Republican Review | Volume 4 Issue 13 | March 1, 2019


MESSAGE FROM THE REPUBLICAN LEADER

House Republicans & Friends Across New Hampshire,

The House will meet next Thursday, March 7th at 9:00 a.m. The House will also meet on Wednesday, March 20th, and Thursday, March 21st if necessary, which is the deadline for action on House bills not in a second committee. 

There will be a Republican caucus on Thursday, March 7th at 8:00 a.m. in Rooms 301-303, LOB. 

The House spent two long days in session this past Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, our colleagues across the aisle used that time to raid the pockets of Granite Staters. They passed a 0.5% income tax to fund their FMLI program, created a tax on capital gains, and even repealed critical business tax cuts. House Republicans strongly opposed these bills, and you can read our press releases below. 

Committees next week are seeing more egregious Democrat sponsored legislation. In the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee they will be voting on HB690-FN, a bill that totally repeals the medicaid expansion work requirement agreed upon just last year. In the Labor committee, an executive session is already being held on the senate version of a costly FMLI program. Yes, this bill also includes a 0.5% income tax. Later that day, the Labor committee will be voting on three job-killing minimum wage bills. 

On session day, the House will take up two important Constitutional Amendment's. CACR11 will ban a broad-based sales tax and CACR12 will not allow an income tax. Given the unfortunate recent actions taken by Democrats in the House, i'm not confident they will be supporting us in supporting these measures. To see more of the important bills being taken up next week, check the calendar in the link below. 
 

All the best,


Dick Hinch, House Republican Leader


Click here to view the latest House Calendar


How Much Did House Democrats Cost New Hampshire?

Interested in seeing how much House Democrats cost Granite Staters in just two session days? Check the e-mail sent to the Republican caucus below:

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House Republicans,

We’ve received requests for a brief summary of the tax and fee increases that passed the House this week.

It’s hard to compare apples to apples, since the impact of HB623, for instance, gradually increases over time, and the impact of HB641 is not able to be determined. However, if you take 1 year of everything that is determinable, the grand total 1 year price tag of these tax and fee changes totals no less than $300 million.

HB712 - relative to a family and medical leave insurance program.

Based on 2016 data, the Department of Employment Security calculated the proposed 0.5% premium (a/k/a tax) on wages would generate annual revenue of $156.6 million.

HB686 - relative to calculating and funding the interim cost of an opportunity for an adequate education and extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains.

The Department of Revenue Administration determined that there would be a net tax increase of $94,836,843 as a result of this bill.

HB623 - relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax.

This bill, as amended, repeals future rate reductions in the business profits tax and business enterprise tax. The net result is that businesses will pay roughly $280 million more in taxes over the next 4 fiscal years than if the current rates and rate reductions remain in law.

cal Year

Estimated Fiscal Impact Per Year (proposed legislation compared to current law)

2020

$37,586,173

2021

$55,548,127

2022

$89,901,183

2023

$96,879,147

(Chart: Fiscal Note from SB301, which analyzes similar tax rates as in HB623 as amended)

HB689 - establishing a student career and college investment program and making an appropriation therefor.

This program is funded by a 10% increase in a fee on mutual fund registrations, which would generate $2.5 million in revenue from the fee.

HB682 - establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

The bill establishes new fees, and doubles or triples some existing fees, costing about $3 million.

HB680 - relative to the definition of tobacco product for purposes of the tobacco tax and retail tobacco licensing.

As introduced, the bill would have generated $4.5 million per year in additional tax revenue.

HB641 - allowing municipalities to collect an occupancy fee from operators of local room rentals.

Since this was enabling legislation, and it is unclear how many municipalities would opt to include the occupancy fee, we cannot determine what the price tag would be if this bill became law.


House Republican Leader Concerned by Democrats' Family Leave Proposals, Process

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to the public hearing on SB1, a family and medical leave bill, which includes a 0.5% tax on wages, either paid by the employer, or diverted from an employee’s wages.
 
“Today, we’re having a public hearing on SB1, the Senate version, and tomorrow the House will be voting on HB712, the House version. I can only say that it looks like they are in such a hurry to pass one of these family leave income tax bills, that they aren't interested in concluding on discussion before starting another,” Hinch said. “We understand that’s it’s a Democrat legislative initiative to institute this family leave income tax program, but I’m not sure how juggling 2 versions around when it’s not necessary helps make your case. The Business and Industry Association, as well as many other groups, and individual small businesses disagree with the government mandate in these bills. Republicans in the House oppose this 0.5% income tax mandate, and will be opposing both versions this week.”
 
