House Republican Leader Statement on Insurance Department Effort to Bypass Legislature

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following statement in response to the Department of Insurance’s efforts to bypass the legislature and partner with the New Hampshire Health Plan (NHHP) to obtain millions in taxpayer dollars to fund Obamacare related bureaucracy.

Rep. Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett), House Republican Leader:

“We have processes and committees in place to ensure we are careful stewards of taxpayer money. The Insurance Department, with the Governor’s support, appears to be thumbing their nose at the legislative process. It’s not difficult to see what is happening here. We have a department and an administration who are in a rush to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fund Obamacare related bureaucracy. If their plan has merit, they should play by the rules and let it get an up or down vote by the legislative entities who have oversight. To do an end run around the legislature simply doesn’t pass the smell test. We’ll be exploring every option available to ensure this matter goes through the proper channels.”

“I share the concerns the Senate President expressed in his letter to Commissioner Sevigny. I look forward to the Commissioner’s response.”

Background:

On April 19th, the Joint Fiscal Committee, a statutory legislative committee made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, voted to table the Insurance Department’s request to accept a federal grant, which would fund education and consumer assistance (more…)

House Republican Leader Announces Medicaid Expansion Commission Appointee

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) today announced his appointee to the Medicaid Expansion Commission,  Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare). Rep. Kurk, a former Chair of the House Finance committee, is currently the Ranking Republican on House Finance and sits on Division III of the committee, the division that oversees appropriations to the Department of Health & Human Services, including Medicaid programs.

The recently adopted State budget provides that the House Republican Leader receives one appointment to the commission.

Rep. Chandler offered the following statement on the appointment of Rep. Kurk to the commission:

“Rep. Kurk brings to the table decades of experience in Medicaid policy and state fiscal issues. Additionally, Rep. Kurk has a long history of looking out for New Hampshire taxpayers. I’m confident he will be an asset to the commission as they take an objective look at how Medicaid expansion may affect New Hampshire in both the short and long term.”

House Republican Leader Comments on Budget Passage

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following statements in reaction to the passage of the State Budget committee of conference report by the House and Senate.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“New Hampshire’s taxpayers deserve an honest and transparent budget that promotes an efficient and accountable government that is built on realistic revenue estimates. I’m confident this budget leads us in that direction.”

“Throughout the budget process Republicans have insisted on reliable sustainable revenue estimates. Nothing can get us in more fiscal trouble than overestimating revenues. I am pleased that this budget relies on revenues at levels presented by the Senate and agreed to by our House Republican Ways & Means committee members.”

“This budget will keep our state government on a fiscally sustainable course by keeping spending levels in check. Being able to produce a budget that helps fund important priorities while not including any tax or fee increase is a significant achievement.”

“We are also happy to see that this budget allows for funding to our state’s valuable charter schools while lessening the impact of downshifting costs to the counties. This budget also continues the business tax reforms passed last year but suspended in the House version of the budget.”

“Medicaid expansion is a serious matter that deserves a full comprehensive study an fair up or down vote of the full legislature separate from the state budget. I’m glad we’ve been able to maintain the Senate’s position to study before we consider implementation. Although the timeline is tight, we will know more through this study process and our legislators can make a truly informed vote on this stand alone issue. It’s only fair we give this policy the same scrutiny as any other major piece of legislation.”

House Republican Leaders Comment on Budget Compromise

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Finance Ranking Republican Neil Kurk (R-Weare) offered the following statements in reaction to the conclusion of state budget negotiations between the House and Senate.”

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“We believe the Senate budget proposal was the best option for the state. The committee of conference process is about compromise and we’re happy our Democrat colleagues in House agreed with the majority of the Senate proposal. The Senate did a fantastic job fighting to keep our state government on a sustainable course and adopting what House Republicans fought for throughout the budget process. ” (more…)

House Republican Leaders Statement on Passage of Senate Budget Proposal

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) offered the following statement in reaction to the Senate passing their budget proposal.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“The Senate has done what some may want you to believe is impossible. They have produced a responsible, balanced budget that includes no new taxes or fees while funding important priorities in Health and Human Services and Education.”

“A key issue for House Republicans has been ensuring the budget is built on responsible revenue projections. We’re pleased the Senate budget strives to do this.”

“During the budget process in the House, Republicans offered several amendments to address some of the most substantive issues we had with the House Democrats’ budget. We’re happy to say that many of issues House Republicans took issue with in the House Democrats’ budget have been addressed in the Senate Budget.”

“The House Democrats’ budget downshifted millions in costs to county governments, running the risk of spiking county property tax rates. The Senate budget went a substantial way toward taking care of a large part of the increasing cost shift and will protect New Hampshire taxpayers.”

House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)

“Senate Republicans have worked very hard and put forth a responsible budget that solves the real problems New Hampshire people face.”

“This budget includes reasonable and carefully considered compromises, so we can take care of those most in need while simultaneously promoting a strong economy and private sector job creation, and helping NH families and small businesses thrive.”

“House Republicans committed to do everything they could to improve the climate for economic growth and job creation in our state.   The Senate Republicans are supporting that effort with their Budget.”

House Republicans Comment on Senate Amendment Blocking DRA From Taxing Businesses Based on Tipped Employees

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Rep. Pat Abrami (R-Stratham) offered the following comments following the hearing on a Senate proposed amendment that would block the Department of Revenue Administration from being able to use tips received by employees in their calculation of Business Enterprise Tax owed by businesses.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“I’m hopeful that the Department of Revenue Administration would not try to seek new and interesting ways to circumvent the legislative process to reach into the pockets of our small business owners. A clear reading of existing statutes prohibits this type of taxation The livelihoods of many restaurateurs and their employees are at stake. This amendment is good for business and our State’s hospitality industry. I’m happy the Senate is working to address this issue, and we will work to ensure the House concurs with this amendment.”

Rep. Pat Abrami (R-Stratham), House Ways & Means Committee

“Our State’s business community would appreciate transparency and predictability in how taxes are assessed. In this instance, it appears as if the DRA has taken it upon themselves to reinterpret their rules. The State’s hospitality industry employs tens of thousands of people. Without this amendment, each one of these employees is subject to becoming an increased tax burden to their employers. If we’re looking to help our job creators in this recovering economy, we need to step in and prevent the DRA’s new nickel-and-diming scheme.”