NH House Republican Office
Republican Review | Volume 3 Issue 29 | December 17, 2017
 
Message from the Majority Leader
Friends,

It's been an exciting week as Speaker Chandler announced several additions to the House Leadership Team, and as we prepare for the upcoming House session.

Here are several important scheduling announcements that appear in the most recent House calendar:
  • The House will meet on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. and on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. Also, please save the morning of Tuesday, January 9th, for a House session at 9:00 a.m. if necessary.
  • Committee chairs and vice chairs will be scheduling hearings on 2018 bills starting the afternoon of January 9th and continuing January 10th and 11th.
  • Committee reports on retained bills will be printed in next week’s House Calendar. Please save that Calendar and bring it with you to the sessions on January 3rd and 4th.
  • Please note that state offices will be closed on Monday, December 25th, and on Monday, January 1, 2018.
IMPORTANT: There will be an information session on SB193, relative to education freedom savings accounts, on Tuesday, January 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Representatives Hall. There will be a presentation on the bill followed by a question and answer session. This information session is open to all legislators.

Have a great Christmas season, 

Dick Hinch, House Majority Leader

Speaker Chandler Announces Additions to Leadership Team for 2018 Session
 
Speaker Gene G. Chandler (R-Bartlett) announced additional members of his leadership team, and the formation of the Policy Advisory Committee.

“When I ran to be elected speaker, I promised to retain the current leadership, including current chairs and vice chairs, and I have done that. I also promised to add to that leadership and bring more members into the fold. Today I am happy to announce those additions from a diverse and talented cross section of our party to improve the lives of the people of New Hampshire,” said Speaker Chandler.

“The message coming out of the caucus and election in November was one of unity,” he continued. “I believe that in order to have a productive and successful legislative session, we must be unified in order to prove to our constituents that we deserve their vote next November. We have a tall order ahead of us, but I believe with these members on our team, we can meet the challenge.”

Former Speaker Pro-Tempore Sherm Packard (R-Londonderry), in his 14th term, will serve as Deputy Speaker. Rep. Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown), in her 2nd term, will serve as Speaker Pro-Tempore, as well as continue to serve as Chair of Election Law.

Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry), Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford), and Rep. Victoria Sullivan (R-Manchester) will serve as Assistant Majority Leaders.

Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) and Rep. Greg Hill (R-Northfield) will serve as Assistant Majority Whips.

Rep. Andrew Renzullo (R-Hudson) will serve as Floor Leader.

Speaker Chandler will also be stepping down from his role as Chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Highways. He has appointed Rep. Mark McConkey (R-Freedom) to serve as chairman and Rep. David Milz (R-Derry) to serve as vice chairman.

In addition to these appointments, Speaker Chandler has announced the formation of the Policy Advisory Committee, chaired by Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford). Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) will serve the committee as vice chair. This committee will be meeting on a weekly basis to review upcoming legislation, hearings, review bills on the calendar, amendments, and give their input on various issues. The members of this committee are:

Rep. Lino Avellani (R-Sanbornville), Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown), Rep. John Graham (R-Bedford), Rep. Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown), Rep, Mary Griffin (R- Windham), Rep. Peter Hansen (R-Amherst), Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond), Rep. Phyllis Katsakiores (R-Derry), Rep. Frank McCarthy (R-Conway), Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua), Rep. Sherm Packard (R-Londonderry), and Rep. Andrew Renzullo (R-Hudson).

Background: These members will be additions to the leadership team in place from the 2017 legislative session.

Majority Leader Rep. Dick Hinch (R- Merrimack), Deputy Majority Leader Rep. John Graham (R-Bedford), Majority Whip Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond), Deputy Majority Whip Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua), Assistant Majority Leaders Rep. Michael McCarthy (R-Nashua), Rep. Larry Gagne (R-Manchester), Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping), Rep. David Danielson (R-Bedford), Assistant Majority Whips Rep. Claire Rouillard (R-Goffstown), Rep. Terry Wolf (R-Bedford), Rep. Carolyn Matthews (R-Raymond), and Rep. Debra DeSimone (R-Atkinson).
 

