SESSION NOTICE: The House will meet in session on Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. to act on Governor Sununu’s vetoes of House Bills 143, 314, and 1736. The Governor’s veto messages on these bills are printed in the House Calendar.

CAUCUS NOTICE: There will be a Republican caucus on Thursday, September 13th at 10:00 a.m. in Representatives Hall.

House Majority Leader Statement on State Unemployment Data

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following review of the Unemployment News Release for June 2018 issued by the Department of Employment Security.

The report states, in part, “…estimates for June 2018 placed the number of employed residents at 735,730, an increase of 2,540 from the previous month and an increase of 9,020 from June 2017.”

“New Hampshire’s economy continues to produce jobs and continued good news. There is no doubt in my mind that stability, sustainability, and growth in our economy is helped along by good stewardship and proactive measures from our state’s elected leaders,” Hinch said. “Let’s face it, businesses are making investments and hiring more workers here because they have faith that the governor and the legislature will continue to produce sound policy with regard to taxes, regulation, education, infrastructure, and health. We have a strong list of accomplishments from the last two years as a unified Republican state government, and we look forward to having another two years to continue our work to make New Hampshire an even better place to live, work, raise a family, and do business,” Hinch concluded.

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Majority Leader Reacts to Governor Signing HB1264

House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu signing HB1264, relative to the construction of terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence” and “residency.”

“I applaud the Governor’s leadership on seeking an advisory opinion on HB1264 and his decision to sign this important piece of legislation,” said Hinch. “The Supreme Court’s opinion yesterday made clear what we have been saying all along, there is nothing unconstitutional about requiring individuals to make a choice as to where they are residents.”

“I don’t believe it is unreasonable for us to require that those who participate in our elections be residents of our state,” Hinch continued. “What I do believe to be unreasonable is that we have had two classifications of voters in our state: those who abide by our statutes and laws as residents, and those who don’t. HB1264 becoming law is a major win for election integrity and voters in New Hampshire.”

Joint Statement on Supreme Court Advisory Opinion on HB 1264

Concord, NH — Today, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued the advisory opinion on HB 1264, relative to construction of the terms “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency.”

Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead), chair of the Senate Election Law & Internal Affairs committee, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), Representative Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown), chair of the House Election Law committee, and House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) issued the following statements:

“Today’s opinion issued by the Supreme Court is a major development and an important victory for New Hampshire voters,” said Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead).  “We are extremely pleased by advisory opinion which reaffirms our position that removing the four words, ‘from the indefinite future’ from statute makes no changes to an individual’s ability to vote whatsoever. We agree with the assessment that there is nothing unfair or unconstitutional about state laws that require individuals to make a choice on where they are residents as it pertains to voting.”

“We have an obligation to ensure that our laws reflect our belief in establishing true fairness and equity for each voter and for every vote cast in an election.  The opinion provided by the justices confirms that the intent of this legislation was met and will allow our state to come into line with 49 other states, requiring that those who register to vote here meet the same requirements and are treated the same way as all New Hampshire residents,” added Birdsell.

“Today I stand in continued support of HB 1264, passed by both our NH House and Senate, an act which our Supreme Court has decided is constitutional under both the State and Federal Constitutions.  This Act sought to align the concepts of residence and domicile, two terms used through our statutes to which individuals have attributed different meanings.  I believe the Court correctly began its analysis of the issues presented by finding the State has a compelling interest in making sure that persons do not claim a status in the State for the sole purpose of voting. The Court has concluded the alignment of definitions does not affect the eligibility of persons to vote in our elections, and ensures that the provisions and application of New Hampshire law are equivalent,” said Representative Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown). “Choosing New Hampshire as your domicile for voting should subject each and every one of us to the same obligation of state citizenship. I look forward to HB 1264 receiving the signature of the Governor,” Griffin added.

“The opinion issued by the court substantiates what we’ve been saying throughout this process, that HB1264 has no effect on eligibility to vote, serves the interests of the state, and satisfies constitutional standards. I would hope that we can all move forward with a clear understanding that this bill is about fairness and equalizing the legal standards for voting and other purposes. I urge Governor Sununu to support the work of the House and Senate on this important bill, and sign HB1264,” said House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett).

“Voting is one of the most important and essential rights laid out in our constitution,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).  “It is a simple matter of common sense to require those who participate in our elections to abide by the same set of guidelines and become residents of New Hampshire as other voters have done. This legislation guarantees all voters the same and appropriate level of fairness that has been missing in our elections. The intent of this legislation has never been to disenfranchise anyone from voting in the State of New Hampshire. Today’s opinion reaffirms our original intent to create a level playing field for all voters in this bill.”

“The Supreme Court’s advisory opinion is a major win for the voters of New Hampshire and I urge Governor Sununu to sign HB 1264 into law as soon as possible,” added Bradley.

The opinion can be found at:  https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2018/2018039oj.pdf

Senate President, House Speaker Announce Joint Task Force on Wayfair Decision

CONCORD – Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) and House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) today announced the formation of a joint legislative task force to review potential legislation dealing with implications of the South Dakota v. Wayfair US Supreme Court decision on New Hampshire.

