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Entries in NH House Republicans (137)


NH House Republicans Comment on ACA Related State Budget Concerns 

CONCORD - Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Finance Committee Ranking Republican Neal Kurk (R-Weare) offered the following comments relative to news that enrollment in the State’s traditional Medicaid program has spiked, in part due to the ACA related individual mandates, and that DHHS is facing a $37 million budget shortfall.


House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)


“For months prior to Obamacare mandates taking effect, we were warned that an enrollment surge was a likely possibility. Now we’re faced with another potential state budget breaker largely as a result of this unpopular federal law. It’s great that the federal government is picking up 50% of the cost for this pool of new enrollees, but states shouldn’t have been expected to absorb all of this excess in cost all at once. This situation is essentially an unfunded mandate, made possible by a poorly conceived law.”


House Finance Committee Ranking Republican Neal Kurk (R-Weare)

“It’s safe to say that the DHHS estimates for increased enrollment in traditional Medicaid were too low. While it’s never easy to make predictions with 100% certainty, this surge was not unexpected. Health care experts had been warning that, with all of the attention being given to ObamaCare, individuals eligible for traditional Medicaid would "come out of the woodwork" in droves. The experts were right. This is not a temporary problem. New Hampshire taxpayers will have to continue to fund the state's share of the cost to provide care for many of these new enrollees into the foreseeable future.”

"We can only hope that enrollment estimates for the new, three-year, expanded Medicaid program don’t follow suit. That would be very expensive for taxpayers, as they must pick up 10% of the cost of the program should it be made permanent by the legislature."


NH House Republican Leader Reacts to NH Ranking 30 th in CNBC’s Top States for Business 

Concord- House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) released the following statement in reaction to CNBC’s recently published ranking of the top states to do business. CNBC ranked New Hampshire 30th in the nation to do business, slipping from 27th in 2013.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“New Hampshire’s strength has always been attracting and retaining business. This should serve as a red flag that the next legislature must work diligently to improve New Hampshire’s business climate in order to ensure the high ranking we enjoyed in previous years. Republicans have fought back as the current majority sought to suspend several business initiatives that were passed by the previous legislature, however the majority continued to over spend and over regulate businesses in New Hampshire causing us to slip from 19th to 27th in 2013 and 27th to 30th in 2014. This is unacceptable.”

“There should be a serious focus on making this state more business friendly. We should be meeting with businesses to see what they need to thrive in New Hampshire, and not pass laws based on what we think they need. We need to compete regionally and nationally in order for businesses to locate, grow and create jobs here in New Hampshire. Our long term economic viability depends on it.”


NH House Republican Leader Statement on House Action on SB415 Budget Surplus 

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following statement relative to the House vote on SB415, a bill that would deposit the remaining surplus funds from FY2013 into the Rainy Day fund. Democrats on the Finance committee proposed the bill be sent to interim study. The committee recommendation passed in committee on party lines, 13-10. The committee recommendation of “Refer for Interim Study” passed the full House by a vote of 151-127.


House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)


“What is there to study? In just the last month, we’ve done all of the work an interim study committee could possibly do. Just look at the New Hampshire’s Rainy Day fund balance. It’s just $9.3million, which is not enough to run state government for more than a day and a half. We’ve also seen two major bond rating agencies issue negative credit alerts on the state’s financial outlook citing our low reserve fund balance as a factor in their analysis. What other piece of negative news could we possibly be waiting for?”

“Former State Treasurer Cathy Provencher testified in January that we should strive to have 5%-10% of general fund unrestricted revenue in reserves. Our current balance represents just 0.7% - less than 1% - of general fund unrestricted revenue. Passing SB415 would be a small but important and necessary step in reaching that goal. I’m sorry House Democrats would rather spend the surplus rather than use it to contribute to our financial security.”


House Republicans Comment on Passage of SB413 Medicaid Expansion

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee, Neal Kurk (R-Weare) offered the following statements in reaction to the House vote on SB413, relative to access to health insurance coverage. The bill passed the House by a 202-132 vote


House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“The majority of House Republicans weren’t convinced this bill is the right solution for New Hampshire. There are a number of Republican members who won’t vote for any program tied to the failed Obamacare law and the vote today reflected that. There are concerns about how the state will be able to pay for this type of entitlement expansion in perpetuity and if that could lead to significant budget problems down the road. This type and scale of program represents the largest increase in spending New Hampshire has seen for some time, and it is dependent on funding from the federal government which can’t seem to keep many promises.”

“In order to implement SB413 as written, the State requires approval from the federal government. Until then, we will be expending resources on something that may never fully materialize. Getting that approval prior to starting the program is common sense. Any household would want their permit approved prior to starting a large addition. If the waivers aren’t approved, we’ll have expended resources on startup and implementation costs and we’ll have extended coverage to citizens only to reverse course.”

Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), Ranking Republican, House Finance Committee

“Republicans offered common sense amendments to add reasonable financial safeguards to the bill. We believe that if New Hampshire enters into this expansion of Obamacare, we should to our best to eliminate our exposure to fiscal disaster. Waivers should be in place before any aspect of any program moves forward. Cost and enrollment estimates are just estimates. There should be some mechanism by which the program cost or enrollment cannot balloon out of control.  The cost of insuring the 50,000 able-bodied but low-income adults who, it is estimated, will qualify for the  program is significant – about $340 million a year once the program is up and running. When the federal funding share drops we need protections from runaway costs.”


NH House Republican Leader Comments on Bill That Spends Anticipated Surplus

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) released the following statement relative to the House vote on HB1635, the second bill of the week that reopens the state budget to increase spending by using estimated budget surplus dollars. The bill passed by a vote of 173-125.

House Republican Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“In just two days, the Democratically controlled House has passed two bills that spend surplus funds and reopen the budget to increase spending. This is not fiscally responsible. We had an opportunity to bolster our state rainy day fund by saving the entire 2013 surplus, something the State Treasurer agrees is the right thing to do.  Yesterday, when the House passed HB 1411, almost half of those funds were spent. Now, by passing HB1635, we are not only opening up the budget once again, we’re spending money we don’t have yet. We’re now proposing to use funds from the current budget surplus, which is only anticipated, not guaranteed.  This is a disturbing trend that most New Hampshire citizens wouldn’t consider for their own household budgets.”