Press Releases

 

Entries in NH Senate (333)

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.

###

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.”

 

Friday
Mar202015

NH Senate approves Sanborn painkiller bill 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Legislation tackles NH addiction epidemic

 

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Senate today unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) to address New Hampshire’s growing problem of painkiller addiction. SB 45 would require patients seeking care under the state’s Workers Compensation program to enter into an Opioid Treatment Agreement with their medical provider. The legislation is modeled on successful efforts in several states to help patients avoid addiction to the powerful painkillers they need to treat on the job injuries.

 

“I was shocked to learn how much of  New Hampshire’s Workers Compensation program goes just to opioids,” Sanborn said. “But aside from the cost to taxpayers and businesses, getting hooked on painkillers carries a tremendous cost to patients. This bill is just one way the New Hampshire Legislature is addressing our state’s rising rash of addiction and overdoses.”

 

SB 45 would require doctors and patients to agree to a treatment plan to lower the risk of addiction and misuse of painkillers. The agreement is based on a model suggested by the New Hampshire Medical Society, which testified in favor of the bill, along with representatives of New Hampshire employers and insurance companies.

 

“By ensuring that patients have informed consent before taking potentially addictive painkillers, and a plan to reduce that risk, we’re going to save lives,” Sanborn added. “I’d like to thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this initiative.”

 

Friday
Mar202015

ICYMI: Senate supports increasing transparency and protections for energy ratepayers 

New Hampshire Senate

News Release

Senator Prescott wins approval of Ratepayer Rights Bill.

Concord, NH – Senator Russell Prescott (R-Kingston) commends the Senate for passing a bill to establish pricing transparency and stronger protections for residential electric ratepayers who choose to buy electricity from third party suppliers. This bill, SB 170, requires additional, deliberate customer notifications of rate changes, contract terms, and website designs that clearly outline service, terms, and costs.

“I applaud my Senate colleagues for voting for this bill to provide more information about pricing and additional ratepayer protections for those purchasing their electricity from third party power suppliers,” said Senator Russell Prescott (R-Kingston).

“Our state’s energy ratepayers have been forced to deal with high energy prices this winter, and for some, a better option is choosing a low-rate energy supplier. Unfortunately, the terms of such contracts have not been overly clear, which has lead to dramatic and unexpected rate changes for consumers.”

“Knowledge is power and this common sense legislation gives residential consumers just that.  Residential ratepayers deserve clear and simple billing notices that better outline electric rate changes and customer contract terms. As other states have done, this bill also requires a website that provides a side-by-side comparison of the state’s electric power supplier rates. This allows ratepayers to have a better understanding of what they are getting from individual suppliers and provides a balance between businesses and consumer protections,” continued Prescott.

 

Friday
Mar202015

ICYMI: Senate upholds passage of critical business tax reforms 

New Hampshire Senate

News Release

Concord, NH - Today, the senate upheld a floor vote approving both the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax reform bills after second review in Finance.

These bills reduce both the Business Profits Tax from 8.5% to 7.9% and would make a 10% reduction to the Business Enterprise Tax over the next three budgets. These cuts are expected to bolster the state of New Hampshire’s business economy without a negative impact on the revenue coming in to the state.

SB 1 and SB 2 were placed on the table following today’s vote and will be incorporated into the senate’s budget proposal.

“We have been focused on improving the state’s economy this session and the Senate continues to be supportive of legislation that makes it easier for businesses small and large to continue doing work in the state, to grow, and to expand,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem).

“By making these important cuts to business taxes, we lay the groundwork for building a responsible budget that the state can afford,” Morse added.

“Business owners are tasked with making tough choices everyday because business growth in the state has been stagnant. Cutting the BET and BPT puts money back in business owner’s pockets so they can choose how to invest,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “Many businesses will see these cuts as an opportunity to re-invest funds in their business by creating jobs or expanding operations.”

“Business tax cuts play an even greater role in restoring a competitive business environment in the state and will draw new businesses from across the border. We need to continue making these kinds of positive changes to business taxes and regulations to make our state a great place to do business once again,” Bradley continued.

“New Hampshire’s business taxes are among the highest in the country and will be the highest in New England. This has both hurt business growth in the state and prevents new business from moving to our state altogether,” said Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford).

“By providing companies additional resources to invest in increasing wages, healthcare, job training and education, these bills will positively affect 95% of the employees in the state of New Hampshire.”

“The Senate made the right decision to uphold the  previous floor and finance committee votes to pass both the BPT and BET cuts and I urge the House and Governor to support this critical tax reduction that support business growth. We need to send a strong message that New Hampshire is serious about creating economic opportunity for everyone,” Sanborn added.