NH Politics

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

State lawmakers will be back in action for the first time in close to a month this week.

A key committee will meet electronically on Friday to accept the first of what us is expected to be more than $1.25 billion federal coronavirus aid.

Leaders of the joint fiscal committee plan to take whatever action they can to aid the flow of federal aid to New Hampshire. Top lawmakers have also indicated they want to hear from state agency heads about how COVID-19 is affecting state government.

NHPR

The New Hampshire Legislature has suspended full operations until at least May 4th, but a key panel of lawmakers is planning to meet remotely in two weeks in an effort to start addressing anticipated declines in state revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

 

Gov. Chris Sununu issued a series of orders Tuesday morning aimed at softening the financial blow for New Hampshire residents dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is reminding town officials that it is their call when it comes to deciding whether to go forward with town meetings as New Hampshire deals with fallout from the coronavirus.

The advice comes as the state is ramping up efforts to address the coronavirus.

In a statement, Sununu said “individual comfort levels" should guide towns' thinking on postponing town meeting.

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu says he’s directed state agencies to draw up plans on how to reduce spending as COVID-19 affects the economy.

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including the latest updates, guidance, FAQs, and more. 

NH Public Radio

On a party line vote, Senate Democrats passed a paid family medical leave bill Thursday despite a near certain veto by Gov. Chris Sununu.

John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu and Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate are each proposing changes to state law to address fallout from the new coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Click here for our live blog to get the latest updates about coronavirus in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers advanced bills today, over Republican objections, to limit the use of plastic straws and Styrofoam containers.

One bill would ban Styrofoam containers at food service businesses statewide, except in the case of some grocery products.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voting in state presidential primaries is well underway nationwide, with six more states voting today. These votes will affect the number of delegates each candidate will receive at party conventions this summer.

Here in New Hampshire, state Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley feels confident that this year’s convention won’t need a second ballot.

“We've never had a second ballot in my lifetime and probably won't this time, either,” he said this morning on NHPR's The Exchange. 

NHPR Staff

The Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs voted today on how to spend an unused $3.8 million dollars of state funding from this fiscal year.

The commission voted to support substance abuse programs, as well as prevention and workforce programs.

One million dollars will go towards transitional living programs in the state.

These type of programs typically last six months, and provide housing and clinical services for people who are often post-residential treatment but needs a safe place to live to get longer term support.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

State officials have snuffed out the last place lawmakers and legislative staff were allowed to smoke indoors at the State House complex.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says his opposition to the Affordable Care Act hasn't changed, but that it makes sense for New Hampshire to join a multi-state effort to defend the law from legal challenge.

Sununu has had a complicated relationship to the health care law often known as Obamacare. He described it as a failure and and celebrated efforts to repeal it. But he's also signed a reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion -- a provision of the law that's brought the state millions of dollars to pay for heath care.

Allegra Boverman/for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted to allow people to register to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license.

NH Public Radio

A committee in the New Hampshire House is unanimously backing a bill to require lawmakers to recuse themselves when they have a “special interest” in a bill's outcome.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

An effort to more tightly regulate how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money needs closer study, according to a House panel reviewing the proposed reforms.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Democrats and Republicans appear to be at a stalemate over two competing paid family medical leave bills. 

A Senate committee heard hours of testimony on Tuesday inside an overheated conference room, with both sides presenting arguments for and against the differing versions.

That included blunt remarks from Gov. Chris Sununu, who took the unusual step of testifying in support of his preferred paid family leave proposal, Senate Bill 730.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers continue to wrestle with questions about where to draw the line between their work inside and outside the State House. 

A longtime defender of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary won’t be running for another term at the Democratic National Committee.

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.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

A committee of House and Senate lawmakers voted Monday to accept a fact-finder’s report on state employee contracts rejected by Gov. Chris Sununu.

In November, following months of impasse between the Sununu administration and seven bargaining units representing state workers, the fact-finder recommended workers get a 4 % raise over two years, almost twice what Sununu had indicated he would support.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg skipped the New Hampshire primary two weeks ago. But now that it’s over, his campaign here is growing.

NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes is running ads on Facebook that claim “he isn't taking corporate PAC or LLC contributions, so the public can be sure their governor is working for them — not himself.”

That message is consistent with Feltes’ record in the state Senate, where he’s sponsored bills to outlaw corporate campaign donations and to limit political activities of limited liability corporations.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Seven Republican lawmakers were reprimanded on the floor of the New Hampshire House Thursday for not completing newly mandatory anti-harassment and discrimination training — but it didn’t happen without objection. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Lawmakers heard testimony today on two bipartisan bills aimed at preventing sexual assault and helping survivors seek medical and legal services. 

SB 508 would remove the time limit for an alleged victim of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit. Right now, those abused as children have to file claims before they turn 30, and, if abused as an adult, they have to file within three years of the incident. 

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.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Lawmakers, education advocates, and state officials are entering the third month of a high-profile battle over whether to accept a large federal grant to double the number of public charter schools in New Hampshire. 

Despite the grant’s likely demise, the debate surrounding it has reignited long-held tensions over charter schools, who they serve, and what they could mean for the future of public education in New Hampshire.

Stavrolo/Creative Commons

Cat declawing will remain legal in New Hampshire after state lawmakers voted down a bill to ban the procedure.

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