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House Speaker Congratulates Representatives on 36% Savings in Mileage Costs

Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today congratulated members of the House for their savings of 36% in mileage costs — due to better financial controls and despite federal fuel reimbursement rates rising 11% — over the period of July 1, 2011 through October 20, 2011 from the comparable period of the last term from July 1, 2009 through October 20, 2009.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“We should congratulate all House members for their willingness to sacrifice to find cost savings in this time of great budgetary strain. The people of New Hampshire will appreciate this almost 40 percent reduction in legislative mileage reimbursement payments as they struggle with persistently high unemployment and now the hidden inflation resulting from uncontrolled federal spending. Accordingly, we have led by example and will continue to look for opportunities to save.”

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Majority Leader Praises House GOP Members for Voting Against ObamaCare Funds

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today praised House Republicans for remaining united and unanimously voting to reject federal money establishing a  health insurance exchange for the federal health care reform law, often called ObamaCare.  Ultimately, the Legislative Fiscal Committee voted to accept the funds, with the Senate members joining the lone House Democrat, Sharon Nordgren (Hanover), to pass the item by a 6-4 vote.  Republican Representatives Ken Weyler (Kingston), Stephen Stepanek (Amherst), Dan McGuire (Epsom)  and John Reagan (Deerfield) unanimously voted against accepting the ObamaCare money.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“I am proud of the Republican House members who stood together and  unanimously voted against bringing ObamaCare to New Hampshire.  We simply cannot afford to allow the federal takeover of our healthcare here in the Granite State.  ObamaCare is an unaffordable, destructive effort that will hurt quality, drive up costs and bankrupt the taxpayers. We should be sending a strong message that we oppose this scheme.  While I am certainly disappointed in the passage of this item, I’m proud that all the House Republicans stood before the gates and said no to this big government disaster.  We will continue to fight ObamaCare wherever we get the opportunity.”

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Bettencourt statement on gaming legislation

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

The following statement was issued today by House Majority Leader D. J. Bettencourt following the 14-7 OTP/A vote of the House Ways & Means committee on HB 593, relative to video lottery and table gaming:

“As someone who has represented the people of Salem in the NH House,  it certainly should come as no surprise that I support this responsible expanded gaming legislation.  It will not only create jobs, cut business taxes and increase the revenue stream into our state, but it is also in complete compliance with the  NH Republican Party platform.  While I have I have yet to get a concrete temperature of our caucus on this issue, the recent actions in our neighboring states of Massachusetts and Maine should certainly  give cause to those who have opposed gaming in the past to perhaps reevaluate their position.

To my knowledge this is the first time that a gaming bill has received a favorable recommendation from a House policy committee, which demonstrates that the reevaluation process for some  has already commenced.  If NH does not take action now, we could see a decimation of our lottery income with no alternative left to make up for the lost revenues.  Once we hear from Governor Lynch and what his intentions are,  we can then begin to truly evaluate the chances for the  success of this legislation.  Until his intentions are known,  and we become more comfortable with the views of our caucus, this will remain a vote of conscience for Republicans.”

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House Leaders Comment on CACR 13

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) released the following statement on Constitutional Amendment 13 (CACR 13), which today came out of the  House Ways and Means Committee with a 15-5 ought to pass recommendation and will now go to the full House for a vote. CACR 13 prohibits an income tax in New Hampshire.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The passage of CACR 13 is a great protection against future generation big spenders and ensures the state’s tradition of frugality and local control. I am confidant when the legislation reaches my colleagues in the House for a vote they too will support the measure to further protect the New Hampshire Advantage. We must remain good stewards of taxpayers’ money. Good government is one that serves the people and is limited and fiscally prudent.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“This measure comes at an incredibly important time and certainly should be approved by the full House and Senate in time to get it on the 2012 ballot. With an open Governor’s seat, the future of the New Hampshire Advantage is as unsure now more than ever. Democrat gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan, although she seemed to have conveniently forgotten about her original stance when she flip-flopped and signed ‘The Pledge,’ since she told the Portsmouth Herald [1] back in 2002 that she’d consider a state income tax. Rumored candidate Gary Hirshberg has openly been in favor of a sales and income tax and even set up a PAC to help elect candidates who pledged to implement a broad based tax. And although former Sen. Jackie Cilley says now she wouldn’t support an income tax, I don’t see how she’ll support her big spending way without it having helped implement over 100 new taxes and fees and raise the state budget by 25% while she was in office.”

