The House will meet Wednesday, February 27th, and Thursday, February 28th if necessary.
There will be a Republican caucus on Wednesday, February 27th at 9:00 a.m. in Rooms 301-303, LOB.
Please monitor the House Calendar for a caucus announcement relative to the 28th.
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement on House Democrats’ efforts to fast-track select Senate bills when the House still has over 400 House bills to process before the official crossover date of April 4th.
“First, they tried to slip SB16 in under the radar, so they could attach an ill-advised amendment to it dealing with authorizing unemployment benefits to federal employees affected by the recent government shutdown. Despite written communication from the federal government and repeated public comments advising against this provision from our own Department of Employment Security, House Democrats moved forward with a bad idea. They are doing a great job finding avenues to exploit the shutdown for political gain, and they seem to be willing to disregard customary processes and common sense as they charge down this road. Yesterday, their lack of forethought on this issue resulted in the committee needing to recess the executive session and delay action on this bill due to the volume of problems uncovered in the amendment. Haste makes waste.”
“We’ve now learned that SB1 has been introduced in the House, and I can’t believe that with all of the other business we have to complete, that they would want or need to schedule a public hearing and begin work on this very complex legislation. Sure, it’s a Democrat legislative initiative to institute this family leave income tax program, but I can’t believe we’re diverting resources and time to this legislation during such a busy week dealing with House bills. The House has yet to act on the House version of this legislation, and they’re already scheduling a public hearing on the Senate version. I just can’t see the reasoning. Where has process and common sense gone?”
Background: SB16 was introduced into the House on January 31st, the same day it was passed by the Senate. The bill originally dealt with the date for certain federal systems of data exchange. The amendment, which was distributed to the House Labor committee last week and discussed at executive session on the bill yesterday, sought to modify eligibility requirements such that those federal workers who were required to work without pay could receive state unemployment benefits. If the worker receives back pay, the worker would be required to pay back the benefits they received in a “reasonable time,” a parameter which was undefined.
SB1 will have a public hearing on Tuesday, February 22 in the House Labor committee. HB712, which received an Ought to Pass With Amendment recommendation by a party line committee vote on Wednesday, February 20, will be acted on by the full House during the House session of February 27-28, next week.
According to statistics available from the General Court website advanced bill search:
166 House bills have received have reports filed and are ready to be acted on by the full House, some of which will be referred to a second committee. 291 are still in committee, and have not been reported out by committees.
Concord, NH – House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to the vote by the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee on Tuesday to retain HB735, relative to carbon pricing.
“It’s disturbing to me that Democrats openly said that they want to do additional work on this $800 million per year tax bill. Whether it’s $100 million or $1 billion, they just can’t see the light, and want to move forward with this bill in some fashion, it appears. HB735 is a massive redistribution of wealth, it would dramatically raise energy and fuel prices in New Hampshire, and have a significant negative impact on our state economy. If Democrats want to continue this debate into 2020 by retaining this bill, I’m fine with that, and so were the Republicans on the committee. They can try and hide it but they can’t run away from it.”
Bill text available here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=815&txtFormat=pdf&v=current
If the plan were enacted, the Department of Environmental Services estimates revenue as follows:
Calendar Year Tons of CO2 Equiv. Fee Revenue
2020 15,000,000 $20.00 $300,000,000
2021 15,000,000 $30.75 $461,250,000
2022 15,000,000 $41.77 $626,550,000
2023 15,000,000 $53.05 $795,900,000
Bills retained by committees will likely be worked on by committees in the fall, and acted on by the House in January.Testimony provided to the committee at the time of the public hearing suggested that the proposal would increase gas prices by 15-20 cents per gallon in year one, and 5-10 cents per year as the fee increases. In addition, home heating oil prices could rise as much as $1.22 per gallon. The fee/tax would also apply to other carbon based fuels including natural gas and propane. The bill seeks to rebate some of the revenue back to residents on a per capita basis, and some large industrial entities, but neglects to rebate anything back to small businesses, municipalities or school districts. If energy costs increased by 30-50%, it could have a severe impact on property taxes.
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in advance of the public hearings on HB178, HB186, and HB731-FN all relative to the minimum wage in New Hampshire. These bills are being heard in the Labor, Industrial Services and Rehabilitation committee starting at 1:00pm on February 20th.
“At a time when New Hampshire’s economy is humming and we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Nation, why House Democrats are so eager to increase the cost of doing business in New Hampshire is beyond me,” Hinch said. “A government mandated wage increase of up to 65% would have a profound negative impact on New Hampshire’s small and medium sized business community. It only encourages employers to cut jobs, cut hours, and pass the increase cost onto the consumer. New Hampshire business owners deserve better.”
“Republicans have spent the last few years focused on creating the economic conditions for businesses to thrive to ensure everyone has the opportunity to earn a decent wage. Our small business owners know what it takes to attract, retain, and reward employees, and government should stop interfering,” said Hinch. “I hope my Democratic colleagues see the light and put a stake in these job-killing bills.”
