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NH Senate Passes Bill To Expand Renewable Energy In NH

Rooftop Solar Panels (Elliott Brown FLIKR)

Rooftop Solar Panels (Elliott Brown FLIKR)

Bill will allow New Hampshire to continue to expand renewable energy by raising the cap on net metering

Senate Democrats praised the passage of legislation to ensure the growth of renewable energy in New Hampshire during today’s Senate session. SB 333 raises the cap on group net metering and SB 378 ensures that space under the group net metering cap is being taken up only by those who are participating in the program, not speculators trying to game the system. 

“Passage of this critical legislation is great not only for our growing renewable energy market, but also for our economy and all electric ratepayers,” said Sen. Molly Kelly, author of the original group net metering law enacted in 2013. “Even though we have only had group net metering for a few years, renewable energy, particularly the solar market, has exploded across New Hampshire thanks to this program. It is critical for us to raise the cap to ensure the sustained growth of solar and other renewable energy sources here in New Hampshire that not only save Granite Staters money, but sustains thousands of good-paying jobs.”

“In the rapidly-growing renewable energy market, making changes to a vital program like group net metering is no easy task. But SB 333 and SB 378 offer meaningful progress to allow our renewable energy market to grow,” said Sen. Dan Feltes, member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I urge our colleagues in the House to move quickly to pass SB 333 and SB 378 to continue the growth of renewable energy and our green job sector.”

“It was only a year ago that utilities testified that they were nowhere near the metering cap,” said Sen. Donna Soucy, prime sponsor of SB 378. “But the market has grown so rapidly that we needed to address the group net metering cap as soon as possible, as we did with SB 333. Part of the reason why we reached the cap so quickly was due to speculative developers taking up space under the cap while not yet providing service to customers. SB 378 addresses these concerns and ensures that families and businesses that the program was designed to benefit can take advantage of this rapidly-growing market.”

Governor Maggie Hassan also praised the passage of SB 333.

“Solar is one of many clean energy resources in New Hampshire that contributes to a diverse and reliable energy supply, and businesses and families across the state are utilizing solar to lower their energy bills and to increase their energy independence. The success of New Hampshire’s clean energy economy is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change, and New Hampshire recently ranked as one of the top-five renewable energy states,” stated Hassan. 

“We must continue to build on this progress, and lifting the cap on net metering is essential to those efforts. I commend the Senate for its bipartisan vote to pass this critical measure, and I encourage the House to take similar action as quickly as possible so that we can continue our efforts to build a more innovative and more affordable energy future,” added Hassan. 

Senator Andrew Hosmer Introduces a Bill to Reduce Child Care Costs

Children in preschool (Flickr US Army)

Children in preschool (Flickr US Army)

For too many working families the cost of child care has become unbearable. The Boston Globe reports that the average annual cost of child care in New Hampshire is between $11,000 and $15,000.  Given that a full time minimum wage earner in New Hampshire only make $15,050 per year and that the average tipped worker makes even less ($14,000) how can they possibly afford to pay the high cost of child care.

This creates a double edged sword. Parents must work more hours to pay for child care, which results in higher child care costs and less time with their children.  Parents should not be forced to work just to pay their child care expenses.

Today, Senator Andrew Hosmer (D- Laconia) introduced SB 511, establishing a refund of a portion of state education property taxes for child and dependent care expenses.

Following the Senate Ways and Means public hearing on SB 511, Senator Hosmer released the following comments: 

“One of the largest costs for families is child care and this legislation starts helping to reduce that cost. I firmly believe that if we can afford to give businesses tax breaks we certainly afford to help our hard working families,” said Senator Hosmer. “This legislation is part of a public-private partnership that supports working families by reducing the costs of child care, but also good for businesses by helping them retain good employees who might otherwise have to choose between working and taking care of their children.” 

22 states have already adopted a similar supplement to the Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. If SB 511 passes, families who claim the Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit would be eligible for a property tax refund of 50% of the federal amount. 

“New Hampshire’s working families need the state government to be responsive to the rising costs of child care services. I urge the Ways and Means Committee to pass SB 511, as it is imperative to provide access to affordable child care to our Granite Staters.”

Making child care more affordable is only one step we can take to help lift people out of poverty and strengthen our economy.  We must also raise the minimum wage so that workers will have more money to spend in our local economy. We must also pass a “paid sick leave” bill so that parents are not forced between having to work or taking care of their sick child. We must also reauthorize the state’s Medicaid Expansion program to ensure these low-income families are protected from catastrophic injury and have routine checkups to maintain their health.

Democratic Senators Introduce Minimum Wage Increase And Profit Sharing Legislation

Senator Soucy Introduces NH Minimum Wage Bill 

CONCORD – Today, Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) introduced SB 412, which establishes the NH minimum wage at $12 per hour.

Following the Senate Finance Committee public hearing on SB 412, Sen. Soucy released the following comments: 

Paying decent wages is a good investment for our economy,” said Senator Soucy. “Well-paid workers are better employees and better customers; their spending helps sustain our businesses and our economy. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is 4th lowest in the nation, which is why even companies like Wal-Mart have recognized the benefits of raising wages in order to retain workers at their stores.” 