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[1]http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20021101-NEWS-311019946?cid=sitesearch

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Majority Leader Bettencourt response to former State Senator Cilley

Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt responds to comments by former State Sen. Cilley printed in the Portsmouth Herald suggesting that Democrats have “got to be the bullet that stops them at the gates,” in referring to Republicans.

“While it’s clear that the Democratic  party is vehemently opposed to Republican efforts to cut spending, provide tax and regulatory relief, and grow private sector jobs, and is unafraid to engage in outrageous hyperbole,  we didn’t realize just how violent their intentions were. This type of language is at best surprising and at worst shocking to the citizens of this state, especially given President Obama’s strong condemnation of this kind of language in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona last winter.  Former Sen. Cilley owes an apology to the Republicans whom she has threatened with her extreme agenda. It is appropriate that all Democrats, including Sen. Shaheen, Gov. Lynch, former Congresswoman Shea-Porter, and Minority Leader Norelli denounce this unbecoming rhetoric.”

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House Speaker Reacts to Governor’s Proposed Education Funding Constitutional Amendment

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

House Speaker William O’Brien today offered the following statement to the Governor’s proposed funding constitutional amendment after learning about them second-hand through press reports.  CACR 12, a constitutional amendment offered by Speaker O’Brien to restore the authority of the legislature to exercise its traditional discretion over educational funding is currently retained in the Senate to be taken up in 2012.

Speaker William O’Brien

“After months of trying to work with the Governor he has yet to present the House any language even though he told us several times he would, most recently a month ago that he would do so. Governor Lynch has indicated that he can deliver no votes to pass this amendment. It is disappointing we have to read about this for the first time in the press and not hear from the Governor himself. As such this appears to be more of a publicity stunt than an actual concrete proposal to resolve the education funding problem created by the courts. This is clearly the action of a lame duck Governor who is more interested in the appearance of a legacy than actually solving the problem that he pledged to fix when he first ran in 2004.”

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House Leaders Comment on Vice President Coming to New Hampshire to Sign Obama Re-Election Filing

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following comments in response to Vice President Joe Biden coming to the New Hampshire State House to file for his and President Obama’s re-election.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Earlier today, Vice President Biden said that the nation ‘needed a stronger Republican Party.’  Thankfully, the disastrous leadership of President Obama is strengthening the Republican Party everyday.  From the failed economic policies of this administration that are bankrupting our nation and our children’s future to the President’s reckless and resolute commitment to higher taxes and more regulations that are robbing the confidence of our employers to create jobs, the Obama and Biden Team is doing more for inspiring Americans to embrace the fiscally responsible message of the Republican Party than anyone else.  If the 2010 election wasn’t enough evidence of the strength of the GOP, I’m sure the Vice President will be given an even greater display in 2012.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“It’s nice Vice President Biden is able to join us in New Hampshire today given his busy schedule touting President Obama’s Stimulus 2.0. His extreme rhetoric has not only been inappropriate—likening the GOP’s pro-economic agenda to a rape scenario—but also downright wrong for America. It’s nothing but a job killing measure and continued failed policy from the Administration that calls for even more spending that Americans and Granite Staters simply cannot afford. The best way to handle the economic reign of terror Obama and Biden have had on this country is by electing a new president in 2012 and we are working extremely hard toward that end.”

