Conclusion: No Collusion

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2019
Joe Sweeney

Concord, NH: NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek released the following statement regarding the conclusions of the Mueller Special Counsel investigation:

“After two years of burdensome and overzealous investigations, costing the American taxpayer tens of millions of dollars, the Mueller Report has returned exactly what President Trump has been saying the entire time: no collusion. While President Trump has led our nation to great achievements over the past two years, Democrats have gone to great lengths in an attempt to tear him and his Administration down. Senators Shaheen and Hassan, along with Congresswoman Kuster and Congressman Pappas, and all of their fellow Democrats in Congress should finally end their baseless investigations and partisan witch hunt and get to work."


House Session Bills This Week

For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2019
Joe Sweeney

Concord, NH: NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek released the following statements regarding multiple proposals before the New Hampshire House and Senate today:

CACR 12, relating to taxes. Providing that an income tax on personal income shall be prohibited.

“Democrats on the campaign trail typically acquiesce their past support for an income tax and claim they no longer support such a policy, just as Democrat Molly Kelly attempted to do in 2018. Democrats in the legislature have a fantastic opportunity to actually put into the record their opposition to a New Hampshire income tax by passing CACR 12 onto the voters of the Granite State; if they truly believe in taking the pledge against an income tax, they can make their position known this week. If they vote no on this common sense and pragmatic constitutional amendment, which seeks to preserve the New Hampshire Advantage in our state’s constitution, they are making it clear that they, like Molly Kelly and other New Hampshire Democrats, believe an income tax should be on the table. That’s not New Hampshire and it continues the Democrats’ War on Live Free or Die.”

HB 632-FN, relative to the education tax credit.

“New Hampshire Democrats are so desperate to maintain their union support that they are willing to rip 400 low income New Hampshire students out of their current school who currently receive scholarships under the the New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Scholarship program. This is just cruel. New Hampshire Democrats are attacking a program that saves local school districts money that also increases school choice for underprivileged New Hampshire families. In 2019, Democrat politicians and partisans need to stop enforcing an outdated model in which the zip code a child lives in determines their outcome. Republicans are fighting for a level playing field of opportunity, regardless of the student’s neighborhood while Democrats fight for more government.”

HB 233, relative to the group and individual health insurance market.

“This legislation will cause unnecessary harm to the individual health insurance market in the Granite State. This bill places state statute as dependent on federal law, and should any federal law regarding health insurance change, there is a strong chance a future state legislature would need to revisit this same statute to ensure that New Hampshire insurance companies would be able to cover individuals. This is the result of a New Hampshire Democrat party so dedicated to the destruction of private health insurance through excessive market manipulation that the only path forward is an eventual socialist takeover of our health insurance market. Legislators should reject more government in our health insurance, and allow the private market to thrive in this sector.”

HB 277, establishing a commission to study a public option for health insurance.

“When HB 233 destroys the individual health insurance market, New Hampshire Democrats will swoop in with whatever public option this study commission comes up with to further deteriorate the health insurance market in New Hampshire. Legislators should reject this unnecessary study, as we already know that a socialist takeover of health insurance would be devastating for many seeking coverage and greatly impair the quality of care people can expect. We should be looking at ways to avoid the failures of Venezuela and other socialists nations that have had their entire economic systems collapse, yet studying a government takeover of health care puts us further down the road to serfdom. Legislators would be wise to reject this study and find ways to increase the free market in New Hampshire’s health insurance marketplace. The more government gets involved in regulating health insurance, the more unaffordable it becomes.”

HB 558-FN, restricting the distribution of plastic straws and HB 560-FN, relative to single-use carryout bags.

