Skip: December 2010 Archives
First of all I would like to take a moment to wish you all the very happiest of holidays and a very prosperous New Year. I hope that you all have had the chance to spend some quality time with your family and friends and reflect upon what we have accomplished together over the past year. It has been an extremely busy year for us all, from campaigning for elective office to getting organized for what will be a very busy two years in the legislature—and a very crucial House session from the standpoint of the economic future of our state. It took the Democrats just four years to get us into this financial mess and, while we are not going to be able to completely turn things around overnight, we do have an opportunity to begin the process of “righting the ship” and returning fiscal sanity to New Hampshire.
Successful Informational Session
I would also like to thank you all for your kindness and patience as I have gotten my legs under me in preparation for the task at hand. I was delighted with the turnout for our informational caucus that leadership held earlier this month. The purpose was to provide you with an overview and analysis of three major policy areas of concentration, which included a thorough look at the budget, education funding, and the state retirement system. I strongly believe that we cannot start moving forward until we all fully understand and appreciate where we stand on these critical issues.
Hopefully you all left the caucus with a better overall understanding of these policy areas and the challenges that we face. Obviously our goal is to reach a fiscally responsible and balanced budget while creating an economy that promotes job growth.
My thanks to Reps. Kurk, Hawkins, Ladd, and Charlie Arlinghaus of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy for sharing their expertise and knowledge of the issues. Last week our office emailed to our caucus a brief synopsis of their presentations so that you will have some notes to refer to when talking with the media or your constituents.
Caucus Discussion Groups
As you know, one of the promises that I made when I ran for Majority Leader was to meet with members of our caucus in small groups to gather input and get a sense of which priorities are important to you. I have already met with half the caucus and it has become clear to me that we are united in our mission. Everyone is in agreement that the budget and taxes should be our first priority this session. The people of this state are counting on us to fulfill our campaign promises of living within our means and balancing the budget without any new taxes or fees. If you have not had the chance to meet with me and would like to get together, please contact my office.
Recently a petition containing 117 signatures requesting a pardon for Ward Bird of Moultonborough was presented to Governor John Lynch. Speaker O’Brien, along with myself and Rep. Will Panek of Farmington, who initiated the letter, met personally with the governor in his office. While Governor Lynch does not have statutory power to pardon Mr. Bird, he did assure us that he would ask the Attorney General’s office to move the petition forward in as timely a manner as possible so that the Executive Council could deal with the issue sometime in January. Unfortunately Mr. Bird did not make it home in time for the holidays, but we are hopeful that his release will come sooner rather than later.
Still smarting from their overwhelming losses at the polls on election day, the Democrats in this state continue to attack us on a number of fronts. In just four years they managed to raise 100 fees and taxes, increased spending, and downshifted millions of dollars to the taxpayers of this state. Their attacks on us today are merely an attempt to get us off message and to turn the court of public opinion back in their favor. Recently they stooped so low as to publicly chastise Rep. David Bates for a speech that he delivered while in a religious meeting. This was clearly a shameful attack on his First Amendment right to speech at a constitutionally protected assembly of religion.
There is no question that the New Hampshire Democratic Party is trying to take the spotlight off the terrible mess that they left in Concord—a mess that we were given a mandate to clean up by the voters on November 2. I quickly responded with a statement to media because I will not sit idly by when a member of our caucus is attacked by the minority party in this state.
Committee assignments were handed out last week and the seating assignments can be found in this week’s House Calendar. Some of you have expressed disappointment over your committee assignment but in some cases, we had more requests for a committee than we had seats available. It would be impossible to give everyone their first committee choice. As a freshman I failed to get my first choice but I soon realized that I had been given an opportunity to gain experience in an area that I was unfamiliar with, the Department of Environmental Services. I quickly learned about the inner workings of the department as well as important environmental regulations that have a direct impact on New Hampshire businesses. The knowledge that I gained has been invaluable both legislatively and in my personal life. I would encourage those who may have not received your first choice to make the most of the opportunity by turning it into a positive, becoming knowledgeable in other areas and gaining as many experiences as possible. In the end, it will only enrich your legislative experience.
The 2010-2011 House Rules proposed by the Rules Committee were published in this week’s House Calendar. On Tuesday, January 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Speaker O’Brien will hold a Q&A session for all representatives on the proposed rules. This will be a great opportunity for our caucus to discuss the proposed changes before voting on them at Wednesday’s session.
