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.

House Majority Leader Comments on Supreme Court Ruling on Retirement System

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comment relative to the Supreme Court ruling that upheld legislative changes to the New Hampshire Retirement System.

House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan

“We all want a healthy and solvent retirement system for current and future public employees and first responders. With a $5 billion unfunded liability, one of the highest unfunded rates in the nation, modifications and reforms to the way in which the system works were necessary.”

“This decision gives us confidence that future legislative reforms are possible and permissible. House Republicans will continue to offer reasonable proposals, without increasing taxes, to strengthen our pension system and reduce the unfunded liability.”

Former Speaker to Join House Republican Leadership

downloadConcord—Speaker of the NH House, Shawn Jasper, today announced that former Speaker Gene Chandler (r-Bartlett) has agreed to serve as his Deputy Speaker for the coming biennium. “I couldn’t be happier to have Gene Chandler as my deputy,” said Jasper.  “His vast experience and knowledge as both a former speaker and Republican leader will be invaluable to our caucus as we move forward. He is extremely well respected  by Democrats and Republicans alike and I intend to seek his counsel on many issues.” Jasper added.

Rep. Chandler is entering his 17th term in the New Hampshire House of  Representatives.  He  served as the Speaker of the NH House from 2000-2004. The veteran legislator has also served in the capacity of  Deputy Majority Leader, Majority Leader, Republican Policy Leader and Senior Republican Leader.

“I look forward to the opportunity to help mend some fences among our caucus,” said Chandler. “ It is important that we as Republicans unite and come together to work for the betterment of the people of New Hampshire,” added  Chandler.

Speaker Jasper intends to announce the remainder of his leadership team, including committee chairs and vice chairs, next week.

House Majority Leader Comments on November Revenue Report

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comments relative to the November report on state revenue, which showed revenue $3.6million ahead of plan.

House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

“I’m happy to see that overall State revenues continue to perform at a level slightly better than we estimated. However, these numbers continue to suggest that state agencies should keep a watchful eye on their spending levels to avoid any possibility deficit spending. I’m looking forward to working with members of the House and Senate Ways & Means and Finance committees to make sure our next budget is based on conservative revenue estimates and contains no new or increased taxes or fees.”

Speaker Jasper Announces House Leaders

downloadSpeaker Shawn Jasper today confirmed the appointment of two veteran legislators to lead their respective caucuses in the next session.  Rep. Steve Shurtleff (d-Penacook) will lead the Democratic caucus and Rep. Jack Flanagan (r-Brookline) will serve as  the Majority Leader for the Republicans in the House.

“I have served two terms with Rep. Flanagan and I have been impressed with his ability to understand policy issues and to work effectively with his colleagues,” said Speaker Jasper. “I was also  looking for someone who was a strong Republican, a leader,  and someone whom I could trust,” said Jasper.

Rep. Flanagan has served two terms on the House Labor committee. “I am looking forward to working with my caucus to set the agenda for the upcoming session.  There is no question that the economy, job creation, and healthcare are at the forefront of what the people of the state are most concerned,” said Flanagan.  “

Rep. Shurtleff, who served as the House Majority leader during the previous session was the choice to lead the Democrats in the upcoming biennium.  “I look forward to working together with Speaker Jasper for the good of the state and in the best interest of the people of New Hampshire,” said Shurtleff.  “I am confident the, under Speaker Jasper, there will be a continuation of the civility, collegiality and respect for the institution that we hold so dear.”  Rep. Shurtleff is entering his sixth term in the NH House of Representatives.