February 27th and 28th Key New Hampshire House Bills


February 27, 2019

Joe Sweeney

Concord, NH - NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek released the following statements regarding New Hampshire House bills up for consideration this week in Concord:

HB 696 AN ACT establishing a protective order for vulnerable adults.

“As written, HB 696 creates a new standard in New Hampshire that will allow third parties to petition the courts to take away a person’s Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights without due process. An attack on one person’s due process under the law is an attack on all. This “red flag” legislation does not reduce gun violence and will only lead to the deterioration of further rights enshrined in the United States and New Hampshire constitutions. We must stand firm for our second amendment and article 2A rights, and we cannot allow the government to encroach upon our right to self-defense. HB 696 is a lawyer’s dream as it will create far more time in courts for Granite Staters simply seeking to exercise their rights. It should be soundly rejected, and all legislators should oppose this anti-Second Amendment legislation.”

HB 564 AN ACT relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones.

“Per our state’s statute, the definition of safe school zone states that school property includes any real property, public or private, that is used for school purposes including educational and extra-curricular activity sponsored programs. This ambiguity opens up Granite Staters to sudden revocations of their rights, depending on school field trips and travel plans. We ought not to make criminals out of law abiding Granite Staters by allowing ambiguous and unclear laws that are pushed for purely partisan political reasons. The New Hampshire School Boards Association is opposed to this legislation as it adds confusing layers to our existing statutes and obfuscates local control; legislators would be wise to reject HB 564.”

HB 682 establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

“As Oscar Wilde once said, the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. HB 682 has at least 20 new or increased fees, with a total increase of nearly 3 million dollars, an unjustifiable nearly 3 times increase in current fees. This is yet another bill that allows the commissioner of a department to adjust fees as they see fit, taking power away from our legislators and giving them to unelected bureaucrats. The people send their representatives to Concord to fight for their interests and their control, not to increase fees and give more power to department heads. HB 682 does both while expanding bureaucracy, and should be summarily rejected.”

HB 232 relative to enforcement of immigration laws and the prohibition of sanctuary policies.

“After several towns and law enforcement agencies within New Hampshire have decided to publicly announce they would provide sanctuary to criminals who are violating our nation’s immigration laws, HB 232 is more needed than ever. We cannot allow New Hampshire communities to further violate state and federal law and provide refuge for criminals, and we should expect our state police, sheriff offices, and local police departments will work with federal immigration officials if pending immigration charges are found against someone under their jurisdiction. New Hampshire law enforcement officers should be allowed to enforce the law, and all laws, and not be withheld from enforcing the law through local elected officials and political actors. Republicans will make it clear that they oppose sanctuary cities and towns in the Granite State protecting all New Hampshire citizens; Democrats will make it clear that they put criminals over citizens if they vote against HB 232.”

HB 481-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor.

“Recreational use of marijuana would not benefit or help our state or the people of New Hampshire. Over 7,000 Granite Staters utilize therapeutic cannabis, and house committee members heard extensive testimony regarding the effects of marijuana on developing brain functions and the connection to future substance abuse. The state decriminalized marijuana in 2017 for possession of smaller amounts. We should not be creating a fully commercialized marijuana industry that would put New Hampshire out of step and out of line with federal law. Both Democrat Governors Lynch and Hassan were right to oppose full-blown legalization when discussed and proposed during their administrations, and Governor Sununu is right to oppose it now.”

HB 623, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax.

“HB 623 repeals scheduled reductions to the business tax rate and increases taxes on small businesses by 12.5%. With record revenues and a roaring economy, that continues to employ the highest number of Granite Staters in history month after month.  By passing this bill, New Hampshire Democrats continue their war on jobs and on our Live Free or Die spirit. The message this sends? By reversing tax policy upon a partisan flip of our legislature, out of state businesses looking to move will be less likely to come and invest in New Hampshire if they fear their taxes will increase upon relocation. Our high revenues, far beyond expectations, shows that Democrats in New Hampshire won’t rest until we are the least business friendly state in the region. Legislators who want to see a continuation of our vibrant New Hampshire economy should soundly reject HB 623.”

HB 686 relative to calculating and funding the interim cost of an opportunity for an adequate education and extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains.

“HB 686 calls for capital gains to be taxed at the same rate as the current interest and dividends tax, which is 5 percent. This bill is nothing more than a Florida stimulus package, and will move potential New Hampshire investment and business out-of-state. In an era of start-up businesses that are driven by investors, we should not be making it more expensive for New Hampshire residents to invest in our economy by taxing business creation, risk taking, and investments. New Hampshire should be proud that we currently lack a capital gains tax, yet Democrats want to take us down the precarious path by enacting one. This will undoubtedly lead to an overall decrease in tax revenue, as all new taxes will diminish economic activity and erase previous economic growth. Our state’s revenues continue to perform at record highs - we should allow that to continue by voting against new taxes like this Democrat capital gains tax.”