Rep. Norman Major (R-Plaistow), chair of the House Ways & Means committee, will chair the joint task force and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) will serve as vice chair.

House members appointed to the task force include Rep. Pat Abrami (R-Stratham), Rep. Susan Almy (DLebanon), Rep. Richard Ames (D-Jaffrey), Rep. Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown), Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), Rep. Lynne Ober (R-Hudson), Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua), and Rep. Stephen Shurtleff (D-Penacook). Senate members appointed to the task force include Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua), Sen. Sharon Carson (RLondonderry), Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester), Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford), Sen. Dan Feltes (DConcord), and Sen. Bob Giuda (R-Warren).

An informational session for all legislators is scheduled for July 12 at 10 a.m. in Representatives Hall at the State House. Task force members and legislators will hear from an initial set of experts who have developed legislative concepts that the task force may be able utilize in making any recommendations. The task force will hold their first meeting following the information session and will follow that up with a series of work sessions on July 17, 18, & 19, with a deadline to issue a report and recommendation by July 19.

“I’m very proud of the team of legislators we’ve assembled, all of whom bring a wealth of expertise on policy areas relative to this court decision. We are confident that their work over the coming weeks, reviewing legislation and hearing from stakeholders, will produce a recommendation on legislation that the House and Senate can swiftly on, should a special session be approved by the governor and executive council,” said Speaker Chandler.

“New Hampshire is very proud to have no sales tax. Our retail business community thrives because of our ‘no sales tax’ environment. To ask our retailers to collect taxes for thousands of other jurisdictions would be a huge burden on them, and we want to identify ways to protect and defend them from the implications of this court decision,” added the speaker.

NH House Speaker Withdraws from National Council of State Legislatures

CONCORD – Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Gene G. Chandler (RBartlett) announced today that he would no longer authorize dues payments to the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL). For several years, the group has advocated for the ability of states to collect a sales tax from their residents who make online purchases, requiring online retailers to impose those taxes on their shoppers.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair that would grant states the authority to enforce their tax laws on purchases made by their residents. “New Hampshire is very proud to have no sales tax. Our retail business community thrives as a result of our no sales tax environment. To ask our retailers to collect taxes for dozens of other states is a huge burden on them, and will likely jeopardize their ability to do business online with out-of-state customers. We are certainly disappointed in the Court’s decision, but we are more frustrated that NCSL has championed legislation in congress to force a remote sales tax, and cheered the recent court decision. I cannot in good conscience continue to associate with a group that unabashedly promotes a policy that I, and so many other Granite Staters, disagree with. Effective today, the New Hampshire House will no longer pay any dues or fees to NCSL or any other organization that supports or promotes a national remote sales tax policy. It’s unconscionable that New Hampshire business will have to participate in fueling the growth of government in other states.”

Background: NCSL issued a statement on June 21st in support of the Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair.

2018 House Committee of Conference Procedures

This passage outlining the Procedures on Committees of Conference is featured in this weeks calendar.

The Chairmen of the policy committees will receive bills amended by the Senate and should check with their committees to determine whether to recommend that the House concur, non-concur, or non-concur and request a Committee of Conference.

When a committee requests that the bill be sent to a Committee of Conference, the Chairman will recommend members for appointment. If the bill has gone to more than one committee, the members may come from the different committees as determined by the Speaker. Chairmen should recommend only those members from their policy committees. The Speaker shall make the final decision of Conference committee members, and the committee choices are generally limited to those who support the House position.

The first named House member shall serve as Chairman of the House Conferees. For House bills in Committee of Conference, the House Conferee Chairman shall set the time and place of the first meeting with the Clerk’s Office and shall chair each meeting of the Committee of Conference. The first meeting shall be posted in the Clerk’s Office and outside the committee room at least 24 hours in advance. If a Committee of Conference meeting recesses, the reconvening time shall be posted in the Clerk’s office and outside the committee room with at least 12 hours’ notice. [House Rule 49 (c)].

The House and Senate Conferees on a bill shall meet jointly but vote separately while in conference.

The Committee of Conference may not change the title of the bill. The Committee also may not add amend­ments that are not germane to the subject matter of the bill or contain subject matter that has been indefi­nitely postponed. A non-germane amendment is one in which the subject matter is not contained in either the House or Senate version of the bill. [House Rule 49 (g)]

The sponsor of a bill that is in Committee of Conference shall, upon request, be provided an opportunity to be heard.

A unanimous vote of both the House and Senate Conferees, voting separately, is necessary for an agreed upon report to be sent to the House and Senate.

Reports of all Committees of Conference must be filed with the Office of Legislative Services by the May 17, 2018 deadline adopted by the House. All Committee of Conference members must sign their reports in the Office of Legislative Services by May 17, 2018 by 4:00 p.m.

The first-named House member on all bills in Committee of Conference must prepare an analysis of the report. This “blurb” should contain a complete explanation of all changes made to the bill since it was passed by the House and must be submitted to the House Clerk for printing in the calendar.

