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NH Politics

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.

The New Hampshire State House
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.

The New Hampshire State House
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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu is asking the Executive Council to waive a public hearing for Eddie Edwards to serve as the director of the state’s Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

Edwards, who ran for congress as a Republican in 2018, was nominated earlier this month.

Sununu is requesting the confirmation be fast-tracked so that Lindsey Courtney, who has been serving as interim executive director, can return to her full-time position overseeing public health licensing.

Sara Plourde, NHPR

The 2020 U.S. Census is underway. The dicennial population count affects political power on a local, federal and state level, and it guides billions of dollars of federal spending.

 

Here's what you need to know about the census, why it matters in New Hampshire, and how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting it.

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 is expected to be more than $1.25 billion in 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. 

The New Hampshire State House
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.  

Josh Rogers/NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency Friday in the state’s effort to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. As he did, Sununu argued that the current threat to public safety here is minor and the emergency declaration was merely a precautionary step.

Still, earlier in the day, state health officials sought authority to spend up to $15 million to pay for a broad range of expenses to bulk up New Hampshire’s response to the COVID-19 threat.

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. 

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