February 2011 Archives

Republican Report - Feb. 25, 2011

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A message from the House Republican Leader.....

The session this week was extremely productive as we begin to turn our Republican Agenda into reality. When we presented our revenue estimates a few weeks ago, we also included a number of taxes totaling $1.6 million dollars that we intend to cut. The speaker also made it very clear at the time that, should revenues exceed our expectations, we are prepared to put the additional revenue into replenishing the Rainy Day Fund AND into cutting taxes further.

Over the past two sessions we have taken it a step further by passing legislation that will allow us to cut taxes even further should the economy allow for it later in the session.

We passed HB 37 reestablishing the exemption to the communications services tax for the first $12 of the monthly gross charge for a residential customer’s telephone exchange access and exchange service. This will help our citizens who need it most in this state. We also passed HB 166 reducing the rate of the meals and rooms tax from 9% to 8%. This increase was part of the infamous “midnight hour” tax increases by the Democrats that also included extending the tax to campgrounds. When they raised the meals and rooms taxc it obviously had a negative impact on the tourism industry, small business and the people of New Hampshire.

Some of you were concerned that we were passing tax cuts only to table them moments later. But the reality is, by passing these cuts, they not only became “official” House positions, but they can now be removed from the table during the committee of conference on the budget later this year. It also affords you the ability to let your constituents know, when it is time to campaign again, that you did, in fact, vote to cut both of these taxes.

We did, however, also pass a couple of bills that will repeal a few of the more than 100 tax and fee hikes that the Democrats relied upon to balance their budget...


...In truth, the House leadership has done an admirable job focusing on the budget. Members of the House Ways and Means and Finance Committees have worked tirelessly — since December, before the session officially began — to prepare for budgeting...

—Op-Ed, Union Leader, Feb. 18, 2011
...We passed HB 187, which changes the carry forward periods for the business enterprise tax (BET) credit against the business profits tax (BPT). One of the main goals of our Republican Agenda is to support legislation that helps to promote new business and create jobs in New Hampshire and this legislation fulfills that promise. The extension of the carry forward period will give New Hampshire businesses ample opportunity to utilize the credit. The jobs and capital improvements that are likely to be created due to this credit extension will go a long way toward improving the business environment in our state.


Republican Report - Feb. 18, 2011

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A message from the House Republican Leader.....

Inflated revenue estimates, new taxes and fees, more downshifting to our cities and towns, and the same old accounting gimmicks—that pretty much describes the essence of Governor John Lynch’s budget that he presented this week to the House Finance committee this week.

When Governor Lynch spoke in more broader terms before the joint session of the legislature, it appeared at first glance that it was a good first step in the long budgetary process. But as always, the devil is in the details. While he did make some budget cuts in his proposal, they fell well short of the nearly $1 billion necessary to close the budget gap created by Democrats over the past four years.

Instead of using responsible and realistic revenue figures consistent with what the House Ways and Means committee and his own department heads presented, he chose instead to use numbers considerably higher to better hide his spending.

The governor is falling into the same trap that he and the rest of the State House Democrats did over the past four years. His revenue numbers are clearly way too optimistic given the current economic climate.

His budget revenue estimates are $290 million higher than those of the House for FY12-13 budget, and $343 million higher for the combined years of FY11-FY13. The biggest area of disagreement with the governor is over the Business Profits Tax (BPT). Ways and Means anticipates a 4.5% increase in the BPT for the balance of this year, a 2% increase for 2012, and a 3% increase for 2013. Meanwhile, the governor is showing a 10.6% increase for the balance of this year, a 6.7% increase for 2012, and a 6.3% increase for 2013. Even the Department of Revenue Administration, the governor’s own agency, told us that their most optimistic scenario would be 5%, but they strongly advised against that number. So while his own department told House Ways and Means that they would not be comfortable going over 2%, Governor Lynch came in at an average of 6.5%!

When the Democrats bonded $160 million in school building aid, they chose to as we say, “kick the can” down the road to the next generation. Over the next 20 years we will be paying the bill for theat with money that they removed from rooms and meals taxes and placed into a restricted account to pay the principal and interest. As a result, we now no longer have $14.4 million a year available to us in meals and rooms money—and Governor Lynch is actually “double counting” the money by including it in unrestricted revenue.

Downshifting....again

Granite Oath PAC - Meet Tim Pawlenty

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Attitash Grand Summit HotelHere's an event you won't want to miss.....

The Carroll County Republicans have a super Lincoln Day Dinner event planned for 5:30 pm on Saturday, March 5 at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett, NH.  With the snowfall today, it's sure to be gorgeous up there (don't forget your camera!)  If you're a skier, why not head up with your significant other, ski earlier in the day, and then head over for a great dinner featuring Wolfeboro's summer+ resident, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts!

See the attachments for all the details.  If you have questions or want more details, please contact Beverly Bruce at Beverly@Brucegroup.net or call Pat Fleck at 603-356-9649.  Jan and I will be at this event; we hope to see you there, too!

Alan Glassman, Belknap County Chair
CarrollCountyLincolnMittRomneyAnnouncement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                             

February 23, 2011
CONTACT: Christine Baratta  
603-225-9341


RNC CHAIR REINCE PRIEBUS TO SPEAK AT MARCH NHGOP FUNDRAISER

Concord – The New Hampshire Republican State Committee is pleased to announce the

First in the Nation Celebration” Fundraiser will be held March 29th at the Grappone Center in Concord.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as the keynote speaker.  Chairman Kimball will present former state GOP chair and Gov. John H. Sununu with a new award, called the "First-in-the-Nation Excellence Award" for Governor Sununu's decades of dedication and service to the Republican Party.

“Chairman Priebus understands the critical importance fundraising will play in allowing our Party to maintain present majorities in both the House and the Senate, as well as supporting our state GOP effort to expand the Republican Party,” said Kimball.  