“Well folks the Democrats have hit a new low - they have now proposed a BAG TAX! That’s right, for every bag, paper or plastic, that a store uses to package your purchases they will be required to charge you a ten cent tax! Furthermore, no establishment will be allowed to give you a straw unless you specifically request it. This is frivolous. Banning plastic straws and bags in the United States, not just New Hampshire, would only affect a fraction of a percent of plastic pollution in the oceans. We all care about protecting and preserving our environment, but the academic journal Science found in a 2015 study that of the estimated 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic that polluted the ocean from all of the world’s coastal countries, as little as 0.9 percent of the polluted plastic came from the United States."

"This is a micromanagement of many New Hampshire businesses - and consumers - in New Hampshire and those who cross over our state lines for access to better and more affordable goods will be severely impacted by this pointless left-of-left proposal.”


National Review: Feel-Good Bans on Straws and Plastic Bags Don’t Help the Ocean


HB 109-FN, requiring background checks for commercial firearms sales.

“This bill creates a ban on simple transfers of firearms between friends, family members, and neighbors. HB 109 is drafted in such a way that the act of an instructor loaning a gun to a student, or a hunter allowing a friend to borrow their rifle for a hunting trip, could be prosecuted as violating the law if this bill in enacted. We should not be adding hurdles to law-abiding Granite Staters who seek to utilize their Second Amendment rights, yet that is all Democrats want to do. New Hampshire consistently ranks among the safest states in the nation due to our strong support of the right to bear arms and our even stronger Second Amendment community, and Republicans want to keep it that way while Democrats want to disarm law-abiding citizens.”

HB 514-FN, imposing a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.

“Forcing law-abiding citizens to wait up to eleven days to own property they have paid for is an abomination to New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die spirit. This bill also increases paperwork for firearm dealers, increasing business regulation on many small businesses throughout New Hampshire. There is no evidence to suggest that enacting a waiting period following purchase will make our state safer; in fact, it will likely make it worse as those who are willing to commit crimes will always find a way to break the law to possess a firearm. Targeting those who legally sell and buy firearms is an assault on our Second Amendment and Article 2a rights, and Republicans in New Hampshire should strongly reject this legislation that the Democrats are very eager to pass.”

SB 1-FN, relative to family and medical leave

“The Democrats have rushed through this flawed and controversial legislation because they do not want the public to see what it truly is: an income tax on wages that funds an inferior government replacement to a private market product. Workers throughout the Granite State already have superior medical leave through long-term and short-term disability insurance that many of their employers offer as an existing benefit; this bill would replace the superior product being paid by employers with an inferior product being paid by employees. How is this good for workers? Governor Sununu has put forth an innovative and market-driven family leave insurance plan for employers to add the benefit to already existing medical leave insurance plans; New Hampshire Democrats will not be satisfied until waged workers are taxed on their income and the government bureaucracy grows. Republicans believe in the power of the free market while Democrats wage a war on wages and our Live Free or Die spirit.”

HB 568, relative to the New Hampshire energy strategy.

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: New Hampshire Democrats would be wise to read Governor Sununu’s phenomenal 10-year energy plan. The Governor has laid out a plan that utilizes the free enterprise system to reach our energy goals; not government programs and subsidies to prop up unsustainable industries within the energy sphere. We should be looking for ways to lower the cost of energy so the people of New Hampshire and our businesses can thrive. Democrats want government to steer the energy ship that the private sector can steer far more efficiently.”

HB 582-FN, relative to the regional greenhouse gas initiative cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions.

“This flawed legislation strips rebates away from residential ratepayers, while continuing those to commercial and industrial entities. While an outright repeal of RGGI would be the best thing for all ratepayers, cutting out the rebate to residential ratepayers is an effective increase in energy rates for individuals paying for energy. Further, repealing the provision that was passed in 2012 that would allow New Hampshire to leave RGGI should other states in the agreement leave is just shortsighted and unfortunately political. This bill should be voted down when it comes up, but Democrats will pass it. While Democrats stand with their special interests and their base, Republicans stand with all Granite State residential ratepayers in opposing this legislation.”

HB 397-FN, relative to drivers’ licenses for New Hampshire residents who do not possess a social security card.