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House Leaders Comment on DHHS’ Release of Managed Care Proposal

Posted by on Oct 17, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following comments in response to the Department of Health and Human Services releasing a request for proposal to place the state’s Medicaid program into managed care.  DHHS today released the RFP on their website: http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/business/rfp/index.htm.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“We want to thank Commissioner Toumpas and his staff at DHHS for making this a comprehensive proposal to cover all of Medicaid.  Coordinated care means both better care for Medicaid recipients as well as a tremendous cost savings for the taxpayers of New Hampshire.  This is a major step forward for reforming the largest program in state government.”

“Obviously, there are many groups that have held monopoly or near-monopoly status in the Medicaid program for years who will oppose these common sense efforts to bring efficiency and higher quality care to the over 100,000 people who get care from this program, and I commend the Commissioner for standing up to these interests and following the legislative intent in the law we passed this year.  While we would have liked to see more definition if how they intend to cover the disabled and those in long-term care settings, it’s good to know that they plan to cover all of these services by the end of this budget.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“This RFP is a victory for the taxpayers of New Hampshire while still providing better care for those who receive Medicaid.  We are glad to see that the bill that passed the House last week was able to clarify our position that we want all Medicaid services covered by managed care.  Now, the Department has to face the challenge of implementing the largest contracts in state history for this $1.4 billion program.  House Republicans will remain actively involved with the Department to make sure they meet their targets and do what’s best for the citizens and taxpayers of New Hampshire.”

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House Leaders Congratulate Rep. Garcia for Joining National Campaign Promoting Conservative Values to Hispanic Voters

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today congratulated Rep. Marilinda Garcia (R-Salem) for her participation in a national campaign by GOPAC to encourage Hispanic voters to support conservative values for national Hispanic Heritage Month.  The effort includes a national advertizing campaign that includes Rep. Garcia that is available online at www.weareconservative.org.

Rep. Garcia is in her 3rd term representing the towns of Salem and Windham.  She is the co-chair of the House Republican Alliance and serves on the House Finance and Legislative Administration committees.  She was recently named among the “40 Under Forty” for those individuals under 40 years old who are making a difference in the community and was identified as a “Rising Star” by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Rep. Garcia is a leading voice for conservative values in the House and is an active leader in shaping the policies that have brought New Hampshire back from the financial brink.  She is an ideal choice to reach out to Hispanics nationally to remind them of the importance of limited government, lower taxes and creating an environment for jobs to flourish.  New Hampshire Republicans are proud that Rep. Garcia is participating in this conversation with Hispanic voters.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“As a fellow Salem resident and close friend of Marilinda, I’m thrilled to see her leading efforts to share Republican ideals with Hispanics nationally.  This is a great opportunity for both her and the Party to grow support among groups whose values are consistent with Republicans about growing our economy, rewarding hard work and taking personal responsibility.  Salem is very proud of her efforts.”

Link: Release from GOPAC announcing Hispanic Heritage Month ad

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House Clerk Named President-Elect of American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today congratulated House Clerk, Karen Wadsworth, who was recently voted President-Elect of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries.  This professional organization, founded in 1943, was created to improve legislative administration and foster communication between the nation’s Clerks and Secretaries. It has grown to include international partnerships and is responsible for the updating of Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure; Wadsworth sat on the last two commissions that oversee the updating.

“On behalf of the House, we congratulate Karen for her achievement. It is certainly well deserved and we are proud of her accomplishments. Karen has and continues to represent the New Hampshire House admirably and we are thankful for her service, experience and vast knowledge of the history and procedure of this body,” said Speaker O’Brien.

Wadsworth, who now lives in Bow, is a former mayor of Lebanon and a former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives where she was Chair of the Municipal and County Government Committee and of the Administrative Rules Committee.  She will be the first House Clerk from New Hampshire to become President of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries. Wadsworth will be sworn in as President in September 2012.

