Press Releases

 

Thursday
May282009

WH Media - President Obama Marks 100th Day of Recovery Act with Release of “100 Days, 100 Projects” Report 

Report Includes Over $467 Million Recovery Act Investment in Geothermal, Solar Technology President Will Announce Today in Nevada

 

LAS VEGAS, NV – President Barack Obama today marked the 100th day of the Recovery Act by releasing “100 Days, 100 Projects,” a report from the Vice President that highlights the progress the country has made in the first 100 days of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the work that is already being done to build a new foundation for America’s economic recovery. To view the report, click HERE.

 

“One hundred days ago, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in half a century, we passed the most sweeping economic recovery act in history – a plan designed to save jobs, create new ones, and put money in people’s pockets,” President Obama said. “Now, one hundred days later, we are meeting our economic challenges head-on and beginning to see early signs of progress across the country.”

 

Among the projects in the report are two new Recovery Act investments totaling over $467 million to expand and accelerate the development and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the country that the President will announce today during a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Nellis Air Force Base is home to the largest solar photovoltaic array in the United States, and 25 percent of the energy used by the 12,000 people that live and work on the base is generated by the 72,000 solar panel installation. The Recovery Act funds announced today represent a substantial down payment on bringing renewable energy technology like that used at Nellis to the mass market and is expected to create thousands of jobs, particularly in the western United States. To learn more about the new Recovery Act investments in geothermal and solar energy technology, click HERE.

 

Today’s announcement is just one of the many ways the Recovery Act is jump-starting the economy today and building a new foundation for sustained economic growth in the future. Across the country, the Recovery Act is already at work, providing essential financial relief for American families and businesses, creating and saving jobs, and spurring technology and infrastructure investments that will lay the groundwork for the new economy – and work is just getting started.

 

In Southern California, construction is underway on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Project on the San Diego Freeway, one of the most congested highways in the nation, because of a $189.9 million Recovery Act investment.

 

In Cumberland, Maine, Storey Brothers Trucking, a small family-owned business that was struggling to pay its 19 employees is now back to work and boosting the local economy because of a $2 million Recovery Act grant awarded to the Portland Water District for upgrading the town’s sewer system.

 

In Pearl, Mississippi, a $1.3 million Recovery Act grant award is allowing the Family Health Care Clinic to open three new branches that will offer medical and dental services to low-income and uninsured residents and provide increased job oppor­tunities in the community by employing 70 staff over the next two years.

 

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a $17.5 million Recovery Act grant is funding the development of a solar fuels research center that will conduct research on how to use artificial photo­synthesis to produce low-cost and efficient solar fuels.

 

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law on February 17, 2009. Just 100 days into the two-year economic recovery program, over $112 billion in Recovery Act funds has been obligated to stimulative programs and projects and over 150,000 jobs have been created or saved by the Recovery Act.

 

In addition to providing immediate relief measures for American families like the Making Work Pay tax credit and a 65 percent reduction in COBRA health insurance premiums, the Recovery Act also provides new and expanded energy-efficiency and first-time homebuyer tax credits that are driving fresh consumer demand and makes multi-billion dollar long-term investments in high-speed rail, broadband access, a nationwide smart energy grid and a modern health information technology system. To learn more about the Recovery Act, click HERE.

 

Thursday
May282009

CPR-Action - Reacts to Senate Defeat of Non-binding Referendum on Gay Marriage 

Concord – Today, CPR-Action Executive Director, Kevin Smith, reacted to the Senate defeating a non-binding referendum on gay marriage, presented as an amendment by Senator Bragdon to HB513:

 

"It is very disappointing that the Senate would not even allow a non-binding referendum to go before the voters on such a contentious and divisive issue as gay marriage. A day after the voters in California had their say in the matter upheld by the courts there, and with the voters in Mainewaiting to exercise their "people's veto" on theissue later this year, it is incredibly undemocratic of the New Hampshire Senate to tell the voters of our state that they will not get their say on the matter, especially when so many are asking for the opportunity. If the supporters of gay marriage are so confident that thepeople in the state also supportit, why are they afraid to put the question before the voters?"

 

Smith added, "One thing is for sure, the voters will no doubt express their opinion on this matter at the ballot box next year when it's time to vote for candidates who havesupported and opposed gay marriage."

 

 

CPR-Action is the legislative advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research.

 

Thursday
May282009

SEIA - New Tax Incentives Mean It's A Great Time To Go Solar 

Industry releases FAQ’s on how federal tax credits help homeowners, companies and utilities install solar energy systems.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association today released Version 3.0 of its solar tax guide to its nearly 1,000 member companies. The updated guide explains new federal incentives for solar energy and will help SEIA members to better advise customers that are interested in installing solar at their homes and businesses.

 

SEIA’s “Guide to Federal Tax Incentives for Solar Energy” is the source for all information on all federal incentives and is available to all SEIA members. The updated guide includes all provisions in the recently passed economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The guide also includes provisions from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed last October.

 

Federal tax incentives covered include the 30-percent solar investment tax credit extended for 8 years through 2016; removal of the $2,000 cap on residential photovoltaic and solar water heating systems; and how the Federal credit can be used with state and local incentives.