“The Democrats want undocumented immigrants the right to a driver license without reporting those same individuals to the proper federal immigration authorities. This is a form of sanctuary, plainly and simply put. These licenses will not differentiate from any other license in the state of New Hampshire, making it easier for undocumented non-citizens to vote in the State of New Hampshire and to travel commercially throughout the nation. Ask yourself: do the Democrats want to assist illegal immigrants in becoming illegal voters? With New Hampshire’s same-day registration, all one needs to register is a state approved license and an address. Are Democrats trying to make it easier for illegal immigrants to join the voting rolls? We should not be in the business of harboring illegal immigrants from federal authorities in New Hampshire by providing them a drivers’ license and then failing to report them to the proper authorities. We support legal migration, but to reward those who migrated to our nation and ended up in New Hampshire illegally is unfair to those who do so legally. New Hampshire legislators should reject sanctuary DMVs in the Granite State.”

HB 471-FN, relative to indicating citizenship on drivers’ licenses and nondrivers identification cards.

“Democrats in New Hampshire are going to vote to make it easier for undocumented individuals to receive a drivers’ license, and in the same day, they will likely vote no on requiring drivers’ licenses to indicate citizenship status. Without this status identified on licenses, undocumented immigrants will find it easier to vote and travel commercially throughout the nation thanks to New Hampshire’s lax laws. It is not discriminatory to list citizen status on a New Hampshire drivers’ license; either the cardholder is a citizen or a non-citizen. Clarifying that in New Hampshire law would make it easier for citizenship to be determined when one registers to vote and citizenship status can be earned by those legally immigrating here as well, so the argument that this places a burden on legal immigrants is astoundingly inaccurate.”


House and Senate Bills Today, March 14th

For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2019
Joe Sweeney

Concord, NH: NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek released the following statements regarding multiple proposals before the New Hampshire House and Senate today:

HB 291, establishing a committee to study certain findings and other initiatives regarding end-of-life care.

“Democrats want to study physician-assisted suicide while Republicans want to study palliative care issues in the Granite State. We should not be studying a process which diminishes the value of life and presents suicide as a solution to, end-of-life care. Suicide is never the answer, and the state of New Hampshire would be sending the wrong message to many in the Granite State if this bill passes the House. We lose too many Granite Staters to suicide already, and while work is being done to prevent suicide through education in our school systems and communities, the state should not study the use of suicide as an alternative to medical care.”

HB 186, establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage.

“While the state senate heard a bad bill last week to institute a new minimum wage mandate on New Hampshire employers, this week the New Hampshire House will vote whether or not to pump the brakes on our growing economy and expanding wages. This bill, and any bill to establish a minimum wage, would do needless damage to the New Hampshire economy and hurt our young workers who are looking to learn valuable skills that can be ascertained through entry-level jobs. Businesses will make the calculation and may purchase a computer kiosk if it makes more financial sense than hiring a worker; we should be encouraging more businesses to hire entry-level people than increase the barriers and entry to the labor market.”

HB 156, establishing a commission to study the establishment of a state department of energy.

“Democrats simply love to increase government at any opportunity they get. This is completely unnecessary increase of the bureaucracy - we already have state employees focused on our energy strategy and development; the Office of Strategic Initiatives includes an energy division which aided Governor Sununu in the production of a visionary and groundbreaking 10-year energy plan that was published in 2018. Democrats who want to examine our state’s energy policy would be wise to read it; they stand to learn a lot about what sound energy policy looks like.”

HB 166, relative to funding energy efficiency programs.

“Abdicating legislative responsibility to unelected bureaucrats is never a good idea, especially when the legislative responsibility in question is the adjustment of fees to fund a program. Here, Democrats want to give the Public Utilities Commission the ability to raise the System Benefits Charge to fund energy efficiency programs. These are fees that are paid by ratepayers. We should be utilizing extreme discretion when proposing increases in fees that increase the cost of energy in New Hampshire and wary of allowing unelected officials from raising costs on ratepayers. Again, as I have said in other statements, Governor Sununu has a phenomenal 10-year energy plan - Democrats in the legislature proposing these fee increases should read it, as they clearly have not made the time to study it yet.”

