lobbyists

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

They can be found shuffling across North State Street on days when the legislative calendar is packed with public hearings. You see them taking notes from the Senate balcony during floor votes, and chatting with lawmakers in the hallways throughout the capitol.

Lobbyists have long been part of the fabric of the New Hampshire State House, helping shape everything from the state budget to the finer points of agritourism policy. But their influence is often hard to measure.

It can be hard to keep track of the details on lobbying spending in New Hampshire. We want to help.

Lobbying All The Way

Mar 1, 2019

When you visit the State House in Concord, you might notice some well-dressed people sporting bright orange name tags: lobbyists. What do lobbyists do and how does lobbying work?

Then we’re going inside drug court, a program designed to divert people with substance use disorders from prison.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For Linda Saunders Paquette and her staff at New Futures, a nearly all-female lobbying team, learning to navigate uncomfortable interactions with legislators in a regular workday at the New Hampshire State House has become almost second nature.

“If we're having a meeting with a particular legislator or even going to a particular event, we use the buddy system,” Saunders Paquette said. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Congressman Frank Guinta worked the counter -- and met with lobbyists from the National Association of Convenience Stores during a stop at Cumberland Farms in Portsmouth.

He said he would work to make sure compliance with federal regulations like the new food labelling law isn’t unwieldy for convenience stores:

I will now,  when I’m back in Washington,  take a look at the current rule. And there’s legislation to fix that – proposed legislation -- so I’m going to take a look at all of that.

Rent Crackdown

Jul 16, 2012
Photo Credit James.Tompson, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Increasing numbers of tourists turn to websites like craigslist and airbnb.com to find cheaper and more intimate lodging, the short-term vacation rental industry has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry.  For a while, these home B&B’s and low-key online arrangements slept under the radar, but now lobbyists for big hospitality are encouraging states and cities to crack down, with New York City issuing over 1900 violations in less than a year to homeowners who rent out property for less than a month.