 “We must return principled conservative Republican leadership to the governor’s office, as well as deliver a strong Republican nominee who will defeat President Obama in 2012.  New Hampshire and our country cannot afford another Obama term.  Here in New Hampshire and Washington D.C., the Democrats have clearly shown they have no interest in creating an environment where small businesses can flourish.  In fact, they’ve done just the opposite.  Their continuous tax and regulatory attack on business will continue to destroy jobs and delay any chance of economic recovery.  I am committed to supporting the Republican House and Senate in bringing back fiscal sanity in our state, through strong, conservative, business-friendly legislation.”

For more information, please contact Ellen Christo, Director of Development and Business Relations at ellen@nhgop.org.

###

 
About Chairman Reince Priebus:

On January 14th, 2011, Reince Priebus was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee. As Chairman of the RNC, Reince has pledged to unite the Republican Party behind a solid business plan to restore faith in Republican donors and communicate to the American public to reach our common goal – electing Republicans.

A successful chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Reince created the framework that brought about one of the most historic election cycles Wisconsin has ever experienced.  During Reince’s tenure, Republicans in Wisconsin not only defeated Russ Feingold by electing citizen legislator Ron Johnson to the Senate, but they gained two additional U.S. House seats, won the Governor’s office, took back both the state Assembly and the state Senate and defeated the leaders of both of those chambers.

Reince has a long history in Republican politics, having served on his first campaign at the age of 16.  Since then, he worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party of Wisconsin as 1st Congressional District Chairman, State Party Treasurer, First Vice Chair, and eventually State Party Chairman.  In 2009 Reince served as General Counsel to the RNC, a role in which he volunteered his time to help manage the RNC’s most difficult challenges.

Reince is happily married to his wife, Sally.  They have two young children, Jack and Grace.  Although Wisconsinites at heart, Sally, Jack and Grace are joining Reince in Washington, DC for his tenure as Chairman.
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The following statement is from House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) in response to a New Hampshire Consumer Confidence Index poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

“The results of this survey confirm that we are headed in the right direction in New Hampshire.  The voters of this state sent Republicans to Concord in large numbers to return fiscal sanity to the State House.  Increased taxes, over spending, downshifting additional costs to our communities, and bonding our children’s future is not the New Hampshire way, and under this legislature it is a thing of the past. The people of this state are now more bullish about the state’s economy than they have been in three years because of our strong commitment to making government live within its means—just as every household in this state must do.”

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Last Sunday in an op-ed column published by the Sunday Citizen, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mark Fernald illustrated well the logical fallacy some Democrats bring to the state budgeting process.

Fernald eloquently argued that the state's problem is not one of overspending on the part of Gov. Lynch and the once Democratically controlled Legislature. But rather New Hampshire has a structural problem that forces revenues to lag behind costs.
   
"New Hampshire's tax revenue grows more slowly than the economy as a whole. Our only broad-based tax is the property tax, which is used to fund school, municipal and county government. Our state taxes are narrow-based taxes, and some of them have grown much slower than the economy."
Fernald goes on:
   
"In the past, the Legislature would have tinkered with state taxes to maintain state services. Not this Legislature. The majority party adheres to an ideology that no part of government is so important as to justify any change in our revenue structure. If revenues do not meet needs, then needs will not be met."
He then concludes:
   
"With a projected deficit equal to 12 percent of the general fund budget, will nothing be spared? After mass murder by a mentally-ill man in Tucson, will our legislature cut funding for community mental health centers? Will it throw children out of day care centers and take away their health care? Will it cut state aid to schools and municipalities, solving the state's fiscal problem on the backs of property taxpayers? Will state troopers be laid off?" 
What Fernald's argument misses - or ignores - is who would have to pick up the tab for higher property tax rates and increased fees to pay the bill he argues should be born to support essential services.
   
As he aptly noted, the Legislature has already added and increased a number of taxes over the last couple of decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
   
  • The tobacco tax was increased in 1989, 1990, 1997, and 2009.
  • The business enterprise tax was added in 1993.
  • The real estate transfer tax was increased in 1989.
  • The telecommunications tax was increased in 1999 and 2001.
  • The interest and dividends tax was broadened in 1995.
  • The meals and rooms tax was increased in 1981 and 2009.
Many if not most of these increases have fallen on New Hampshire residents whose pockets have been repeatedly picked in the past ... and would continue to be if Democrats still controlled the legislature.
   
The Democratic argument of increasing taxes and fees might have credence - briefly - if the Legislature had successfully cut state spending to the bone. And if the only services the state provided were the ones Fernald listed. But that is clearly not the case.
   
Even when Gov. Lynch had a Democratic majority in the legislature he found creative ways to trim expenses. While some were outlandish and ill-advised, others were truly creative and long-sought.
   
But other changes are long overdue, some of which were noted in Gov. Lynch's budget address on Tuesday. Better use of the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center facility in Manchester, addressing the inefficiencies of some 4,000 contracts awarded to outside service providers and more scrutiny of how those contracts and others are awarded - just to name just a few.
   
The lesson to be learned from recent history and the financial sinkhole the state finds itself in is not an expansion or augmentation of revenue sources. It is that government should only be doing what is necessary and as efficiently as is humanly possible.
   
Of course, the issue for some is to leverage a state income or sales tax into the revenue mix.
   
No accusation as to Fernald's motivation in arguing that the state depends too much on the wrong mix of taxes and fees. But as a lot, the push for a broad-based tax comes from the Democratic side of the political aisle. Efforts such as that of the Fair Tax Coalition - despite protests to the contrary - are aimed a clearing the way for a sales or income tax.
   
