NH Senate

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rep. Joe Alexander, a first-term Republican from Goffstown, used to think he was “an expert on time management.”

“Then,” he said, “I joined the Legislature.” 

DD via Flickr Creative Commons

Medical marijuana patients in New Hampshire will be able to grow their own cannabis under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate.

HB 364, which passed on a 14-10 vote, allows qualified patients to grow up to six plants--three mature, and three immature--after they register with the state.

Political Partisanship in the N.H. Legislature

Apr 9, 2019

  George Washington, in his farewell address in 1796, warned about partisanship in political parties, and in years since, politicians have cautioned against a “partisan apocalypse." We look at whether partisanship is increasing in the New Hampshire legislature, and what highly partisan moments, and moments of party unity, in our state history say about our political climate.

We're discussing two articles from Citizens Count, a nonpartisan nonprofit in N.H., that analyzed partisanship in the N.H. Legislature over the years. Read them here and here.

NHPR Staff

A paid family medical leave program cleared the New Hampshire House on Wednesday, setting up a possible veto from Gov. Chris Sununu.

Senate Bill 1, a top priority for Democrats this session, calls for up to twelve weeks of paid leave at up to 60 percent of a worker’s salary. Employees could use the benefit after the birth or adoption of a child, or take care of a sick family member.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 25, 2019

Jan 24, 2019

Some federal workers in New Hampshire log another week of work without pay as the partial government shutdown continues. Debate continues in Concord over new pieces of legislation, including one that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections. And we'll have a chat with New Hampshire's first Kid Governor.

GUESTS:  

NHPR Staff

Democrats in Concord say they are exploring emergency legislation that would allow furloughed federal workers in the state to file for unemployment benefits.

Senate President Donna Soucy and House Speaker Steve Shurtleff announced on Monday--the 31st day of the partial government shutdown--that they are considering an emergency bill that would permit the state’s Employment Security office to issue unemployment benefits to impacted federal workers. Currently, those residents are not eligible for benefits because they are technically still employed.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: November 16, 2018

Nov 16, 2018

We discuss leadership changes at the New Hampshire House, after Democrats gain control of both chambers in the midterm elections. The New Hampshire ACLU is filing a federal lawsuit against the Northwood Police Department for what they say was an illegal immigration stop based on racial profiling.  Another ACLU lawsuit contends that mental health patients in New Hampshire are routinely denied their constitutional rights by being detained in emergency rooms without a hearing. And a judge has ruled that New Hampshire authorities investigating the stabbing deaths of two women can examine recordings made by an Amazon Echo speaker with the Alexa voice assistant.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Senate failed to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a death penalty repeal bill on Thursday.

As it did during the session, the Senate voted 14-10 in favor of repeal, which fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the veto.

The House and Senate both passed Senate Bill 593 repealing the use of the death penalty this session, but Sununu called it the “ultimate legal deterrent” and an important way to deliver justice for victims of crime.

Primary Preview: Downticket Races in N.H.

Aug 17, 2018

Down-ticket races are heating up in N.H. as summer winds down.  We dig into the lower-profile elections that can have a big impact: State Senate, Executive Council, and other key races to watch as the mid-term campaigns pick up in the weeks before September's primary elections.  Today's guest host is Dean Spiliotes, civic scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at SNHU and author of the website NH Political Capital.

NHPR File Photo

State lawmakers will be in Concord on Wednesday to vote on a bill aimed at protecting New Hampshire businesses from having to collect online sales tax.

The Special Session, requested by Governor Chris Sununu and approved by Executive Council, is a response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

NHPR Staff

A committee of state lawmakers wrapped up work Thursday on bill sparked by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The legislation seeks to block other states from collecting sales taxes from New Hampshire businesses that sell goods online.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A controversial animal cruelty bill appears dead after lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate failed to reach a compromise.

The two chambers passed substantively different versions earlier this year despite hearing relatively similar testimony from animal welfare groups, law enforcement and so-called hobby breeders.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

One of the most high profile pieces of legislation moving through the New Hampshire Statehouse right now isn’t Medicaid expansion, or a gun bill, or potential repeal of the death penalty.

It’s about animals.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All State House lobbyists got a first-of-its-kind letter from leaders of the New Hampshire House and Senate last week, detailing the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures. Its message was simple: Lobbyists should know they’re covered by those policies, too, and should feel comfortable speaking up if they experience harassment.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire Democrats are backing a bill that would allow money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to be used to combat the opioid crisis.

The “RESCUE Act” would permit the governor or the state legislature to declare a public health emergency, triggering the release of 10 percent of the Rainy Day Fund, which currently totals around $100 million.

Senate Democrats say the money is needed to address the opioid crisis, and make up for a lack of funding from Washington.  