The committee whips have been assigned and will be working closely with both the assistant majority whip and assistant majority leader assigned to their particular committee. You will be working closely with your committee whip during the coming session, and if you have any concerns with legislation coming before your committee, please let your whip know about it.
Finally, we are working on creating a freshmen mentoring program to help our newcomers get acquainted with the legislative process and the operation of the State House. I will have further details later in January.
It is important that we all continue to stay on message over the next few weeks, that being the budget, the budget, and the budget. As the great Winston Churchill once said, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile-driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack!”
Have a great New Year!
In response to yesterdays US District Court ruling that the mandate imposed by President Obama’s healthcare law is unconstitutional in that it goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce, New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien and Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt offered the following statements:
“I am pleased by the ruling of US District Court Judge Henry Hudson,” stated Speaker O’Brien (Mont Vernon). “New Hampshire Republicans have voiced opposition to this mandate since it was proposed in the last session. Indeed, we called on our own attorney general to join in the multi-state lawsuit to prevent the expected downshifting of millions of dollars in costs expected by the bill’s passage. This will be the first step of what will undoubtedly be a long battle, but at the end of the day, the citizens of New Hampshire and the United States will be better off without this new mandate.”
“I am thrilled by this decision and join incoming Majority Whip Eric Cantor in suggesting this case go directly to the Supreme Court,” added Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt (Salem). “It is my fervent belief that government should not be in the business of telling our citizens how to run every aspect of their lives and it is refreshing to see a US District Court judge upholding the high ethical standards of his oath to the Constitution when it is so easy this day in age to do what is politically expedient.”
The Speaker of the New Hampshire House, William O’Brien, today released the names of most of those who will fill leadership positions on the various standing committees. He also announced changes being made in the committee structure, which includes the elimination of the Local & Regulated Revenues committee, separating two committees into divisions, and creating two new committees to handle constitutional review and petitions for redress of grievances.
“Given the large volume of bills that are heard each session in Judiciary, as well as the committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs, I felt it important that we create these divisions in order to give proper and due diligence to the legislation being sent to those committees,” said the speaker.
Two divisions have been created in Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Insurance & Consumer Regulations, and Banking & Business Regulations. Rep. John Hunt of Rindge will once again chair the Commerce and Consumer Affairs committee. Rep. Jenn Coffey of Andover will serve as vice chairman.
The Judiciary committee, chaired by Rep. Robert Rowe of Amherst, will also have two divisions: Judicial Administration, also chaired by Rowe; and Judicial Policy, chaired by Rep. Gregory Sorg of Easton, who will also serve as the vice-chairman for the Judiciary committee.
Speaker O’Brien also announced the creation of two additional committees. The Committee on Petitions for Redress of Grievances will be chaired by Paul Ingbretson of Pike. The Committee on Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification will be chaired by Daniel Itse of Fremont, with John Cebrowski of Bedford serving as the vice-chairman.
Other committee leadership appointments include:
Children and Family Law:
Chair—Edward Moran, Bedford
Vice Chairman—Edith Hogan, Nashua
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Chair—Elaine Swinford, Barnstead
Vice Chairman —Larry Gagne, Manchester
Chair—Michael Balboni, Nashua
Vice Chairman —Ralph Boehm, Litchfield
Chair—David Bates, Windham
Vice Chairman —Dino Scala, Wakefield
Environment & Agriculture:
Chair—Robert Haefner, Hudson
Vice Chairman —Warren Groen, Rochester
Executive Departments and Administration:
Chair—Carol McGuire, Epsom
Vice Chairman —Kenneth Hawkins, Bedford
Chair—Kenneth Weyler, Kingston
Vice Chairman —Lynne Ober, Hudson
Finance, Division 1: Chair—William Belvin, Amherst
Finance, Division 2: Chair—Will Smith, New Castle
Finance, Division 3: Chair—Neal Kurk, Weare
Fish and Game and Marine Resources:
Chair—Gary Hopper, Weare
Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs:
Chair—John Reagan, Deerfield
Vice Chairman —Frank Kotowski, Hooksett
Labor, Industrial & Rehabilitative Services:
Chair—Gary Daniels, Milford
Vice Chairman —William Infantine, Manchester
Chair—Paul Mirski, Enfield
Municipal & County Government
Chair—Beverly Ferrante, Derry
Vice Chairman —Franklin Sterling, Jaffrey
Public Works & Highways:
Chair—Gene Chandler, Bartlett
Vice Chairman —Carl Seidel, Nashua
Resources, Recreation & Development:
Chair—Andrew Renzullo, Hudson
Vice Chairman —L. Michael Kappler, Raymond
Science, Technology & Energy:
Chair—James Garrity, Atkinson
Vice Chairman —Frank Holden, Lyndeborough
State, Federal Relations & Veterans’ Affairs:
Chair—Alfred Baldasaro, Londonderry
Chair—Sherman Packard, Londonderry
Vice Chairman —John Hikel, Goffstown
Ways & Means:
Chair—Stephen Stepanek, Milford
Vice Chairman —Norman Major, Plaistow
Additional appointments to committee leadership posts will be announced by the speaker later in the week and the full committee assignments are expected to be released by December 15.