Foster's Sunday Citizen has not looked favorably on "government by petition" as is available in the states of Maine and Massachusetts. But perhaps a bill in the Legislature that would ban an income tax should be considered. In the meantime, the budget path laid out by Republican House Speaker William O'Brien, of spending only what the state takes in, will be order of the day for the upcoming biennium. That is as it should be and must be

MSMtWashington.jpg

SAVE-THE-DATE



BELKNAP COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE

ANNUAL LINCOLN’S DAY DINNER


FIRST-IN-THE-NATION

PRESIDENTIAL CRUISE


ON THE


M/S MOUNT WASHINGTON

FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011

6:00 PM



PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

and

STATE & NATIONAL DIGNITARIES


THE ‘DON’T MISS’ EVENT TO START THE SUMMER!!


Buffet Dinner, Entertainment, and Dancing


For more information: Alan@belknapcountyrepublicans.org



NH State Seal Color         State of New Hampshire

           SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

                                        
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shannon Shutts – (603) 271-3664
February 18, 2011                                                                                          


House Speaker Calls Education Funding Amendment “Critical,” to Announce House Funding Plan Next Week


CONCORD – Before today’s public hearings on CACR 7 and CACR 12, constitutional amendments regarding education funding, House Speaker William O’Brien announced that the House will release its plan for an education funding constitutional amendment next week.

House Speaker William O’Brien:

“Resolving the state’s lingering education funding situation is critical to ensuring that we can guarantee local control of schools.  We strongly believe that education decisions are best made between parents, teachers and local school boards, not in courtrooms.  That’s why, next week, we will be outlining the House plan to give the citizens of New Hampshire a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment that allows education funding decisions to stay out of courts.  Then, we can focus on a durable formula that targets education aid to those towns that truly need help.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2011
CONTACT: Christine Baratta
(603) 225-9341


NHGOP CALLS ON LYNCH TO DEMAND RESIGNATION OF RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN


Concord –Today the NHGOP called on Democratic National Committeeman and Transit Authority chairman Peter Burling to publicly apologize and resign from the taxpayer funded commission. In a recent interview to the Nashua Telegraph Burling accused House Speaker William O’Brien of assaulting the tradition of the House.

 “If Peter Burling is going to run a taxpayer funded commission, he needs to show more responsible behavior than his partisan outburst,” said NHGOP Communications Director Christine Baratta. “Furthermore, House records show how many times Burling engaged in the very same procedure as the former House Democratic Leader. The hypocrisy is absurd and merely an attempt to divert from Governor Lynch’s new budget plan that raises taxes by $250 million on the working families of New Hampshire.”

“For him to call the House Speaker, Majority Leader and other state representatives ‘thugs’ is deceitful, unethical, and a disservice to the people of New Hampshire.”

“If Burling is going to play partisan hackery, Governor Lynch needs to investigate immediately and demand his resignation from his taxpayer funded role as chairman of the rail authority.”

“House leadership is working every day to fix the budget crisis that Terrie Norelli, Burling and the Democrats brought upon the people by their irresponsible spending and abuse of taxpayer money. Enough is enough.”
From "The Camera":

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The New Hampshire Democratic Party's disinformation campaign (a political perpetual motion machine) has been charging Republicans in the Legislature with not focusing on the budget to the exclusion of everything else, like they promised. Balderdash.

First, Republicans never promised to legislate on budget matters only. Many campaigned on repealing same-sex marriage, restoring 2nd Amendment rights, and generally rolling back the entire Democratic agenda that was implemented for the past four years. After the election, many Republican House leaders said they would strive to put budget, tax and economic issues on the front burner, but they acknowledged that they would have to deal with many other issues, too.

On Day 1, the House and a legislative committee passed rules allowing guns in the State House. But as Democrats know, Day 1 of the legislative session is always the day when the rules are written. This was no distraction, it was standard rule-setting.

In truth, the House leadership has done an admirable job focusing on the budget. Members of the House Ways and Means and Finance Committees have worked tirelessly -- since December, before the session officially began -- to prepare for budgeting.

In the meantime, the governor was preparing his own budget. Legislators typically let the governor go first, then react to his proposal. That's what Democrats did when they controlled the House. Here is then-House Speaker Terrie Norelli speaking of budgeting in January 2009: "He's the chief executive officer, and we need his leadership on whatever changes have to happen here now."

While legislators wait for the governor's budget, they take care of smaller bills. This is always the procedure. There is nothing new or novel about it. For Democrats to pretend otherwise is deliberately deceitful. 

By Jennifer Keefe
jkeefe@fosters.com

Friday, February 18, 2011

 


DOVER — Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien has a simple approach to the state budget: Look at what revenues the state has and then budget in accordance with those revenues.

It's a method, he said, that appeals to taxpayers because that's how they handle their own households.

"It's become the policy of the House that we won't spend more money than has been projected," O'Brien said Thursday during a meeting with the Foster's editorial board. "And that's roughly in the general fund of $4.4 billion dollars for the two years."

If there is growth, he said, additional funds will go toward tax relief or replenishing the state's rainy day fund.

Such moves are part of the Republican agenda to stop downshifting costs to municipalities and to bring affordable government and jobs to New Hampshire.

But O'Brien and Republican House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, who joined for the meeting, said Thursday that Gov. John Lynch's budget, which was announced Tuesday, makes a false projection of revenues and creates additional taxes and fees.

Lynch's budget has stark contrasts to the budget put together by the House Republicans.

O'Brien said the Republican budget has $350 million less in revenues than Lynch's projection, which reflects a 2 percent increase in revenues.

He also said Lynch's revenue projections are $300 million more than what his agencies and departments are, and the Republican budget has about $50 to $60 million apart from his agencies and departments.

"The governor said there isn't going to be any tax increases, but his budget reimposes this two-year surcharge on motor vehicle registrations; it's raised approximately $90 million," O'Brien said. "He wants to put a $90 million tax on motor vehicle registrations."


Budget planners continue to shave

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Budget planners continue to shave

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN

Staff Writer
CONCORD – House budget writers confirmed their daunting task Thursday: to cut $450 million more than Gov. John Lynch did in his proposed $10.7 billion state budget to match their less rosy revenue estimates and to prevent deep cuts in aid to cities and towns.

