SESSION NOTICE: Pursuant to Part II Article 3 of the State Constitution, the House will meet WEDNESDAY, January 3rd, 2018. The House will also meet THURSDAY, January 4th. Both meetings will begin at 10am.
CAUCUS NOTICE: There will be a Republican caucus Wednesday, January 3rd at 9:00 AM in Representatives Hall. There will be a Republican caucus Thursday, January 4th at 9:00 AM in Representatives Hall.
Text of 2018 legislation is available on the General Court website. There are two ways to find it:
1) Visit http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/lsr_search/LSR_Results.aspx and click on the link beneath the LSR number to view the bill text.
2) Visit http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_Status/ and change the session year 2018. You can then use the advanced search functions to look through 2018 legislation.
Newly elected New Hampshire House Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) issued a statement following the election for Speaker during today’s House session. Chandler won a majority of votes cast by House members.
“It’s an honor to have earned the support of my colleagues in the House for this job. We have a lot of important work ahead of us in the coming term. My goals are simple. I will work with all members of the House to formulate responsible, common sense public policy that will improve the lives of the people of New Hampshire. I will work with all members of the Democrat and Republican caucus who share this goal. I will do my best to promote unity within our party, and prove to our constituents that we deserve their vote next November. We have a tall order ahead of us, and I am excited to meet this challenge.”
Chandler first held the office of Speaker from 2000-2004. Most recently, Chandler had served as Deputy Speaker since December 2014 under the Speakership of Shawn Jasper. He served as House Republican (minority) Leader during the 2013-2014 term, and has held several other leadership posts, including Chairman of the House Public Works & Highways committee over the course of his 18 term tenure in the New Hampshire House.
For twenty-three of the past thirty-three years, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a member of the New Hampshire House. I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent my constituents in Hudson and Pelham, and I will forever be grateful for their continued support. To my friends and colleagues in the House, please know what a pleasure it has been to serve as your Speaker. Together, we have helped to make the state stronger and better equipped to deal with the challenges of the future.
Although I will miss continuing this journey with you, I am excited to begin serving the state in a different capacity – and in an area that is close to my heart. Since one of my duties as Commissioner of Agriculture will be to monitor issues that affect the state’s agricultural community, I will still be involved with the Legislative Branch in that regard and provide input when necessary. I look forward to working with you on those occasions and seeing you from time to time in the State House Complex.
It has been an incredible time in my life, and I am blessed to leave the State House with so many special memories and wonderful friendships. I will always have the greatest respect for my legislative colleagues and cannot begin to express how fortunate we are to have such a truly exceptional staff. Thank you all for your service to the state. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and much health and happiness in the New Year.
Shawn N. Jasper, Speaker
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CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following a report that Orville “Bud” Fitch has been tapped by Secretary of State Bill Gardner to fill a newly created position within the Department of State that will review and investigate election integrity issues in New Hampshire.
“There is no one more qualified for this role,” said Hinch. “Bud is brilliant, fair, and well respected in the legal and government communities in New Hampshire. His knowledge of our state’s election laws and his deep connections with municipal and election officials will help assure us all that these investigations are in highly capable hands.”
“Election integrity is vital to our democracy and we have a good amount of data to suggest we need to do a better job making sure our elections are fair and clean. We passed legislation and approved funding to enhance our state’s ability to look into these matters, and Secretary Gardner has met our high expectations by seeking out Bud’s talents to carry out this mission.”
HB 552, sponsored by Deputy House Majority Whip Bill Ohm (R-Nashua), requires the secretary of state to conduct an inquiry regarding a letter of identity verification or driver’s obligation if the letter is returned as undeliverable or if the recipient fails to respond. This bill also requires the secretary of state to investigate matches resulting from interstate comparisons of voter information. The bill was signed by Governor Sununu on July 10, 2017. The state budget established a new investigator position to enforce election laws within the Department of State.
In September of this year, New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) received a response to an inquiry of the NH Department of State and Department Safety.The inquiry, sent August 16, 2017, sought statistical information on the efforts of both departments to match voter checklist information with records of the Department of Safety. Speaker Jasper sought the information to benefit the legislature in its assessment of the effectiveness of our current election laws as well as future legislation that could improve our voter registration and verification processes. Among the information provided by the departments are the following statistics:
- 6540 individuals registered to vote on November 8th, 2016 using an out-of-state driver’s license.
- As of August 30th, 2017, only 1014 (15.5%) of those voters had been issued a New Hampshire driver’s license.