Speaker Chandler Announces Elections and Fundraising Committee

Speaker of the House Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Chairman of the Committee to Elect House Republicans PAC, Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), announced the formation of the Committee on Elections and Fundraising, a group of House members that will provide advice to the House Republican majority on fundraising and candidate recruitment in order to be successful in the 2018 election season.

“Our ability to maintain and grow our majority depends on our ability to recruit strong candidates, run effective campaigns, and raise the money necessary to support our candidates,” said Speaker Chandler. “I believe this team is comprised of the right people to expand our efforts for the 2018 election.”

“I’m looking forward to working with the Committee on Elections and Fundraising to grow the committees efforts for the next election,” said Chairman Hinch. “Developing messaging for our candidates based on the accomplishments of the New Hampshire House will be crucial in proving to our constituents that we deserve their vote in November.”

The committee will be chaired by Rep. Steven Smith (R-Charlestown), Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown), and Rep. Yvonne Dean-Bailey (R-Northwood).

Members of the committee will consist of:

Rep. Phil Bean (R-Hampton), Rep. David Danielson (R-Bedford), Rep. John Graham (R-Bedford), Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), Rep. Tim Lang (R-Sanbornton), Rep. Mariellen MacKay (R-Nashua), Rep. Sherm Packard (R-Londonderry), Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua), Rep. Mark Pearson (R-Hampstead), and Rep. Karen Umberger (R-Kearsarge).
 
Deputy Speaker Packard: No To Toll Increases

There were two additional public comment hearings this week to allow testimony for or against a proposed toll increase on New Hampshire's highways.

From the Union Leader:

Republican leadership in the state Legislature was represented by Rep. Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry.

"We are opposed to this. The Speaker and the Majority Leader are opposed," he said. "We don't believe adding an increase in the tolls at this time is the right thing for New Hampshire citizens."


Read the full story here: Both sides have their say on proposed toll hike at Concord hearing


Education Savings Accounts…SB193
by Rep. Rick Ladd, House Education Chairman
 
Throughout the past year, the NH House Education Committee heard testimony from parents regarding SB193, a bill that would provide parents and students state funds for alternative K-12 educational opportunities. Although the vast majority of parents are satisfied with the performance of their local public schools, there are some who strongly advocate for more school choice. While groups representing established education organizations such as teachers, principals, administrators and school boards have consistently communicated to the education committee that state appropriated funds should only be used toward public education, parents supporting SB193 emphasized that their children who are young just once, deserve education programming and services that best fit their needs.  
 
In 2012, NH initiated the education tax credit program that enables businesses to contribute funds to a school choice scholarship organization. When parents have been asked why they participate in the program, they offer responses such as: 1.) My child was bullied in the public school that resulted in ongoing social and emotional turmoil; 2.) The public school could not offer the curriculum or programming that best fit my child’s needs – either advanced, remedial, or elective courses; 3.) My child had a disability or remedial condition that was not satisfactorily met; and 4.) The school’s academic performance was not satisfactory. In short, parents communicated that, “We cannot wait for the system to adjust; a child is ‘age nine’ just once in his or her life and we cannot afford to wait for either the state to adjust or for the local school to make needed internal change.”  
 
Education savings accounts are used in other states. “Will education savings accounts, a form of school choice, decimate public schools?”  The answer is ‘No!’  Opponents of Education Savings Accounts claim ESA’s will lead to sudden and unmanageably large revenue reductions for public schools.  A recent policy brief completed by the Center for Public Policy using data posted by the NHDOE shows that “fear to be unfounded.”  It has been demonstrated in other states that have implemented similar programs that approximately 1% of eligible families opt to accept education savings accounts to help support alternative educational placement. “Using an average of all state aid and not using only the adequacy education grant as done by Reaching Higher, a group opposed to ESA’s, the analysis presented by the Center for Public Policy finds that on average school districts in New Hampshire would keep 99.7% of their operating budgets if 1% of students leave.” SB 193 also contains a provision that provides stabilization grant funds limiting reductions in state aid to no more than ¼ of 1 percent of a district’s total budget. Based upon 2015-16 figures as identified on the NHDOE website, Haverhill would possibly have 6 students leaving with ESA’s. The district’s total operating expenditures in that year amounted to $10,403,075 and the 6 ESA’s would equal $26,112. 
 
