NH Politics | New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Politics

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed bills to create a paid family leave program, to expand absentee voting and to provide relief for people who have trouble making housing payments due to COVID-19, continuing a string of vetoes that has already set a record for a New Hampshire governor.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu used his veto pen only a handful of times in his first term, when Republicans held a majority in both chambers of the Legislature.

This session, with Democrats now holding majorities in the House and Senate, Sununu has already set a modern record for the number of gubernatorial vetoes in a single year. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

President Donald Trump’s rally scheduled for Saturday in New Hampshire will take place amid a debate about political events and public health. And it comes as much of the country sees a surge in the number of coronavirus cases. 

Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Some city councilors in Portsmouth are pushing for a mandatory mask wearing ordinance ahead of President Trump's scheduled rally at the Pease Airport this weekend.

Councilor Deaglan McEachern said a mask requirement was already scheduled to come up for debate next week before the council. But with President Trump’s rally happening on Saturday, he’s now asking Mayor Rick Becksted to call a special meeting so the council can vote on the idea as soon as possible.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Legislature wrapped up business for the 2020 session Tuesday, marking the end of perhaps the most unusual legislative session in history, with the State House essentially closed since March and lawmakers conducting much of their work remotely.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Over the last month, New Hampshire has seen some of the largest demonstrations in recent memory, with hundreds protesting against police brutality and racial injustice. One of the major forces behind these is a group of Black Lives Matter activists in their early twenties, who’ve known each other for years.

NHPR’s Sarah Gibson caught up with them about what it’s been like to lead this movement.


NHPR Staff

The state Senate voted through two high-profile election law bills Monday: a proposal that makes it easier to vote absentee during the coronavirus pandemic, and a bill that creates an independent redistricting commission.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire House and Senate are both meeting this week. It will be lawmakers’ final chance to act on bills this year.

This will be the second time the legislature has met since the coronavirus closed the State House in March.

The Senate meets Monday in Representatives Hall. The much larger House meets Tuesday at UNH’s Whittemore Center in Durham.

Allegra Boverman | NHPR

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is apologizing for his treatment of two Black nominees to statewide political appointments, saying his criticism of their credentials failed to account for what he called a history of Black people being “unfairly dismissed as unqualified.”

NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu’s pick to lead the state’s licensing office says "structural political racism" is to blame for his stalled nomination.

Gov. Chris Sununu has raised more money than either of his two Democratic challengers, and has more cash left in his campaign account than those two candidates combined.

But State Sen. Dan Feltes and Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky are both touting their latest fundraising numbers, filed this week with the Secretary of State, as record-breaking in their own ways.

NHPR

The state Senate voted 23-1 Tuesday to pass a sweeping bill that tightens some bail standards and outlaws the use of chokeholds by police in New Hampshire.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

In a busy and socially distanced session, the full New Hampshire Senate returned to Concord Tuesday for the first time since COVID-19 closed the State House in March.

While the subject matter of the legislation at hand may have seemed familiar – environmental policy, a proposed minimum wage increase, and health care bills – the setting and procedure were far from normal.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The full New Hampshire Senate returns to Concord Tuesday for the first time since COVID-19 closed the State House.

Some 180 bills are slated for votes, most combined into omnibus measures grouped by subject matter – including prescription drugs, education, and healthcare. 

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.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

The New Hampshire House met at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center Thursday, its first full session since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the state and the first outside of the State House in Concord since the Civil War.

Heather Hayward / U.S. Air Force

A new bill sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would help military families get tested for PFAS chemical exposure.

The proposal would cover people who are or were stationed at hundreds of military installations with PFAS contamination.

PFAS are toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and were used in a kind of firefighting foam that is still stockpiled on many bases.

NHPR

The state of New Hampshire has laid out the process for people to register by mail to vote in this fall’s elections.

Under the state’s guidance, to register by mail, a prospective voter would request an absentee voter packet from their city or town clerk or from the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

NHPR Photo

The Rules Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives has blocked a push by Republicans to propose a freeze on business tax rates, setting the stage for a potential standoff over whether the House can act on any bills when it meets June 11th.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats hold majorities in both the New Hampshire House and Senate, but Republicans could make it impossible for state lawmakers to pass any legislation this year, as State House leaders attempt to finish business amid COVID-19 closures.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A second-term state representative from Manchester has resigned from his position over a statement made on Twitter.

Democrat Richard Komi had tweeted that he thought that Tara Reade, the woman who alleges Joe Biden sexually assaulted her, would have had to have consented to the encounter based on his understanding of female anatomy.

Komi later deleted the tweet, but in a statement Friday, New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff said Komi’s comments were "hurtful to survivors of sexual assault across the Granite State and across the country.”

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says the state is working on a plan to reopen the economy in phases. Sununu's stay-at-home order is scheduled to end next week on May 4.

NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with him about how he's working with local and regional leaders on plans to reopen.

(Editor's note: Because of the governor's cell phone connection, the audio for this interview is difficult to understand in places. The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday that provides $484 billion in relief to employers and states facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill received broad support in both the House and Senate. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke earlier today with U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, who explained why she decided to support this new legislation.

NHPR

The leader of the New Hampshire Senate said it’s too soon to make a decision on Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposal to retain business tax cuts scheduled to take effect in January, regardless of whether the state meets the revenue benchmarks required by law.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 24, 2020

Apr 23, 2020

Two top state lawmakers fill us in on what they've been working on these weeks, with the Statehouse shuttered and the economy on hold because of COVID-19.  Despite this, there has been some political activity and some turmoil, with top Democrats suing Governor Sununu over who should control huge sums of money the federal government is sending for coronavirus relief. This week, a judge ruled the Democrats do not have standing to sue the governor.   Meanwhile, there's bipartisan concern over the damage this crisis is doing to the state budget -- but differences of opinion when it comes to solutions. 

Air date: April 24, 2020. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by top Democratic lawmakers over federal COVID-19 funding. The suit challenged Gov. Chris Sununu's power to spend more than $1.25 billion without legislative review or approval.

(Scroll down for earlier coverage.)

In his 16-page opinion, Superior Court Judge David A. Anderson granted Sununu's motion to dismiss, writing that stopping or delaying the governor from distributing funds in the midst of a global pandemic would be contrary to the public interest.

Zoom screenshot

Democratic state lawmakers say they'll push for renewable energy development as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

State senator and gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes addressed the issue during a virtual Earth Day town hall Wednesday.

Click here to sign up for our coronavirus newsletter to get the latest updates.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

School districts in the Monadnock region are continuing to press New Hampshire's highest court to force the state to reevaluate its approach to public education funding.

Scrumshus via Wikimedia Commons

Members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation say they’re worried that two new federal decisions - from the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency - will increase risks related to COVID-19. 

The EPA announced today that it will not tighten air pollution limits on fine particulate matter, despite staff recommendations to do so.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A superior court judge has struck down a controversial New Hampshire voting law known as SB3, saying it’s unconstitutional and unreasonably burdens the right to vote, but the decision is expected to be appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Pages