SESSION NOTICE: The next House session will be Wednesday, June 16th at 10:00 am.

CAUCUS NOTICE: There will be a Republican caucus Wednesday, June 16th at 9:00 am. in Representatives Hall.

House Majority Leader Responds to Governor’s Veto of HB1637

CONCORD – Today House Majority Leader Rep. Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the governor’s veto of HB1637, relative to school attendance in towns with no public schools. HB1637 committee of conference report passed the House 190-132.

“I am deeply disappointed that the governor is once again playing politics and vetoed this important legislation that would have given local control to towns and parents,” said Rep. Hinch. “There are many small towns in New Hampshire, like Croydon, that don’t have their own school systems, and parents should have the choice of where they believe their child fits best and can thrive.”

“Maybe if the governor remained in the state to do her job, she would see how signing this bill would have helped our small towns rather than obstructing them. This continued absence from her commitments and responsibilities amounts to having a part-time governor. The people of New Hampshire deserve better.”

Senate, House leaders call members to session for vote on Granite Hammer

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statements addressing yesterday’s vote to kill the Granite Hammer program.

“Yesterday, nearly 75% of House Democrats voted against SB 485, a bill that would have expanded law enforcement interdiction measures to address the opioid crisis in New Hampshire,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “Throughout this session, the Legislature has worked in a bi-partisan manner and has been fully committed to addressing the heroin and opioid crisis by increasing our ability to diminish the supply of these deadly drugs in our communities, while considering stronger prevention, treatment and recovery measures. Yesterday’s vote to kill Granite Hammer was an unexpected move that killed a program proven to be extremely effective in removing heroin and drug traffickers from the streets in cities and towns in New Hampshire.”

“While it is extremely disappointing that this bill was killed by House Democrats, it further proves that Governor Hassan is missing in action on critical issues facing this state and is focused on nothing more than political posturing and campaigning for the U.S. Senate, and not the issues the citizens of New Hampshire are dealing with every day,” added Bradley.

“The House and Senate believe it is critically important to ensure that this tried and tested program is available to cities and towns in the state of New Hampshire. Therefore, the Senate and House have taken the lead, calling our members in to Session on June 16 to again take up this measure,” said Bradley.

“The Governor had a path forward yesterday when she could have put in the effort to get the members of her own party to support SB 485,” said House Majority Leader Richard Hinch. “She failed to do that, and now she is asking the legislature to double back and try again, due to her own shortcomings.”

“The legislature worked tirelessly for the last eight months to come forward with a comprehensive package of legislation to address the opioid crisis, including SB 485, which would have aided law-enforcement effort and given them additional resources to fight our state’s drug crisis,” said Hinch. “The fact that the Governor chose to be absent from the discussion at this point in the legislative process is unfortunate. Had she not checked out of the state for numerous absences and neglected her basic responsibilities, she would have a bill to sign.”

Background: The Committee of Conference report on SB 485, which contained the additional resources for law enforcement, failed in the House by a vote of 159-160 on Wednesday. A procedural vote to reconsider that motion was also defeated 157-187, with a majority of House Democrats voting against revisiting the issue.

House Majority Leader Reacts to State Revenue Report for May

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following statement relative to the monthly revenue report issued by the Department of Administrative Services. According to the report, “Business Taxes for May totaled $13.1 million, which were $3.8 million below plan and $4.0 million below prior year.” However, “YTD business tax collections, net of revenue identified as tax amnesty, were above plan by $57.1 million (12.1%) and $61.4 million (13.1%) above the prior year.”

“Last month, when revenues looked a bit rosier, the governor came to us with a shopping cart of proposals, spending millions of dollars of the potential surplus funds. The legislature pushed back, realizing that we shouldn’t make spending decisions based on partial-year data. We are cognizant that we need to look at revenues over the biennium, and this is a great example of why the governor’s rush to spend would have been a problem. “ said House Majority Leader Dick Hinch. “Year-to-date, business tax revenue is still ahead of plan by $57 million, or roughly 12%. We’re hopeful that even if there are less-than-stellar months, we will maintain a positive position on business tax and other revenue.”

