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Jack Rodolico/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu announced Wednesday that he will re-nominate Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to serve as the next Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court.

ACLU, Disability Rights Center Sue State Over Treatment Of Foster Care Youth

Jan 6, 2021

The New Hampshire Disability Rights Center is suing the state of New Hampshire in federal court over its treatment of foster youth with mental health impairments, alleging that the state is over-institutionalizing them and putting them at “severe risk of dangerous and tragic outcomes.”

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Things are getting busy again at the New Hampshire State House with the start of the new year. This week, both the Legislature and Gov. Chris Sununu begin new terms against the backdrop of a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. NHPR Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers discussed this with All Things Considered Host Peter Biello.

Susan Simoneta via Flickr CC

New Hampshire’s long-term care facilities have been hit hard by the pandemic. About 80% of the state’s COVID-related deaths have occurred in those facilities. New legislation proposes to study whether the state should appoint an inspector general for nursing homes.

Oversight of nursing homes falls under the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The federal government also provides oversight.

N.H. House members meeting outside in December, 2020.
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Republican leaders in the New Hampshire House say they're confident that a drive-in style meeting at the University of New Hampshire will provide a safe place for lawmakers to gather next week. But the proposal has elicited criticism from Democrats, who say it doesn’t provide for the health needs of lawmakers with disabilities or underlying health problems that make then susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

All this week on The Exchange, it's another opportunity to hear some of our most interesting discussions of the year. NHPR's Peter Biello talked with the author of a biography of Nackey Scripps Loeb. She headed the Union Leader Corporation in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most unusual and influential local newspapers in the U.S. Her unapologetic conservatism and position in the first-in-the-nation primary state gave her an outsized and now largely forgotten role in American politics. Although she initially had no interest in the newspaper business, she wrote more than a thousand front-page editorials, drew political cartoons, and became a regular on C-SPAN. We discussed her legacy in Granite State politics and women's roles in shaping the modern conservative movement.

Airing Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Originally aired July 16, 2020

N.H. State House
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired several new bills proposed for the coming legislative session. 

N.H. General Court

A New Hampshire state senator has tested positive for COVID-19.

Senator Bob Giuda, a Republican from Warren, is resting at home since first showing symptoms of the illness on Saturday, according to a press release from the Senate majority office Tuesday evening.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Republicans in the state legislature will nominate Londonderry Rep. Sherman Packard to be the next Speaker of the House. Packard has been acting speaker in the wake of the COVID-19 death of the newly-elected speaker Dick Hinch.

Sherman Packard has represented Londonderry for 16 terms in Concord. He's been House majority leader and House minority leader.

NHPR Photo

A legislative rules committee has voted down proposals to ban guns and alcohol in the House chamber.

The GOP-led committee also rejected a push by Democrats to waive deadlines to add a discriminatory speech provision under legislative ethics guidelines.

Anti-Semitic Post Brings Calls For Laconia State Rep To Resign

Dec 16, 2020
Laconia Daily Sun

A Laconia rabbi and the head of the city school board say residents have swamped them with emails and messages demanding a Laconia state representative resign after posting a link on Twitter last week to an article with an anti-Semitic image from a neo-Nazi website.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The race to succeed House Speaker Dick Hinch, who died from COVID-19 last week, is taking shape. Acting Speaker Sherman Packard is running, as are three other Republicans.

Dan Barrick/NHPR

The coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the state's political circles, as one of the top-ranking Republicans in the New Hampshire House announced she had tested positive, and lawmakers and State House staff lined up to be tested for the virus in the wake of House Speaker Dick Hinch’s death from COVID-19.

This is a snapshot of the state's school dashboard as of Dec. 11. The actual dashboard might reflect different numbers, depending on when you're reading this.

Measuring the impact of COVID-19 in New Hampshire schools is a major concern for officials at the state and local level, not to mention families and school staff.

New Hampshire State House photo
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers have approved a federal grant aimed at increasing the number of public charter schools in the state and helping existing ones expand.

The grant has been at the center of a fierce partisan debate for a year and was repeatedly blocked by State House Democrats, who cited concerns about the long-term sustainability of publicly-funded charter schools.

Todd Bookman, NHPR

Rep. Dick Hinch, who was elected Speaker of the New Hampshire House just one week ago, died from COVID-19.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is kicking off her reelection campaign.

Hassan, a Democrat, told WMUR-TV this week she will seek a second term in 2022. In an interview airing Sunday, she said she believes voters sent her to Washington to reach across the aisle, and that she will continue to focus on how to rebuild the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Wednesday marked another career milestone for New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who sailed without opposition into a 23rd term, upholding his position as the longest-serving Secretary of State in the nation.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

When the New Hampshire Legislature meets for Organization Day Wednesday, it will select the Secretary of State. Bill Gardner, who's held the position for the last 44 years, is likely to sail smoothly into re-election for a 23rd term.

The New Hampshire State House

A commission lead by Democratic lawmakers to study New Hampshire's mechanism for funding K-12 public schools says the state should drastically change how it directs money to each school district.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

State health officials say a recent gathering of Republican members of the incoming New Hampshire House of Representatives has led to several cases of COVID-19.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

Incoming state lawmakers will meet outside Wednesday at the University of New Hampshire to elect leaders, an unusual move prompted by spiking coronavirus cases across the state.

Dan Barrick / NHPR

The chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party is condemning an effort by a handful of GOP lawmakers to launch impeachment proceedings against Gov. Chris Sununu.

Backers of the probe say Sununu, who ordered a mask mandate last week, has overused his emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

UNH Carsey School of Public Policy

President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Jake Sullivan of Portsmouth as his national security advisor.

Sullivan currently serves as a senior fellow and faculty member of the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

In 2019, he was a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.

Sullivan previously served in the Obama administration, as then Vice-President Biden’s national security adviser. He also worked as director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State.

NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley is talking with some of the lawmakers who have been newly elected to the New Hampshire legislature. Tony Labranche, a Democrat, will represent Amherst in the House of Representatives.

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Rick Ganley: So, Tony, you're going to be the youngest representative in the House for this session. How did you first get interested in politics and how did you decide to run?

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Merrimack State Rep. Dick Hinch is a step closer to becoming the next Speaker of the New Hampshire House, after the incoming GOP caucus unanimously backed him to be their leader during a meeting in Manchester.  

Hinch has led House Republicans for six years as Majority leader when the House was last under GOP control, and as Minority Leader when Democrats reclaimed the majority in 2018.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire House Democrats have selected Renny Cushing of Hampton to lead their 187-member caucus for the next two years.

Cushing won election to his 8th term earlier this month and is chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He’s been a well-known progressive since leading protests against the Seabrook nuclear power plant in the 1970s. And he's worked to abolish the state's death penalty.

NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley is talking with some of the lawmakers who have been newly elected to the New Hampshire Legislature. Maria Perez, a Democrat, will represent Milford in the state House of Representatives.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republicans and Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives will choose their parties' leaders this week.

A key early question for those elected will be how to conduct business during the ongoing pandemic. The State House has been largely closed to lawmakers since March.