- As of August 31, 2017, of the remaining 5526 individuals, only 3.3% had registered a motor vehicle in New Hampshire.
- As of August 31, 2017, 5313 (81.2%) of the individuals who used an out-of-state driver’s license had neither held a New Hampshire driver’s license nor had registered a vehicle in New Hampshire.
- 196 names on the checklist are being investigated as possibly having voted in New Hampshire and one other state.
CONCORD- House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to the state revenue report published Thursday, in which stated the following:
“Business Taxes for October totaled $25.7 million, which were $0.9 million (3.6%) above plan and $8.1 million (46.0%) above prior year. YTD business taxes totaled $174.4 million, which were $6.1 million (3.6%) above plan and $5.5 million (3.3%) above prior year.” ~ State Of New Hampshire Monthly Revenue Focus
“Our state’s economy continues to perform well thanks in part to responsible governing, and business tax relief passed by the Republican legislature in our last budget,” said Hinch. “We need to compete with neighboring states to grow and diversify our economy in all corners of New Hampshire. To Republicans, reforming our tax policy was the logical thing to do. We have additional tax relief coming, as a result of the budget we passed this year, and we believe this will contribute to our economy’s long term wellbeing.”
Background: House bill 517, the budget trailer bill passed in June, reduces the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax in 2019 and in 2021. The BPT rate will drop from 7.9% to 7.5% and the BET rate will lower from .675% to .5%.
CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the a statement following the close of the House of Representatives bill sign-off period, which ended Friday, October 27th.
“Republicans in the House have put forward a broad array of proposals touching on several major policy areas including the opioid crisis, clean drinking water, energy, education, and regulation reform. Our policy committees are ready to get to work, and we’re looking forward to working on these bills in the coming year. We’re proud of the work we did in 2017, including passing a fiscally responsible state budget. The second year of the term sets the tone for the upcoming election, and we believe we’re building a solid resume for the voters to review,” said Hinch.
“Democrats, on the other hand, appear to be focused on bigger government and unsustainable spending. Last week, we criticized Democrats for proposing single-payer health care, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re seeing bills attacking school choice and second amendment rights from their members, too. That’s not the direction we believe the state should be heading in.”
Background: During a window beginning on September 6th and ending September 22nd, House members had the opportunity to file legislative service requests, also known as LSRs, which are bill requests under development. The sign-off period after requests are filed allows time for legislators to develop their bills, find co-sponsors, and review drafts, before giving it their final approval for introduction. Legislators also have the option of withdrawing their requests, or not signing off on drafts, in which case the bill(s) would not move forward. The list of LSRs can be found here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/lsr_search/LSR_Results.aspx
The Governor and Executive Council, at their meeting held on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, approved the Precept to hold a SPECIAL ELECTION for STATE REPRESENTATIVE from BELKNAP COUNTY DISTRICT NO. 3. (Laconia Wards 1-6)
Filing Period: Candidates can file with the Laconia City Clerk on Monday, October 30th or Tuesday October 31st OR candidates can file with the Secretary of State Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd.
Primary: January 9, 2018
Special Election: February 27, 2018
CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in reaction to legislative service requests by New Hampshire House Democrats seeking to establish and/or study single payor health care plans in the state.
“This past weekend, we had an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, here in New Hampshire raising money for Democrats, and promoting his plan for socialized medicine. Meanwhile, Democrats in the state legislature are proposing legislation to study or establish single-payer health care,” said Hinch. “
“New Hampshire Democrats just need to look next door to Vermont to realize that single payer health care is not feasible. According to reports, the plan that failed there in 2014 would have required an 11.5% payroll tax on employers and a 9.5% income tax in addition to the state’s existing income tax. The fact that we’re seeing legislation to even study the issue baffles me. Vermont studied it, and rejected it because it would have bankrupted their state.”
Legislative service requests (LSRs) proposed by Democrat members of the New Hampshire House:
18-2204 establishing a commission to assess benefits and costs of a “health care for all” program for New Hampshire.
Sponsors: Richard McNamara; Knirk, Jerry; Butler, Edward; Smith, Suzanne
18-2236 establishing a commission to examine the feasibility of the New England states entering into a compact for a single payor health care program.
Sponsors: Peter Schmidt
18-2233 establishing a New Hampshire single payor health care system.
Sponsors: Peter Schmidt
Background: Text of legislative service requests are not made public until the sponsor approves the draft bill, or makes the text of the draft available prior to their approval. The sign-off deadline for House members is this Friday, October 27th.