NH House: April 2009 Archives
We return to the House on Wednesday and, unlike the first week of April when we had a couple of marathon sessions featuring a number of highly controversial bills, this week’s calendar is very light. In fact, there are only 20 bills on the consent calendar and three bills on the regular calendar. The session will begin at 1PM and the speaker has left the morning open for executive sessions. I would like once again to impress upon our members how very important it is to attend your committee executive sessions. If you cannot make it for any reason, please let leadership now in advance. If it is for medical reasons, we have the option of replacing you on the committee for the executive session.
I have scheduled a caucus for Wednesday at 12:30 PM (Rooms 305-07, LOB) in case something should come up between now and session day. I want to maintain an open flow of information between the caucus and our leadership team and our caucuses are a good platform to do this.
Crossover time is a good time for leadership stand back and take a good look at the first half of the legislative session—at things that we did right and at areas where we can improve—and we can always improve upon our methods and process. There area a couple changes that we will be instituting for the balance of this session.
Last week I began meeting with Republicans, committee by committee, to get their input on what we can do help members do their jobs, not only in committee but on the House floor as well. I intend to continue these meetings over the next couple of weeks until I have met with Republicans on everyone of our standing committees. The first get together last week was extremely helpful in gathering information from members of our caucus and beginning to develop strategy for the remainder of this session.
One of the changes that we plan on making concerns the white sheet that we issue on session day. Beginning with the next session, the white sheet will include every bill that is listed on the regular calendar, regardless of whether or not Republican leadership has taken a position on the legislation. Additionally, the white sheet will provide you with a breakdown of the Republican vote total on each bill. If a bill passes out of committee, 12-8 for example, we will let you know where the eight Republicans stood on the issue. Our goal is to give you an even better idea of where Republicans stood on every bill in helping you to be more informed when voting. This information will be gathered by our Republican Policy Leaders and the Committee Whips and will be passed along to the House Republican Office for use on the white sheets.
There has also been some concern when it comes to strategy on the floor, especially when parliamentary maneuvering results in a series of additional votes that may not necessarily show up on the white sheet. As a result I intend to name a House Republican Floor Leader who will be in charge of all floor debates, parliamentary inquiries and etc. Leadership also intends to be far more aggressive on the floor when it comes to the debates. I want to make sure that all of our members know exactly where leadership stands on every single issue that comes up for a vote. We should also all be on the same page when it comes to roll call votes because there are times when a number of Democrats will join us on an issue provided there is no roll call vote on the bill.
It is also important that we continue working together with the Republican State Committee, as well as our colleagues in the Senate to keep our constituents well informed as to what is happening at the State House. We have received some excellent press of late and we certainly don’t want to wait until November of an election year to start educating our constituents. This should be an ongoing process. Jim and Paul from our office have been meeting on a weekly basis with representatives from both the State Committee and the Senate. This has proved very useful in keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to getting the message out on important issues. Ryan Williams has done a great job in taking information provided to him by both the House and Senate and turning it into press releases, op-eds, etc.
If we keep our constituents well informed now about what the Democrats are doing in Concord, when the elections roll around, the voters will have a clear choice at the polls: that of taxing and spending or the Republican alternative that reduces spending and ensures that we live within our means.
A number of you have requested comparative figures for use in discussing the budget with your constituents. According to Rep. Kurk, our policy leader on Finance, the figures for the general funds (not the total budget), including regular and education spending, are $2.4 million for 2010 and $2.5 million for 2011 for a total of $5M for the biennium. This compares with estimated spending (not appropriations) for 2008 of $4.4 million and $2.4 million for 2009 for a total of $4.8 for the current biennium. This is a 3.9% increase. Of course, total spending increased even more, but that includes federal funds, and counts the stimulus and stabilization monies. The Republican budget totaled $4,740.2 for the 2010/11 biennium, a decrease of -2.6% from 2008/09 spending.
Once again, if you need assistance in getting out your message, our office can help you organize your thoughts and get them to the media in your area. Feel free to use information found in the Republican Report in writing letters and op-eds for your local newspaper.
