2015-2016 LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Jobs and the Economy

  • Lowered the Business Profits Tax for the first time in 20 years, and the Business Enterprise Tax for the first time ever, enabling New Hampshire to regain its competitiveness over neighboring states. HB2/SB9 (2015)
  • Expanded the Research and Development Tax Credit in FY18. HB2 (2015)
  • Authorized Business Finance Authority to assist Balsam’s redevelopment. SB30 (2015)
  • Protected NH businesses from unfair tax treatment when they go public or acquire new investment capital. SB342 (2016)
  • Simplified the tax-filing process for businesses and increased expensing deductions for purchases, such as equipment, from $25,000 to $100,000, enabling businesses to invest in more capital quicker. SB239 (2016)
  • Approved reforms to Workers Compensation, enabling employers to contest unreasonable health care charges. Lowering Workers Comp is a key obstacle for job creation in New Hampshire. SB133 (2015)
  • Protected electric ratepayers by approving a deal for Eversource to divest its power generating assets, which otherwise would have stuck ratepayers with 100% of Stranded Costs. SB221 (2015)
  • Updated and reformed New Hampshire’s securities laws. SB266 (2015)
  • Protected the local fishing industry from stifling regulations. HB464 (2015)

The State Budget

  • Approved a balanced, responsible budget that meets New Hampshire’s needs:
    • Full funding of Development Disabilities and Waitlist.
    • Fully funds ServiceLink and Meals on Wheels.
    • Increased state support for alcohol and drug treatment and prevention programs by 75%.
    • Funds Mental Health Settlement while increasing state support for existing mental health infrastructure.
    • Ensure opening of 10-Bed Crisis Unit at NH Hospital.
    • Increases funding for higher education, including a two-year tuition freeze at the Community College System.
    • Provides tax relief for NH businesses that employ 95% of private sector workforce, the first rate relief in 20 years.
    • Rejects $129 million in tax increases in Governor Hassan’s budget.
  • Approved Capital Budget that funds priority infrastructure projects. HB25 (2015)

Energy

  • Required ratepayer protections under agreement to allow Eversource to divest its power generating assets. SB221 (2015)
  • Protected ratepayer rights. SB170 (2015)
  • Improved ability of Site Evaluation Committee to review energy projects. HB614 (2015)
  • Improved Site Evaluation Committee rules for gas pipelines to protect landowners.  SB572 (2015)
  • Modified the cap on net energy metering tariffs available to eligible customer-generators, enabling the continued growth of the solar industry in New Hampshire, and providing consumers with more energy options. HB1116 (2016)

 

Education & Schools

  • Strengthened requirements for parents to be notified of potentially objectionable course material in public schools. HB332 [Vetoed by Governor]
  • Provided state support to local school districts for courses given to home-schooled students. SB151 (2015)
  • Increased state funding for University System by $12 million over two years (8%).
    HB1 (2015)
  • Increased state support for Community College System by $3.8 million, enough to ensure a two-year tuition freeze. HB1 (2015)
  • Phased out cap on Adequate Education Grants. HB2 (2015)
  • Increased state support for Charter School students. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Allowed towns to provide property tax exemption for Charter Schools. HB662 (2015)
  • Protected local school districts from Common Core mandates. SB101 [Vetoed by Governor]
  • Increased state support for Community and Technical Education Centers. SB190 (2015)
  • Allowed use of the SAT or ACT tests to fulfill the high school assessment requirement. HB323 (2015)
  • Honoring military service by permitting high school students who are members of the armed forces to wear their uniforms at graduation HB1225 (2016) and permitting the placement on school property of a memorial or memorial plaque honoring those who have died during military service. HB1130 (2016)
  • Enhanced public safety enabling school districts to use criminal history records checks for school employees and designated school volunteers. SB152 (2016)
  • Encouraged civic engagement by requiring high school students to pass a competency assessment of the United States and New Hampshire government and civics.
    SB157 (2016)
  • Allowed a school district to assign a child to another public school in another school district or to an approved private school if there is no public school for the child’s grade in the child’s resident district and allow a school board to make a contract with a private school to provide for the education of a child who resides in a district which does not have a public school at the child’s grade level. HB1637 (2016) [Vetoed by Governor]

Health and Human Services

  • Funded vital state assistance programs, including Meals on Wheels, ServiceLink, and Developmental Disabilities. HB1 (2015)
  • Preserved Emergency Shelters and staffing at NH Hospital. HB1 (2015)
  • Increased state support for alcohol and drug treatment and prevention programs by 75%, including new Substance Abuse Disorder Benefit under Medicaid. HB1 (2015)
  • Funds state Mental Health Settlement by increasing funding for existing mental health infrastructure by $6.5 million. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Reduced bureaucratic hurdles for Managed Care Organizations to administer prescription drugs to treat mental illness. HB564 (2015)
  • Authorized use of “telemedicine” to improve healthcare delivery at lower cost. SB84 & SB112 (2015)
  • Strengthened protections against lead poisoning in children. SB135 (2015)
  • Provided parity for oral anti-cancer therapies. SB137 (2015)
  • Established procedures for the implementation of phase 2 of the Medicaid managed care plan SB533 (2016)