Lynch spoke to House and Senate budget committees Thursday, defending his plan that spends $2.8 billion in state dollars.

The governor’s plan pares state spending 5.4 percent in the first year but thanks to higher revenue would increase spending 4.1 percent in the second.

House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, greeted Lynch’s opening appearance with a stinging statement that criticized Lynch for wanting to leave in place a $30 surcharge for those who register a car and truck every year.

Two weeks ago, O’Brien pledged the House would get rid of the $30 surcharge that raises $45 million a year to support state and local road and bridge work.

“The House is committed to delivering a fiscally responsible budget without new taxes, fees or by shifting costs to the backs of New Hampshire homeowners,” O’Brien said. “We will make the tough decisions to live within our means so that we can create an environment to help create jobs and grow our economy.”


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CITIES AND TOWNS FACE FURTHER DOWNSHIFTING

Lynch Budget Also Includes Tax Increases

Concord—With New Hampshire municipalities already struggling with the nearly $100 million in downshifting included in the current state budget by State House Democrats, they now face an $154M in additional costs thanks to Governor John Lynch.  The budget being delivered today to the House Finance committee includes several new taxes and fees along with the downshifting.

“The Governor claims his budget did not include tax increases.  It does, as the many new fees and bringing back a $90 million surcharge on motor vehicle registrations show.  In addition, by downshifting $154 million to cities and towns, he is absolutely raising local property taxes for working families and small businesses across the state.  Our citizens simply cannot afford to carry any more of a burden after the over 100 tax and fee increases of the past four years.”

According to figures released by the Legislative Budget Office (LBO), the Lynch Budget downshifts significant amounts of money in several areas.  The largest hit ($96.3M) came when the governor proposed eliminating the state subsidy for local retirement costs.  Other areas of significant downshift include Catastrophic Aid ($32.6M) and School Building Aid ($25.3M).

“While the governor’s budget was a good first step in the process, Republicans have made it clear that we will not support a budget that contains new taxes and fees or one that increases the burden on the taxpayers of this state through additional downshifting,” said House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem).  “In that respect, the governor’s budget is disappointing.”

Along with a number of new fee increases, Governor Lynch’s budget continues the $30 automobile registration fee, which will cost taxpayers $90M over the biennium.  He also continues the practice of bonding operating costs.  His budget calls for $15M to be bonded for kindergarten construction.
 
“Once again the governor is ‘kicking the can’ down the road by bonding operating costs.  We are already feeling the pain of having to pay for interest on past bonding and now he is looking to add further debt to future generations,” added Bettencourt.

“The House is committed to delivering a fiscally responsible budget without new taxes, fees or by shifting costs to the backs of New Hampshire homeowners.  We will make the tough decisions to live within our means so that we can create an environment to help create jobs and grow our economy,” said Speaker O’Brien.

Get Government Out of the Way and Let Businesses Grow

You’d never know it from watching the evening news, but dozens of meetings are held on Capitol Hill almost every day.  TV cameras only show up for high-profile sessions, such as a showdown between Congress and the White House over a controversial executive appointment.  They rarely turn out for less glamorous meetings that don’t make banner headlines.  That’s a shame, because those meetings are where serious, nitty-gritty discussions are held and where the groundwork for important decisions often begins.  I attended one such meeting last week, and I want you to know about it.

I have the honor of serving on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Its name may sound highfalutin, but the work it does is very important.

During last fall’s campaign, House Republicans released “A Pledge to America” that contained this commitment:  “Rein in the red tape factory in Washington D.C. and require Congress to approve any new regulation that would harm job creation or the economy.”  As part of the new Republican majority in the House, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee is ready to deliver on that pledge.
Last Thursday, we held a hearing on “Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation.”  In everyday English, that means “Getting government out of the way and freeing small businesses to grow and expand.”   For two hours, we heard about federal road blocks placed by bureaucrats.   We learned how serious this problem is, and how badly it is harming our economy.  Here’s what I found out.

A September 2010 report from the Small Business Administration found total regulatory costs amount to $1.75 trillion annually.  That’s nearly twice as much as all individual income taxes collected last year.  And guess who shoulders an unfairly large part of that cost?  Small businesses – the engine that drives our economy. 

The average cost burden on U.S. firms is approximately $161,000.  That’s more money than they contribute to the payroll tax for Social Security and Medicaid.  Small firms (20 workers or less) pay $10,585 per employee, compared to big companies (500 or more workers), who only pay $7,755 per employee.

What does this mean?  We’re hurting the very companies that have the potential to create the new jobs we need.  Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and have created 64 percent of all new jobs in recent years.

And guess who suffers?  Those regulatory costs are either passed on to you, through higher prices, or to workers, who get lower wages.  Just imagine what small businesses could do with the $10,585 per worker that is lost on regulatory expenses.  Imagine how many new jobs could be created, the better wages workers could receive, and the stronger communities we would have based on well-paying jobs.  That would generate a stronger revenue source for financially-troubled city and state governments, and would producer greater stability for everyone.

It’s time we get serious about this problem, and identify and remove onerous, job-destroying regulations.  Thursday’s Committee hearing was the first step in doing something about it.  The next step was action.

The next day, the House passed a resolution directing the committees to inventory and review federal agency rules and regulations that may unfairly harm the ability to create jobs and grow the economy.   The goal, as explained in “A Pledge to America,” is to enhance transparency and economic stability, with no major rule proposed by the Administration should be enforced without congressional approval.  (A “major rule” is a rule that would have an annual effect on the economy of at least $100 million or that would create a significant increase in costs or prices.)

The fight to restore responsibility and fiscal sanity to Washington, to get government off our backs and out of our pockets, won’t be won in a single big battle.  But it is winnable, and it will be won in a lengthy series of small victories, like this one, stretching over many months.

I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks.  In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contract me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov.  Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.  

