House Passes Legislation to Explore Solutions to Lower Energy Costs

CONCORD- Today, the House passed SB 125, establishing a committee to study transmission, distribution, generation, and other costs in the state’s electricity system.

House Majority Leader Rep. Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) and Member of House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee Rep. Herbert Vadney (R-Meredith) issued the following statements following today’s vote:

“New Hampshire’s electricity rates are among the highest in the nation with many factors contributing to those prices. This study will identify and evaluate ways to lower our rates and will consider grid modernization. Making our electricity cheaper will lower manufacturing costs and spur our economy.” said Rep. Vadney

“Part of the Republican legislative agenda is to find ways to lower energy costs here in New Hampshire. The committee established in the bill will look at ways to make our state more attractive to new businesses and cut costs to everyday consumers.” said House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch. “The passing of Senate Bill 125 today is just one piece of the puzzle in our legislative approach to solving this problem.”

Majority Leader Hinch Urges Support of SB3 in House Election Law Committee

CONCORD- Today, the House Election Law Committee heard testimony regarding SB 3, relative to domicile for voting purposes.

This legislation clarifies the definition of domicile for voting purposes while modifying the requirements for documenting the domicile of an individual registering to vote. SB3 will prohibit individuals who are only in the state on a temporary basis, and who maintain a voting domicile in another state, from voting here.

House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement after today’s hearing:

“New Hampshire plays an important national role in elections due to our First in the Nation status and as a battleground swing state. We have numerous elections for state representative each cycle being decided by only a few votes, and statewide elections being decided by less than a 1% margin.  In order to maintain confidence in the electoral process it is extremely important that every vote is cast by a duly qualified voter.

SB3 seeks to eliminate drive-by voting by clearly defining domicile. It will treat every voter equally and ensures everyone who shows up to the polls has an opportunity to vote if they are qualified.

I look forward to this legislation coming out of committee with an Ought to Pass recommendation so the House can act on this bill and swiftly send it to the Governor’s desk.”

House Majority Leader’s Statement on the Passage SB3

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of SB3 relative to domicile for voting purposes.

“I applaud our Republican colleagues in the Senate today on the passage of Senate Bill 3. SB3 is an important piece of legislation that will continue to preserve New Hampshire’s electoral integrity by making sure that the right to vote is protected for all of the eligible voters of our state while cracking down on those that look to take advantage of the voting process.

In a state where numerous elections have been decided by just a handful of votes, it is important to make sure that every ballot cast by an eligible voter is counted. I look forward to SB3’s introduction to the House and working to get it passed so we can get this important piece of legislation to the Governor’s desk.”

House Speaker, Finance Chair Announce Property Tax Relief, Infrastructure Aid in House Budget

CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper and leaders of the House Finance Committee today announced details of two initiatives to be included in the House version of the state budget bills that will focus on returning money back to cities and towns. In addition to existing programs directing funds to municipalities for education funding, meals and rooms tax revenue distribution, and road betterment funds, these House budget provisions propose to increase state aid.

They include:

  • $25 million per year in direct aid to cities and towns to assist with property tax relief.
  • Up to $50 million from FY 2017 will be set aside to assist municipalities with infrastructure improvements, which may include roads, bridges, schools and other core projects essential to communities.

“We are committed to increasing aid to cities and towns in an effort to provide some relief to property taxpayers. With an aging population, we need to protect our seniors’ ability to stay in their homes,” said House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson), “We also need to keep home ownership affordable for the workers and young families we need to retain in our state in order to sustain our economy. These programs will offset costs that our municipalities incur, and we hope they are the driving force in local decisions to ease the burden on local property taxpayers.” (more…)

House Majority Leader’s Statement on Defeat of Bill Allocating Electors Based on National Popular Vote

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the defeat of HB 447, relative to allocating electoral college electors based on the national popular vote. The bill was defeated by a vote of 234-132

“We’re pleased the House rejected Democrat sponsored legislation that would have diminished New Hampshire’s role in the presidential election process by award our electors based on the national popular vote. We pride ourselves in our ability to vet candidates, and to be among the small number of battleground states that regularly help decide who becomes president. With a popular vote, we’d lose that influence.”

House Passes Election Law Reform Bills

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the passage of election law reform legislation in the House, seeking to strengthen the integrity of our state elections.

“Republicans in the House are proud to contribute to the effort to maintain New Hampshire’s electoral integrity. The passage of several bills today are an important step in making sure our state continues to have open and honest elections by clarifying and enhancing our election laws to prevent drive-by voting. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to get these and other important bills to the Governor’s desk this year.

“When our statewide elections are being decided by fractions of a percent, and some state legislative elections being decided by single digit margins, it is our duty to make sure every ballot is cast by a duly eligible voter.” (more…)