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Entries in NH House (276)


NH House Republican Majority Caucus comments on Rules meeting 

Today during the House Rules committee meeting, the Speaker, elected by a majority of the Democrats, showed his true colors for the first time.  When the motion to allow each caucus to independently select and vote for their own leader, Speaker Jasper voted along with the Democrats to oppose this change.  After years of allowing the minority party to nominate and select their own leader, Jasper potentially sets up a precedence where the Speaker can select who leads each party.

Upon learning of the pitfalls of this decision, Rep Stephen Stepanek - Amherst stated, "Given the fact that the past precedents of the House, such as the Minority Leader casting a single ballot for the Speaker or a fellow member of the majority party challenging the majority party Speaker nominee, have been violated, I feel this rule change is needed.  The precedent has not been followed.  We need to put in to Rules procedures to protect the integrity of the House and of the minority and majority caucuses."


The other major change the new House Leadership made during the Rules committee meeting was to suppress transparency by doubling the number of reps needed to second a roll call vote.  Traditionally, the House rules required 10 other members  to second a motion for a role call.

 Rep. Hoell - Dunbarton, speaking for the House Republican Majority Office voiced his frustration over this proposed change in making the following statement: "It is unfortunate that Reps. Jasper and Shurtleff are more interested in hiding their actions at the State House than supporting the
traditional transparency given to the citizens of New Hampshire."


NH House - Leadership positions

Jasper Selects strong Republican team to drive New Hampshire's Agenda


Concord--- NH House Speaker Shawn Jasper (r-Hudson) today announced  his leadership team that will preside over the House standing committees over the next biennium.  The newly elected leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives called upon a number of veteran republican legislators, as well as several lawmakers who will be serving in a leadership role for the first time.”


“I have made it clear from the beginning that I would be all inclusive in putting together our leadership team,” said Jasper.  “I am proud to be working with a team of leaders,  representing a diverse and talented cross section of our party,  that will help us develop and drive an agenda addressing critical issues of concern to the people and future of our state,” he added. “During our upcoming caucus on December 17 we will begin to develop our agenda from the ground up through an exchange of ideas from within our caucus.  We have been given the opportunity to lead and I look forward to getting to work on the issues that really matter to the people we all were sent to Concord to represent. "


The  Finance Committee, key to the formation of the next biennial state budget,  will be chaired by Neal Kurk (r-Weare) a veteran of the committee and former chair who is entering his 15th term as a member of the House.  Each of the three committee divisions will chaired by members with a strong background in finance .  Lynne Ober (r-Hudson), entering her sixth term in the House, will serve as vice chair for the Finance Committee and will also preside as chairman of Division 1.   David Danielson (r-Bedford) will serve as the vice-chair for Division 1.  The Division II chair will be Karen Umberger (r-Kearsarge).  She will be assisted by Vice Chair Laurie Sanborn (r-Bedford).  Heading up Division III of Finance will be Richard Barry (r-Merrimack).  Serving as his Vice Chair will be Betsy McKinney (r-Londonderry), a veteran lawmaker beginning her 16th term.


The Ways and Means Committee, which considers and reports on all bills and resolutions relating to raising money, will be chaired once again by Norman Major (r-Kingston), entering his 10th term in the House, and also a former chair of the committee. Patrick  Abrami (r-Stratham) will serve as the vice chair.


Sherm Packard (r-Londonderry) a former Republican leader and committee chair,  entering his 13th term,  will serve as Speaker Pro Tempore.  Richard Hinch (r-Merrimack) was named the Majority Whip and Kathleen Hoelzel (r-Raymond) will serve as his deputy. Previously announced to leadership positions were Gene Chandler (r-Bartlett) as Deputy Speaker and Jack Flanagan (r-Brookline) as Majority Leader.


Additional leadership positions, including the deputy majority leader will be announced in the next few days.


Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the remaining committees include:


Children and Family Law:

Carolyn Gargasz (r-Hollis), Chair

Debra I. DeSimone (r-Atkinson) Vice Chair

Commerce and Consumer Affairs

John B. Hunt (r-Rindge) Chair

Laura Jones (r-Rochester) Vice Chair

Criminal Justice and Public Safety

John E. Tholl, Jr. (r-Whitefield) Chair

David A. Welch  (r-Kingston)  Vice Chair


Rick Ladd (r-Haverhill) Chair

John Balcom (r-Merrimack) Vice Chair

Election Law

Kathleen M. Hoelzel (r-Raymond) Chair

James P. Gray (r-Rochester) Vice Chair

Environment & Agriculture

Robert Haefner (r-Hudson) Chair

John T. O’Connor (r-Derry) Vice Chair

Executive Departments & Administration

Andrew Christie (r-Hampton Falls) Chair

John Sytek (r-Salem) Vice Chair

Fish and Game and Marine Resources

David Kidder (r-New London) Chair

Jim Webb (r-Derry) Vice Chair

Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs

Frank R. Kotowski (r-Hooksett) Chair

Donald LeBrun (r-Nashua) Vice Chair


Robert Rowe (r-Amherst) Chair

Joe Hagan (r-Chester) Vice Chair

Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services

William Infantine (r-Manchester) Chair

Tammy Simmons (r-Manchester) Vice Chair

Legislative Administration

Richard Hinch (r-Merrimack) Chair

Jack Flanagan (r-Brookline) Vice Chair

Municipal and County Government

James Belanger (r-Hollis) Chair

Frank Sterling (r-Jaffrey) Vice Chair

Public Works and Highways

Gene G. Chandler (r-Bartlett) Chair

Mark McConkey (r-Freedom) Vice Chair

Resources, Recreation and Development

Chris Christensen (r-Merrimack) Chair

Beverly A. Ferrante (r-Derry) Vice Chair


Shawn Jasper (r-Hudson) Chair

Gene G. Chandler (r-Bartlett) Vice Chair

Science, Technology and Energy

Robert Introne (r-Londonderry) Chair

Herb Richardson (r-Lancaster) Vice Chair

State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs

Russell T. Ober (r-Hudson) Chair

Phillip Straight (r-Merrimack) Vice Chair


Steven D. Smith (r-Charleston) Chair

Thomas Walsh (r-Manchester) Vice Chair




Congressman Douglas to serve as NH House Legal Counsel



Concord—Chuck Douglas, of Bow, NH, a former New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice and Congressman, today agreed to serve as legal counsel to the Speaker of the New Hampshire House, Shawn Jasper. “I couldn’t be happier that Congressman Douglas will be joining our team,” said Jasper.  “Given his background both on the bench and in congress, he will be an invaluable resource to the House as we move forward.” The Congressman has also served as the legal counsel to the New Hampshire Republican Party.


Douglas got his first taste of the New Hampshire Legislature during the 1965 legislative session, serving as the administrative assistant to the House Majority Leader while a government major at UNH.  In 1973 and 1974 he served in the executive branch as legal counsel to Governor Meldrim Thomson.  He was later appointed to be a superior court judge in 1974.  In 1977, at age 34, Douglas was appointed to the New Hampshire Supreme  Court—the youngest high court judge in the nation.  He served on the court until 1985 when he resigned to resume private practice in Concord.


Douglas was elected to congress and served in 1989 and 1990, representing New Hampshire’s second congressional district. His military career consisted of 23 years with the army national guard where he served as the state’s judge advocate general.  He retired as a full colonel from the New Hampshire Army National Guard.


“Chuck has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to dealing with all three of the branches of state government, “ added Speaker Jasper.  “I am confident that he will be ready and able to deal with any legal issues or challenges that come before us.” 



NH House Majority Leader Comments on Supreme Court Ruling on Retirement System 

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) offered the following comment relative to the Supreme Court ruling that upheld legislative changes to the New Hampshire Retirement System.


House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan


“We all want a healthy and solvent retirement system for current and future public employees and first responders. With a $5 billion unfunded liability, one of the highest unfunded rates in the nation, modifications and reforms to the way in which the system works were necessary.”


“This decision gives us confidence that future legislative reforms are possible and permissible. House Republicans will continue to offer reasonable proposals, without increasing taxes, to strengthen our pension system and reduce the unfunded liability.”



Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement on the Republican victories in the New Hampshire State Senate and House of Representatives:


"Granite Staters sent a clear message to Governor Maggie Hassan by electing strong majorities to the State Senate and House of Representatives - it's time to stop spending our way to an income tax in New Hampshire. New Hampshire residents are fed up with Maggie Hassan's reckless management of the state budget and her failure to grow the economy, and the Republican majority in our state legislature will bring common sense to Concord."