This bill goes to the full house for debate during the first week of January. Education is basic to our democratic system of government, but without question, education has evolved into big business. Competition from both public and private schools strengthens academic standards and improves student achievement in core subjects. We use business choice and competition in our daily lives when making decisions; there should also be room for these principles in our education system. 
 
Respectfully,
NH Rep Rick Ladd
Chair, House Education
 
EDUCATION SAVINGS WILL NOT DESTROY PUBLIC EDUCATION; HERE'S WHY
by Rep. Glenn Cordelli
 
Every NH child deserves the best possible education. That is why I serve on the NH House Education Committee. I believe that is also the desire of every parent.
 
There is been information in the press about SB193 that would establish education savings accounts and misinformation spread by special interest groups. Who are the supporters of SB193? Parents!
 
New Hampshire has many great schools but that school might not be the best fit for every child. So what happens to those children? If the family has the financial resources, they can move, home school, or enroll their child in a private school. If they do not have the resources they are trapped by their address. That child is then locked into a school that does not meet their needs. They do not receive the educational opportunities they deserve. Some of these children are those with learning challenges and some are those who have become labeled discipline problems when what they need is an alternative learning environment. The result is truancy and risk of contact with the drug culture.   
 
What is SB193 and what are education savings accounts? Education savings accounts (ESAs) are like health savings accounts. A parent of an eligible student can sign an agreement; withdraw the student from the public school, and the state will deposit the funds the state would have sent to the school district into an account to be used by the parents to provide the best education options for the child. SB193 specifies only certain allowable expenses for which the account can be used such as tuition, online courses, therapies, tutors, textbooks, and testing. All receipts for expenses are verified by the non-profit scholarship organization that currently manages the business tax credit scholarship program and multiple layers of financial accountability in SB193.
 
Opponents of SB193 claim ESAs will lead to sudden and unmanageably large revenue reductions for public schools. A recent policy analysis completed by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy using data posted by the NH Department of Education shows that “fear to be unfounded”. In the other five states that have implemented ESAs, they have seen less than 1% of eligible students leave for the program. It is only the state money that goes with the child. The local and federal funds are not touched. The Center’s analysis “finds that on average school districts in New Hampshire would keep 99.7% of their operating budgets if 1% of students leave”. I would suggest this is hardly the decimating of school districts predicted by one of the leading opponent groups.
 
To make sure that school districts do not experience financial hardships due to the program, we added a “stabilization fund” to the legislation. If the departure of students for ESAs results in the district losing more than ¼ of 1% of their budget, the state will send them a grant for anything over that amount. Thus the maximum impact to any district would be ¼ of 1%. Yes, the state would be
sending a grant to the district for students they no longer have to educate. Still the critics claim SB193 will destroy public education. Do you agree?
 
Noted economist and author Thomas Sowell has stated that the basic question is not what is best, but who says what is best. We believe that parents know their children best and care most about their future.
 
SB193 is all about the kids and making sure they have the best possible education opportunities. If you agree, please contact your State Representative and ask them to support SB193.
 
State Representative Glenn Cordelli
Tuftonboro, Moultonborough, Sandwich  
 
 

 
Last month Representative Russell Ober (R-Hudson), pictured on the right, with a group of chairs and vice chairs of other State Legislative Intergovernmental Relations Committees, met with the U.S. House of Representatives' Speaker's Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs to urge Congress to invite state lawmakers to testify at hearings on state-federal issues.

NH House Stats as of December 6th

Republicans: 217
Democrats: 174
Libertarians: 3
Vacant Seats: 6

House Bills filed for 2018: 646
Special Election Calendar

Belknap County District 3 (Laconia)
Primary:  January 9, 2018 
Special Election: February 27, 2018 
Republican Candidates Filed:
Les A. Cartier
William Henry Davies
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