Today in the New Hampshire State Senate, Senate Democrats delivered a crushing blow to small businesses across the state. In response to the workers compensation legislation, Senate Bill 471, the legislation that increased business insurance premiums by tens of thousands of dollars Senate Democrats decided to ignore the pleas of small business owners. Rather than passing an amendment repealing the new tax mandate on small businesses they voted to protect the special interest labor unions that propelled them into office nearly a year ago. “In a time when small business is struggling to survive, Senate Democrats offered no financial relief for the mom and pop businesses,” began Minority Leader, Ted Gatsas (R-Manchester).
The amendment proposed by Senate Democrats to SB 471 exempted businesses that enter into “rental agreements” with the State of New Hampshire. Any business owned and operated by one person wishing to bid on a state contract must purchase costly insurance. “Senate Democrats have sent a message they are going to pick and choose when it comes to who the state does business with making it financially viable for only organized labor to secure contract,” stated Senator Jack Barnes (R-Raymond).
Senate Republicans offered an alternative amendment that would have leveled the playing field. All businesses would be guided by the same fair rules of the game regardless of the type of contract they would be bidding on making it financially viable for all businesses to compete for state contracts. “The Republican solution would have helped struggling business. Now we are sending a message that the small business, the entrepreneur, “the little guy” need not apply in New Hampshire,” concluded Robert Clegg (R-Hudson).
The Republican amendment was rejected by the full Senate body on a partisan vote of 13-10.