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NH Politics

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A group of New Hampshire mayors, city councilors, and school board members are urging state budget writers to overhaul how the state funds public education.

Schools got a temporary funding boost after high-profile negotiations last budget cycle, and they’re eligible this year for an unprecedented amount of federal money through the three COVID-related relief packages. But longstanding issues with the state’s school funding formula remain.

Governor Sununu photo
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu will provide an update on New Hampshire's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference today at 3 p.m. 

New Hampshire Public Radio will broadcast the press conference live.

Sign up for NHPR's newsletters for more N.H. news and information.

Watch the news conference via this video stream below - refresh/reload your page if the video player does not immediately appear.

State House dome
Dan Tuohy

Providers and recipients of services for disabled, mentally ill and older residents are urging New Hampshire state senators to fully fund such programs.

They said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated longstanding challenges in all three areas.

It's exactly what everyone's been waiting for.

"I'm very happy to get out," says one woman, sitting down to a view of the harbor, at the Pilot House restaurant in Sandwich, Mass., on Cape Cod.

"It's like we're free at last!" a friend laughs, joining her to celebrate a 70th birthday, albeit several months late.

They're as thrilled to be dining out again as restaurant owner Bob Jarvis is to see customers start pouring back in.

Senators Urged To Prioritize Health Care, Public Education In State Budget

May 5, 2021
State House hallway.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  

Developmental disability advocates, school representatives, health care leaders, and residents took to a public microphone Tuesday to argue for specific priorities in the New Hampshire budget, in a marathon hearing that highlighted broad concerns with the state’s funding models.  

Oyster River High School in Durham.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Oyster River School District is the first district in the state to sign onto a public letter opposing House Bill 544.

The bill would deny state funding to any businesses, schools, or organizations that spread “divisive concepts,” including teaching about systemic racism and sexism and holding certain kinds of diversity and anti-racism trainings.

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. 

Unpacking The State Budget: From Tax Reductions To Bridge Repairs

May 4, 2021
State House of New Hampshire
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  

 

By now, debates over the big-ticket items in the New Hampshire state budget are well established.

A N.H. Take on Biden's First 100 Days

Apr 30, 2021
Todd Bookman / NHPR

We discuss the path the new President has tried to carve on an array of issues, from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to climate change to the immigration crisis. We also examine how the first 100 days can predict an administration's future. 

Air date: Monday, May 3, 2021. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 30, 2021

Apr 29, 2021

We talk with reporters about how well the state is providing vaccine access to its vulnerable populations, and an investigation into the oversight of New Hampshire's correctional facilities, which have seen a number of outbreaks of COVID-19 in the last year. We also talk about energy legislation: from funding for broadband development to a proposed ban on discussions of "low carbon fuel standards programs."

Air date: Friday, April 30, 2021. 

N.H. State House dome.
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a program to expand school choice for thousands of K-12 students. It’s called an Education Savings Account, and it would give taxpayer dollars to families to pay for tuition at private and parochial schools, or other options.

If passed, it would be one of the most sweeping programs of its kind in the country. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Photo of Governor Chris Sununu
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu will give an update on New Hampshire's response to COVID-19 during a news conference today at 3 p.m. in Concord. The governor said earlier this month that all required business restrictions would be lifted next week - starting on May 7 - and replaced with voluntary guidance.

New Hampshire Public Radio will broadcast today's press conference live.

New Hampshire State House photo
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A New Hampshire House committee took up a Senate-backed plan aimed at blunting the effects of any executive order issued by President Biden dealing with guns.

As drafted, the bill would prohibit any state resources from being used to enforce or assist federal authorities in enforcing any executive order on guns.

State House dome
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is not developing or requiring "vaccine passports," documents that show you were vaccinated against COVID-19, but a proposed legislative measure would prohibit state government from requiring people to receive the vaccine or possess the passport.

State Rep. Bob Lynn, Republican from Windham
House video capture

First-year lawmakers in the New Hampshire House of Representatives rarely get much attention. They tend not to get assigned to key committees. They don’t often play a lead role in floor debates. Their counsel isn’t sought by party leaders. But Republican Bob Lynn isn’t a typical first-term state rep.

Patricia Conway, Rockingham County Attorney
Courtesy

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway has given up her bid to be a New Hampshire Superior Court judge.

Gov. Chris Sununu's nomination of Conway had come under scrutiny over multiple issues.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner
Senate screen capture

New Hampshire’s top election official paid a visit – remotely – to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to testify against a sweeping Democratic election law bill backed by the state’s entire congressional delegation.

Face masks
Centers for Disease Control

Gov. Sununu is lifting nearly all statewide limits on businesses and public activities related to the pandemic within the next few weeks.

The statewide mask mandate expired on Friday, and by May 7, all required business restrictions will be replaced with voluntary guidance.

Photo of Governor Chris Sununu
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu will speak about the state's response to COVID-19, including possible removal of certain restrictions, during a news conference today in Concord. The governor said Wednesday that the state's mask mandate would be ending "wicked soon."

NHPR will broadcast the press conference live, starting at 3 p.m. Sign up for NHPR's coronavirus newsletter.

Lawmakers Fighting Like Cats And Dogs? Not Over This Bill

Apr 15, 2021
Cat on a rug.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Nine lives notwithstanding, killing a cat in a hit-and-run soon could become illegal in New Hampshire.

State law already requires drivers who injure or kill dogs to notify police or the animals' owners, or else face a $1,000 fine.

New Hampshire State House photo
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard wants to revisit a decision by an appeals court to vacate a judge's ruling that upheld his refusal to provide remote access to legislative sessions to lawmakers at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Education says it has granted seven waivers to schools that say they can't meet Governor Sununu's deadline of reopening fully next Monday.

State House hallway.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would require children under age 2 to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat in a vehicle.

N.H. State House
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The construction of new landfills near state parks would be prohibited under a bill passed by the New Hampshire House.

The bill approved Friday would create a two-mile buffer zone around parks in which landfills couldn't be located.

N.H. General Court

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard has apologized for using a vulgarity to refer to a female lawmaker while presiding over the House session Friday in Bedford.

N.H. General Court

House lawmakers wrapped up a three-day session Friday. They passed a state budget and dozens of other bills, including ones to relax gun rights, tighten election laws and limit the emergency powers of New Hampshire governors. The session was unusual for several reasons: The fact that it was conducted out of the State House and at a massive sports complex in Bedford; the nature of some of the legislation passed; and the fact that House Speaker Sharon Packard at one point used a vulgarity to refer to a female lawmaker.

N.H. General Court

The New Hampshire House has voted for two bills that aim to guarantee that houses of worship can remain open during states of emergence.

Bills Requiring Civics Tests For High School, College Students Move Ahead In Legislature

Apr 9, 2021

A bill requiring students in the university and community college systems of New Hampshire to pass a civics naturalization test as part of their diploma requirements passed the House by one vote on Thursday.

Courtesy

The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to give lawmakers more say in future states of emergency.

Durham voting polls
Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State primary elections would be held in late June rather than early September under a bill passed Thursday by the Republican-led New Hampshire House.

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