CONCORD – House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comment relative to the Supreme Court ruling that upheld legislative changes to the New Hampshire Retirement System.
House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan
“We all want a healthy and solvent retirement system for current and future public employees and first responders. With a $5 billion unfunded liability, one of the highest unfunded rates in the nation, modifications and reforms to the way in which the system works were necessary.”
“This decision gives us confidence that future legislative reforms are possible and permissible. House Republicans will continue to offer reasonable proposals, without increasing taxes, to strengthen our pension system and reduce the unfunded liability.”
Concord—Speaker of the NH House, Shawn Jasper, today announced that former Speaker Gene Chandler (r-Bartlett) has agreed to serve as his Deputy Speaker for the coming biennium. “I couldn’t be happier to have Gene Chandler as my deputy,” said Jasper. “His vast experience and knowledge as both a former speaker and Republican leader will be invaluable to our caucus as we move forward. He is extremely well respected by Democrats and Republicans alike and I intend to seek his counsel on many issues.” Jasper added.
Rep. Chandler is entering his 17th term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He served as the Speaker of the NH House from 2000-2004. The veteran legislator has also served in the capacity of Deputy Majority Leader, Majority Leader, Republican Policy Leader and Senior Republican Leader.
“I look forward to the opportunity to help mend some fences among our caucus,” said Chandler. “ It is important that we as Republicans unite and come together to work for the betterment of the people of New Hampshire,” added Chandler.
Speaker Jasper intends to announce the remainder of his leadership team, including committee chairs and vice chairs, next week.
CONCORD – House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comments relative to the November report on state revenue, which showed revenue $3.6million ahead of plan.
House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)
“I’m happy to see that overall State revenues continue to perform at a level slightly better than we estimated. However, these numbers continue to suggest that state agencies should keep a watchful eye on their spending levels to avoid any possibility deficit spending. I’m looking forward to working with members of the House and Senate Ways & Means and Finance committees to make sure our next budget is based on conservative revenue estimates and contains no new or increased taxes or fees.”
CONCORD- Speaker Shawn Jasper today confirmed the appointment of two veteran legislators to lead their respective caucuses in the next session. Rep. Steve Shurtleff (d-Penacook) will lead the Democratic caucus and Rep. Jack Flanagan (r-Brookline) will serve as the Majority Leader for the Republicans in the House.
“I have served two terms with Rep. Flanagan and I have been impressed with his ability to understand policy issues and to work effectively with his colleagues,” said Speaker Jasper. “I was also looking for someone who was a strong Republican, a leader, and someone whom I could trust,” said Jasper.
Rep. Flanagan has served two terms on the House Labor committee. “I am looking forward to working with my caucus to set the agenda for the upcoming session. There is no question that the economy, job creation, and healthcare are at the forefront of what the people of the state are most concerned,” said Flanagan. “
Rep. Shurtleff, who served as the House Majority leader during the previous session was the choice to lead the Democrats in the upcoming biennium. “I look forward to working together with Speaker Jasper for the good of the state and in the best interest of the people of New Hampshire,” said Shurtleff. “I am confident the, under Speaker Jasper, there will be a continuation of the civility, collegiality and respect for the institution that we hold so dear.” Rep. Shurtleff is entering his sixth term in the NH House of Representatives.
The Republican caucus previously scheduled for Friday at 10 am has been cancelled. Republican House members will receive information when it is rescheduled.
Concord – Republican nominee for House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) today announced that former Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) will serve as the House Speaker Pro Tem. Chandler has served as Speaker from 2000-2004 and as Speaker Pro Tem from 2010-2012. From 2012-2014, he served as the House Republican Leader.
House Speaker Nominee Bill O’Brien
“In his 17 terms serving the citizens of New Hampshire, Gene has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the state and has been a leader at every level of the House. There is no one more knowledgeable than Gene on the institution and tradition of this body. Moreover, he has been a reliable voice for limited, effective government in keeping with the values Granite Staters hold dear. I’m thrilled he’s joined our leadership team and look forward to him playing an important role in moving our state forward over the next session.”
