House Majority Leader Comments on Minimum Wage Bills

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) today offered the following comments relative to the four House Bills dealing with raising the minimum wage in New Hampshire that had a public hearing today before the House Labor Committee.

 

House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

 

“These proposals have the potential to negatively affect our job climate in New Hampshire and could threaten the viability of many small and medium sized businesses especially in the hospitality industry, which many workers in our state depend on.  For many small employers, a government mandated wage increase of up to 114% is just not affordable, and they may have to reduce their overall number of employees or raise prices to compensate. In an economy that is still in recovery, this is not a viable option.”

“Raising the minimum wage could also reduce or eliminate job opportunities for our young workers who rely on entry level, part time, or seasonal jobs for valuable work experience.”

“The New Hampshire business community is compassionate and more than capable of making reasonable decisions that best suits the needs of their employees and the viability of their businesses. They know what it takes to attract and retain employees.”

“Republicans aren’t against higher wages. We are proponents of creating the economic conditions for businesses to thrive to ensure everyone has the opportunity to find a good paying job. Government mandates do exactly the opposite.”

House Majority Leader Comments on EBT Reform Bill

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) released the following comments relative to HB 219, a bill that adds restrictions to where EBT cards can be used, including tattoo parlors and cigar shops. HB 219 had a public hearing Wednesday before the House Health & Human Services committee.

House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan

“The majority of government assistance recipients use their EBT benefits for necessary living expenses. But as with any government program, we need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are going toward their intended purpose.”

“We already have restrictions in place that prohibit EBT use in liquor stores, gaming facilities and adult-themes stores. Most people would agree that these are acceptable and reasonable prohibitions on where you can use your EBT card. HB 219 seeks to add some additional reasonable restrictions including tattoo parlors and cigar shops. None of the restrictions currently in law or those proposed in HB219 are necessary living expenses.”

“It may be impossible to track how every single dollar of assistance is spent, but it’s fair for the legislature to explore ways to ensure state funds are being used in a responsible manner.”

Speaker Jasper Appoints Committee to Study Pension Reform

Concord—NH House  Speaker Shawn Jasper  today announced the formation of a 14-member committee charged with considering all matters pertaining to the functioning, revision and reform of public employee pension plans and programs.  “Our public employee pension system has one of the highest unfunded rates in the nation,” said Jasper.  “We need to find ways to reduce that unfunded liability and reform our public employee pension system in a way that protects our retirees and ensures a solvent retirement system for future generations,” added Jasper.

Veteran lawmaker David Hess (R-Hooksett) will chair the Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Plans.  The committee will also look at the funding of public employee pension plans and programs; eligibility for participation in and benefits under public employee pension plans and programs; and alternative pulblic employee pension plans and programs.

Rep. John Sytek (R-Salem) will assist Rep. Hess as the Vice Chair.  Also named to the new pension committee were Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare); Rep. William Infantine (R-Manchester); Rep. Gary Azarian (R-Salem); Rep. William Ohm (R-Nashua); Rep. Frank Byron (R-Litchfield); Rep. Mark Proulx (R-Manchester); Rep. Jeffrey Goley (D-Manchester); Rep. Daniel Sullivan (D-Manchester); Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham); Rep. Dianne Schuett (D-Pembroke); Rep. Len DiSesa (D-Dover); and Rep. Frank Edelblut (R-Wilton).

House Majority Leader Reacts to Governor’s Inauguration Address

CONCORD – House Republican Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comments in reaction to Governor Hassan’s inaugural address:

House Republican Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

“Governor Hassan offered a lot of broad goals, with little specifics on how to reach them. Republicans share concern about our economy, job creation, and energy prices, but we’ll have very different solutions. Republicans have a common-sense legislative agenda that we believe will keep our pledge to protect taxpayers and make New Hampshire more business friendly.”

“I’m happy that the Governor shares our desire for a balanced state budget. However, we should remember that two years ago Governor Hassan proposed a budget that was immediately rejected by Republicans as a result of higher taxes, higher spending, and unrealistic revenue estimates.”

“In order for the Governor to fulfill her commitment to bipartisan solutions, we will need her to work with us to ensure our government lives within its means without relying on new or increased taxes and fees.”

House Majority Leader Reacts to Reduction in Unemployment Tax

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comments relative to the announcement that the unemployment tax rate for employers will be lowered by 1%, saving New Hampshire businesses millions.

House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

“This is great news for New Hampshire’s job creators. As we know, New Hampshire has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the nation. Any reduction to the cost of doing business and creating jobs will help our business community.”

”As part of our legislative agenda, House Republicans will continue to search for reasonable ways to reduce our business taxes and burdensome regulations to help retain existing businesses and help them grow, attract new businesses, and help our private sector create new and better paying jobs.”

Rep. Steve Schmidt Named Deputy House Majority Leader

downloadConcord—Speaker of the NH House Shawn Jasper added another member to his leadership team today with the naming of Rep. Steve Schmidt (r-Wolfeboro) as the Deputy Majority Leader to Rep. Jack Flanagan (r-Brookline). Schmidt, retired as a Director at Verizon Communications, is entering his third term as a member of the NH Legislature.  “I am honored to be asked to join the leadership team that Speaker Jasper has put together,” said Schmidt. “I look forward to working with Majority Leader Flanagan as we move forward.  I know progress has already been made following a successful caucus. We have established a list of goals and I am anxious to get to work with our members in helping to move our agenda forward in the House,” he added.

Rep. Flanagan cited Schmidt’s strong business background as just one asset that he brings to the team. “Rep. Schmidt’s  commitment to bringing forth a strong budget with no new taxes, his interests in education and in developing a strong business environment in New Hampshire will make him an invaluable member of our leadership team,” said Flanagan.