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Capital Beat
Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., presents her budget to the House and Senate finance committees, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Capital Beat: Budget vote comes to a head this week

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Unruly House members, aspirations for higher office, spending on substance abuse and mental health on hold. All those dynamics are at play as lawmakers try to craft an ever-elusive budget agreement, and it will come to a head this week when the Republican-controlled House and Senate prepare to take up Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto. On Wednesday, lawmakers will meet for veto day and are set to decide whether to overturn Hassan’s action. Before then, top lawmakers from both parties are hopeful they can hammer out some sort of deal that could win approval from both chambers on Wednesday and solve the budget impasse. The …

Capital Beat: As substance abuse crisis continues to exact toll, debate over solutions turns increasingly political

Saturday, August 8, 2015

It’s declaring a state of emergency. It’s the money. It’s the state drug czar. Each of those topics has sparked partisan bickering in Concord recently, centered on the state’s substance abuse problem. More than 300 people died last year from drug-related overdoses, a state record, and growing public outcry has spurred lawmakers into …

Capital Beat: Cyber mischief an unwelcome campaign guest

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Republican Yvonne Dean-Bailey is still running in the election to represent Candia, Deerfield, Nottingham and Northwood in the state’s House of Representatives. But days before the special election, that’s not what someone wants you to think. A hoax email sent to a handful of reporters Thursday announced Dean-Bailey was conceding. The confusing part: …

Capital Beat: Can the New Hampshire House move any slower?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

They’ve voted to repeal the death penalty, raise the state’s minimum wage and legalize marijuana. They’ve shot down a casino and attempts to expand gun background checks. They’ve debated the proper use of welfare benefits and fetal homicide laws. Judging from the headlines, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives …

State House Live: N.H. House kills bill that bans under-18 tanning

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3:46 p.m.: A bill that would’ve stopped teenagers under the age of 18 from tanning couldn’t muster support in the House, which indefinitely postponed it by a vote of 175-154. Indefinitely postponement means that the bill can’t come back in any form this session. Current New Hampshire laws …

N.H. Senate takes up bills on gas tax, EBT cards and more

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It was a busy day in the N.H. Senate today. Senators took up several issues today including a gas tax, EBT cards and adding anti-discrimination to the state constitution. Gas tax A bill to raise the state’s gas tax by about 4 cents passed the Senate yesterday by …

N.H. House rejects Hassan-supported one-casino bill

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The House has defeated a one-casino bill supported by Gov. Maggie Hassan, 173-144, dashing the hopes of casino supporters once again. “There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle,” said Rep. Gary Richardson, a Hopkinton Democrat. “If we approve gambling today, we’re never going to get rid …

State House Live: N.H. House approves minimum wage increase to $8.25 an hour

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

6:31 p.m.: The House endorsed a bill, 173-118, raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour in 2015 and higher in following years. “What we’re doing here is having the possibility of providing an umbrella for the most marginal, working poor groups,” said Rep. Chuck Weed, a …

Capital Beat: From GOP, several approaches to Medicaid vote

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Despite weeks of attacks from conservative groups and local Republican committees, Senate President Chuck Morse and Majority Leader Jeb Bradley came out of this week’s Medicaid expansion vote relatively unscathed. Seven of 12 Republicans (Sen. Peter Bragdon recused himself due to a conflict of interest with his employer, …

Capital Beat: On Medicaid and gas tax, it’s Republicans vs. Republicans

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Medicaid expansion plan under way in the Senate is a “gateway drug to socialism in the Granite State” and will create a “whole new class of Obamacare victim.” A gas tax increase would “punish working families” and force them to pay more at the pump “simply because …

Capital Beat: What did the House’s gun background check votes really mean? It’s complicated

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Listen to some lefties, and you’ll hear that Wednesday’s vote to eventually kill a gun background checks bill was the result of Republican trickery that doesn’t reflect the Legislature’s true support for background checks. Listen to people from the right, and you’ll hear that the vote of 242-118 …

N.H. House committee backs death penalty repeal by large margin

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee endorsed a bill to repeal the death penalty in a 14-3 vote yesterday, with a handful of members who have previously opposed repeal changing their minds. Among them was Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff, a Penacook Democrat and retired U.S. marshal, …

N.H. House hearing on minimum wage draws crowd from both sides

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Anita Mendes keeps her house at 62 degrees in the winter. She tailors her own clothes so she doesn’t have to buy more and eats often at community dinners, helping clean up afterward to show her gratitude. She …

Capital Beat: Democrats complicated relationship with Obamacare continues

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Unfavorable polling for Obamacare and actions taken by New Hampshire’s congressional Democrats last week to fix it underscore Democrats’ continued complicated relationship with the health care law heading into election season. Republicans will do their best to make sure this doesn’t change anytime soon. First District Rep. Carol …

Medicaid expansion agreement announced in time for State of the State

Friday, February 7, 2014

The early afternoon announcement of a bipartisan Senate agreement on Medicaid expansion was perfect timing for Gov. Maggie Hassan, giving a boost to her push for expanding access to health care for 50,000 residents in her State of …