of DMV infractions, recently catching up on that backlog and suspending the licenses of more than 900 residents.  

And the stage is set for the next Democratic debate, with just about half the candidates meeting the requirements to participate.  Among those who made the cut are three candidates who visited N.H. recently: Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former V.P. Joe Biden.  

GUESTS:

Kevin Landrigan, N.H. Statehouse reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Dean Spiliotes, Civic scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at SNHU.

Paul Steinhauser,  N.H.- based political reporter who writes for Fox News, the Concord Monitor and Seacoast Online.

Some Top Stories of the Week

N.H. state budget divide appears to deepen after business tax estimates released.  And this week, school officials and students testified during a final hearing on the budget impasse, many expressing frustration and concern and favoring the level of funding included in the budget Governor Sununu vetoed in June.  During the hearing, Sununu released a letter with his "latest offer" regarding school funding. Democrats quickly rejected that offer

N.H. has had its own backlog of driving-violation notices, involving thousands of driver infractions and leading to the suspention of more than 900 residents' licenses.  Governor Sununu sought to compare N.H.'s system favorably with a Mass. RMV investigation prompted by a crash in Randolph that caused the death of 7 motorcyclists. 

Meanwhile, Governor Sununu intervenes in a license plate controversy on behalf of a Gonic woman. 

Sen. Maggie Hassan says she is working to increase funding for religious organizations concerned about safety concerns in the wake of mass shootings targeting religious organizations. 

Turmoil in the Concord school district continues, as a growing number of parents petition for the removal of both the principal of Concord High School and the district's Superintendent for their handling of sexual abuse allegations against former special education teacher Howei Leung, who was arrested for sexually assualting a Concord student.   In response to parents' criticism, Concord Superintendent Terri Forsten apologized in a letter released Thursday afternoon.   The district has attempted in recent months to address concerns with staff-wide training, the hiring of an investigator to review the Leung case, and including parents in revising certain policies. 

Five years ago this week, Market Basket employees and customers declared victory after a six-week standoff with the company's executives.  The Union Leader's Kevin Landrigan looks back at that period -- a battle involving a family feud and a test of consumer loyalty that captured national attention.

Ten Democrats qualified for the upcoming September debate. Soon after this announcement, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who  spent a good amount of time in New Hampshire and did not make the cut, dropped out of the race.  Campaigning recently in N.H., meanwhile, are three candidates who will be on that debate stage in September:  Former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar,  and Entrepreneur Andrew Yang