SESSION NOTICE: The next House session will be Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.                                                                              Please also reserve Thursday, April 6th, for possible House session as well.

CAUCUS NOTICE: There will be a Republican caucus on Tuesday, April 4th at 9:00 a.m. in Representatives Hall.                                            There will be a Republican caucus on Wednesday, April 5th at 9:00 a.m. in Representatives Hall.

Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law

Governor Chris Sununu signed SB12 “Constitutional Carry” into law today during a ceremony in the Executive Council Chambers. The Governor was joined at the bill signing by House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch along with other sponsors of the bill and members of the public. The newly enacted law removes the licensing requirement for individuals to carry a concealed firearm. When the bill passed the House, Representative Hinch praised it saying “Republicans were proud to lead the fight for the passage of this important and long overdue bill. Law abiding gun owners deserve that their rights be fully upheld and this bill reverses current law creating unnecessary barriers.”

Following today’s bill signing by the Governor, Majority Leader Hinch said “We were proud to work with our colleagues in the Senate to get this bill to the Governors desk. New Hampshire is excited to stand with our neighbors Maine and Vermont as a Constitutional Carry state”.

UNH Survey Center Poll Shows Positive Approval Ratings for Legislature

A recent poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center highlights positive approval ratings from residents on the job that the Legislature is doing. The poll of 489 individuals showed that 47% of those surveyed view the Legislature positively.

Read the full results of the Granite State Poll here: NH Residents Positive About Sununu, Legislature, State Outlook

House Passes Constitutional Carry

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following statement relative to passage of SB12, repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. “Republicans were proud to lead the fight for the passage of this important and long overdue bill. Law abiding gun owners deserve that their rights be fully upheld and this bill reverses current law creating unnecessary barriers. We look forward to having Governor Sununu sign this bill and for New Hampshire to join our neighbors, Maine and Vermont, as a Constitutional Carry state.”

Ruger VP: NH Was Dismissed Due to Right to Work Status

The following is a partial transcript of the testimony of the Thomas P. Sullivan North Sutton, NH VP at Sturm, Ruger & Company. Inc, given during the Labor committee’s public hearing on SB11 in Representatives Hall:

My name is Tom Sullivan. I am a resident of North Sutton, New Hampshire, and I am also the vice president of Newport operations for Sturm Ruger. We’re the world’s leading manufacturer of firearms and we employ 1,200 people at our Newport, NH campus, and we are the largest employer in Sullivan County.

I am here today to voice my support for [SB 11], the Right to Work Act. I believe this is good law and makes good sense for a number of reasons. First of all, if signed into law, this bill would promote and enhance the personal freedoms that are the hallmark of our state. We have a rich heritage here of valuing and promoting personal freedoms. In fact, this is embodied in our state motto, “Live Free or Die.” read more…

Testimony: SB12 repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.

On Wednesday, February 1, House Majority Leader Dick Hinch offered the following testimony before the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee relative to SB12, repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.

February 1, 2017

House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee
Rep. David Welch, Chairman
Legislative Office Building Room 204
Concord, NH 03301

Testimony: SB12 repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. For the record, I am Rep. Dick Hinch. I represent the town of Merrimack, which is Hillsborough District 21, and have the honor of serving as House Majority Leader.

Mr. Chairman, it should come as no surprise that I am here today in support of this bill. Myself and 95 percent of House Republicans – and a bipartisan majority of the members of this body – supported similar legislation in 2015 and 2016, only to have our former Governor veto both bills.

House and Senate members have been working on this issue for years to achieve this important balance that enhances the rights of law abiding gun owners, clarifies existing laws to prevent misinterpretation, and preserves public safety.

And we are finally in the position of taking the culmination of this work, and sending it to a Governor who will honor the work of the legislature on this issue – on behalf of our many constituents who believe this is a fundamental constitutional right – and sign the bill.

This bill does not extend rights of those who would be otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. Those with criminal intent will continue to obtain, carry, and use firearms in illegal ways. Impeding the rights of lawful gun owners based on the actions of criminals is frankly unfair.