I look forward to meeting with all of you over the next couple of weeks so we can formulate our strategy for the rest of the session together.
Wed., April 22 Republican Caucus—12:30 PM Rooms 305-307, LOB
House Session—10:00 AM
Thurs., April 30 Last day to report Senate bills going to a second committee.
Thurs., May 7 Last day to act on Senate bills going to a second committee.
Thurs., May 28 Last day to report all remaining Senate bills. Last day to report list of retained Senate bills.
April 13, 2009 (603)225-9341
MARTIN WANTS SEATBELT MANDATE
Candidate Continues To Reveal Support For Radical Democrat Agenda
CONCORD – In an interview in Sunday’s Concord Monitor, State Senate candidate Willard “Bud” Martin announced his support for a seatbelt mandate and continued to reveal his allegiance to the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the Legislature. Martin said that he supports legislation that would force New Hampshire residents to wear seatbelts – even on private property – or face steep fines. It also authorizes law enforcement officials to stop motorists who they simply suspect of not wearing a seatbelt.
“Bud Martin continues to show District 3 voters that he is a far-left politician who supports the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the Legislature,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Communications Director Ryan Williams. “It’s now obvious that Bud Martin’s attempt to portray himself as an independent minded candidate is just another example of the deceptive ‘smoke and mirrors’ strategy he is employing in this campaign.”
Martin also continued to confuse voters about his position on same-sex marriage, refusing to tell The Monitor if he would support a bill to establish it. He declined to give a “yes-or-no answer” on how he would vote on the legislation – despite telling Foster’s Daily Democrat on Friday that he would “support” it. In Friday’s Conway Daily Sun The Democrat State Committee gave a different explanation of Mr. Martin’s position, claiming that he was still listening to voters and would take a stand on the bill at some point “down the line.”
“Bud Martin has spent so much time trying to confuse voters that he is even starting to confuse himself. He's done such a thorough job trying to obscure his support for the Democrats’ radical agenda that not even Bud Martin seems to know where Bud Martin stands these days,” concluded Williams.
Yesterday Willard “Bud” Martin Revealed His Support For The Seatbelt Mandate:
Concord Monitor: “Mandatory seatbelts. Martin supports, Bradley opposes.” (4/12/09)
Willard “Bud” Martin Also Refused To Give A “Yes-Or-No” Answer On How He Would Vote On Legislation To Establish Same-Sex Marriage:
Concord Monitor: “Asked for his position on same-sex marriage, Martin didn't offer a yes-or-no answer…” (4/12/09)
But On Friday, Willard “Bud” Martin Told Fosters Daily Democrat That He Would “Support” The Bill:
Fosters Daily Democrat: “I support it, and I do because my experience tells me that it is important to our fabric as a community.” (4/10/09)
But On The Same Day, The Democrat State Committee Told The Conway Daily Sun He Wasn’t Going To Take A Position On Same Sex Marriage:
Conway Daily Sun:
“Bud is going to ensure he listens to his constituents,’ [Democrat
State Committee Executive Director Mike] Brunelle said of social issues.
‘And that all will be decided down the line.’” (4/10/09)
I have said all along that our caucus had to remain solidified when it came to votes on important fiscal matters and this week we far exceeded any expectations. In fact, on 14 crucial roll call votes dealing with HB1 and HB2 and their various amendments, House Republicans stayed together 98% of the time! As a matter of fact, on six of those crucial votes I am proud of the fact that we had 100% Republican support! That is the type of unity that will pay off in the next election. The voters of this state are watching and listening and, in November 2010, they will hold House Democrats accountable for what they have done this week.
Despite being faced with the worst recession in recent memory, House Democrats continue to ignore the current economic crisis. Instead they voted to unfairly raise numerous taxes while creating several new ones. What they have done this week will hurt our families and negatively impact the New Hampshire Advantage with the region for many years to come.