Background:
 
SB1 has  a public hearing today, Tuesday, February 26 in the House Labor committee. HB712, which received an Ought to Pass With Amendment recommendation by a party line committee vote on Wednesday, February 20, will be acted on by the full House during the House session this week.
 
Text from SB1, as amended by the Senate:
 
II.  All employers subject to this chapter not exercising the business option in paragraph I shall remit FMLI premium payments on a calendar quarter basis, beginning January 1, 2020.  These quarterly insurance premium payments shall amount to 0.5 percent of wages per employee per week for each week of the preceding quarter.  Such employers with the obligation to remit have the option of paying some or all of the FMLI premium payments on behalf of employees, or may instead withhold or divert no greater than 0.5 percent of wages per week per employee to satisfy this paragraph.


House Republican Leader Reacts to House Vote on HB184

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB184, relative to the calculation of kindergarten students in the average daily membership and repealing prorated kindergarten funding based on Keno revenues. The bill passed by a 203-148 vote.
 
“House Democrats are the party of bait-and-switch this year. Several bipartisan compromises, including this keno-funded kindergarten grant program, were the result of negotiations and compromises by both parties,” said House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack). “Just like their about-face on business taxes and the Medicaid expansion work requirement, they want to walk away from this program, just before 29 more towns have a vote on keno this year. 66 other towns already have keno, and voters may have been moved to adopt it to support this kindergarten program. It doesn’t make sense to walk away now. As more towns approve keno and more establishments come on line, revenue will increase, and there should not be a need repeal this worthwhile funding mechanism.”


House Republican Leader Reacts to House Vote on HB564

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB564, relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones. The bill passed by a 194-154 vote.
 
“This bill would make any public or private property where a school activity might be happening a gun free zone, including extracurricular activities in parks, town commons, museums, or other public areas. Republicans on the Education committee agreed unanimously that it would be impossible for citizens to know when or if they were in a safe school zone, and put law abiding gun owners in the position of being in violation of this law. It’s unconstitutional, and it is a gun restriction bill disguised as a safe school bill. The New Hampshire School Boards Association opposed the bill, as did a number of groups who oppose these types of bills that chip away at gun owners rights.”
 



House Republican Leader Reacts to House Vote on Family Leave Income Tax Bill
 
CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB712, relative to a family and medical leave insurance program. The bill passed by a 199-133 vote.

“We have a caucus of Democrats who want to increase wages, but at the same time are creating new programs to tax those wages, like the proposal in this bill. Between the uncertainty in our business taxes rates, the threat of increased regulations and mandates, it seems like the Democrats want to tell our small businesses what they can afford, who they can hire, and what benefits they need to provide,” Republican Leader Dick Hinch said. “Our state’s job creators know what it takes to attract and retain employees in this tight labor market. Many of our state’s employers can already provide similar coverage if they think it’s right for their workers. The importance here is the power of choice. The governor’s plan gives them the opportunity to opt-in to a program provide this benefit, while the Democrats’ program mandates it. Apparently, Democrats have chosen to disregard the vocal disapproval of the bill from groups like the Business and Industry Association.

House Republican leader Reacts to House Vote on HB682
 
CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB682, establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees. The bill passed by a 201-147 vote.
 
“This bill establishes pricey new fees, and doubles and triples some other existing fees. I have a real problem with the Democrats’ efforts in this bill to go outside of the budget process to raise $3 million in fees to grow government. Even more of a problem is that this bill seeks to take away authority of the legislature to review and set future fee modifications, and gives that authority to the commissioner through the administrative rules process. This sets a bad precedent and suggests that departments like DoT should be able to adjust the gas tax. We need to keep department budget requests in the budget, and we need to keep fee and tax setting in the hands of the elected legislature, and not department bureaucrats. Where will these shenanigans stop?”

House Republican Leader Reacts to House Vote on HB623
 
CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB623, relative to the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax. The bill passed by a 200-141 vote.
 