This is not a political bill. This is not a partisan bill. This is not a bill that oversteps or overreaches. This is common sense legislation that allows people to protect themselves and their loved ones by exercising their 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution. This a reasonable and long overdue measure that will enhance freedom for our responsible firearms community, and will be an overall deterrent to crime.

Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I ask you to recommend this bill Ought to Pass, and I look forward to joining my fellow House members in passing this legislation in the coming weeks.

Thank you.

House Leaders’ Statements on Governor Sununu’s Inaugural Remarks

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) and House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statements following the swearing in and inaugural remarks of Governor Chris Sununu.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper

“The House and the Governor have shared priorities, and we look forward to working in a collaborative manner with him to produce real solutions that will make New Hampshire an even better place.  Strengthening our economy, finding innovative solutions to improve education, lowering energy costs, and advancing our efforts to end the substance abuse crisis will be front and center. Having a unified state government will allow us to demonstrate how responsive government works, and put aside the damaging partisan posturing we experienced over the last two years.”

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch

“Governor Sununu’s leadership in the corner office will be refreshing to Republicans in the legislature, and we’re excited to begin our work on these major initiatives. For the first time in 14 years, Republicans in the legislature have an ally in the Governor’s office, and our positive legislative agenda for New Hampshire will be met with a signature pen rather than a veto pen.”

Speaker Jasper Announces Leadership Team

Concord—In announcing his leadership team for the upcoming biennium today, New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper has called upon a number of veteran legislators as well as several lawmakers who will be serving in a leadership role for the first time.

“I am proud to be working with a team of leaders that represent a diverse and talented cross section of the House.” said the speaker. “We were successful in driving our agenda last session by working together.  The people of New Hampshire responded by electing Republicans to once again to serve as the majority party in the House. They have given us another opportunity to lead, and the team that I have put together will develop an agenda from the ground up through an exchange of ideas from within our caucus.  Over the next two years we will continue working together to deal with critical issues that are of importance to the future of our state,” added Speaker Jasper.

Former Speaker Gene Chandler (r-Bartlett), entering his 18th term, will serve once again as Deputy Speaker.  Veteran legislator Sherman Packard (r-Londonderry), a former Republican leader, committee chair and veteran of 13 terms, will serve as Speaker Pro Tempore under Jasper.  Rep. Dick Hinch (r-Merrimack), entering his fifth term,  returns as the Majority Leader of the Republican Caucus.  His deputy majority leader will be Rep. John Graham (r-Bedford) who is returning for his 8TH term.  Serving as assistant majority leaders will be Reps. Larry Gagne (r-Manchester), Mike McCarthy (r-Nashua), David Danielson (r-Bedford) , Michael Vose (r-Epping), and Fred Doucette (r-Salem).

Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel (r- Raymond) will return as the Majority Whip.  Rep. Bill Ohm (r-Nashua) will assist  Rep. Hoelzel as her Deputy Whip.  Serving as Assistant Majority Whips will be Reps. Claire Rouillard (r-Goffstown), Debra DeSimone (r-Atkinson), Terry Wolf (r-Bedford), and Carolyn  Matthews (r-Raymond)

The Finance Committee, instrumental in forming the next biennial budget, will be chaired once again by Rep. Neal Kurk (r-Weare), who is entering his 16th term as a member of the House. Each of the three committee divisions  will be chaired by members with a strong background in finance. Lynne Ober (r-Hudson), entering her 7th term in the House, will serve as vice chair for the Finance committee and will also preside as the chair of Division I.  Rep. J. Tracy Emerick (r-Hampton) will serve as vice chair for Division I. The Division II chair will be Rep. Karen Umberger (r-Kearsarge).  She will be assisted by Vice Chair Ken Weyler (r-Kingston).  Heading up Division III of House Finance will be Rep. Frank Byron (r-Litchfield). Serving as his vice chair will be Rep. Betsy McKinney, who is beginning her 17th term.

The Ways and Means Committee, which considers and reports all bills and resolutions relating to raising money, will be chaired once again by Rep. Norman Major (r-Plaistow), entering his 11th term in the House. Rep. Patrick Abrami (r-Stratham) will return as the committee vice chair.

Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the remaining standing committees are as follows: read more…

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