Their answer to this recession, which has lasted for 17 months, was to impose a capital gains “income” tax that will remove $75M out of the New Hampshire economy; impose an increase in the rooms and meals tax that will take $39M out of the economy; increase the tax on tobacco and take $57M out of the economy; impose a new estate (“death”) tax and remove $10M from our economy; create a tax on gambling winnings and take $16M out of the economy; nearly double the gasoline tax and, over the biennium, take $76M out of our economy; fail to fund school building aid and impose an $83M local property tax increase and take that amount out of the economy; and failed to fund municipal revenue sharing that will result in taking $50M away from local property tax payers.
If you add up all of their moves to raise taxes and downshift the financial burden to the local municipalities you are talking about more than $350M taken out of the New Hampshire economy. How will this effect NH families? A family of four, over the next biennium, will pay more than $1,000 in additional taxes. This is just not good public policy. House Democrats have adopted a budget that spends more than we can afford with our existing tax structure—the majority’s position of raising and spending more money is not only bad public policy but is irresponsible in the middle of a recession. In fact, it is just the opposite of what’s being done in Washington. We should not be acting contrary to the national position in trying to work our way out of the recession.
The Democrats “spin” is that whatever we pass over to the Senate, it would get “fixed.” But what they failed to mention is that, when we square off against the senate in a committee of conference, we are bound to defend the house position—a position of excessive spending and higher taxes. The right thing would have been to suspend the necessary rules, recommit the bill to the finance committee and instruct them to produce a budget that could be balanced without additional taxes. That would have been the right thing to do for the people of this state.
Once again, I cannot tell you all enough how much I appreciate your hard work and the fact the we remained together in our attempt to defeat the majority’s budget. We certainly will have a lot of fodder for future campaigns when we will hold the Democrats accountable for what they have done this week. With no session next week, we will not be holding a Republican caucus. The Senate bills will start coming over following crossover and we will be taking a closer look at many of the issues that we will be voting on in the coming weeks. I am hoping that our caucus will continue to remain solidly together.
|% of Reps||Dem.||% of Dems|
|HB 1-Majority Amend||99%||1||9||96%|
|School Building Aid Amend||100%||0||14||93%|
|Revenue Sharing Amend.||100%||0||11||95%|
|HB 1-Minority Amend||97%||4||2||99%|
|HB 2-Majority Amend.||100%||0||13||93%|
|Capital Gains Tax||100%||0||16||92%|
|Rooms & Meals Tax||100%||0||20||96%|
|Gambling Winnings Tax||97%||5||13||93%|
Concord—In response to a state budget proposal from House Democrats that would cost the taxpayers of New Hampshire $133 million in additional property taxes, House Republicans today offered their alternative budget at a press conference held in Concord.
“Two years ago we warned that the Democrats were overspending and relying on over- inflated revenue estimates but they chose to ignore us,” said House Republican Leader Sherm Packard (r-Londonderry) “This time around we believe that it is necessary and appropriate to offer an alternative budget that better serves the citizens of this state,” he added.
Republican members on House Finance, led by Policy Leader Neal Kurk (r-Weare) and Committee Whip Doug Scamman (r-Stratham), worked to develop an alternative proposal that balances the state budget without creating any new taxes or raising any of the existing taxes. This is in contrast to a Democrat budget that proposes a capital gains income tax and an inheritance tax while ignoring the full legislative process of committee and floor votes. Their budget proposal also increases taxes on gambling winnings, doubles the gas tax, increases the rooms and meals tax by nearly ten percent and, for the fourth time in five years, raises the cigarette tax.
“We are living in a recession,” added Rep. Neal Kurk, “and in a time of recession it is bad public policy to raise taxes. Finance Republicans realize that and will present a balanced budget that asks the state to live within its means with a modest 2.6% budget cut over the biennium, the same kind of sacrifices we are making at home. Why should the state not do the same? The fact is, the Democrat budget will cost every man, woman and child in this state $300 and in this economy, it’s just too much.”
Unlike the Democrat-proposed budget, Republicans also restore $83 million in school construction aid and fully funds the state’s responsibility of state revenue sharing with local municipalities.
“We believe that we have come up with a budget that not only funds essential state services, but does so within existing state revenues,” concluded Rep. Packard. “It is clear that House Democrats are leading us down the road toward a sales or income tax with their tax and spend approach to state government.”
For further information
contact the House Republican Office