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Entries in NH Senate (336)

Thursday
May212015

NH Senate releases FY 2016-17 revenue estimates 

Concord, NH – The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved  their budget revenue estimates for FY 2016 and FY 2017 at $2,287,600,000 and $2,332,900,000 in general funds, respectively, during a hearing today.

“The Senate Ways and Means committee considered a number of factors while preparing the revenue estimates, which are essential guides for the rest of the Finance Committee’s work on the Senate budget proposal.  The revenues presented today represent conservative estimates and provide us with a strong, yet realistic, foundation for building the next budget,” said Ways and Means Committee Chair David Boutin (R-Hooksett).

“The Legislature has a long history of producing accurate revenue estimates and we expect today’s estimates to continue in the same way,” Boutin added.

“The Senate has the benefit of three and four months of additional monthly revenue numbers from which our final estimate is produced, including Rooms and Meals taxes, Business taxes, and Real Estate Transfer taxes, to name a few, which have been steadily increasing month to month.”

“The revenue estimates we reported today were comparable to the House estimates, and while these estimates do reflect an uptick in the revenue the state is receiving, they are below the Governor’s projected estimates that were recently updated,” continued Boutin.

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Thursday
May212015

NH Senate Finance delays decision on NH Health Protection Program re-authorization

Concord, NH – Senate Finance voted down an amendment that would reauthorize the NH Health Protection Program (NH HPP), a pilot program, as part of the state’s FY 16-17 operating budget.

“While we have seen positive preliminary results indicating a reduction in emergency room visits and uncompensated care, we believe the vote to re-authorize the NH HPP should occur next year when the plan has been fully implemented,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).

“Waiting until next year will allow more information to be considered so the legislature can make a informed decision regarding continuation of the program,” continued Bradley.

 “It is premature to consider re-authorization before the program has been fully implemented and we see outcomes in a more conclusive way,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“With more comprehensive data, we will have a stronger grasp of the effectiveness of this program next year when we will review and discuss the foundation for re-authorization,” added Forrester.

Thursday
May212015

NH Senate Finance restores funding to New Hampshire’s most vulnerable  

Concord, NH – The Senate Finance Committee voted today to restore major services as part of the Department of Health and Human Services budget. Funding for vital services including Meals on Wheels, Service Link, Emergency Shelters, and the Developmental Disabilities Waitlist were restored. The committee also increased funds to the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment fund.

 “We listened to our constituents and our state’s most vulnerable citizens’ concerns about losing the services that they use every day if cuts to funding had been made. In-home services, like Meals on Wheels and Service Link are critical components in assisting the state’s growing elderly population, allowing these individuals to stay in their homes for as long as possible,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“In addition to being a significant cost savings for New Hampshire taxpayers, bringing services to the elderly in their own homes over being admitted to a nursing home contributes to greater independence and a higher quality of life for many,” added Forrester.

“The Senate made the right move in providing full funding for the developmental disabilities waitlist and emergency shelters for the individuals who heavily rely on these services,” continued Forrester.

“The Senate has been committed to providing a budget that addresses the needs of the state’s most vulnerable. With today’s votes to restore significant DHHS cuts, we have developed a thoughtful and compassionate budget that considered the needs of many Granite Staters who benefit from this type of assistance,” said Forrester.

“Alcohol abuse in addition to growing opioid abuse problems are negatively affecting communities across the state and by adding resources for treatment and prevention we are working to make sure these individuals are receiving the support they need,” said Senate Finance Vice Chair Jerry Little (R-Weare). “This has been a priority of the Senate and I am encouraged by today’s vote.”

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Friday
Mar272015

Public Citizen - NH Senate calls for an amendment 

New Hampshire Senate Responds to People’s Call for a Constitutional Amendment to Address Citizens United

Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Co-Director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign

March 26, 2015

Note: Today, the New Hampshire Senate voted with bipartisan support to pass an amended version of SB 136. The bill calls for a constitutional amendment to address the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court ruling and creates a committee to study all constitutional amendments pending in the U.S. Congress.

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire Senate have at last responded to the people’s call to rein in the torrent of money that is flowing into New Hampshire’s political system. We applaud them and urge members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to follow suit and pass SB 136 as amended.

Today, thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Senators Russell Prescott (R-23) and Martha Fuller Clark (D-21), the Senate at last voted to pass a version of SB 136 that includes language specifically calling for a constitutional amendment. This reflects what the people of New Hampshire have been urging their elected officials to do in response to the surge of outside money being spent on state and federal elections. For example, more than $49 million from outside sources was spent on New Hampshire congressional races in 2014, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens in the state.

Earlier this month, New Hampshire citizens – from both political parties – made it crystal clear that they want to liberate elections from corporate, union and super-wealthy influence. Residents overwhelmingly passed warrants at 11 town meetings calling for a constitutional amendment to address the 2010 Citizens United ruling. This brings the total to 67 New Hampshire towns and cities that have passed resolutions.

Additionally, more than two-thirds of New Hampshire residents across party lines support a constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending, according to a poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

SB 136 will now head to the House, where state representatives will have a chance to follow the will of their constituents and pass the amended legislation. Once passed, New Hampshire would be the 17th state to call for a constitutional amendment to stop the flood of money.

Read more about the efforts to pass a constitutional amendment in New Hampshire.

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View this statement on our press page.

© 2015 Public Citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009

Friday
Mar202015

NH Sen Bradley announces Workers Comp Deal 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Bill provides 7.5% savings for businesses and government

 

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today applauded committee approval of a bill aimed at lowering workers compensation costs across New Hampshire. The Senate Commerce Committee has given its unanimous approval to SB 3, sending the bill to the Senate floor next week. Bradley has been working with employers and health care providers over the past three months to find a way to bring down costs. New Hampshire currently has the 9th highest Workers Compensation costs in the nation.

 

“This agreement will bring real savings to New Hampshire businesses, making it more affordable to create new jobs,” Bradley said. “It will also lower costs to state and local government, helping to balance budgets and keep taxes low.”

 

The bill approved by the Commerce Committee would lower medical costs charged under the state’s Workers Compensation program, and freeze those rates for three years. It would also require providers to justify disputed charges. Current law gives employers little recourse when presented with high medical bills. The bill would also improve transparency and accountability by giving employers more information on what competing providers are charging. Overall, SB 3 is expected to bring down medical costs under workers compensation by 7.5%. This is the first comprehensive reform to New Hampshire’s Workers Compensation Program since 1989.

 

“High workers compensation costs are a real barrier to economic growth, and bringing them down has been a top Senate priority,” added Commerce Committee Chair Russell Prescott (R-Exeter). “I’m pleased that we were able to reach a bipartisan consensus that addresses the needs of business and health care providers. Knowing more about the cost and quality of health care under workers comp is a breakthrough that will improve a program providing essential protections for New Hampshire workers injured on the job.”