Laurie Sanborn, Chair
Thomas Keane, Vice-Chair
D.J. Bettencourt, Vice-Chair
Legislators Hope to Foster Strong Business Community in New Hampshire
(Concord, NH) Delivering on the campaign promise of focusing on job creation and expanding New Hampshire’s economic base, a group of legislators have joined together to form a new group, named the New Hampshire House Business Coalition. The group has been formed by Representatives Laurie Sanborn, D.J. Bettencourt, Thomas Keane, and others.
The New Hampshire House Business Coalition is a group of like-minded, current NH House members, focused on evaluating and supporting legislation to promote job creation through strong, responsible business growth and success, and the reestablishment of the New Hampshire Advantage.
Chair and organizer Rep. Sanborn said, “We want to provide a vehicle for Representatives highly interested in promoting employment opportunities through the strength of our business community and economy. Our vision is to make New Hampshire the best state in the nation in which to do business again.”
Sanborn continued, “We believe that by supporting the business community with responsible legislation, we are also promoting job creation and an expansion of our economic base in New Hampshire.”
Organizing members include the following Representatives: D.J. Bettencourt, Laurie Sanborn, Thomas Keane, Kenneth Kreis, Sr., Cameron DeJong, Mark Lindsley, Steve Winter, Brian Murphy, Keith Murphy, Beverly Rodeschin, Molly Smith, Daniel Tamburello, Kathy Lauer-Rago, Glenn Ritter, Kevin Avard, and more. During the first week, almost 30 legislators have joined.
The group, known as NH-HBC, is planning to meet weekly and make recommendations on bills presented to the house on Session day. All current NH House members interested in supporting responsible business growth are invited to participate.
Vice Chair Keane concluded, “We believe that you cannot be pro-jobs unless you are pro-business. It’s time to determine where excessive rules and regulations are hurting our NH business community. Our goal is to once again make New Hampshire one of the most business friendly states in the nation.”
A blend of veteran lawmakers and newcomers makeup the House Republican leadership team announced today by recently elected House Majority Leader Rep. D.J. Bettencourt of Salem. Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson, starting his ninth term at the State House, will serve as his Deputy Majority Leader. Jasper has served in a number of leadership roles during his tenure in Concord and will work closely with Bettencourt in establishing the Republican agenda.
“Rep. Jasper brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the majority office,” said Bettencourt. “He has earned the respect of our caucus over the years through his hard work and dedication to the legislative process and will be a tremendous asset to our team,” he added.
Bettencourt also named five assistant majority leaders to work with Rep. Jasper, including Reps. David Hess of Hooksett (11th term); Beverly Rodeschin of Newport (11th term); Edwin Smith of Hinsdale (7th term); Dick Drisko of Hollis (6th term); and Joe Fleck of Wakefield (2nd term).
Relative newcomer Rep. Peter Silva of Nashua, who distinguished himself in just his first term as a member of the House Judiciary committee, has been tapped by Bettencourt to serve as the Majority Whip. “I believe that it is important that we bring a mixture of both veteran legislators and newcomers onto our team. Rep. Silva impressed many of us as a first-year member last session and I know that he will bring a fresh prospective to the majority office,” said Bettencourt.