Allegra Boverman

There’s a special election for the state Senate Tuesday in District 16 — which covers Bow, Candia, Hooksett and part of Manchester.

In light of what it describes as “some confusion regarding the use of different forms of identification by voters,” the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office sent a memo this weekend to election workers in that district outlining what kind of documents voters will need at the polls.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senate candidates David Boutin, Republican and former state Senator, Kevin Cavanaugh, Democrat and Manchester alderman, and Jason Dubrow, a Libertarian active in town government in Dunbarton, joined The Exchange to discuss issues important to New Hampshire voters. Voting takes place on July 25. 

Tracy Lee Carroll; NHPR

We're talking with the three candidates who want to be the next state senator from District 16. The issues they're talking about impact all of the Granite State, including public education, child protection, taxes, and workforce development. 


Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 26, 2017

May 25, 2017

Senate Republicans are confident their state budget plan will clear the full Senate. A  full-day kindergarten proposal is tied to the lottery game KENO.  St. Paul’s School releases a report detailing allegations of sexual assault by faculty and staff decades ago. And Fish & Game Officials are flooded with calls to save trouble-making bears in Hanover.


NHPR Staff

The state Senate began work Monday on crafting its version of the next two year state budget.

This comes after House lawmakers failed to pass their proposed $11.9 billion spending plan last week. It’s the first time in modern political history the House hasn’t passed a budget.

Senate Finance Chair Gary Daniels, a Milford Republican,  spoke to NHPR's Morning Edition about the process moving forward.

FILE

Dates have been set for the special election to fill a recently vacated state Senate seat.

The Executive Council Wednesday voted to set the primary date for June 6th and the general election for July 25th for the District 16 special election.

The seat became available after Senator Scott McGilvray died last month. 

So far Republican David Boutin, who previously held the seat for four terms, and former State Representative Joe LaChance, a libertarian, have said they're running.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Republican bill adding new requirements for proving voter eligibility has cleared the state Senate along party lines. The measure would require create more stringent verification requirements for people registering to vote close to an election.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 17, 2017

Mar 17, 2017

Confusion reigns at town halls across the state as a nor'easter hits on Town Meeting Day.  The N.H. Senate examines bills reforming the state's Division of Children and Youth.  This follows a report that the head of DCYF closed hundreds of cases of suspected abuse over a two-day period last year.  And N.H.'s congressional delegation, along with Governor Chris Sununu, oppose the Republican healthcare plan.


New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate voted Thursday to keep campaign contributions flowing from LLCs, but moved to tighten restrictions on political advertising. 

Senator Dan Feltes argued in vain Thursday in favor of his bill, which would have closed what he calls the Limited Liability Corporation loophole. The bill sought to prevent multiple LLCs with the same owner from collectively exceeding the individual campaign contribution limit.

The majority instead voted with Senator Andy Sanborn, who owns several LLCs himself.

Last year, we started asking the presidential candidates who stopped by NHPR's offices to deliver their best "elevator pitches" on the way into our studios. Now that we're heading into the final stretch of the election season, we're reviving this feature — this time, with the candidates for statewide office.

Planet Fitness is famous for taking a non-judgmental, no-grunting approach to working out. But as it readies to go public, it’s been straining  -- loudly -- to get lawmakers to tweak the state business profits tax or BPT.

Specifically, to exempt companies that trade or sell stock or any beneficial interest from paying that tax’s 8.5 percent levy on any increase in value. 

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The US Supreme Court last year struck down a 35-foot buffer zone law in Massachusetts, and NH’s 25-foot buffer law remains under challenge in US District Court.

This issue is also contentious at the state house.  For opponents of the buffer zones. Like Republican Senator Sharon Carson of Londonderry, it is about free speech and individual liberty.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The business profits tax (BPT) stands at 8.5%; the business enterprise tax (BET) at .75%.

Under these bills, those would drop every year  until 2019, when the BPT would be 7.9% and the BET  .675%.

Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley told colleagues the cuts are an overdue recognition that N.H. isn’t as business friendly as it needs to be.

“To ignore the fact that we have an uncompetitive corporate tax rate is nothing worse than the most myopic short sightedness that we could have.”

Democrats, like David Watters, countered that cuts are ill-conceived.

New Hampshire State Senate

A surprise announcement in the Senate today, as Democratic leader and former Senate president Sylvia Larsen told colleagues she will retire from the body.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

The first public meeting between House and Senate negotiators working to fix the state’s Medicaid enhancement tax lasted all of 20 minutes, but parties are optimistic a deal can be struck.

Representative Cindy Rosenwald, a Nashua Democrat, used the hearing to reiterate the House’s position that despite court rulings declaring the tax unlawful, the New Hampshire Supreme Court will see otherwise.

“We continue to believe that our Medicaid enhancement tax is constitutional,” Rosenwald told colleagues. She says it adheres to both federal and state law.

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