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February 16, 2011

HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS “EVERGREEN” REPEAL
Follow through on pledged Republican Agenda Issue


Concord—In January, House Republicans presented a five-point agenda that would serve as a guide for legislation during the coming session.  Today in Concord, they delivered on one of their major promises to repeal the so-called Evergreen bill (SB1),  in a 282-70 roll call vote.

The legislation, passed under Democrat leadership in 2008, allows pay plans for public employees to continue after contracts expire, effectively ensuring teachers and other public employees that they will receive salary step increases based on years of experience instead of having their wages frozen when negotiators cannot agree to a new deal.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) called the legislation a “key” piece to the House Republican Agenda.  “This law clearly shifted the balance of power to unions during contract negotiations.  This will help our municipalities in protecting their budgets from costs not within their control,” he said.

In January, the legislation was passed by the Senate by an overwhelming 19-5 vote. Following today’s vote in the House, the bill will next head to the governor’s desk for his signature.  If the evergreen repeal is signed into law, only contracts with specific evergreen language negotiated by unions and employers would continue to be subject to evergreen provisions. For all other contracts, whether they were signed while the evergreen law was in place or after it was repealed, public employees would not see automatic salary step increases once the contracts expire.

“We will continue to adhere to our Republican Agenda,” added Bettencourt. “The people of this state have given us a trust and today is just one example of how we intend to follow through with our promises.  I urge Governor Lynch to do the right thing for our cities and towns and promptly sign this into law.”


DraftTrump2012.png
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    contact: 636-697-6858

COMMITTEE TO DRAFT DONALD TRUMP IN 2012 FORMED

National and New Hampshire Leaders Named

ST. CHARLES, MO. -- Decorated Iraq War veteran Nick McLaughlin of St. Charles, Missouri, has announced the formation of a grass-roots, all volunteer organization to draft New York developer Donald J. Trump for the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination.

McLaughlin saw combat in three tours in Iraq in the US Marine Corp and was hit by shrapnel from a car bomb in Ubush, Iraq. He was awarded a Purple Heart and nine other medals including a Presidential citation.

"Under Barak Obama, America has become a laughingstock around the world," said McLaughlin. "America needs a strong leader like Donald Trump to restore America's economic strength and respect around the world."

McLaughlin, who has never been active in politics before, said he had filed the committee with the Federal Election Commission and that the organization was not directed, authorized or funded by Trump. "I have never met Mr. Trump," said McLaughlin, "But I am certain he is the man America needs."

McLaughlin said the Draft Committee has posted a website at www.DraftTrump2012.com and would seek to collect one half million citizen signatures on petitions urging Trump to enter the 2012 contest.

McLaughlin also announced that Lynn Krogh, former Deputy Press Secretary for New York Governor George Pataki and former Executive Director of the Young Republican National Federation would serve as National Political Director of the Draft Trump 2012 Committee with the responsibility for setting up Draft Trump Committees in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, and other early caucus and primary states.

McLaughlin met Krogh at the Conservative Political Action Conference- CPAC.

McLaughlin also said that Mark J. LaLiberte would serve as the New Hampshire Draft Trump Coordinator. LaLiberte is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire. LaLiberte served as the public policy advisor for former Manchester Mayor (now Congressman) Frank Guinta, He also was an editor for Business NH Magazine and the Portsmouth Herald. LaLiberte holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in political science and a Masters of Public Administration degree, both from the University of New Hampshire.

McLaughlin said his group would work to convince Trump to declare his candidacy by the end of 2011 and urged supporters to go to www.DraftTrump2012.com to sign the citizen petition.

*****
DRAFT TRUMP 2012
3525 Fleet Lane, Saint Charles Mo 63301

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House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today offered the following statement in response to the Governor’s budget proposal.
 
“The Governor’s budget proposal is an important first step in the budgeting process. However, what is disappointing is that Governor Lynch missed a  tremendous opportunity to bring transformative change to New Hampshire state government.  Instead, he took a step back by overinflating revenue figures by nearly $300 million, which would set us up for budget deficits for the next two years.  What we need is a responsible and realistic budget for the citizens of New Hampshire, one that forces state government to live within its means.  While I applaud the Governor for the the spending cuts and savings he identified, that’s not what we got today.”
 
“Moreover, this budget includes a $30 car registration fee surcharge which is a huge burden to working families of New Hampshire, as well as other fees.  House Republicans have made clear that we will not raise any taxes and fees, or downshift additional costs to our municipalities and we intend to keep this commitment.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 15, 2011
CONTACT: Christine Baratta
(603) 225-9341
 

NHGOP STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR LYNCH’S BUDGET

Concord – Jack Kimball, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party released the following statement today regarding Governor John Lynch’s budget.

“John Lynch must be hiding in the massive hole he has dug us into.  Clearly he didn’t get the message on November 2nd.  The irresponsible spending has to stop.”

“The governor’s budget clearly demonstrates he is out of touch with his own departments and the people of New Hampshire.  It is packed with hidden fees, inflated numbers and broken promises.  It continues his out of control spending habit.”

”The taxpayer’s of New Hampshire don’t deserve to pay Governor Lynch’s tab. After years of the Democrats reckless spending and tax increases it is wrong to pass the burden onto New Hampshire families during these hard economic times.”

“I have full faith that Speaker O’Brien and Senator Bragdon will fix this mess in Concord and return fiscal sanity to our state.  One thing is clear: Governor Lynch has got to go.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 14, 2011
CONTACT: Christine Baratta
(603) 225-9341
 
KIMBALL HIRES ATTORNEY ELLEN CHRISTO IN NEW NHGOP POSITION
 
CONCORD - Jack Kimball, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, announced today that Attorney Ellen Christo will become the Director of Development and Business Relations in a newly created position to coordinate fundraising for the NHGOP and develop deeper relationships with the business community.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ellen to our team in this new position,” said Kimball.  “Ellen has a long record of activism and has a passion for fiscal Republican values. She will lead our fundraising efforts as we grow the party and maintain our majorities. For far too long New Hampshire businesses have not had a voice in Concord.  Now they do. I look forward to working closely with Ellen as we build strong relationships with the businesses across our state. Together we will fight for a business friendly environment of lower taxes and smaller government that will lead to job growth and economic stability for all New Hampshire citizens.”

