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NH Legislature

NH's "Divisive Concepts" Bill

May 4, 2021
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire's House Bill 544, now an amendment to House Bill 2, would prohibit the dissemination of what it calls "divisive concepts" related to sex and race in public schools, government agencies, and their contractors. We speak with a support and an opponent of the bill and put our local debate into the wider context of critical race theory. 

Air date: Wednesday, May 5, 2021. 

Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Labs

The New Hampshire state Senate on Thursday advanced a plan to require utility investment in large offshore wind energy projects and other renewable sources. The proposal for what’s known as a "procurement program" passed on a bipartisan 23 to 1 vote.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 5, 2021

Mar 4, 2021

  It’s been a busy week in New Hampshire news, as the state crosses into its second year of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll talk about the latest vaccine news, about controversy at the Statehouse over bigoted remarks from lawmakers during virtual sessions, and much more.

This show is hosted by NHPR's Annie Ropeik, who covers climate, energy, the environment, and the Seacoast.

Air date: Friday, March 5, 2021.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Feb. 26, 2021

Feb 25, 2021

During a two-day session held in a sprawling indoor sports complex with chairs arranged to allow for social distance, the Republican-led New Hampshire House passed bills expanding the state's Stand Your Ground law, banning some abortions, and allowing patients licensed for therapeutic cannabis to grow their own plants. The House also voted to refund fines issued to businesses that violated COVID-19 orders, prompting a rebuke from some Democrats and from Governor Sununu who suggested in a statement that the bill could "incentivize law-breaking and reward those who do not follow the rules." At times, debate became rancorous, with some Democrats walking out in protest. Party leaders tried to set a somewhat conciliatory tone at the start of the second day.  

Air date: Feb. 26, 2021

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A bill that would require New Hampshire to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 got a first hearing in a state legislative committee Friday, earning support from state officials and the public, but meeting with skepticism from some members of the Republican majority.

A continuación, lee las noticias del 3 de febrero. 

También puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio. 

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Datos demuestran mejora en situación de COVID-19 en New Hampshire pero aún hay transmisión en la comunidad 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 22, 2021

Jan 21, 2021

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president amid unprecedented security measures in Washington D.C. and at state capitols. State lawmakers in New Hampshire, still adjusting to pandemic logistics, hear public testimony on bills addressing voting issues and public access to police records and disciplinary hearings. And significant community spread of the coronavirus continues in New Hampshire and across the country as the Biden Administration works to ramp up vaccinations and expand testing.

Air date: Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With the pandemic still surging, state lawmakers have had to figure out new ways to meet and vote, let alone how to vote on the substance of hundreds of bills -- addressing education funding, taxes, voting issues, energy and the environment, and more. Also on the agenda: crafting a new two-year budget. Last week, about 400 House members met in a UNH parking lot, voting from their cars to elect Rep. Sherman Packard, a Republican from Londonderry, Speaker of the House. The same day, In Washington D.C., a mob of pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol, leading to to the deaths of several people, including a Capitol police officer. In the aftermath, state capitols have been at heightened alert, including in Concord. We get a preview of what's likely to dominate discussion at the Statehouse in the upcoming months.

Air date: Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

BOEM

State senators are working on a bill that would have New Hampshire spur the development of major offshore wind projects and other renewable energy in the region.

The bill comes from state Sen. David Watters, a Dover Democrat. He previewed it at a late-December meeting of a bipartisan Senate wind commission, and said the aim is to create new zero-carbon energy and bring jobs to the state.

Rob_ / Flickr CC

Renewable energy advocates say they expect to be playing defense on perennial policy debates in next year’s Republican state Legislature.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 11, 2020

Dec 10, 2020

This week saw yet another grim milestone: more than 3000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day. Cases are rising here in New Hampshire - what’s the state doing about it? Also, remembering Dick Hinch, New Hampshire Speaker of the House, former Republican majority leader, who died this week of COVID-19. We remember his life and look at what this sudden vacancy means for the upcoming session. And the ACLU of New Hampshire argues that Granite State School Districts should adopt transgender student policies.

Airdate: December 11, 2020

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 4, 2020

Dec 4, 2020

COVID-19 rates are rising in New Hampshire. When the vaccine comes, who’s going to get it? And who is keeping track of a two-dose-required system? Lawmakers kicked off their work for the new session and they did so outdoors to stay as safe as possible. And a Granite Stater gets drafted to Team Biden.

Air date: Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. 