HB178- establishing a minimum wage.
HB186- establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage.
HB731-FN- relative to the minimum hourly rate. Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=808&txtFormat=pdf&v=current
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to the approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules of the work requirement in the New Hampshire Granite Advantage Healthcare program.
“We are very pleased that the committee came together on this vote, and that the work requirement will be moving forward towards implementation. This is the type of bipartisan agreement we need on a common sense issue,” Hinch said. “We are seeing too many attempts to unravel good public policy that came about through compromise during the last two years. With all the work and thought that has gone into this process, we need to ensure the work requirement is not watered down or repealed.”
CONCORD, NH – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following Governor Sununu’s budget address on Thursday.
“Governor Sununu is staying true to core Republican principles of low taxes, responsible spending, and reforms that promote efficiencies and improve services,” Hinch said. “He understands that there is a need to keep our economy strong, and provide essential services without new taxes or fees. This is in stark contrast to what we’ve seen from Democrats in the legislature, who seem to be searching for new things to tax, and new money to spend every day. We look forward to reviewing the governor’s proposals in greater detail, but from what I heard today, he’s delivered what he promised during the campaign. We can only hope that House Democrats won’t toss his budget in the wastebasket once it’s introduced. Democrats have been talking about bipartisanship, but I was disappointed to see them remain seated following critical announcements in the governor’s speech.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the Labor Committee voting 12-6 to pass HB712-FN, relative to a family and medical leave insurance program.
“It’s unfortunate that House Democrats are using a de facto income tax to pay for their fatally flawed Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. We’ve seen this story before, New Hampshire Democrats take control of the Legislature and begin to chip away at the New Hampshire Advantage. When will they learn that dog won’t hunt?” said Hinch. “And if imposing this 0.5% income tax in our state wasn’t bad enough, the sad reality is that not even the bill’s sponsors can guarantee that it will keep the program solvent. Why else would they give the Commissioner of DES the ability to increase the income tax and decrease benefits as they see fit?”
“I’ve spent my 10 years in the State House fighting any attempt at enacting a broad based tax in the State of New Hampshire. House Republicans will fight this attempt at pulling the wool over granite staters eyes every step of the way.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to anti-gun owner, Democrat agenda bills having a public hearing today.
“New Hampshire is ranked as one of the safest states in America. The vast majority of gun owners in New Hampshire are honest, law abiding citizens. These bills are an unnecessary attempt to solve a problem that, quite frankly, doesn’t exist in our state and has the potential to make criminals out of responsible gun owners,” Hinch said.
“These bills are not necessary, are an excessive government overreach, and a severe restriction of 2nd Amendment rights. The provisions in these bills do nothing to alleviate the concerns of the proponents and just cause more red tape and are intrusive to the rights of law abiding citizens. I hope that the committees find these bills inexpedient to legislate.”
Concord, NH- House Republican leaders released the following statements relative to the ACLU filing a lawsuit on HB1264 on behalf of Dartmouth College students.
House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack):
“Just this past July, the NH Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion on HB1264 stating there is nothing unconstitutional about requiring individuals to make a choice as to where they are residents.”
“I do not understand what is so 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. Choosing New Hampshire as your domicile for voting should subject each and every one of us to the same obligation of state citizenship. This bill is about ensuring our elections remain fair for all who cast a vote in our state.”
House Election Law Committee Ranking Republican Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond): “Just yesterday the Election Law committee voted to pass HB106 to repeal all the provisions of HB1264. To bring this lawsuit now is just more of the same perpetual conspiracy theories from Democrats. HB1264 did not make us any different from our neighboring states. In this past election, there were no reports of any voters being disenfranchised by the new requirements. In fact, voter turnout in college towns made records. Considering the Supreme Court has already issued an advisory opinion on this bill, I look forward to that opinion being upheld by the US District Court.”
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement in reaction to the House Ways & Means committee vote late Tuesday on HB 686, relative to calculating and funding the interim cost of an opportunity for an adequate education and extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains.
The bill would extend the interest and dividends tax to capital gains.
“House Democrats appear to be looking for new things to tax and interesting ways to tax them. This bill will suck tens of millions of dollars out of the pockets of some citizens to provide a small level of property tax relief for others. We’re hearing a lot this year from Democrats about tax relief, but to me, tax relief does not mean tax expansion or tax increases, which is what we’re seeing at every turn. Property taxes and education funding are big issues, and we have several proposals looking at ways to address them this year, but this new tax on capital gains is a non-starter for Republicans.”
CONCORD, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House Ways and Means committee vote of 12-7 to recommend HB623 with an amendment that repeals future business tax rate reductions, and keeps the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax at their current rates.
“NH businesses were promised a path towards real tax relief. Democrats are not upholding their end of the bargain and are hell bent on destroying the major strides Republicans have made the past 2 years,” Hinch said. “Business will have no faith in predictability of NH legislature to protect them long term. Why should businesses relocate to NH when we continually move the goal post to fit the flavor of the day?”