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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: Did Brown ‘lobby’ to stop Shaheen’s energy bill?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown found himself in the middle of U.S. Senate Republicans’ refusal last week to support a bipartisan energy efficiency bill co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the Democrat whose seat he hopes to …

State House Live: N.H. House passes bill requiring third-party groups to disclose political spending

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

4:56 p.m.: After a lengthy debate on free speech and political spending, the House passed a bill that will require third-party groups to disclose political spending. “There is not one word (in this bill) that makes any attempt to regulate what anybody can say,” Rep. Shawn Jasper, a …

Capital Beat: Will education become a major 2014 issue?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

State education policy got a rare moment in the political spotlight this week when the Executive Council confirmed Gov. Maggie Hassan’s nominee Bill Duncan to the State Board of Education. Duncan, who runs the advocacy group Advancing New …

State House Live: Attempt to add marijuana bills to unrelated Senate legislation fails in N.H. House

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

An attempt to tack two marijuana bills onto an unrelated Senate bill failed in the House, 99-245. Rep. Joel Winters, a Manchester Democrat, introduced an amendment that would’ve added a home grow option for medical marijuana and decriminalization of possessing small amounts of marijuana onto a bill about …

Capital Beat: A deeper look at Mowers’ ‘Bridgegate’ involvement

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Hampshire’s connections to the New Jersey political scandal now known as “Bridgegate” resurfaced last week with news that the New Hampshire Republican Party’s executive director received a subpoena to testify before a legislative committee investigating last fall’s …

State House Live: N.H. Senate’s two-casino bill fails in House by single vote

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3:20 p.m.: House members killed the Senate’s two-casino bill by a single vote this afternoon, with Deputy Speaker Naida Kaen, a Lee Democrat, breaking a 172-172 tie. This vote was the final nail in the casino coffin for …

Capital Beat: Ayotte or Hassan for VP? It’s possible

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Since 2012, the words “Kelly Ayotte” and “vice presidential nominee” have been heard frequently together. Although she wasn’t Mitt Romney’s eventual choice, speculation about her viability as a national candidate has only grown since. In February, for example, …

Capital Beat: Death penalty repeal, marijuana decriminalization may not be dead just yet

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Despite the New Hampshire Senate’s seeming defeat of bills to repeal the death penalty and decriminalize up to an ounce of marijuana Thursday, the prime House sponsors of both pieces of legislation still see an opportunity to push …

Capital Beat: Just who is Walter Havenstein?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Democrats’ willingness to throw around words like “tax fraud” and “Maryland resident” when talking about Walter Havenstein isn’t doing much to temper Republicans’ excitement about their newest gubernatorial candidate. “This is just the Democrats’ weak attempt at trying …

Capital Beat: Reading the tea leaves on casino gambling (and more)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

When a bill legalizing a single casino lost by 29 votes in the New Hampshire House two weeks ago, Steve Duprey, a leading anti-casino voice, called the vote a “silver stake” in the heart of casino proposals – a final defeat in a 16-year battle to bring casinos …

State House Live: N.H. Senate approves bill that allows annulment of medical records

Thursday, March 27, 2014

5:12 p.m.: Senators have approved a bill, 17-7, that creates a process for people to annul their mental health records and remove their names from a national gun background checks system. The original version of the bill would’ve required the state to report names of mentally ill people …

State House Live: N.H. House overwhelmingly defeats marijuana legalization bill

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The House stood strongly against legalizing marijuana this afternoon, 192-140. The 52 vote margin represents a major change since the House narrowly passed the bill in January and sent it to the Ways and Means Committee. Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, had promised to veto any bill legalizing …