“I am honored that the chairman has chosen me to lead the way on raising funds,” said Christo.  “I look forward to cultivating relationships and implementing a strategy to continue the growth of our party.  After a phenomenal election year for New Hampshire Republicans, we know that the Democrats failed liberal policies have been rejected by the people of New Hampshire.  We will work to return the governor’s office to principled Republican leadership and deliver New Hampshire in the Presidential election."

Ellen’s legal career focused on corporate litigation and government affairs. She has advised on campaign strategy, developed education policy and helped fundraise for numerous candidates on the state and federal level.  She most recently provided assistance to gubernatorial candidate John Stephen, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Congressman Frank Guinta. She has also worked on the Presidential campaign of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  She has held numerous fundraisers and advised the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which educates and champions the principles of free market economic policy and entrepreneurship.  Ellen was a 2010 Fellow in the Vesta Roy Excellence in Public Service Series and currently serves on their Board of Governors.

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Christine Baratta
Communications Director
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
press@nhgop.org
cell: 603-828-8026
office: 603-225-9341

From Wednesday's meeting:

Jack Kimball, new NH GOP Chair:


Other videos after the Jump:

Republican Report - February 11, 2011

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A message from the House Republican Leader.....

This week we will finally get a chance to see what Governor Lynch’s budget looks like when he addresses the legislature on Tuesday. He has already indicated through the media that his budget will not contain any new taxes. With Republicans controlling the majority in both the House and the Senate, I am glad that the governor realizes that taxes are off the table and that any attempt to increase taxes to cover additional spending is out of the question. As a matter of fact, we have made it quite clear that if revenues exceed expectations, the extra money will be used to replenish our Rainy Day Fund and to cut taxes.

We have identified seven taxes and fee adjustments (see below), totaling $1.6 million, that when subtracted from the Ways and Means committee revenue estimates, will leave us with a total maximum state budget combined general fund and education trust fund spending of $4.4 billion. We intend to keep spending for the budget within these revenue numbers.

Whipping SB 1 and HB 166

This week we will be whipping two bills that are a major part of the House Republican Agenda: cutting taxes repealing the so called Evergreen law.

SB1 would eliminate the automatic continuation requirement for public employee collective bargaining. When the Democrats passed this bill last session, it clearly shifted the balance of power to unions during contract negotiations. We have pledged to protect NH taxpayers from unreasonable rates in their taxes. We need to return local control to our communities and remove state mandated provisions in local contracts. It will help municipalities to better control their budgets by avoiding costs that were not anticipated.

HB 166 is an attempt to overturn the 12.5% increase in the Meals and Rooms tax that the Democrats passed, without a public hearing, in the midnight hour of a budget session. When this tax was raised it had a negative impact on the tourism in the state, as well as small business. As part of our agenda, we have pledged to cut taxes, where possible. This bill was passed out of the Ways and Means committee, but offer a motion to table the legislation until later in the session when we have an even better idea of the revenue picture.

You should be hearing from your committee whip over the weekend. Again, please remember that our whips are merely gathering information to give leadership a better idea of where the caucus stands on the issue. Please return their emails and/or phone calls when contacted.

Once again this week we have included legislation that we have taken a preliminary position on, based on our Republican agenda. If you have questions or concerns with our positions, please contact me. I continue to hold office hours on Tuesday, from 10 to 11 A.M., and Thursday from 1 to 2 P.M..
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Granite State Poll Indicates that Republican Leadership is Headed in the Right Direction
 
 
With the State of New Hampshire facing a nearly $1 billion deficit there was some good news delivered today in Concord.  A poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center indicates that  65 percent of New Hampshire citizens think that the state is headed in the right direction.  The biggest issue among those polled is the economy and jobs, listed by 43 percent as their No. 1 concern.   Another 18 percent said they were most worried about the state budget, followed by education funding, high taxes and education quality.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (Salem) says the WMUR/UNH poll backs what Republicans have been saying all along--that people are most concerned about the economy, jobs, and taxes.  "What is most encouraging was the majority of those polled see that spending cuts are the best way to balance the budget, rather than new taxes.  Republicans were entrusted by the voters of this state to return fiscal sanity to state government.  We have been focused  on the budget and cutting spending since the final vote was cast last November and these latest poll numbers  results support our efforts.   We will continue to work in the best  interests of our citizens.  They are forced to  live within a  budget, and state government should be no different."

When asked what the most important problem that the state legislature should address, 25% said the state budget, followed by dealing with jobs and the state economy (23%), education funding (7%), taxes (6%), and the quality of education , solving the education funding crisis, and creating more jobs for the people of our state.

"These results fall right in line with the Republican Agenda that  we presented last week, which includes,  at the top of the list,  balancing the state budget," added Rep. Bettencourt.  "But we are also focused on fixing the state retirement system, solving the education funding crisis, and creating more jobs for the people of our state."
NHYR
NHYR_Banner.jpgContact: Kerry Marsh (603) 582-0119

NH Young Republicans Mark Reagan Centennial 

Smith, Sanborn Win 2011 Gipper Awards

(CONCORD) The New Hampshire Young Republican Federation marked President Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday by announcing that Molly Smith and Mark Sanborn have won the 2011 Gipper Award, given each year to the state’s outstanding young Republican activists.

Molly Smith is a first-term Representative from Hooksett and works at Easter Seals New Hampshire.  The New Hampshire native is a graduate of Laconia High School and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

“Molly is a leader of the new generation of Republican office holders in New Hampshire,” said NH Young Republican Chair Kerry Marsh, “She has shown a tireless commitment to helping elect Republicans across the state, and honors us with her work at the State House.”