House Majority Leader Reacts to Governor’s Lack of Leadership, Defeat of SB485

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following statement relative to the defeat of the committee of conference report on SB485, establishing a state grant program to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in addressing the opioid crisis, and relative to the health care premium contribution for retired state employees. The committee of conference report failed in the House by a 159-160 vote on Wednesday. A procedural vote to reconsider that vote was also defeated 157-187, with a majority of House Democrats voting against revisiting the issue.

“Had the governor put any amount of effort into getting members of her own party to support this very important piece of legislation, it would have passed and reached her desk for signature, “ said Rep. Hinch. “Retiree health care shortfalls would have been addressed, and law enforcement would have had additional resources to fight our state’s drug crisis.”

“When 107 out of 146 members of her own party voted against reconsideration of SB485, Gov. Hassan has only herself to blame for its failure,” Hinch continued. “If the governor would have done her job and participated in the policy discussion these last few weeks, rather than spend time out of state for campaign purposes, she would have a bill to sign. Due to the governor’s lack of leadership and neglect of her basic responsibilities, law enforcement will not have the additional resources prescribed in this legislation.”

House and Senate Majority Leaders’ Statements on Governor’s Veto of HB582

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) offered the following statements relative to the veto of HB582, repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan majority in January, and passed the Senate on a party line vote earlier this month.

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) said:

By vetoing this bill, for the second time in two years, Governor Hassan has denied law abiding gun owners this much needed reform of our laws concerning concealed carry. House and Senate members have been working on this bill for over two years to achieve this important balance that enhanced the rights of citizens, clarified existing laws to prevent misinterpretation, and preserve public safety. The governor has once again demonstrated her unwillingness to compromise and work in a bipartisan fashion on second amendment issues.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said:

I am disappointed the Governor has vetoed yet again another piece of common sense legislation that allows people to protect their lives liberties and loved ones by exercising their 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution. In New Hampshire people can openly carry any firearm but Governor Hassan believes law abiding citizens should be required to obtain a special permit to carry a legal weapon on a concealed basis. Vermont has never required a special permit for concealed carry and is the safest state in the nation. New Hampshire should follow suit. I am disappointed Governor Hassan has yet again vetoed legislation that protects the 2nd Amendment.

House Leaders Statements on the Passage of Drug Crisis Related Bills

CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) and House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following statements on the passage of legislation aiding in the state’s response to the opioid and drug epidemic in New Hampshire. Today the House passed:

SB533, which appropriates $3,000,000 in FY 2017 to the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery, for the purpose of funding contracts for program services, and $2,000,000 in FY 2017 to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, for the purpose of funding supportive housing projects for persons with substance abuse disorders. SB533 passed on a voice vote.

SB485, establishing a state grant program to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in addressing the opioid crisis SB533 passed 213 to 95.

SB522, making an appropriation to the office of professional licensure and certification for technology upgrades for the controlled drug prescription health and safety program. SB522 passed on a voice vote.

SB464,  establishing a statewide drug offender grant program, establishing drug courts or alternative drug offender programs. SB464 passed on a voice vote.

“Late last year we formed the Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Epidemic in order to review and prioritize proposals for this legislative session, “ said House Speaker Jasper. “The bills approved today, along with the bills the legislature passed earlier this year and the increase in funding we included in the legislature’s budget, help fulfill the commitment we made to act on this crisis.”

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to solving this crisis, but we believe the measures passed in the House today will aid in the state’s fight against addiction in several important areas including treatment, prevention, enforcement, and the judicial process,” said Rep. Hinch. “Our work won’t stop here, but this set of solutions, we believe, will continue to improve the state’s ability to respond.”

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