March 30, 2020 •

New Hampshire Legislature Suspends Legislative Session

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

State Senate President Donna Soucy and Speaker of the House Stephen Shurtleff announced the General Court has extended the suspension of all legislative activities through May 4. During this time, the State House is closed to legislative members, legislative staff, […]

State Senate President Donna Soucy and Speaker of the House Stephen Shurtleff announced the General Court has extended the suspension of all legislative activities through May 4.

During this time, the State House is closed to legislative members, legislative staff, and visitors.

The announcement is in conjunction with Governor Chris Sununu’s emergency stay-at-home order due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 18, 2020 •

New Hampshire Legislature Extends Suspension of Legislative Session

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

Due to COVID-19, the New Hampshire General Court has suspended all legislative activities through April 10. During this time, the State House will be closed to legislative members, legislative staff, and visitors. This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

Due to COVID-19, the New Hampshire General Court has suspended all legislative activities through April 10.

During this time, the State House will be closed to legislative members, legislative staff, and visitors.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

New Hampshire Legislature Suspends Legislative Activities

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the General Court is suspending all legislative activities for at least one week. The legislature will be closed from March 16 to March 20. The State House will be closed to legislative members, staff, […]

Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the General Court is suspending all legislative activities for at least one week.

The legislature will be closed from March 16 to March 20.

The State House will be closed to legislative members, staff, and visitors but remains open for governmental operations until further notice.

This closure does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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September 17, 2019 •

New Hampshire Legislature to Reconvene for Veto Session

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

The General Court of New Hampshire is set to reconvene this week for a veto session over 55 bills vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu. The Legislature will discuss bills relating to firearm sales, renewal energy, and campaign finance transparency. Lawmakers […]

The General Court of New Hampshire is set to reconvene this week for a veto session over 55 bills vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Legislature will discuss bills relating to firearm sales, renewal energy, and campaign finance transparency.

Lawmakers will review Senate Bill 156 concerning political contributions by limited liability companies.

The bill requires political contributions made by a limited liability company to be allocated to members for the purpose of contribution limits.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to meet for two days on September 18 and 19. The Senate is scheduled for one day on Thursday, September 19.

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November 7, 2018 •

New Hampshire Gubernatorial Race Finishes with Sununu Win

Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu won last night’s election in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only one of two states where governors are elected to two-year terms. Sununu, son of former governor John H. Sununu, was first elected in 2016.  […]

Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu won last night’s election in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only one of two states where governors are elected to two-year terms.

Sununu, son of former governor John H. Sununu, was first elected in 2016.  At 42 years old, he was the youngest governor in the United States when he initially took office.

Sununu’s centrist platform focused on the strong economy, low unemployment rate, success with fighting the state’s opioid crisis, and reforming mental health and child welfare systems, according to US News.

Molly Kelly, a former state senator from Harrisville, was the 2018 democratic challenger. Kelly presented a strong challenge to Sununu, despite early polling indications giving him a double digit projected win.

Despite the strong challenge, this was an uphill battle—state voters very rarely unseat an incumbent governor after their first term, with only two governors in the last 100 years losing after one term.

Despite the governor’s office being a democratic stronghold from 1997 to 2017, New Hampshire has elected 13 Republican governors since World War 2.

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November 2, 2018 •

New Hampshire Attorney General Issues Letter on Campaign Finance

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald issued a letter to the Office of Secretary of State advising on his interpretation of some aspects of the state’s campaign finance laws. Most notably, a footnote in the letter […]

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald issued a letter to the Office of Secretary of State advising on his interpretation of some aspects of the state’s campaign finance laws.

Most notably, a footnote in the letter indicated MacDonald could require corporations making contributions in the state to register and report as political committees.

Under current state law, political committee registration is required for organizations making expenditures of $5,000 or more annually, even if the organization does not have as its major purpose to promote the success or defeat of candidates or measures. This regulation has been in place for several years during which corporate registration has not been the practice.

There is an exception to registration for organizations registered as business entities, but additional guidance on who qualifies as a business entity has not yet been made available.

Though there has been no change in the law to trigger a change in enforcement, MacDonald has indicated he is ramping up enforcement of campaign finance violations.

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July 11, 2018 •

New Hampshire Lawmakers Called into Special Session

The New Hampshire Legislature will convene a special session on July 25, 2018, to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the collection of tax for online sales. Prior to the ruling, businesses only needed to collect and remit […]

The New Hampshire Legislature will convene a special session on July 25, 2018, to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the collection of tax for online sales.

Prior to the ruling, businesses only needed to collect and remit sales tax if they had a “physical presence” in the state.

The aim of the special session is to get lawmakers to pass a bill that will protect New Hampshire businesses from having to collect and remit sales taxes imposed by other states.

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June 7, 2018 •

New Hampshire Legislature Recesses

On May 24, the New Hampshire Legislature adjourned its final full day in session. The Legislature introduced a bill creating a full-time investigator position within the Department of Justice to enforce filing and disclosure requirements for election and lobbying laws, […]

On May 24, the New Hampshire Legislature adjourned its final full day in session.