Rep. Betsey Patten of Moultonborough, also entering her ninth term in the House, will join the leadership team as the Deputy Majority Whip. In naming Patten, Bettencourt pointed to her experience as both a former committee chair and member of leadership. “I have seen first hand over the last few years how hard Rep. Patten works on legislation and I am excited to have her part of our leadership team.”
Joining Rep. Patten as Assistant Majority Whips are Reps. David Welch of Kingston (14th term); Mary Griffin of Windham (8th term); John Tholl of Whitefield (8th term); Mike McCarthy of Nashua (2nd term); Rep. Molly Smith of Hooksett (1st term).
Rep. Paul Mirski of Enfield, who returns for his sixth term following a four year absence from the House, has been named the Majority Policy Advisor to the leadership team. “Rep. Mirski is one of the most respected members of the Republican caucus and I will count heavily on his advice and counsel as we move forward in the legislative session,” said Bettencourt.
Finally, Reps. Phil Greazzo of Manchester and Michelle Peckham of North Hampton, both newcomers to the State House, will fill the role of Majority Freshman Liaison. “With such a large incoming freshmen class, it is important that they have a strong voice within the entire caucus. Both Reps. Greazzo and Peckham will work as liaisons between the freshmen caucus and leadership,” Bettencourt concluded.
Rep. Bettencourt will gather his leadership team this month to begin mapping out the coming session. It is anticipated that the Chair and Vice Chairs of the House standing committees will be announced later this month.
Date: 12/08/10 (Wednesday)
5:30pm Buffet Dinner ($14)
Place: Shanghai Restaurant
331 South Main Street
603 - 524 - 4100
Wayne is the NH GOP Vice-Chair and recently appointed by the NH GOP Executive Committee to be the replacement RNC Committeeman from NH (due to the vacancy left when Sean Mahoney decided to run for US Congress). He will be the featured Speaker for the evening.
He will also be overseeing the caucus electing the 2011-2012 State Committee Members to represent the Belknap County Republican Committee at the NH GOP Conventions as stated in Article 5, Section 3 of the NH GOP Bylaws:
3. Methods of Election:
The officers of the Committee, with the exception of the FEC Compliance Officer (appointed by the Chairman), Finance Chairman and the Assistant to the Chairman for Recruiting, shall be elected at a regular meeting of the Committee, which shall be held on a date set by the State Chairman during the month of January in the calendar year immediately following a biennial election. The three aforementioned officers, who shall be appointed by the Chairman, must also be confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Officers shall be required to attend personally or be represented at all Executive Committee meetings. Officers who fail to attend at least half of the meetings set by the Chairman within a calendar year, either in person or by representation, shall be deemed to have resigned from their office.
To be elected as a State Committee Member:
Following the biennial election (even year elections) County and City Committees hold caucuses no later than December 15th for the purpose of electing State Committee members for two years. Any registered Republican who resides within the respective County or City is eligible to run to become a member of the State Committee. Caucus dates and locations will be posted at www.nhgop.org.Note: The County and City Committees may have as many members as they wish, but only the members elected in the above manner will be State Committee voting members.
Only delegates to the state convention are eligible to vote to elect State Committee members at the caucuses. Delegates, including elected officials, are not automatically state committee members. However, delegates may also run and be elected to the State Committee. The number of members elected is determined by the Organization committee of the state convention.
Members elected to the County and City Committees then become voting members of the Republican State Committee for a term of two years. These newly elected members then meet to vote for the officers of their local County or City committee.?
The next Annual Meeting information:
- When: January 22, 2011
- Where: Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy. Click here for directions.
- Time: Registration Begins at 8:30 AM
Meeting will be called to order at 10:00 AM
Map to the Shang-hai:
William O’ Brien
Speaker of the House
For Immediate Release:
As Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, I am pleased to announce Representative Bob Mead ( R- Mont Vernon) has agreed to join my team as Chief of Staff. Bob has honorably served as the Hillsborough District 4 State Representative for two terms. He will be resigning as a state representative in order to accept this new position.
With over 30 years of business operations experience in both startups and multimillion-dollar worldwide companies Bob brings a strong background in management that will prove invaluable to the legislative business operations. He will be a key element in addressing the budget deficit and return spending to levels that New Hampshire can afford.