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Entries in NH Senate (361)

Saturday
Aug222015

NH Senate Republican Caucus - Legislators concerned by Dover education adequacy suit  

Lifting education adequacy cap stalled by budget veto.

Budget veto stalls funding increases to growing communities

Concord, NH – Following the city of Dover filing a lawsuit seeking increased payments for state education adequacy funding with the Strafford County Superior court this week, Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) and Senate Education Committee Vice-Chair Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton) issued the following statements.

“The budget that was passed by the legislature focused, in part, on returning additional funding to cities and towns across the state, including measures to lift the education adequacy cap completely over the next two years,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“We heard from school districts impacted by the cap that are substantially underfunded with the current formula throughout the process of developing the budget.  But, unfortunately, because Governor Hassan vetoed the legislative budget, school districts whose populations have seen a dramatic increase, like Dover, will not receive increased adequacy funding beyond the existing formula for the next school year,” Forrester added. “This level of uncertainty for schools is another stark consequence of a vetoed budget that cities and towns are dealing with.”

 “I've worked to continually improve education funding for many years and I've heard from many school districts that the funding formula does not meet the needs to provide a satisfactory education for our children in growing or changing communities across the state,” said Senate Education Committee Vice-Chair Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton)

“The budget that passed both the House and Senate this spring took steps to remove the education adequacy funding cap, by lifting it to 160% in 2017 and completely removing it by 2018 so school districts can begin receiving full adequacy payments due per student. I remain concerned that because of the vetoed budget, which included removing the adequacy cap, these critical fixes to education funding will be delayed even longer,” Stiles added.

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Tuesday
Jul212015

NH Senators disappointed in Hassan veto of tax fairness bill 

Concord, NH – Senators Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) today expressed their disappointment in Governor Hassan’s decision to veto a bill protecting New Hampshire start-ups from taxes on phantom income.

 

“I’m disappointed that Governor Hassan would veto a bill to protect New Hampshire companies from paying taxes on phantom income. That’s why the bipartisan Commission to Study Business Taxes recommended correcting this provision in 2011,” Bradley said. “This tax is not on profits or capital gains, but on the potential increase in shareholder value. This bill eliminates a huge disincentive for start-ups here in New Hampshire. Hundreds of good jobs are at stake, and we want a tax code that attracts start-ups to our state.”

 

HB 550 would clarify that a New Hampshire business would not be subject to Business Profits Tax simply because it went public, attracting investment and raising the perceived value of its stock. Under the NH Department of Revenue Administration’s current interpretation of the tax code, growing businesses could owe millions in higher taxes, even though they haven’t received any additional business income to pay those taxes.

 

“Whether it’s attacking out of state businesses who create good jobs in New Hampshire, or blocking repeal of this unfair tax on phantom income, Governor Hassan seems to think business owners are the enemy,” Sanborn added. “Entrepreneurs take risks, create jobs, and will help revive the New Hampshire economy, if the Governor would give them the chance.”

 

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Wednesday
Jul012015

NH Sen. Forrester leads Senate Finance review of Legislature’s balanced budget 

Forrester stands by balanced budget, as Hassan overspends.

Concord, NH – The Senate Finance Committee met today in a work session to discuss priorities and plans for moving forward with the legislative budget.

During today’s session, the non-partisan Legislative Budget Assistants Office (LBAO) presented an overview of the entire Legislature passed budget, noting that all spending lines had been accounted for and the budget is balanced.

“The Governor’s claims that the budget she vetoed is unbalanced and dishonest continue to be unfounded, misleading, and hurtful to the people of New Hampshire,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“We felt it was important to walk through and address the Governor’s concerns about the Legislature’s budget with LBAO to ensure and reiterate that the budget we produced is balanced. I stand by this proposal as a solid foundation that is good for the people and businesses in the State of New Hampshire,” added Forrester.

“We learned today that the Governor ignored the Department of Health and Human Services request to recognize a significant expenditure that may go beyond their appropriation in FY15. The Governor has a responsibility to be transparent about her overspending so that the Legislature can produce a budget that meets New Hampshire’s priorities while making sure we are spending within our means,” said Forrester.

Fiscal Year 2015 closes at midnight tonight. The LBAO notified the Senate Finance Committee that the Department of Administrative Services will provide unaudited spending numbers for FY15 by the end of September.

 “I remain concerned that people counting on funding in the Legislature’s budget will be hurt because of the Governor’s veto. If the Governor overspent her budget this year, we need to know before we can move forward and re-address the next budget,” Forrester concluded.

Tuesday
Jun302015

NH Senators Prescott, Feltes applaud passage of bill to protect electric ratepayers 

Concord, NH - Senator Russell Prescott (R-Kingston) and Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord) released a joint statement on the passage of Senate Bill 170, which provides increased protections for New Hampshire’s electric ratepayers.

“We are pleased to see both Republicans and Democrats come together to adopt SB 170, which provides greater transparency and information to electricity consumers and much needed consumer protection at the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) for residential customers.”

 “Knowledge is power and as we move to greater competition in the electricity market, more transparency and more information will not only better inform consumers, but it will help drive down prices.  Additionally, residential electric customers in the competitive market, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes, will now have access to justice at the Commission with much needed consumer protection, helping to curb unfair and deceptive practices targeting vulnerable customers.”

Senator Russell Prescott is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 170 and Senator Dan Feltes is a member of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee where this bipartisan legislation was first discussed.

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Friday
Jun262015

NH Senate President’s Statement on Governor ’s Budget Veto 

Concord, NH – Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) released the following statement in response to Governor Hassan’s budget veto.

“I am extremely disappointed in Governor Hassan’s action to veto the budget because it blocks important funding increases that support state agencies and our state’s neediest citizens and creates uncertainty within these organizations. In addition, the veto puts on hold important business tax reductions that are designed to create jobs and stimulate New Hampshire’s business economy,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem).

“The Governor’s budget veto shows that her priorities continue to be centered on narrow-minded special interests and not the good of New Hampshire citizens.”

“Although I still believe that a veto is unnecessary, the Continuing Resolution will keep State Government operating while we resume our work in order to produce a budget we can all agree on.”