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GUESTS:

photo of men not wearing masks
Todd Bookman/NHPR

Gone were the chandeliers and oil portraits, the upholstered seats and carpeted floors of Representatives Hall in Concord.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

Citing pandemic-driven economic concerns, top Republican state lawmakers are asking the Public Utilities Commission to put off the adoption of more aggressive energy efficiency goals, currently set to take effect at the start of next year.

State officials are trying a new approach to a long-running issue -- the effects of air pollution on public health -- with a new commission that met virtually for the first time Thursday night. 

The ad-hoc Emissions Commission includes Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, plus members of state agencies and major health, business and environmental organizations.

Hemera Collection

The state is launching a broad new effort to find ways to reduce the air emissions that drive respiratory disease and climate change in New Hampshire.

The non-partisan Emissions Commission meets for the first time next week and will include members of state agencies, utilities and the legislature, along with health, business and environmental advocates.

Joy Jackson / Unsplash

Gov. Chris Sununu handed down another expected veto of a clean energy plan Friday.

He rejected a bill that would expand New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio Standard and increase how much solar power utilities must use.

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Annie Ropeik screenshot / NHPR

The state Senate votes Tuesday on a bill that would make permanent much of the telehealth system that has emerged in New Hampshire during the pandemic.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 12, 2020

Jun 11, 2020

We look at how protests of racial injustice and debates over transparency on police procedures are playing out in New Hampshire. For the second time in history, the New Hampshire House meets somewhere other than the State House. The Executive Council nixes Governor Sununu's nomination for the state Board of Education. And the Secretary of State's Select Committee on 2020 Emergency Election Support outlines recommendations for voting this year.

NHPR

A state Senate committee signed off this week on a package of bills designed to address PFAS chemical contamination. 

The new omnibus bill got bipartisan support and combines several proposals from the House and Senate. 

It would re-authorize the state's tight new limits on four kinds of PFAS, industrial chemicals linked to health problems. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 13, 2020

Mar 13, 2020

The growing number of COVID-19 cases has prompted governments to encourage behaviors that will slow or stop the spread of coronavirus, and in some cases, that has meant closing schools. Some large gatherings of people have been canceled, but lawmakers still gathered in Concord this week to debate legislation. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the legislature can ban firearms from Representatives Hall at the State House.

The ban has been a partisan issue that's varied over the years as the makeup of the House has shifted. It was reinstated last year by the current Democratic majority, under House Speaker Steve Shurtleff.

NH Preservation Alliance

Senate lawmakers on Thursday advanced a plan to expand state conservation funding, while voting down an alternative supported by Gov. Chris Sununu.

LCHIP

Gov. Chris Sununu says he'd support a budget increase for a popular state conservation fund. It’s the latest turn in a running debate on the issue with state lawmakers.

Sargent Corporation

House lawmakers heard sharply divided testimony Thursday on plans to limit the development of private landfills in the state.

Amy Quinton / NHPR file photo

State lawmakers worked on a bill Monday to make condominium and homeowners associations allow the installation of solar arrays.

The bill comes from Brentwood Democratic Rep. Liz McConnell, with bipartisan co-sponsors and backing from Senate Democrats.

It says HOAs must treat requests to install solar as they would any other architectural change, and can't restrict them for aesthetic reasons.  

Stuart Meek; Wikimedia Commons

House lawmakers worked on a bill Monday that would require more insurance coverage for tick-borne disease testing – focusing on more than just Lyme disease.

The bill comes from Rep. Megan Murray, a first-term Democrat from Amherst. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: February 21, 2020

Feb 21, 2020

Seven Republican lawmakers were reprimanded on the floor of the New Hampshire House for not completing newly mandatory anti-harassment and discrimination training in a contentious debate.  Lawmakers advance what they're calling a new compromise on net energy metering, and put forth new bills on gun laws and marijuana legalization. And we get an update on the seal rescued from the roadway in Rye Harbor a few weeks ago.

NHPR Photo

Responding to a pair of high-profile ethics cases that highlighted the lack of clear restrictions on conflicts of interest at the State House, lawmakers are weighing how best to balance their role as citizen legislators with a desire to prevent politicians from exploiting public office for private gain.

Andreas Levers via Flickr CC

The state Senate passed two key bills on PFAS chemical contamination Thursday.

One bill, which passed unanimously, would re-establish new state rules that set limits on PFAS in drinking water. These limits were the strictest of their kind in the country at the time.

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