Helping Cities and Towns

  • Authorized cities and town to establish special assessment districts. HB486 (2015)
  • Reduced costly and unnecessary mandates on local elections. HB493 (2015)
  • Authorized municipalities to improve storm water protections. SB97 (2015)
  • Increased state aid under Meals and Rooms Tax. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Increased state support for local public schools. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Enabled towns and cities to adopt a property tax credit which extends the current veterans’ property tax credit to all honorably discharged veterans. HB430 (2016)

Public Safety

  • Established sustainable funding for State Police Detectives Bureau and Division of Homeland Security. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Improved ability to investigate child abuse and neglect allegations. SB244 (2015)
  • Passed “Good Samaritan” protections for people requesting medical assistance for victims of drug overdoses. HB270 (2015)
  • Improved interoperability of public safety radios. SB46 (2015)
  • Restricted the sale of synthetic drugs like Spice. SB106 (2015)
  • Enabled Fish & Game to revoke license of persons of convicted of sexual assault while hunting. HB212 (2015)
  • Increased penalties for indecent exposure. HB597 (2015)
  • Establishes fine for persons convicted of domestic violence to assist victims of domestic violence. HB681 (2015)
  • Established a program to transition to drivers’ licenses and identification cards that are compliant with federal identification law HB1616 (2016)
  • Strengthened New Hampshire’s anti human trafficking laws HB1628 (2016)
  • Granted Federal Border Patrol agents greater law enforcement capabilities in rural Coos County HB1298 (2016)
  • Modified the funding sources for the Police Standards & Training Council to ensure resources are available to train and certify the next generation of law enforcement professionals HB1428 (2016)

Protecting Taxpayers and their Constitutional Rights

  • Approved a Balanced Budget using conservative revenue estimates and no tax increases. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Doubled the Rainy Day Fund to protect NH’s fiscal health and bond rating. HB1 (2015)
  • Rejected $129 million in job-killing tax increases in Hassan Budget. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Provided tax relief for NH Businesses, cutting our uncompetitive business tax rates.
    HB1 & 2 / SB9 (2015)
  • Increased state aid to cities and towns for schools, road construction, and Meals and Rooms revenues, helping local taxpayers. HB1 & 2 (2015)
  • Improved state agency budget reporting requirements. SB32 (2015)
  • Reformed Real Estate Transfer Tax to remove improper tax on ground leases.
    SB232 (2015)
  • Repealed antiquated permit requirement to carry firearms.
    SB116 (2015) & HB582 (2015) [Vetoed by Governor]
  • Strengthened protections against EBT card abuse.
    HB219 (2015) & SB169 (2015) [SB169 Vetoed by Governor]
  • Established Tax Amnesty, Voluntary Disclosure programs to enable collection on delinquent tax revenue. HB2 (2015)
  • Improved disclosure requirements for homeowners facing foreclosure. SB50 (2015)
  • Limited asset forfeiture to only cases resulting in a criminal conviction where  the state has found by clear and convincing evidence that the property was derived from, or used in, the commission of a crime. SB522 (2016)

Preserving the Integrity of our Elections

  • Eliminated “Drive-By Voting” through 30-day residency requirement. SB179 (2015) [Vetoed by Governor]
  • Authorized the secretary of state to share voter information and data through the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, reducing the opportunity for voter fraud  HB1482 (2016)

Addressing the Heroin and Opioid Crisis

  • Established a fourteen-member commission to study Narcan and produce a long-term plan on the use and distribution of Narcan. SB447 (2016)
  • Strengthened laws in several areas including: law enforcement, the program for monitoring prescriptions for controlled drugs, the education of medical providers, and insurance coverage for treatment. SB576 (2016)
  • Added penalties for the possession and use of fentanyl that are equal to the penalties for the possession and use of heroin and crack cocaine. SB576 (2016)
  • Passed mandatory standards for prescribing rules and required using the controlled drug prescription health and safety program database. HB1423 (2016)
  • Established a law enforcement grant program to assist the state, county, and local law enforcement in addressing the opioid crisis by targeting drug dealers and traffickers. HB1000 (2016)
  • Added technology upgrades for the controlled drug prescription health and safety program. SB522 (2016)
  • Established a special non-lapsing account for the department of health and human services to fund drug education, prevention, and treatment programs. SB522 (2016)
  • Required opioid agreements between prescribers and patients if the patient is using opioids for more than 90 days within any 6-month period. SB523 (2016)
  • Established a commission to study requiring controlled drugs and controlled drug analogs to be sold in tamper-proof form. SB523 (2016)
  • Established the statewide drug offender grant program. SB464 (2016)
  • Made a supplemental appropriation to the governor’s commission on alcohol and drug abuse prevention for additional treatment and recovery funding and to the New Hampshire housing finance authority for temporary housing for those in recovery. SB533 (2016)
  • Encouraged public schools to include drug and alcohol education as part of their health education curriculum. SB369 (2016)