House Majority Whip Statement on Supreme Court SB3 Decision

CONCORD – NH House Majority Whip, Rep. Kathleen M. Hoelzel, former chair of the House Election Law committee and longtime moderator for the Town of Raymond issued the following statement relative to the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a stay relative to the lower Court injunction issued yesterday barring the implementation of SB3 for the upcoming General Election.

“I’m glad the Supreme Court has resolved this matter for the time being, however, the lower court’s order and the publicity it has caused has now created questions in the minds of the public,” offered Rep. Hoelzel, “The bill is supposed to protect the integrity of the elections, and now we have people questioning why the judges are involved in making the laws, and creating confusion at the last minute.”

Rep. Hoelzel continued, “The lower court’s order caused more confusion than was necessary. It required election officials to redact text on materials with permanent marker, refer to forms but not actually use them, and create hybrid forms using one page from one form, and other material from another form. It laid out a completely bizarre process. The goal of the legislature was to clarify the law, increase confidence in the process, and remove loopholes. We’re lucky the Supreme Court put a stop to what could have been a court ordered Election Day circus.”

House Majority Leader Responds to Democrat Leader Flip-Flop on Woodburn

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement relative to reports that House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord) has gone back on his earlier disavowing of accused domestic abuser Sen. Jeff Woodburn, and believes calls for Woodburn to resign are a “moot point”.

Rep. Hinch said, “There is no middle ground on accusations of domestic abuse. These are very serious and substantiated charges against Sen. Woodburn. Given the nature of the charges and the legal proceedings requiring his full attention, it’s clear that Sen. Woodburn is not fit for public office. The constituents of his district deserve better.” Hinch continued, “Now we have the leader of the Democratic Caucus saying that somehow that we should all give him a free pass until after the election. I’m shocked that Rep. Shurtleff and other Democrat leaders are standing with and enabling an accused abuser and not with the victim in this situation. This is not the time to straddle the fence and shows poor leadership by the minority leader.”

House Majority Whip Statement on Supreme Court SB3 Decision

CONCORD – NH House Majority Whip, Rep. Kathleen M. Hoelzel, former chair of the House Election Law committee and longtime moderator for the Town of Raymond issued the following statement relative to the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a stay relative to the lower Court injunction issued yesterday barring the implementation of SB3 for the upcoming General Election.

“I’m glad the Supreme Court has resolved this matter for the time being, however, the lower court’s order and the publicity it has caused has now created questions in the minds of the public,” offered Rep. Hoelzel, “The bill is supposed to protect the integrity of the elections, and now we have people questioning why the judges are involved in making the laws, and creating confusion at the last minute.”

Rep. Hoelzel continued, “The lower court’s order caused more confusion than was necessary. It required election officials to redact text on materials with permanent marker, refer to forms but not actually use them, and create hybrid forms using one page from one form, and other material from another form. It laid out a completely bizarre process. The goal of the legislature was to clarify the law, increase confidence in the process, and remove loopholes. We’re lucky the Supreme Court put a stop to what could have been a court ordered Election Day circus.”

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