House Republican Leader Comments on Budget Surplus

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) released the following statement in response to the New Hampshire General and Education Trust Fund Surplus Statement that announced a $72 million surplus from fiscal year 2013, part of the budget passed by the Republican legislative majority in 2011.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“The budget passed in 2011 was based on realistic revenue estimates and sound fiscal management through spending and tax reforms that helped keep New Hampshire on solid footing through tough economic times. As a result, the original projected deficit of $800 million turned into a surplus of $72 million. Thankfully, the budget that was passed this year mirrors those important provisions, including no new taxes and fees, which Republicans fought for throughout the budget process.”

“With the good news of $15 million more than was originally projected in June, I urge caution. We must not rush into spending this money and show the same fiscal responsibility we have in the past. These surplus funds should be set aside for future emergencies, and not spent on the unnecessary expansion of government.”

House Republican Leader Statement on the Passing of Councilor Ray Burton

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) released the following statement on the passing of Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett):

“The passing of Councilor Ray Burton is a tremendous loss to the people of the North Country and to the entire Granite State, which he deeply loved. Having worked with Ray for many years, I know first hand his unwavering dedication to the people of his district and New Hampshire, which are better places because of his service. Ray exemplified what a politician should be and truly put the people he represented above politics. A hole has been left in the North Country that can never truly be filled. Ray is one who is simply irreplaceable, and he will be profoundly missed by all.”

Republican Leaders Surprised at State Exchange Flip Flop in Medicaid Expansion Bill

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Assistant House Republican Leader and Ranking Republican on the House Commerce Committee, John Hunt (R-Rindge) released statements relative to provisions in Special Session House Bill 1 (Section 8)  that repeal the prohibition of and establishes a New Hampshire Health Benefit Marketplace.

Background:

On October 22, the House Commerce Committee voted unanimously (20-0) to recommend killing HB544, a bill that repealed the prohibition on a state based marketplace and advocated state agencies, “plan for, participate in, contract with any private entity regarding, and interact with the federal government with respect to, the creation of a health benefit exchange for New Hampshire.”

After the vote, Committee Chair Ed Butler (D-Hart’s Location) said of a state based exchange, “This just isn’t the right time to pursue it.”

Just one day prior to the Commerce Committee vote to kill the bill repealing the prohibition, Governor Hassan’s spokesperson called for the repeal of the prohibition.

In 2012, HB1297, establishing the prohibition of  a state health care exchange, was passed both the House and Senate via voice votes and was signed by Governor John Lynch.

Assistant Republican Leader John Hunt (R-Rindge):

“In just over 2 weeks, we’ve seen Democrats in Concord unable to make up their minds on this issue in pretty dramatic fashion. First House Democrats split with Governor Hassan and roundly reject a bill that would have allowed for a state insurance marketplace, saying it wasn’t necessary. Just 15 days later, Democrats unveil a flagship piece of legislation that, in part, does just that.”

“On the House floor on Thursday, I voiced my concern that this special session bill is not only being rushed through the legislative process, but also that the process has been less than transparent. Any piece of legislation having to do with insurance markets traditionally would go to the House Commerce committee prior to going to House Finance. Had this bill been introduced during the regular session, it would receive a full and proper vetting by all the proper committees, including the Commerce committee, that already rejected this concept. I hope my colleagues on Finance follow our bi-partisan example and delete this provision from the bill.”

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett):

“This is another example of why Republicans were justified in unanimously rejecting the introduction of the Special Session bill on Thursday, prior to being able to read the bill. We were lead to believe the bill would mirror the Medicaid Expansion Commission’s recommendation. Now that we’ve read the bill, we keep identifying things in it that were never part of the commission’s report. Not only was this not part of the report, the concept was unanimously rejected by a House committee just over 2 weeks ago. This entire process looks like something we’d see out of the dysfunction of Washington, D.C.”

House Republican Leaders React to NH Ranking 48th in Business Tax Study

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) released the following statements in reaction to the recently published Business Tax Climate Index from the non-partisan Tax Foundation. The index placed New Hampshire 8th nationally for overall tax climate, but just 48th in the nation for corporate taxes.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This should serve as another red flag to lawmakers that we need to take a serious look at our approach to business taxes in New Hampshire. This year, when the Governor and House Democrats proposed to suspend several business tax reforms passed by the previous legislature, Republicans fought back. Those reforms will remain law thanks to Republican legislative leaders in the House and Senate.

“As we’ve learned, even with the meaningful reform we saw during the previous term, we need to do more. We need to compete regionally and nationally in order for businesses to locate, grow and create jobs here in New Hampshire. Our long term economic viability depends on it. House Republicans remain committed to supporting reasonable and meaningful business tax reforms.”

House Republican Policy Leader Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)

“As a business owner and legislator, it’s disappointing to see our state continue to wallow at the bottom of the list and have some of the highest business taxes in the nation.  While many factors influence a company to incorporate or expand in New Hampshire, taxes do matter and we need to be more competitive in this area if we are to continue to grow the economy, create jobs and keep youth in our state.”

House Republican Leader Comments on $76m FY13 surplus

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following comments in reaction to the announcement of a $76million surplus from fiscal year 2013, part of the budget passed by the Republican legislative majority in 2011.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“Despite the criticism and malignment, the budget passed by the Republican legislative majority last term has paid dividends. Sound fiscal management through spending and tax reforms helped keep our state on solid footing through tough economic times. Thankfully, the budget we passed that took effect this year mirrors many of the important provisions of the previous budget, including no new taxes or fees, something Republicans fought for throughout the budget process.”

“Even with the good news, we mustn’t rush into a spending spree. We will have a thorough discussion on how to best apply these surplus funds that will best serve the needs of our state, it’s people and our fiscal health.”

House Republican Leaders React to Proposed Obamacare Exchange Plan Network Reductions

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Co-Chair of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and Assistant Republican Leader John Hunt (R-Rindge) offered the following comments following the meeting of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee where discussions revealed that plans that will soon offered on the Obamacare health exchange in New Hampshire will drastically reduce provider networks, which may result in citizens having to sever relationships with local physicians or hospitals and drive excessive distances to receive care.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“Despite all the assurances we’ve been given by the Obama administration that we’d be able to keep our doctors and be able to make choices regarding our health care providers, we’re now learning that tens of thousands of New Hampshire citizens may have to drive clear across their county to receive care. This will put thousands of families in an extremely difficult position of either having to pay out of pocket to visit their local doctor or hospital, or have take a day off of work, and fill their gas tank to visit one of the in-network facilities. For people of limited means, it’s just plain unfair.”

Co- Chair of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and Assistant Republican Leader John Hunt (R-Rindge)

“It’s ironic that one of the main goals of Obamacare is to increase access to healthcare, but now as a result of Obamacare, access to health care providers will be limited. Anthem, in its attempt to deal with the perspective costs due to the nature of the people who will be mandated to buy this product, had to make this change in order to keep the rates from spiking.”

The Joint Health Care Oversight Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2013, after the final approval of the Anthem plans as well as the opening of the ObamaCare exchange marketplace.