Mark Sanborn got his political start with  Executive Councilor Ray Burton’s intern program before graduating from the University of New Hampshire. He has worked for Sen. Bob Smith, Con. Charlie Bass, and  for the Federal DOT as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Transportation. Sanborn owns Gate City Consulting in Nashua.  

“Mark was instrumental in the New Hampshire Young Republicans fundraising and candidate recruitment successes this past November,” Marsh added.  “With Mark as our Treasurer, we executed a fundraising and campaign plan that helped elect 24 Young Republicans; from State Representative, to County Treasurer, to Executive Council, and even Congress.”

The New Hampshire Young Republicans will honor the couple at a reception on Wednesday, February 16th at 5:30pm at the Upham Walker House in Concord.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2011

KIMBALL ANNOUNCES NH GOP COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Concord, NH- Jack Kimball, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, announced today that Christine Baratta will be the Communications Director for the NH Republican Party.

“I am delighted to welcome Christine to our team as Communications Director,” said Kimball.  “With her media experience and communications skills working on political campaigns, I am confident she has the ability to effectively cultivate our message of strong republican values.   Christine has a record of aggressively exposing the radical democrat agenda and I know she will work diligently to communicate the views of the NH GOP and keep a watchful eye on the democrats in Concord as we work to grow the party and sustain our majority at the State House.”
“I am thrilled to be working with the chairman and I am committed to work alongside republican state leaders and legislators to reinforce our conservative message,” said Baratta.
 
“I look forward to an exciting year welcoming the Republican presidential candidates as we gear up for the first in the nation primary.  The people of the Granite State spoke loud and clear in last November’s election by sending the tax and spend crowd in Concord packing in a clear rejection of the democrats ill-conceived policies and reckless spending habits.  Chairman Kimball is the leader who will unite the Republican Party while promoting conservative values of fiscal responsibility and limited government.”  
Prior to joining the NH GOP, Christine served as a communications consultant on state and federal campaigns in New England and was the Communications Director at Jim Bender for US Senate in New Hampshire.

Christine also has comprehensive media experience including working as a talk radio producer in Boston for over 10 years and covering the 2008 New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Election for Bloomberg News.
 
Contact: Christine Baratta, Communications Director, NH GOP-603-828-8026 *** press@nhgop.org 

UPDATE:  Please note that John Stephen is unable to attend the meeting as he is meeting with the Finance Committee on Feb 9.  Instead, Jack Kimball, the new NH GOP Chairman, will be our special speaker.

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Date:       02/09/11 (Wednesday)

Time:       5:30pm   Buffet Dinner ($14)
                6:30pm   Meeting

Place:      Shanghai Restaurant
                331 South Main Street
                Laconia, NH
                603 - 524 - 4100

                (see map below)

Agenda:
Special Speaker: John Stephen

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With Governor Lynch's proposed budget set to be presented to the legislature the following week on Feb. 15, John Stephen's talk/discussion about the budget is perfectly timed!!  John will explain the process that will take place over the coming months to balance the budget, and the obligation of our Republican State Representatives and State Senators to answer the call and lead the effort. John will highlight areas where he feels the budget needs to be cut and/or downsized, and the impact this would have.


Map to the Shang-hai:

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Joint News Release

For Immediate Release                                               
February 4, 2011
Contact: Senate/Carole Alfano, 271-7585
House/Shannon Shutts, 271-3664

HOUSE AND SENATE BEGIN OPEN-DATA EFFORTS IN SPIRIT OF TRANSPARENCY

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and Senate President Peter Bragdon (R-Milford) recently approved a new initiative regarding data sharing.

In the spirit of open government and transparency, the New Hampshire General Court implemented bulk data sharing downloads on its website.

This sort of bulk data is useful to groups and organizations interested in tracking legislation. Without the availability of bulk data downloads, data rich websites are often times vulnerable to a practice known to the tech savvy as data scraping, which is burdensome to websites.

“This new data sharing download replaces an out-of-date system that made tracking individual bills difficult and is an important component to the legislature’s continuing commitment to more open government,” said Bragdon. “We’ll start seeing its benefits immediately.”

“We are committed to bringing transparency to state government and making it easier for people to know what their government is doing. In addition this effort should remove excessive traffic and reduce the server load, which will in turn make use of the website much faster for the public,” said O’Brien.

Plans are underway to include roll calls votes as part of the data sharing.

RECENT COVERAGE:

http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/new-hampshire-opens-its-states-legislative-data

http://sunlightlabs.com/blog/2011/new-hampshire-open-legislative-data/

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State of New Hampshire

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

                                        

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shannon Shutts – (603) 271-3664
February 3, 2011                                                                                            
 

Speaker Signs First Bill of 2011 Session

CONCORD, NH—House Speaker William O’Brien (Mont Vernon) today signed HB 77, the first bill of the 2011 legislative session.

The bill maintains that town warrant articles cannot be altered into issues totally unrelated to their original intent.

HB 77 was expedited in order to take effect for this year’s budgets for SB 2 towns.
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Concord- House Speaker William O’Brien, Senate President Peter Bragdon and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today joined national leaders in calling for President Obama to have his administration move to expedite the lawsuit over the new national health care reform law to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Yesterday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley began collecting signatures for a letter from governors across the country to ask the President to bring quick resolution to this bill by speeding Supreme Court review.

 House Speaker William O’Brien

“The uncertainty of Obamacare throws our budget process into chaos.  This new law severely restricts the state’s ability to manage Medicaid, which is the largest program in New Hampshire’s government.  Given the tremendous fiscal challenges we face as we put together our plans for the next two years, not knowing whether the law will remain is a major impact to our state, and every state.  That’s why we ask the President to expedite the appeals process for the law and allow states to make our budget decisions accordingly.”