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House Republican Leaders Respond to Legislation to Move $26 Million into Rainy Day Fund

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following statements in response to the House Rules Committee voting to allow Rep. Keith Murphy (R-Bedford) to introduce legislation to move any surplus from the last fiscal year into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Currently, the Fund balance stands at just $9 million.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Our Rainy Day Fund has been depleted to less than one-half of 1% of our annual state expenditures.  The fiscally responsible decision is to take the unexpected surplus funds that we learned about last week and use them to shore up the Rainy Day Fund to an appropriate amount, so that our Treasurer can go to New York and push for a AAA bond rating, which would save us millions.  Ideally, we’d like to see about 5% of annual state spending, or roughly $110 million, in the Rainy Day Fund, to stabilize and improve our bond rating and leave us well prepared for any future economic downturn.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“One of the top priority for House Republicans next session will be to improve upon  New Hampshire’s bond rating.  The Democrats cleaned out our Rainy Day Fund to support their spending excesses.  Republicans intend to rebuild our reserves, because we know that’s how responsible government should operate.  We are still amazed at how Governor Lynch can go from coming ‘hat-in-hand,’ begging the legislature to help in fill his budget deficit by raiding dedicated funds, to having a $26 million surplus.  While we will move forward on legislation to put any surplus into the Rainy Day Fund, we will wait until the state audit is complete to see if this $26 million is real or an illusion.  Our philosphy is, ‘Trust but verify.’”

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Presidential Candidates to Address The New Hampshire House of Representatives

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien’s office announced that invitations have been extended to presidential candidates to address the New Hampshire House of Representatives during the Wednesday, October 12 session, which begins at 10:00am.

Currently confirmed candidates include Gov. Gary Johnson, Sen. Rick Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, businessman Herman Cain, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The Speaker’s office is still awaiting confirmation from President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. The campaigns of Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Jon Huntsman and Congressman Ron Paul have declined.

For those media wishing to attend please contact Shannon Shutts in the House Media Office at (603) 271-3664 for credentials.

A 12 outlet mult box is available on a first come first serve basis and there is a limited amount of space for live trucks.  Set-up will be permitted in the Hall of Representatives beginning at 7:00am on Wednesday, October 12.

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House Special Committee on Redistricting Announces Series of Redistricting Public Hearings throughout New Hampshire

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Chair of the Special Committee on Redistricting today announced a series of ten public hearings to gain public input into the redistricting of the House, the Executive Council, the County Commissioner Districts, and the two congressional districts. There will be a hearing held in each county of the state. According to the New Hampshire Constitution, lines for districts for state and federal office holders must be redrawn every ten years based upon the results of the Census.

Paul Mirski, Chairman, House Special Committee on Redistricting

“As we go through this process, we feel it is important to get public input to solicit any thoughts and concerns of the citizens of the state about redistricting. As is the custom for past redistricting, we will hold one public hearing per county, and ask all interested parties to try to attend the public hearing in their particular county. The goal of these meetings is to get a clear understanding of how our citizens feel they should be represented. We want to know if certain communities or individuals have specific concerns or thoughts about districts and their views on how they should be formed. We will open these public hearings up, and then turn them over to the public to submit testimony.  This will include the opportunity to offer verbal or written testimony to the committee. Furthermore, we will be working to record these public hearings, so that we have a record of all the testimony offered.”

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House Leaders Comment on Secretary of State Hearing on Local Government Center Report

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien and Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker today offered the following statements in response to the first day of public hearings by the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Securities on its report finding against the Local Government Center.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“It is absolutely critical that we always remember that all the money that funds pooled risk groups like the LGC are taxpayer funds.  That’s why the allegations raised by the Secretary of State’s report are so serious and need a full and thorough hearing.  We must get to the bottom of these issues to see if tax dollars were wasted or used inappropriately.  Since pooled risk groups were created and authorized by the legislature, we have a responsibility to provide oversight and make sure that they are operating within the public interest and efficiently.”

Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker

“The concerns included in the report are exactly why the House formed a special committee to look into these issues.  We need a comprehensive review of the laws that govern these groups and identify if we need to change how they do business.  The House committee will begin work this month, and the members will look at all aspects of the pooled risk insurance groups, including the LGC, and get back to the House to make the appropriate recommendations.  I look forward to finding ways to make sure that we are protecting property taxpayers across the state.”

