Concord - Yesterday, Republicans in the New Hampshire State Senate voted to block efforts by Democrats to expedite electric assistance (SB-300) to struggling New Hampshire families. While a bi-partisan vote had been expected, in a surprising turn of events, only the Democratic majority voted to fast-track the process. Every Republican voted no.
The legislation would have provided up to 8,000 households in New Hampshire with discounts ranging from 5 to 70 percent on their electrical bill. By blocking the vote Republicans prevent the Senate from voting on bill until next week. Furthermore, the decision could delay the entire process for up to a month.
"New Hampshire has a long tradition of fast-tracking time sensitive legislation that is critical for the people of the Granite state and a long record of both parties putting aside partisan politics to help struggling families," said Representative Jeff Goley.
"It's sad that the Republican Party has decided to ignore this tradition and instead decided to block important legislation that would provide electric assistance to 8,000 New Hampshire families," Rep. Goley continued.
"We all know how cold New Hampshire can get in January," added Rep. Goley. "It's essential that the Senate do everything they can to help New Hampshire families keep the heat on."
The vote comes on the eve of a cold front that is expected to hit New Hampshire, bringing temperatures as low 5 degrees on Sunday.
The decision by the Republican Party reinforces why the special election in Senate District 16 is so important for both the people of the district and the Granite State. The vote was 14-9 along party lines but the motion to allow for a fast-track required a two-third supermajority. If Rep. Goley was elected to the state Senate Democrats would be only one vote short of the two-thirds supermajority required to fast-track important legislation like electric assistance.
The voters of Senate District 16, which includes Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester, are holding an election to replace former Senator Ted Gatsas who resigned from his seat when he became Mayor of Manchester.
The primary will be held January 12th, followed by the general election on February 16th. Terry Pfaff and Rep. David Boutin are the two Republicans running for the seat. Rep. Jeff Goley is the only Democrat in the race.
Republican vote could delay assistance for up to a month; vote reinforces importance of a Democratic voice for Senate District 16