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Entries in Leadership (56)

Thursday
Mar292012

NH House Leaders Comment on Passage of Bill to Ship Back ObamaCare Money 

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1727, which would send the remainder of federal insurance exchange money to plan for implementing ObamaCare in New Hampshire back to Washington with express direction to go toward reducing the federal deficit. The New Hampshire House of Representatives last year voted for a similar bill to send back $666,000 to Washington for the same purposes. HB 1727 passed 218 to 79. 

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The House has already made clear their position on implementing a state health insurance exchange to implement ObamaCare. The resounding answer to this federal overreach has been and will be that we will do all we can in New Hampshire to block ObamaCare. Creating an exchange would only entrench ObamaCare in New Hampshire and serve as a contract with the federal government that the state agrees to pick up the tab for the individual mandate. Several times the House has asked our Attorney General to join the 26-state lawsuit against ObamaCare. We then should not be accepting money to entertain the idea of an exchange nor should we be adopting a strategy that will make us complicit in the law that’s wrong for New Hampshire and that we're trying to overturn.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has just heard the case and it makes no sense to waste taxpayer money, federal or otherwise, on a law stands on very shaky ground. Rejecting this money and these state exchanges adds New Hampshire to the list of states opposing this unconstitutional law. By doing this, it doesn't matter how the Supreme Court rules because flaws in the way federal exchanges would be implemented by the law will force Congress to reopen ObamaCare to make changes since they didn’t account for the cost.

“We have already seen the initial cost estimate of $1 trillion raise to an astounding $1.76 trillion price tag for ObamaCare and there is no telling how high the actual bill could climb. New Hampshire simply can’t afford to take this money that comes with so very many strings attached.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“The Josiah Bartlett Institute has estimated that running a healthcare exchange in New Hampshire would cost between $10 and $20 million dollars annually. In a biennium budget for a small state like New Hampshire, $40 million is nothing to sneeze at. Furthermore, as far as these exchanges go, there is no such thing as local control. The House will keep our promises to voters by doing our part in the continuing fight against ObamaCare, which would be the nail in the coffin of the New Hampshire Advantage.”

Thursday
Mar292012

NH House Passes School Choice Bill 

CONCORD –House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1607, which establishes an education credit against the business profits tax for business organizations that contribute to scholarship organizations that award scholarships to be used by students to defray the educational expenses of attending an independent school. The bill passed 173 to 127.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“In the last decade, eight states have launched education tax credit programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students across America. These programs have particularly helped those from low and middle income families.  The passage of House Bill 1607 allows for these same scholarships to help our families seek alternatives to their geographically assigned public schools, including independent schools, home-schooling, and out of district public schools.

"This bill seeks to infuse more school choice and opportunities for all of our students, while improving the quality of education in New Hampshire and saving taxpayer money. Good schools should not only be available to the rich, all children should have the opportunity to choose what school they go to. No school, no matter how great, works for everyone, and it is crucial for us to give students and families the opportunities they need to find the school that fits their needs best. We need to continue to seek excellence in education for our children. No parent should be forced to send their child to a bad school or a school that does not fit that child’s needs."

Thursday
Mar292012

NH House Leaders Comments on Passage of RGGI Repeal

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1490, which would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions. The bill passed on a voice vote. 

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has always been a backdoor tax increase on the citizens of New Hampshire and we need to end it and bring in jobs. The program has been a colossal failure for reducing carbon emissions and has morphed from a program supposedly focused on the environment to a public-sector attempt at a stimulus program in which administrators pick winners and losers by directing ratepayer money to the winners. Repealing RGGI puts more money in the pockets of New Hampshire citizens through lower electric bills. Since New Hampshire has some of the highest electric rates, this repeal also sends a clear signal to the business community that we are reversing the state’s direction toward a pro-business environment.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“We believe the taxpayers should be able to keep their hard earned money in their pockets and use it as they see fit—not have the state collecting a stealth tax from them through electric rates to redistribute “green pork” to a few. At a time when we have skyrocketing energy costs it is unconscionable to continue to add these costs with our blind faith participation in RGGI. This bill helps to take the ‘money’ out of this program so that it can truly work on its goal of improving the environment and it also works to create immediate solutions to help lower electric costs. Finally, House Bill 1490 will fully repeal our participation with this program by 2015, finally ending our connection with this burdensome and special interest lead scheme.”

Thursday
Mar222012

NH House Leaders Comment on Passage of Bill to Allow Destination Specialty Hospitals in New Hampshire

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1642, which would allow destination specialty hospitals to locate in New Hampshire. HB 1642 passed 198 to 161.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Any organization that is seeking to invest millions of dollars into the continuation of a growth initiative that, by virtue of its success in other states has demonstrable value to its customers—in this case patients—is an organization I want to encourage to locate in New Hampshire. This legislation seeks to achieve the goal of a stronger economy and better care here. Allowing specialty hospitals to do business in New Hampshire would bring, at the very least, 500 new jobs and likely even more. We have an obligation to the 38,000 of our friends and neighbors who are currently looking for work to create jobs every responsible way possible. This is a jobs bill in one of its most virtuous forms. "

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Support of this bill sends a clear message and puts a stake in the ground that this House is serious about job creation and is willing to take the necessary steps to create them. Increasing competition will reduce the cost of healthcare to individuals and businesses and improve care in the right way as opposed to how Washington intends to provide healthcare, which is to force ObamaCare on our citizens with individual mandates and stifled competition.

“The definition of destination specialty hospitals only applies to for-profit hospitals.  While we would give these facilities an opportunity for Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET) relief, as a for-profit venture, they would still be subject to paying the Business Enterprise Tax (BET), the Business Profits Tax (BPT), as well as local property tax bringing increased revenue to both the state and community in which they locate.  This is very different from the vast majority of non-profit hospitals, which pay no BET and no BPT and a very limited property tax amount.

“We value competitive approaches to better healthcare. The House recently took a position in favor of repealing the certificate of need law because we have seen that limiting expansion, utilization and availability of medical services is ineffective at best and evidence shows that even worse it is counterproductive and drives up prices of healthcare costs. We hope the Senate shares these values and joins with us in passing this bill.”

Friday
Mar162012

NH House Leaders Comment on Increasing the Threshold for BET

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1418, which would increase the business enterprise tax (BET) threshold from $150,000 to $200,000 and the enterprise value tax base from $75,000 to $100,000. HB 1418 passed on a voice vote.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The business enterprise tax, which is a payroll tax, is a tax on job creation and House Bill 1418 is about providing relief to our employers. With this bill, the House seeks to give our employers another reason to feel the confidence to expand and create jobs in this economy. Based upon pro-business Republican reforms, 10,000 more New Hampshire residents are working than when the voters elected Republicans to take over the Legislature. This is how businesses respond to state government and its legislature that are partners, not adversaries, and the House will continue to prioritize pro-economic, pro-jobs legislation such as this.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“After over 100 new taxes and fees by the Democrats, it is no surprise that businesses were afraid to hire new workers. This bill is one more example of the steps that House Republicans are taking to create jobs here. This is a meaningful measure to send a clear message that New Hampshire is open for business.”