House and Senate Bills Today, March 14th


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.”