HB 183, establishing a committee to study the changes in law necessary to allow for microgrids in electrical supply.

“Democrats love to create law when there is no clear need, and HB 183 is a great example of that. The Public Utilities Commission can already authorize microgrids to feed into our electrical supply; we do not need to add an additional layer of government through this study committee to examine possible changes to the law to allow microgrids as they are already allowed with PUC approval. Being that a process is already established, this study would be highly irrelevant.”

HB 477-FN, relative to allowance sales under the New Hampshire regional greenhouse gas initiative program.

“A bill to give ratepayers back more of their hard-earned money? Of course Democrats would oppose it! The state should not be in the business of determining what energy efficient solutions receive funding; the free market is doing an astounding job of that. Ratepayers know how to better spend their money than the government does, and we should enable consumers - who largely want to consume energy efficient and environmentally friendly products - to best utilize their market power and fund the most efficient energy efficient programs out there. While Republicans want to give ratepayers a break, Democrats want to continue funding their favorite pet projects with ratepayers’ money.”

HB 496, establishing a committee to identify the requirements needed to commit New Hampshire to a goal of 50 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2040.

“I may sound like a broken record, but it is clear the Democrats do not recognize how groundbreaking and visionary the state’s 10-year energy plan, introduced by Governor Sununu, truly is. We have no way of knowing what our technology will be capable of in 2040, but we do know that the private sector will deliver a better product than any government mandate will. Government mandated goals being placed on the private sector is not a tenet of our Live Free or Die state, and legislators should soundly reject this big government scheme."

SB 7-FN-L, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART ACT).

“Democrats are really going out on a limb here - their “SMART” Act is anything but smart for Granite Staters who care about voter integrity. We should not be tasking any government agency with registering voters, and we should not weaken New Hampshire’s voter laws to make it easier for non-residents to register and fraudulently vote in the State of New Hampshire. This SMART Act is dumb for the Granite State and should be soundly rejected by the legislators considering it.”

SB 71, relative to the election of delegates to party conventions.

“This is a Democrat ploy to get involved in how the New Hampshire Republican Party is structured and operated. We would never use government to impact how the Democrats in New Hampshire organize and operate as a party, and this is a flawed and partisan bill that would upend our New Hampshire Republican State Committee Bylaws. Not one Republican asked or sponsored this legislation, and political parties in New Hampshire should be allowed to govern themselves without interference from the party down the street; surely we can agree this is a bad precedent that threatens the right to organize political parties when the legislature swings from one party to the other.”

SB 122-FN, relative to expenditures from the energy efficiency fund.

“This bill will increase electric rates $11 million a year. At a time when businesses & consumers are clamoring for lower electric rates, New Hampshire Democrats want to increase the cost of doing business and the cost of living in the Granite State. This is wrong and antithetical to the idea of the New Hampshire Advantage, and simply continues the Democrats’ War on Live Free or Die. Republicans will stand with ratepayers and with Governor Sununu’s superb 10-year Energy Plan and reject this excessive rate hike.”

SB 135-FN-A, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax and SB 301-FN-A-L, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax, and relative to revenue sharing with cities and towns.

“We have seen month after month the success of our employer tax relief here in New Hampshire - revenues go up, unemployment goes down, and more money goes into the pockets of Granite Staters working higher-paying jobs. These two proposals will raise taxes and increase the costs to live, work, and invest in the State of New Hampshire. While Democrats cannot stand to let employers keep more of their own money to increase pay, employees, and investments in their businesses, Republicans will not stand for this anti-prosperity agenda being pushed. Republicans will reject this legislation wholeheartedly and the negative effect it will have on our strong Granite State economy.”