Concord, N.H. – As the New Hampshire Senate begins work on the state’s budget, business leaders are calling on Senate Republicans to restore funding for critical economic development priorities championed by Governor Hassan in her fiscally responsible budget, including restoring funding to move forward with commuter rail and undoing cuts to tourism promotion.
See below for a coverage roundup:
Union Leader: Manchester group wants to restore rail funding
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is expected to vote on Tuesday to send a letter to state Senate budget writers urging them to restore funding for the next phase of a plan to bring passenger rail to the city.
On Monday, the board’s Special Committee on Economic Development voted unanimously to recommend sending the letter, after representatives of the city’s business community spoke in support of the project.
Michael Skelton, the president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, told the committee that the work of the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority needed to continue in light of the report it released late last year that concluded there would be substantial economic benefits to establishing passenger rail service between Manchester and Boston. [Full article]
Nashua Telegraph Op-Ed: Tourism promotion is essential to NH
Rusty McLear is co-owner and president of Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith. Alex Ray is owner and founder of The Common Man family of restaurants. Together, they are the principals of Granite State Hospitality, the company that is currently building the new state welcome centers on I-93 in Hooksett.
When the House of Representatives voted to cut New Hampshire’s tourism marketing budget, they put at risk revenue from tourism, one of the cornerstones of the state’s economy and of the state’s tax base.
Tourism is New Hampshire’s second largest industry, generating more than $5 billion of economic activity per year in the state. In 2014, the tourism industry supported 68,000 jobs in New Hampshire.
The number of visitors to the state has been growing steadily, tied to the growth in promotion by New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD). In 2014, 4.7 percent more visitors came to the state than in 2013, and their total spending increased by 6.9 percent.
In 2009, the legislature passed a law dedicating 3.15 percent of revenue from the rooms and meals tax to tourism promotion. The Legislature has suspended this law to cut $3.77 million, almost half of the Division’s total budget, from DTTD’s Tourism Development Fund.
Most states, including nearby Maine and Massachusetts, spend more than New Hampshire currently spends on tourism promotion. With cuts of this magnitude, New Hampshire will have one of the weakest tourism promotion budgets in the country.
What happens to tourism after a state stops promoting? When Colorado cut its tourism marketing budget from $12 million to zero in 1992, the state lost 30 percent of its market share within a two-year interval. After Colorado reinstated its promotional spending, it took 11 years to regain the market share it lost.
A reduction in tourism to New Hampshire would be devastating to our economy, and it would severely diminish tax revenue for our state government. A study by The Institute for New Hampshire Studies at Plymouth State University has determined that DTTD’s promotional activities generate at least $585 million in tourism spending annually. Losing that amount of spending would result in a loss of $53 million in net tax revenue to the state.
We understand that the Legislature faces many tough decisions as they decide on the state budget for the next two years. However, cutting promotion for tourism is short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible. In fact, we would argue that an increase in the tourism budget is the more logical path to solving our financial problems. In Fiscal Year 2014, state and local governments took in $9.23 of tax revenue for every dollar invested in tourism promotion.
Joined by members of the N.H. Travel Council and others in the tourism industry, we urge the Legislature to approve a budget that continues to fund tourism promotion at its previous level. It’s an investment that benefits all New Hampshire residents.
Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement today on Secretary Hillary Clinton's trip to New Hampshire:
"Granite Staters won't be fooled by Hillary Clinton's highly paid Washington consultants and their phony publicity campaign to rehabilitate her image. There's no hiding Hillary Clinton's decades of scandal, her history of deception and disregard for transparency, and her blind support for the failed Obama-Clinton agenda. While Democrats expect a coronation, Republicans are ready for a robust debate about the future."
WASHINGTON. D.C. – Congressman Guinta joined Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) last week in introducing legislation to help prevent prescription drug and heroin overdoses in the United States.
“Heroin and other illicit drugs are now killing more Granite Staters than traffic accidents, bringing into clear focus New Hampshire’s heroin emergency. This is unacceptable, and must be dealt with immediately. I have been working with and speaking to stakeholders on this issue from first responders to mental health and substance abuse counselors - among others - to identify solutions to eliminate this growing problem. This bipartisan bill is one part of an overall strategy to tackle this by providing protection to first responders educated in administering Narcan to reverse the effects of an overdose, saving the lives of countless individuals in the process.
According to the Washington Post, “overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than traffic fatalities or gun homicides and suicides. Fatal overdoses from opiate medications such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Methadone have quadrupled since 1999, accounting for an estimated 16,651 deaths in 2010.”
However, death from heroin and other opioid drugs may be prevented if the victim is administered an opioid overdose drug, such as Naloxone (also known as Narcan), in a timely manner.
The Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015 would exempt from civil liability emergency administration of opioid overdose-reversing drugs, like Naloxone, by people who prescribe or are prescribed them.