 

“I was able to install solar panels on my own home in 2006 because of tax incentives,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Installing solar has significantly reduced my energy bills and on most days provides all the clean energy my family needs. With the expansion of tax breaks that are now available, there has never been a better time to install solar at your home or business and take advantage of the best clean energy value available.”

 

SEIA’s Frequently-Asked Questions for tax incentives can be found at: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/SEIATaxManual_v3-0_FAQ.pdf

 

SEIA members can download a copy of the full manual by logging into the members-only section of SEIA’s web-site:http://www.seia.org

A Table of Contents is available at: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/SEIATaxManual_v3-0_ToC.pdf

 

Homeowners and business owners should also check on local and state incentives for installing solar at www.dsireuse.org.

 

Wednesday
May272009

Daily News from the Veterans Today Network 

Recession Ending in '09

Survey shows they see tepid recovery and mounting unemployment


WASHINGTON - More than 90 percent of economists predict the recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be bumpy.


That assessment came from leading forecasters in a survey by the National Association for Business Economics to be released Wednesday. It is generally in line with the outlook from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues.
Read More >

 

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Wednesday
May272009

NH State Senator Bradley - Back to the Budget 

American icon Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” For New Hampshire legislators and voters overwhelmed with the on-going debate over same sex marriage, Yogi’s words ring true.

 

A little history. Two years ago New Hampshire approved civil unions -- designed to insure that same sex couples had the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples under New Hampshire law. Supporters of civil unions (the ardent proponents of same sex marriage today) claimed then, that civil unions would resolve discrimination issues for same sex couples. That was then!

 

Fast forward to this legislative session. Same sex marriage legislation was introduced in the House, and initially defeated by 1 vote, then reconsidered and passed by 7 votes. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee recommended killing the bill. But after an amendment was introduced at the last minute, a Senator changed positions, and suddenly it passed 13-11. Had the vote been 12-12 as expected, same sex legislation would have failed. For the record, I voted in opposition to same sex marriage.

 

Nail-biting votes are only the beginning of this legislation’s problems. Now the actual wording has become a huge issue. First, an amendment was added (without a public hearing) to unrelated legislation to provide protection from litigation to religious institutions unwilling to marry same sex couples. That did not satisfy Governor Lynch. He proposed further language to protect individuals associated with religious institutions from litigation who are unwilling to marry same sex couples. That language was added to yet a third piece of legislation again without a public hearing. This sailed through the Senate 14-10 but faltered in the House, losing by two votes 186 to 188.

 

Even veteran observers in Concord are shaking their heads about this chaotic and unprecedented legislative process. Get a block away from the State House and people’s heads are spinning over legislative maneuverings, endless votes, and the Legislature hijacked by one issue.

 

Meanwhile for most New Hampshire citizens---Rome is burning. I recently had a very extensive conversation with voters in the Special Election in Senate District 3. Whether in their yards, on their back porches, or seated at their kitchen tables, I listened to their concerns. Voters told me repeatedly they lay awake at night worried about finding a job, keeping a job, providing for their families, and paying their mortgages. They are further terrified about budget deficits: deficits of trillions of dollars as far as the eye can see in Washington and hundreds of millions of dollars in Concord. And people are fearful that with these budget deficits only one thing can happen: taxes will soar.

 

While the legislature is distracted by divisive issues such as same sex marriage, NH’s unemployment rate has climbed to 6.3% which means nearly 20,000 of our friends and neighbors have lost their jobs in the last year. The national unemployment rate of 8.9% is even bleaker.

 

Can 8.9% unemployment happen here? Perhaps. A respected economist predicted that 13,000 more people will lose jobs in NH before the economy begins to turn around. That’s dire for people already worried.

 

One reason NH has fared better until now relative to other states is our perceived low tax status—in particular our lack of general income or sales taxes. Unfortunately that low tax status is about to change.

 

While the media spotlight has focused on social issues such as same sex marriage, the House budget has proposed new and higher taxes and a multitude of new and increased fees. Most notably, the House budget creates a new capital gains tax (cost $75 million), a new death tax (cost $10 million), increases the hospitality tax (cost $39 million), increases tobacco taxes for the 4th time in five years (cost $57 million), and nearly doubles the gas tax (cost $ 76 million). All these new taxes and f ees will be used to fund increased spending OVER AND ABOVE the current budget spending increases of 17.5%. If that were not enough – the House budget fails to fund $133 million of revenue sharing for towns and cities. That means property taxes will soar – especially in communities such as Conway, Exeter, Manchester and Nashua. Are income or sales taxes next?

 

Here is an idea. Let’s put aside the debate on same sex marriage as the Legislature is hopelessly divided. Let’s allow voters to weigh in on that issue through a referendum in the 2010 elections. In the mean time let’s focus on our economy and getting people back to work. That must begin with balancing our budget without new and higher taxes on New Hampshire’s struggling families and businesses.

 

I am one member of the Legislature hoping to do just that with 423 legislative colleagues and Governor Lynch.

 

-By Jeb Bradley-