SESSION NOTICE: The next House session will be Thursday, June 1st, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

CAUCUS NOTICE: TBD

Statement by Speaker Shawn Jasper upon learning of the passing of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt of Manchester

“It is with great sadness that we learned this morning of the sudden passing of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt of Manchester.  We will remember Steve as an outstanding orator and a man who was certainly dedicated to his principles.  He was serving his 10th term in the NH House, representing the voters of Ward 8 in Manchester.  Rep. Vaillancourt was a valuable member of the House Finance committee where he served as a strong advocate for the taxpayers of our State. Today’s news comes as a shock to us all.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to is brother, Norman.  I will pass along any details of any funeral arrangements as they become available.”

House Speaker, Finance Chair Announce Property Tax Relief, Infrastructure Aid in House Budget

CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper and leaders of the House Finance Committee today announced details of two initiatives to be included in the House version of the state budget bills that will focus on returning money back to cities and towns. In addition to existing programs directing funds to municipalities for education funding, meals and rooms tax revenue distribution, and road betterment funds, these House budget provisions propose to increase state aid.

They include:

  • $25 million per year in direct aid to cities and towns to assist with property tax relief.
  • Up to $50 million from FY 2017 will be set aside to assist municipalities with infrastructure improvements, which may include roads, bridges, schools and other core projects essential to communities.

“We are committed to increasing aid to cities and towns in an effort to provide some relief to property taxpayers. With an aging population, we need to protect our seniors’ ability to stay in their homes,” said House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson), “We also need to keep home ownership affordable for the workers and young families we need to retain in our state in order to sustain our economy. These programs will offset costs that our municipalities incur, and we hope they are the driving force in local decisions to ease the burden on local property taxpayers.” read more…

House Approves “Croydon Bill”

3 Democrats joined with 98% of House Republicans to pass HB557, relative to school attendance in towns with no public schools, by a vote of 186-163.

House Education Committee Chair Rick Ladd (R-Haverhill): “There is no provision in our constitution or on the long line of Claremont cases that only public schools are constitutionally adequate. Private schools which are one of the options that a school district such as Croydon could send their students to are also adequate schools.  Private schools provide an opportunity for many students that they have not been able to find in the public schools. But more than that, private schools are supported adamantly by parents, if parents weren’t sending their kids to a private school that would me it’s not a good school. A lot of public schools that are noted as adequate but are failing as well as private schools and this presents the choice the choice of the school district that doesn’t have certain grade to tuition their students to a school that provides a great education, not just an adequate one. It may be a private school but it may also be a public one. Addressing the issue of access cost, the contract between the sending school and the receiving school is established by the school board. They negotiate the contract for the tuition of the student. That’s the amount of money that is paid to the receiving school by the school district. Parents don’t have to pay for anything.” read more…

House Majority Leader’s Statement on Defeat of Bill Allocating Electors Based on National Popular Vote

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the defeat of HB 447, relative to allocating electoral college electors based on the national popular vote. The bill was defeated by a vote of 234-132

“We’re pleased the House rejected Democrat sponsored legislation that would have diminished New Hampshire’s role in the presidential election process by award our electors based on the national popular vote. We pride ourselves in our ability to vet candidates, and to be among the small number of battleground states that regularly help decide who becomes president. With a popular vote, we’d lose that influence.”

House Passes Election Law Reform Bills

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the passage of election law reform legislation in the House, seeking to strengthen the integrity of our state elections.

“Republicans in the House are proud to contribute to the effort to maintain New Hampshire’s electoral integrity. The passage of several bills today are an important step in making sure our state continues to have open and honest elections by clarifying and enhancing our election laws to prevent drive-by voting. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to get these and other important bills to the Governor’s desk this year.

“When our statewide elections are being decided by fractions of a percent, and some state legislative elections being decided by single digit margins, it is our duty to make sure every ballot is cast by a duly eligible voter.” read more…

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