TUESDAY, APRIL 21 IN THE NH HOUSE
CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Sununu Youth Services Center, 1056 North River Road, Manchester
10:30 a.m. Committee tour of the facility.
COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 105, relative to child-resistant packaging for tobacco products and establishing a committee to study revising the indoor smoking act.
1:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 266-FN, adopting the Uniform Securities Act.
2:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 188-FN, revising banking, credit union, and trust laws.
3:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 254, establishing a committee to study the provision of services to the public through peer-to-peer or sharing economy businesses.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on SB 40-FN, including a viable fetus in the definition of "another" for the purposes of certain criminal offenses, SB 53, repealing the interagency coordinating council for women offenders and transferring certain members and duties to the interbranch criminal and juvenile justice council, SB 72, relative to confidentiality of police personnel files and establishing a commission to study the use of police personnel files as they relate to the Laurie List, SB 106-FN, restricting the sale or possession of synthetic drugs, SB 153, relative to the accessibility of criminal records, and SB 236-FN, relative to alcohol ignition interlock requirements.
ELECTION LAW, Room 308, LOB
11:00 a.m. Public hearing on a non-germane amendment to SB 39, relative to recounts on questions. The proposed amendment requires notice to voters requesting a recount on certain local questions and public posting of notice of the time and place of the recount. This bill also eliminates the requirement that photographs taken by the moderator of voters who do not present identification be in color. Copies of the amendment are available in the Sergeant-at-Arms' office and online.
11:15 a.m. Executive session on SB 39, relative to recounts on questions, SB 92, establishing a committee to study public access to political campaign information, and SB 179, relative to eligibility to vote.
ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE, Room 303, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on retained HB 499, permitting New Hampshire farmers to sell certain farm raised animals directly to the public.
FINANCE (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on SB 32, relative to state agency budgetary reporting requirements.
(DIVISION III), Room 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on SB 8-FN-L, relative to appropriations for nursing homes.
(DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on SB 32, relative to state agency budgetary reporting requirements.
FINANCE, Representatives Hall, State House
1:00 p.m. SB 30-FN-L, permitting counties with unincorporated areas to establish tax increment financing districts. The public hearing will include consideration of a non-germane amendment which relates to the Business Finance Authority’s ability to guarantee bonds. Copies of the amendment are available in the Sergeant-at-Arms’ office and online.
This hearing in Representatives Hall will be “live streamed” on the General Court website.
JUDICIARY, Room 208, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on SB 19, relative to the payment of restitution among and between co-defendants, and SB 167, relative to filing of small claims.
1:00 p.m. Continued public hearing SB 240, protecting certified public accountants from prosecution or penalty for providing services to alternative treatment centers.
Executive session on pending legislation may follow.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:15 a.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 45, relative to opioid treatment agreements under workers' compensation law.
11:00 a.m. SB 133-FN, relative to certain health care data and relative to certain workers’ compensation medical claim data collected by the insurance department.
1:00 p.m. Executive session on SB 186, reestablishing the commission to study soft tissue injuries under workers' compensation and to study the feasibility of developing a first responder's critical injury fund.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
10:00 a.m. SB 235, relative to the condominium act and the land sales full disclosure act.
10:15 a.m. SB 242-L, relative to amending the budget in towns that have adopted official ballot voting. The public hearing will include consideration of a non-germane amendment which ratifies the result of a warrant article in the town of Franconia. Copies of the amendment are available in the Sergeant-at-Arms’ office and online.
10:30 a.m. SB 146, relative to accessory dwelling units.
TRANSPORTATION, Room 203, LOB
10:00 a.m. SB 29-FN, relative to fines for motor vehicle offenses.
10:30 a.m. SB 114-FN, enabling a driver’s license applicant to request that his or her license indicate that he or she has a medically recognized disorder.
11:00 a.m. SB 234, establishing a committee to study the use of law enforcement details and flaggers for traffic control on municipally maintained roads.
1:00 p.m. Executive session on SB 62, relative to drivers' licenses for persons without a permanent address, SB 63, relative to membership of the board of directors for the New Hampshire rail transit authority, SB 78, relative to original and youth operators' licenses, SB 160, relative to duplicate vessel registration certificates, SB 171, establishing a committee to study issues concerning parking for those with walking disabilities, SB 230-FN-L, relative to speed limits on state roads that are seasonally congested by pedestrian and bicycle traffic, SB 231, relative to the month of inspection for municipal fleets, and SB 252, establishing a committee to study a number plate commemorating Laconia Motorcycle Week.
WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:00 a.m. Full committee work session on SB 113-FN-A-L, relative to video lottery and table gaming.
2:00 p.m. Executive session on SB 113-FN-A-L, relative to video lottery and table gaming.