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House Leaders on Retirement of Justice Duggan

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today released the following statement in response to the announcement that Justice James E. Duggan will retire January 13, 2012.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“As a public defender, law professor and, for over ten years, an associate Justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Justice Duggan has provided dedicated service to the people and legal community of New Hampshire. He has been appropriately praised as a man of integrity, honesty, intelligence and objectivity. We wish him the best during his retirement.

“With Justice Duggan’s retirement, consideration turns to who will be his successor on the Court. In that request, we call upon the Governor and Executive Council to consider and appoint an individual who will be attentive to the original intent of our state Constitution and most especially the separation of powers of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. New Hampshire needs Supreme Court Justices who will desist from making law as they interpret laws.

“Understanding where the judicial role begins and ends should be a prerequisite qualification for the next appointment to the Supreme Court. We call upon the Governor and Executive Council to ensure that the next appointee to the Supreme Court joins with the people of New Hampshire in their desire for judges who understand this distinction.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“As a proud student of the University of New Hampshire Law School I am grateful for Justice Duggan’s  service and the influence that he had on this great institution where he served as a mentor for many young people looking to public service as a career.    His ascent from the public defenders’ office  in Manchester,  some 30 years ago,  to a place on the state’s highest court is a remarkable achievement.  I wish him all the best in his retirement years.  With his retirement,  I hope that the governor will take the opportunity to  bring a balance to the court by appointing a judge who is a strict constructionist and someone who appreciates originalism.”

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House Majority Leader offers comment on potential surplus

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today offered the following comments in response to the Governor’s office releasing figures showing that the last fiscal year will achieve a $26 million surplus.

“House Republicans made it clear last winter when we presented our agenda that we were committed to using any excess revenue to restore the Rainy  Day Fund and lower the tax burden New Hampshire businesses.  The foundation of our  budget was based on very realistic revenue numbers as we were forced to deal with the state’s $1 Billion deficit.  While today’s news that the state could be looking at a $26 Million surplus is encouraging, we are still faced with the reality that our Rainy Day Fund is seriously underfunded.  While I certainly  hope that this positive trend continues, I caution the Democrats against any fantasies of increasing spending simply because we have seen a slight upturn in the economy.  It is clear that the moves that we made during the past session,  in creating a business friendly environment that would result in job grown,  have worked.   We will continue in the coming session to do everything we can to provide an environment that is conducive to creating more jobs and revenue for the state.”

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House Speaker Calls for Surplus Funds to Rebuild Rainy Day Fund

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today offered the following comments in response to the Governor’s office releasing figures showing that the last fiscal year will achieve a $26 million surplus.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The unexpected good news that the state will have a surplus of $26 million is a tremendous shift from just last May, when state agencies told our Ways and Means Committee that New Hampshire was facing a $50 million deficit for the past fiscal year and Governor Lynch himself was proposing raiding numerous dedicated funds to balance the budget.  Obviously, we need put some better financial controls in place so that the legislature gets better information of the state’s fiscal picture in the future.”

“The House will move quickly to introduce new legislation for next year to take this surplus and place it in the Rainy Day Fund to help stabilize the state’s shaky bond rating.  Currently, the Fund stands at just $9 million after the Governor and prior legislatures raided it from a strong $89 million in 2008.  We need to give the state the cushion in case we experience another economic downturn, not look for more ways to increase spending.  We should target a Rainy Day Fund of at least 5% of our general fund expenditure, and this would be a strong first step.”

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House Leaders Blast EPA Decision to Raise Customer Electric Rate by $15 per Year through Regulation on Bow Plant