All Committee of Conference reports shall be distributed in seat pockets to be acted on some subsequent day. [House Rule 49 (f)].

*See House Rule 49 for more information

House Majority Leader reacts to passage of HB1685

CONCORD- Today, the House passed HB1685, establishing a statutory commission for oversight over occupational regulation. This bill, passed by the House by a vote of 177-148, establishes an occupational regulation review commission to assure boards utilize the least restrictive regulation and requires a continuing review of all occupational boards. House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement:

“This was an important first step in knocking down barriers blocking average Granite Staters from finding work,” said Hinch. “This Commission will allow state government to find the best balance between safety and allowing individuals to pursue the career of their choice.”

“Workforce shortage is a looming problem facing our state,” remarked Hinch. “In order to meet the demands of a growing economy, we need to have a fresh look at our occupational regulation environment.”

House Leaders React to Governors State of the State Address

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) release statements following Governor Sununu’s State of the State Address.

House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“The governor put forward today an uplifting account of the state of our state and the character if its people. Our constituents elected us to represent their interests here in Concord, and I believe we are doing that through common sense legislation to improve our economy, education, infrastructure, our response addiction and mental health crises, and improve quality of life in every community. We agree that New Hampshire’s system of government puts people above politics, and that’s something we hope Washington can learn from.”

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack)

“I thank the governor for sharing highlights of our accomplishments over the last year, and look forward to working with him on the future initiatives he spoke about this morning. Voters elected a unified Republican state government, and we are producing results for the State of New Hampshire. Our unemployment remains among the lowest in the nation, and our economy continues to grow as the result of proactive Republican policies, including responsible budgeting, low state taxes, and reform of regulations. We have many challenges ahead before the legislative session ends and campaign season begins. I believe the governor’s speech today is an excellent resume for us to demonstrate to voters that we’ve achieved many of the goals we campaigned on in 2016.”

SECOND ANNUAL N.H. LEGISLATIVE SOFTBALL CLASSIC SET FOR FLAG DAY IN MERRIMACK

CONCORD, N.H. — The Second Annual New Hampshire Legislative Softball Classic is scheduled for Flag Day, Thursday, June 14th, at 6 p.m. at the Anheuser-Busch Athletic Complex in Merrimack, N.H. The event, sponsored by the N.H. Legislature’s Veterans’ Caucus (VIC) will  once again generate funds for Manchester’s Liberty House which supports homeless and transitioning veterans.

In part inspired by the shooting violence associated with the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game, the 2017 Legislative Softball Classic saw the Republicans top their Democrat rivals by a score of 15-5 while generating more than $10,000 for Liberty House. “The first Classic was such a wonderful success that we had to keep it going,” explained VIC leader Sean Morrison (R-Epping).

Sports banter has already commenced between the rival camps ahead of the 2018 Classic. “I just made a substantial pledge to Liberty House,” explained House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), the manager for the Republican team. “But I’ll double my donation if somehow the Democrats get lucky and pull off a win.” Democrat manager, House Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) sees things differently. “Democrats mean business in 2018,” explained Shurtleff. “Our win in the Classic in June will show that 2018 is going to be a blue year in New Hampshire and across the country!”

The two teams will be vying for the “Antler Trophy” won by the GOP last year that now has a name. The “Murphy-Brown Trophy” honors two Granite State political stalwarts.

Republican Francis P. Murphy was elected as the sixty-fourth governor of New Hampshire in 1936. A former lieutenant in the New Hampshire National Guard,  Murphy chaired the Electric Power Supply Committee during World War I and also served in the New Hampshire House of  Representatives as well as the Executive Council. In 1954, Governor Murphy started WMUR-TV in Manchester.

Democrat Fred Brown was elected as the fifty-ninth N.H governor in 1922 and then to the U.S. Senate in 1932. A talented baseball player, he saw action with the National League’s Boston Beaneaters (later the Braves) in 1901 and 1902.

More information about the Legislative Softball Classic and the Murphy-Brown Trophy may be obtained by contacting Rep. Michael Moffett (R-Loudon) at michael.moffett@leg.state.nh.us.

House Republicans Comment on Passage of HB317

CONCORD – Today, the House passed HB317, prohibiting the public utilities commission from increasing the system benefits charge without legislative approval, by a vote of 173-171. House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) and Assistant Majority Leader and prime sponsor of the bill, Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping), released the following statements:

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch:

“New Hampshire Ratepayers are burdened with some of the highest energy costs in the country. House Republicans remain committed to doing everything in our power to protect the New Hampshire Ratepayer. This bill assures that there is accountability when it comes to the Systems Benefit Charge. I applaud the ST&E committee for the work they have done on this bill and am thrilled to see it pass the House.”

Representative Michael Vose:

“New Hampshire Ratepayers deserve to be able to hold their government accountable and today was a great step in that direction. This bill provides the legislature with the oversight and control needed to prevent a slide into economic stagnation caused by over regulation and excessive taxation.“

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