House Speaker Pro Tem Nominee Gene Chandler
“I look forward to working with Speaker O’Brien over the next two years and hope all Republican House members will join us in our efforts to restore New Hampshire’s economy. He shares my concerns about making sure that New Hampshire delivers fiscally accountable government that lives within its means to the public. That begins with responsible revenue estimates and holding the Governor and state agencies to task for staying within their budgets. Together, we can make sure that our state’s fiscal house is in order and we take the steps to get New Hampshire’s economy back on track and growing again.”
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) issued the following statement relative to confirmation that Republicans had won the majority of seats in the New Hampshire House:
“We’re very happy with the election results at the House level and we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work of our candidates. It’s clear that our positive message focusing on improving our economy and making sure our government lives within its means resonated with voters across the state.”
“We’re mindful that with a majority comes a high degree of responsibility and we intend on governing in a common sense, transparent manner we believe New Hampshire citizens expect and deserve. Our legislative priorities will continue to concentrate on responsible state spending and budgeting and helping to improve our business climate to help create more jobs and increase prosperity for citizens in all parts of the state.”
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) today issued the following statement following reports that state agency heads have submitted budget requests for fiscal years 2016-17 totaling over $12.5 billion, roughly $1.9 billion or 18% more than the current operating budget.
House Republican Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)
“One way to show leadership in an executive role is to ensure your department heads know how to live within their means. In the context of state government, this means showing taxpayers that your team of appointees respects, cherishes, and will be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
“What we have here shows our state government’s inability to be mindful of the sensitive state our economy continues to be in. While our economy remains stagnant, state agencies are looking for a raise. Over the summer we heard Governor Hassan voice her concerns over state tax revenue, and ask agencies to pare back spending. Yet, in the blink of an eye, those same agencies are coming back with explosive growth in their spending proposals. It seems disingenuous.”
“I ask the Governor to order her agencies to produce level-funded budget requests or at least something in the realm of reasonableness. This is no time for agencies to submit their biggest wish list to Santa. We have a solemn duty to manage taxpayer dollars in a respectful manner. To ask for anything more than level funding or modest increases at this time shows disregard for the taxpayers of New Hampshire. The Governor needs to get an handle on this now.”
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following statement in reaction to the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling that upheld the School Choice Education Tax Credit program established in 2012.
House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)
“House Republicans applaud the court’s ruling and are grateful that this program will be able to facilitate more scholarships for New Hampshire students who may not otherwise be able to afford alternatives to their local public schools. We thank those who administer the scholarship program and those companies who have made generous donations to the program, for having persevered in the face of unnecessary legal opposition. The winners here are New Hampshire families and students.”
“House Republicans will continue to support and explore opportunities to enrich students’ educational experiences and find ways to enable families to make the best education choices for their children.”
CONCORD – Today Deputy House Republican Leader and member of the House Ways & Means Committee, David Hess (R-Hooksett), offered the following comments relative to Governor Hassan’s claim that business tax reforms passed during the previous legislative term, “are having a negative impact on the state’s budget.”
Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett)
“Not even the Department of Revenue Administration is ready to attribute any change in business tax or interest and dividends tax revenue to any one or particular set of causes at this time. During several meetings in the month of August, DRA officials said it is currently impossible to tell if any prior legislative changes will have any effect on our overall fiscal balance.”
“The Governor has a solution in search of a problem. Her solution is to potentially make our business tax climate less favorable than it already is, or rely on revenue from a non-existent casino when a casino is not something we could even realistically propose for this budget cycle. This is not how to encourage long term economic growth, or responsibly address what experts suggest may be a temporary revenue anomaly.”
“What we can address immediately is state spending. Until we have an more accurate picture of how our state agencies are managing the resources we’ve allocated to them, I think hitting the panic button on revenue is premature.”