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien and House Majority D.J. Bettencourt today offered the following statements in response to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory decision to require a $112 million expense at the Public Service of New Hampshire Bow electricity plant.  An Associated Press report stated that this cost translated to a $1.25 increase in customers’ monthly bills, or $15 per year.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“At a time when we are doing everything we can to make New Hampshire more competitive and attractive to employers, the federal government is seeking to punish our residents and small businesses with higher electric rates through unnecessary regulation.  The Granite State already has among the highest energy costs in the nation, and this federal mandate will make these costs even higher and make it harder to expand our economy.  If President Obama is truly interested in helping create new jobs, he will stop his overzealous regulatory agency immediately.  We accept the fact that the Obama Administration will not be assisting our country in allowing businesses to create new jobs.  In New Hampshire, all we ask is that it not actively work to prevent job growth.  The working families of New Hampshire simply can’t afford a $15 a year hit in their wallets.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“This is just one more example of government regulation running amok.  The Obama Administration, without any data to support their findings and 14 years late, decided that the electric ratepayers should be stuck with an additional cost of $15 each year.  This is a hidden federal tax increase through a heavy-handed mandate.  This is just the type of regulation that House Republicans have been fighting, as we passed 43 new laws this year to reduce bureaucracy and red tape.  While we are making it easier to grow the economy, Democrats in Washington are pushing job-killing regulations to knock our fragile economy back on its knees.  This crushing federal mandate needs to be lifted now, and we call on President Obama and Senator Shaheen, who is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to stop this absurd and outrageous assault on New Hampshire electric ratepayers.”

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House Leaders Respond to Florida’s Effort to Move Presidential Primary to January 31

Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in Press Releases | 1 comment

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-North Salem) today offered statements in response to the news that Florida is planning to move its presidential primary to January 31.  Both the Republican and Democratic National Committees set a primary window for the four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) to hold contests before March 1.  The RNC has indicated that it will penalize other states with a loss of delegates that move their nominating contest before that date.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Florida’s effort to move into the early primary period not only hurts the process, by cutting into the type of vetting that we do so well here in New Hampshire, but it also hurts Florida, by costing them delegates and watering down that state’s impact.  I would certainly hope that the Florida legislature reconsiders this ill-conceived plan to accelerate their primary and to strengthen their own weight by not cutting into their delegates.  Regardless, I have full confidence that Secretary of State Bill Gardner will do whatever is necessary to protect the strength of the first-in-the-nation primary by using all the tools at his disposal to set the date effectively.  Florida may dilute the value of their primary, but we certainly won’t allow their actions to minimize the New Hampshire Primary.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Florida’s decision to schedule their primary in January would be in violation of RNC rules and I am confident that there will be serious repercussions  for such a move.  The State of New Hampshire has a long and storied history of vetting presidential candidates and we do it better than anyone else.  We have perfected the art of retail politics to the point where it has become our unofficial state sport—we’re passionate about the process and we’ve earned our place in line.  Florida should respect the integrity of the nominating process and play by the rules.”

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House Leaders Comment on Committee Passage of Bill to Examine LGC

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

House Leaders Comment on Committee Passage of Bill to Examine Local Government Center, Creation of House Committee to Review Secretary of State’s Report 

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien and Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker today commented on House Ways and Means Committee’s passage of House Bill 655, legislation to create a study committee to review the Secretary of State’s report of the Local Government Center (LGC), by a bipartisan 15-0 vote.  Additionally, Speaker O’Brien today announced that while the bill makes its way through the legislative process, he will appoint a committee of five House members to begin the process of reviewing the report, and this committee would be folded into the study committee, when HB 655 becomes law.

Speaker William O’Brien

“The issues that the Secretary of State raised in the LGC Report certainly warrant prompt legislative review, and the Ways and Means Committee’s unanimous vote sends a clear message the House takes this responsibility seriously.  However, while this is an important first step, we should not simply wait for what could be a long legislative process to begin looking into this issue now.  Our state property taxpayers deserve to have confidence that their money is being spent wisely, and that’s just what the House is committed to doing.”

Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker, prime sponsor of HB 655

“The unanimous, bipartisan vote to favorably move this bill out of committee with real power to compel witnesses to testify is as strong a statement as we can send that this is a top priority for the House.  The public should get answers about how their tax dollars are spent, and this bill will give them that opportunity.  Furthermore, the Speaker’s plan to jumpstart the review process with the House committee will give us the time to make sure that we can take action next year if we find that we need to change our laws for pooled risk groups, like the LGC.”

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