“House Ways & Means chair Susan Almy tells us there is a real threat of a recession, and that’s why Democrats feel they need to go back on our state’s promise to lower our business tax rates. There is no economic philosophy that suggests that higher taxes help stave off an economic downturn. This must be a new theory called Almynomics,” House Republican Leader Dick Hinch said. “The real data doesn’t lie. Our economy is booming in part because of the lower business tax rates. The last thing we need is to take the momentum away by dismantling the progress we’ve made in our business climate. Business will have no faith in predictability of NH legislature to protect them long term, and our ability to compete regionally for growth and development will be severely diminished.”

House Republican Leader Reacts to House Vote on HB686

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement following the House vote on HB686, extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains. The bill passed by a 199-143 vote.
 
“New Hampshire has gone it’s entire history without a tax on capital gains. Democrats decided that today was the day to move forward with this new tax that could cost $100 million per year. This is a tax on investment, risk taking, and business creation. I can’t imagine this will help our robust business start-up community in the state, and it will discourage new companies from looking to New Hampshire to build and grow. I’m sorry to see such a lack of foresight by Democrats on this issue, and I apologize to our state’s investors and entrepreneurs that Republicans could not stop this bill at this stage of the process.”

 
Bill Hearings to Watch Next Week
 

Tuesday, March 5

Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Representatives Hall, SH
10:00 a.m. HB687-FN, relative to extreme risk protection orders

Ways and Means, Rooms 202-204, LOB
1:00 p.m. HB632-FN, relative to the education tax credit

Wednesday, March 6

Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Room 302, LOB
11:00 a.m. HB558-FN, restricting the distribution of plastic straws
11:30 a.m. HB560-FN, relative to single-use carryout bags

Municipal and County Government, Rooms 301-303, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB102, relative to municipal ordinances regarding the use of plastics
10:30 a.m. HB559, enabling municipalities to ban single-use sources of plastic pollution

Transportation, Rooms 201-203, LOB
11:00 a.m. HB397-FN, relative to drivers' licenses for New Hampshire residents who do not possess a social security card

House Session Bills Preview

HB105 
Title: relative to domicile residency, voter registration, and investigation of voter verification letters
Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=12&txtFormat=html
Committee Recommendation: OTP
Committee vote: 12-8
Republican Vote: Republicans on the committee unanimously opposed OTP

Minority Committee Report:
 
Rep. Timothy Lang for the Minority of Election Law. The basis for this bill is to undo all the changes to the election laws created by SB 3, which was signed into law in 2018. These changes in election law are currently under judicial review by way of a lawsuit. By proceeding forward with this bill, repealing those changes, this issue becomes a political football, to be tossed around by the party in the majority. The minority of the committee believes we should let the court case(s) play out, let the courts come down with a judicial ruling, then if needed, submit a bill; but let’s not play political games with citizen’s voting rights today.
 
HB106 
Title: relative to the terms "resident," "inhabitant," "residence," and "residency"
Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=13&txtFormat=html
Committee Recommendation: OTP
Committee vote: 12-8
Republican Vote: Republicans on the committee unanimously opposed OTP
 
Minority Committee Report:
 
Rep. Peter Hayward for the Minority of Election Law. Inserting the unnecessary phrase “for the indefinite future” renders an otherwise clear statement meaningless. Indefinite future can mean seconds, weeks, or months. An intent to become a resident could be a whim with no measure to determine qualification.
 
Additional context:
 
HB106 seeks to repeal common sense legislation that the State just enacted in 2018. Just this past July, the NH Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion on HB1264 (2018) stating there is nothing unconstitutional about requiring individuals to make a choice as to where they are residents. We don’t believe it is unreasonable for us to require that those who participate in our elections be residents of our state. What we do believe to be unreasonable is that we have had two classifications of voters in our state: those who abide by our statutes and laws as residents, and those who don’t.

 
HB477
Title: relative to allowance sales under the New Hampshire regional greenhouse gas initiative program
Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=234&txtFormat=html
Committee Recommendation: ITL
Committee vote: 11-8
Republican Vote: Republicans on the committee voted unanimously against ITL
 
Minority Committee Report:
 
Rep. Michael Harrington for the Minority of Science, Technology and Energy. This bill would rebate all RGGI funds back to the ratepayers. Under present law one dollar from every allowance sale is not rebated but is deposited in the Renewable Energy Fund administrated by the Public Utilities Commission. The minority believes that the ratepayers are better at spending their own money than unelected bureaucrats are, and that any lowering of NH’s very high electric rates, if only by a small amount, is a step in the right direction.