Senate President Peter Bragdon

“Multiple rulings questioning the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care overhaul have caused confusion for state budgets and the finances of businesses and families across the country.  The time has come to settle the basic legal questions surrounding this intrusive federal mandate once and for all.  Doing so will allow the State of New Hampshire to move forward with our budgeting processes with the flexibility and control needed to make difficult decisions in tough economic times.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt
 
“I urge Governor Lynch to join Governor Haley in asking President Obama to expedite the Obamacare lawsuit to the Supreme Court. New Hampshire taxpayers deserve the stability to know what effect Obamacare’s mandates and restrictions will have on their lives. President Obama owes it to the states to move this law to a Supreme Court and allow the Justices to settle whether the two federal judges and 28 states are correct in their belief that this law is an unconstitutional monstrosity. If President Obama feels that this initiative is his top priority, he should stop dragging his feel and potentially wasting taxpayer money and push this matter quickly through to a conclusion.”
House Speaker William O’Brien

“I am pleased that Ward Bird will be going home to his family—he has suffered enough. However, we stand by our position that Mr. Bird should have received a full pardon from his unjust and excessive sentencing.”


House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“We will work quickly this session to change the law to ensure an unfortunate event such as this never happens again.”

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February 3, 2011

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House Majority Leader Calls On Gov. Lynch to

Help Return Fiscal Sanity to NH
Republicans Release Revenue Numbers That Will Serve as the Foundation for the Budget
 
Concord—House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today called upon Gov. Lynch to join with the Republican Majority in balancing a state budget without the accounting gimmicks, increased taxes, bonding, downshifting or unrealistic revenue figures that we have witnessed over the past four years.

“With today’s announcement of very realistic revenue numbers that will serve as the foundation of our budget, we are beginning a long process to deal with the state’s $1 Billion deficit,” said Bettencourt.  “Revenue estimates contained within the Governor’s previous budget were artificially inflated.  When those estimates fell substantially short, Democrats resorted to raising more than 100 taxes and fees, accounting gimmicks, downshifting, bonding and one-time monies to balance their budget.  The House Ways & Means committee, in bi-partisan fashion, has supported these numbers that we present to you today, and I urge the governor to be equally realistic in his revenue estimates when he delivers his budget later this month,” added Bettencourt.
At a press conference today in Concord, House Finance Chairman Ken Weyler (R-Kingston) said that Republicans were committed to crafting a state budget that will include no more $4.4 billion in anticipated revenue over the next two years.  “If state revenues far exceed our estimates, then we can look at investing in the Rainy Day Fund and lowering additional taxes and fees,” added Bettencourt.

The Republican budget plan also repeals the $30 car registration fee hike, eliminates the gambling winnings tax, and reduces the auto inspection sticker fees, marriage license feels, vital records fees, application fees for builders, license renewal fee increases for restaurants and lodging facilities, and pet store license fees.

“The families of New Hampshire are forced to live within their means and state government must lead by example.  I applaud the work of the members of both Finance and House Ways & Means, and I look forward to seeing a realistic set of revenue numbers for Governor Lynch that are fiscally responsible,” he concluded.

Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH01)  will be holding his first Town Hall since being elected.  Thus far:

Where:     Laconia City Hall

 45 Beacon Street East

  Laconia, NH  03246

When:      Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

Time:        6:30pm

What:       Town Hall meeting format.
BARNSTEAD-ALTON REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE (BARC) TO MEET ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Well, we're now well into 2011 and BARC is continuing to steam ahead!  John Stephen spoke last month to our members about the state budget, explaining what he feels needs to be done to address the deficit and to get the budget balanced.  This month, Peter Bearse will be our guest speaker, talking about his latest book and to hear your ideas which may be incorporated into it.  See below for a copy of the press release with all the details of our next meeting on Tuesday, February 8.  
 
Also, I'm pleased to announce that Aram Sisoian was elected to be the Treasurer of BARC.  My thanks to Aram for stepping up to the "plate".  We do have a couple of vacancies on the board - Vice Chair, and Secretary.  So if you're interested in being on the board of what has been described as the most active town Republican Committee in New Hampshire.

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The next meeting of the Barnstead-Alton Republican Committee (BARC) will be held on Tuesday, February 8 at 6:30 pm (5:30 pm if you wish to have dinner, at your option) at J.J. Goodwin's Restaurant, 769 Suncook Valley Highway (Rt 28), in Center Barnstead. Immediately following the business-portion of the meeting, Peter Bearse, former candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination to Congress in the 1st District, will discuss his “work-in-progress” book, and at the same time he’ll be looking for ideas and feedback from BARC members.   For more information, please send an email to Barnstead.Alton.RepubComm@gmail.com.
Following yesterday’s ruling by a federal judge that struck down President Obama’s health care reform law, House Speaker William O’Brien and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt called upon the Executive Council to block a contract on tomorrow’s agenda that would have the state Department of Insurance begin the process to implement the federal law in New Hampshire.  The contract (agenda item #19 on the 2/1/2011 G&C agenda) would spend $610,675.04 on the development of an insurance exchange.

Speaker William O’Brien

“In light of the fact that two federal judges, representing 28 states, have now found Obamacare unconstitutional, it would be frivolous to spend taxpayer dollars on implementing a law that could very well be thrown out.  Given the extraordinarily difficult fiscal situations for both the state and federal government, we simply can’t continue to spend money we don’t have on a program that may not exist in several months.  For this reason, I would urge the Executive Council to reject this contract to implement Obamacare, and send a clear message to our taxpayers that we will be responsible fiscal managers.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Yesterday’s federal court decision makes clear that Obamacare is an unconstitutional federal overreach that restricts our freedoms by forcing individuals to purchase health care or face serious penalties.  While the federal government may be giving taxpayer funds to implement this scheme, there are always strings attached.  At a time when we are looking at historic budget deficits in Washington and Concord, we need to be more careful with taxpayers’ money than to move forward on this contract.”

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