The Legislature introduced a bill creating a full-time investigator position within the Department of Justice to enforce filing and disclosure requirements for election and lobbying laws, but it did not pass.

Recessed until the next call of the chair by the House and Senate, the legislative body may meet again for a veto session in the fall.

When lawmakers meet to organize in December for the 2019 legislative session, the 2018 session will be adjourned sine die.

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January 10, 2018 •

Lobbyists Covered by New Hampshire State House Anti-Harassment Policies

New Hampshire lobbyists received a letter from the General Court last week confirming they are covered by the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies and procedures and should report any harassment they experience. According to the letter, the State House is not […]

New Hampshire lobbyists received a letter from the General Court last week confirming they are covered by the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies and procedures and should report any harassment they experience.

According to the letter, the State House is not only a workplace for legislative staff, Senators, and Representatives, but also for lobbyists and there is a duty to protect all individuals working there.

The letter follows a story by New Hampshire Public Radio about routine sexual harassment and casual sexism at the State House.

State House staff and lobbyists can report harassment by following procedures established by the Legislative Ethics Committee.

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December 7, 2016 •

Additional Ethics Laws Take Effect Today in NH

Today, a new chapter of New Hampshire’s ethics laws came into effect. Chapter 14-C of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes concerns gifts, honorariums, and expense reimbursements requirements for legislators and legislative employees. Legislators and legislative employees can receive gifts not […]

seal-of-new-hampshireToday, a new chapter of New Hampshire’s ethics laws came into effect.

Chapter 14-C of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes concerns gifts, honorariums, and expense reimbursements requirements for legislators and legislative employees. Legislators and legislative employees can receive gifts not having a value greater than $50 and not having an aggregate value greater than $250 from any single source during any calendar year. The law defines a legislative employee as any person employed by the legislative branch.

House Bill 458, which enacted the chapter, also amended portions of other sections of state law, including a provision requiring lobbyists to affirm having read the newly enacted chapter upon registration.

 

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November 9, 2016 •

NH Elects Sununu as Governor

On November 8, Republican Christopher T. Sununu defeated Democratic candidate Colin Van Ostern to become the next governor of New Hampshire. With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Sununu triumphed over Van Ostern with a vote of 49 to 47 […]

christopher_t_sununuOn November 8, Republican Christopher T. Sununu defeated Democratic candidate Colin Van Ostern to become the next governor of New Hampshire. With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Sununu triumphed over Van Ostern with a vote of 49 to 47 percent.

Sununu is a son of former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu and a brother of John E. Sununu, a past U.S. Senator from the state. The last Republican governor of New Hampshire was Craig Benson, who was last elected in 2002.

Photo of Christopher Sununu by Csununu on Wikimedia Commons.

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September 29, 2016 •

Court Rules New Hampshire Ballot Selfie Ban Unconstitutional

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a New Hampshire law banning “ballot selfies.” The 2014 law imposing fines of up to $1,000 for anyone who took a picture of their marked ballot was passed to combat vote […]

seal-of-new-hampshireThe 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a New Hampshire law banning “ballot selfies.” The 2014 law imposing fines of up to $1,000 for anyone who took a picture of their marked ballot was passed to combat vote buying or voter coercion.

The three-judge panel unanimously decided the ban was overbroad and a violation of voters’ right to free speech. In overturning the law, the court cited insufficient and uncorroborated evidence connecting ballot selfies and voter coercion.

The suit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of three voters including state Rep. Leon Rideout (R) and a man who wrote in his dog’s name on the ballot and posted the photo on Facebook, only to later have it censored.

California recently repealed a state law making ballot selfies a felony. However, more than 20 states still have laws against photographing marked ballots or using a camera inside a polling place.

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June 27, 2016 •

New Hampshire One-Day Session Adjourned

On June 16, the New Hampshire Legislature held a special one-day session to address the efforts of state and local law enforcement to combat the state’s rising heroin and opioid problem. Lawmakers passed a bill providing more funding for initiatives […]

New Hampshire State HouseOn June 16, the New Hampshire Legislature held a special one-day session to address the efforts of state and local law enforcement to combat the state’s rising heroin and opioid problem. Lawmakers passed a bill providing more funding for initiatives to battle drug usage. The bill was signed on the same day.

Photo of the New Hampshire State House by Alexius Horatius on Wikimedia Commons.

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June 7, 2016 •

New Hampshire Special Session on June 16

On June 16, the New Hampshire Legislature will hold a special session to address state and local law enforcements’ efforts to combat the state’s rising heroin and opioid problem. Called by the legislative leadership, the special session is being applauded […]

New Hampshire State HouseOn June 16, the New Hampshire Legislature will hold a special session to address state and local law enforcements’ efforts to combat the state’s rising heroin and opioid problem. Called by the legislative leadership, the special session is being applauded by Gov. Maggie Hassan. “I thank legislative leadership for working quickly to address this issue and committing to bring forward a clean bill … so that we can assist state and local law enforcement across the state in their efforts on the front lines to combat the heroin and opioid crisis,” Hassan said in a press release.

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