 
CACR11
Title: providing that a broad-based sales tax shall be prohibited
Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=598&txtFormat=html
Committee Recommendation: ITL
Committee vote: 12-8
Republican Vote: Republicans on the committee unanimously opposed ITL
 
Minority Committee Report:
 
Rep. Charles Burns for the Minority of Ways and Means. The minority is in favor of the Ought to Pass motion because we felt that a statewide vote would be the best poll we could take to gauge how the voters of New Hampshire truly feel about the potential imposition of a broad-based tax.
 
Additional Context:
 
If approved by the House and Senate, this constitutional amendment would appear on ballots in November 2020, and would let the voters decide if they wanted to prohibit a sales tax and preserve an important part of the New Hampshire Advantage.  (Requires a three-fifths majority vote of the entire House membership).
 
CACR12
Title: providing that an income tax on personal income shall be prohibited
Bill Text: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=600&txtFormat=html
Committee Recommendation: ITL
Committee vote: 12-8
Republican Vote: Republicans on the committee unanimously opposed ITL
 
Additional Context:
 
If approved by the House and Senate, this constitutional amendment would appear on ballots in November 2020, and would let the voters decide if they wanted to prohibit a state income tax on personal income and preserve an important part of the New Hampshire Advantage. (Requires a three-fifths majority vote of the entire House membership).
 
Minority Committee Report:
 
Rep. Patrick Abrami for the Minority of Ways and Means. The minority strongly opposes the Inexpedient to Legislate motion on this bill. The minority believes that the question of whether the New Hampshire Constitution should be amended to say that a personal income tax is not an appropriate form of taxation should be placed on the ballot for the citizens of NH to decide. Since our union was formed and NH became a state, we have resisted a personal income tax (not to mention a sales tax). Our ability as a state to resist the temptation of unbounded taxation and spending from such broad-based taxes has served us well for 231 years. This approach leaves it up to the taxpayer how to spend their money, resulting in an ethos that rewards hard work, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and a spirit of freedom long lost in so many near bankrupt high-income tax states where there never seems to be enough revenue. Our approach has led to efficient government with minimal wasteful spending and certainly no corruption not to mention minimal fraud and abuse. Our approach has forced the legislature to make wise budget decisions every two years. Yes, they are tough decisions, but states with large progressive income taxes also always seem to have to make these same tough decisions as well. The big difference is that we rank very high on every metric of success, while these other states do not. The minority feels that the voters of NH understand this and never want to see a personal income tax. A similar CACR was approved by this legislature in 2012 resulting in a ballot question, which resulted in a 57.09% vote of the people in support of placing in our constitution that personal income taxes are not an appropriate form of taxation in our state. Although the vote fell short of the two thirds required, it certainly was a strong barometer of the sentiments of the voters that a personal income tax is not a form of taxation our citizens want. The minority says let the people speak on this once again.


2019 HOUSE DEADLINES

Thursday, March 14, 2019, noon Last day to report all HBs not in a second committee, except budget bills
Thursday, March 21, 2019 Last day to act on HBs not in a second committee, except budget bills
Thursday, March 28, 2019, noon Last day to report House Bills, except budget bills, Last day to report list of retained HBs
Thursday, April 4, 2019 Last day to report budget bills, Last day to act on House Bills, except budget bills
Thursday, April 11, 2019 BUDGET CROSSOVER – Last day to act on budget bills
Thursday, May 2, 2019, noon Last day to report Senate Bills going to a second committee
Thursday, May 9, 2019 Last day to act on SBs going to a second committee
Thursday, May 30, 2019, noon Last day to report all remaining SBs, Last day to report list of retained SBs
Thursday, June 6, 2019 Last day to act on SBs
Thursday, June 13, 2019 Last day to form Committees of Conference
Thursday, June 20, 2019 Last day to sign Committee of Conference reports (4:00 p.m.)
Thursday, June 27, 2019 Last day to act on Committee of Conference reports


Budget Process Flow Chart

Now that the Governor’s budget is out there, we understand you may have questions regarding the process. We designed a handy flow chart many years ago to illustrate the budget process as it usually plays out from October through June. Click the image to download the full page PDF.


NH HOUSE STATS

Republicans: 167
Democrats: 233

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