SESSION NOTICE: TBD

CAUCUS NOTICE: TBD

House Leaders React to Dismissal of NH Voter List Release Lawsuit

CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) and House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued statements in reaction to the dismissal of a suit brought by the ACLU and 2 elected members of the New Hampshire Legislature against New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner seeking to block the release of voter checklist information to the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper:

“From the outset, I had faith in Secretary Gardner’s interpretation of his duties, and his commitment to uphold the laws of New Hampshire, while never compromising the privacy of our citizens. This is part of what I believe is a long overdue review at the federal level, of our election systems, with the goal of increasing confidence and security. I am pleased that the data release has been cleared and our state now can play a role in the presidential commission’s efforts at improving election integrity.”

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch:

“It’s unfortunate that this lawsuit, and grandstanding by Democrats in the state legislature calling for a special session, distracted from the real concern many New Hampshire citizens have about election integrity. Rep. Shurtleff has yet to produce petition signatures requesting a special session he announced over a month ago, which demonstrates that even members of his own party quickly realized the premise for their opposition was not well founded.”

State Leaders Announce Return of $30M to Towns and Cities

For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2017

Contact:
Ben Vihstadt
benjamin.vihstadt@nh.gov
603-271-2121

Concord, NH – Today Governor Chris Sununu announced the return of $30 million to towns and cities for road improvements as a result of signing SB 38, making an appropriation to the department of transportation for local highway aid and aid for municipal bridges.

“Addressing New Hampshire’s infrastructure needs is critical to ensure safety on our roads,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This is a key first step in rebuilding our state’s infrastructure and reducing property tax obligations for every citizen in the state. We’re sending cash back to towns so that localities can provide relief on their tax base – a home run for taxpayers. For years we have heard how the state cannot control local property taxes, but what we can do is use infrastructure grants to give our towns more financial flexibility and target key areas of need to our communities, which will revitalize New Hampshire’s aging infrastructure, and reinvigorate our local economies.”

“Modernizing our state’s roadway and bridge infrastructure is a priority for New Hampshire. Due to responsible budgeting in FY 16-17, our state produced significant surplus that has not only grown the rainy day fund, but allowed our state to return millions of taxpayer dollars to our communities,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “Nearly $30 million will be returned to cities and towns to directly support critical infrastructure improvements that will benefit our citizens across the state.”

Speaker Shawn Jasper said of the announcement, “This year, Governor Sununu and the legislature have made it a priority to send money back to cities and towns. We are proud we can make local needs a priority. The distribution of these dollars demonstrates our commitment to improving our state’s infrastructure in each corner of our state. The health of our roads and bridges are an important investment for our communities and local economies.”

Click here for a full list town distribution amounts

In Memoriam: Rep. Ron Belanger

It is with great sadness today that we inform you of the passing of Rep. Ron Belanger of Salem. We learned of his passing this afternoon. Ron was serving his 13th term representing the people of Salem and had served in various leadership roles during his tenure. Ron was also very involved in his community, having served as a selectman as well as a member of the planning board and the zoning board of adjustment. Once we receive any details of the services for Ron, we will pass them along to you. In the meantime our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.

Jasper statement regarding charges against Rep. Schleien

The following statement was released this morning by House Speaker Shawn Jasper in response to sexual assault charges made against Rep. Erick Schleien (r-Hudson) by the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office.

“Anytime one of our members faces charges such as these we take it very seriously. The fact that the accusations against Rep. Schleien involve a 16 year old girl is very disturbing, to say the least. But we need not rush to judgement until the investigation is concluded and Rep. Schleien has had his day in court. Obviously if the charges are proven true, I would expect the representative from Hudson to resign from the House immediately.”

House Majority Leader Reacts to Special Session Petition

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following comments relative to a petition for a special legislative session initiated by Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord). The purpose of the special session would be to modify laws relative to the ability of Secretary of State Bill Gardner to release New Hampshire voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

“I have a high level of respect for Secretary of State Bill Gardner and it’s unfortunate that Representative Shurtleff and others in the Democratic Party have chosen to suggest he would divulge information that is not public. Secretary Gardner has indicated that he will only provide voter data that he is legally able to provide and that is already publicly available. He has served the people of New Hampshire honorably in his position for over 40 years. He knows the law.”

“This is political grandstanding meant to make President Trump’s Commission out to be something it most assuredly is not. I’ve read the request, and the Commission respectfully asks only for what is publicly available under the laws of the state. I know of no better steward of laws and information than Secretary Gardner, and I believe him when he says sensitive data will not be included in any data release.”

“Voter lists with basic information have been available for public review for decades. They are the basis for how our political parties and candidates contact voters. If Democrats had a genuine concern about the availability of the data, they had decades to change the law. By petitioning for a special session they demonstrate their political motives and their disregard for the usual and customary legislative process.”

“Election integrity is important to me and it is important to the voters of our state. I will not support meeting in special session for this circus-like endeavor.”

Background: RSA16 provides the ability for members to petition for a special session. If the requirements for the petition are met, the Secretary of State will mail ballots to every member of the House and Senate asking, “Are you of the opinion that the general court should meet in special session?”

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