Wal-Mart recently announced that as of February 1, the average full-time employee at their NH stores will be paid $14.29 an hour and the average part-time employee will be paid $10.95 an hour. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate for December 2015, announced earlier this morning, was announced 3.1%.

A 2014 NH Fiscal Policy Institute report shows that 72% of the New Hampshire minimum wage workers, who would directly or indirectly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are age 20 and older with nearly 40% being 30 and older. Fifty-nine percent are women and 14% are parents.

“This legislation will strengthen financial security for hard working Granite Staters and expand opportunity for more than 76,000 people who would have been affected by raising the minimum wage. I urge the Senate Finance Committee to support SB 412, as it is critical to the well-being of our economy, businesses, and families.” 

Sen. David Pierce Introduces Legislation to Reward Businesses Who Share Profits with Employees

Legislation would create a tax credit for businesses who implement profit sharing 

Concord, NH – Today, Senator David Pierce (D-Lebanon) introduced SB 479, which creates a tax credit for implementing employee profit sharing. Following the Senate Ways and Means Committee public hearing on SB 479, Sen. Pierce released the following comments:

“As our economy continues to improve and business profits rising, we need to ensure that workers see their wages rise,” said Senator Pierce. “Profit-sharing gives everyone a stake in a company’s success, boosts productivity, and puts more money directly into employee’s pockets. This legislation is good for workers and good for businesses.”

Senate Bill 479 creates a tax credit against the business taxes for companies who implement employee profit-sharing. Under this legislation, the tax credit would be available for each qualified employee of up to 15 percent of the compensation paid as profits in which employees share. There would also be a cap of 10 percent of the employee’s wages.

“As we have seen in companies like Market Basket and others across our state that share profits with their employees, workers are more invested in the company’s success because they see a financial incentive. Employee-profit sharing is a practice we should be encouraging in our state and rewarding businesses for implementing a profit-sharing plan supports both our workers and businesses.”

(featured image from @OFA_NH pic.twitter.com/ZG7B0GfERQ)

NH Senate Democrats Blast Republicans For Passing Bill To Restrict Voting Rights

Senate Democrats’ Statement on Passage of Unconstitutional Legislation to Restrict Voter Rights 

CONCORD — Senator Bette Lasky, Senator David Pierce and Senator Molly Kelly condemned the passage of Senate Bill 4, which imposes an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. Senate Bill 4 as amended by the Senate is identical to Senate Bill 179, which was vetoed by Governor Hassan in 2015.

“As we have been stating since last year, this legislation will only serve to further complicate the voting process for New Hampshire citizens. SB 4 proposes a new standard for what constitutes a domicile that is more confusing and less concise than the current law,” said Sen. Bette Lasky. “Voters need consistency and clarity in their voting laws and this bill fails that test. It is unfortunate that our Republican colleagues continue to push legislation that discourages and disenfranchises our citizens from exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

In 1972, the Supreme Court clearly ruled in Dunn v. Blumstein that durational residency requirements for voting in state and local elections were unconstitutional.  

“I am disappointed to see my Republican colleagues support such legislation even though the Supreme Court has been clear on this issue,” said Sen. David Pierce. “These unconstitutional assaults on our constituents’ right to vote in free and fair elections have got to stop. Unfortunately, the Republican majority continues to push these attacks to disenfranchise Constitutionally-eligible voters in order to produce election results that are more to their liking.”

“Unlike other states, New Hampshire’s Constitution explicitly guarantees the equal right of every citizen to vote,” said Sen. Molly Kelly. “As we approach the 100th anniversary of our cherished First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary, we should be encouraging all eligible citizens to vote instead of making the process more confusing and disenfranchising Constitutionally-eligible voters.”

NH Campaign Finance Groups Urge House Passage of SB 136 Citizens United Bill in Wednesday Vote

(FLICKR LIght Brigading

(FLICKR Light Brigading)

CONCORD –  During the Shaheen – Brown Senate race,  outside spending amounted to an astounding $100.00 per vote cast, and with another U.S. Senate seat in contention this year, even more out-of-state money will flood into New Hampshire.   This is just one example of how the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has changed the landscape of American politics, and why NH democracy and campaign finance groups are urging legislators to take a stand to end the influence that comes with the millions of dollars of donations.

This Wednesday, New Hampshire House members are faced with a taking a small step toward controlling that spending as they consider SB136.    The bill acknowledges that something needs to be done about the unlimited spending the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision unleashed and creates a committee to come up with options to fight it at the state level.  One option may be becoming the seventeenth state to call for a Constitution amendment to overturn Citizens United.  

The bill passed the NH Senate in 2015 in a unanimous vote after a bipartisan compromise, but in a partisan vote, the Legislative Administration committee voted to kill the bill, recommending interim study this past fall.    As the bill enters the full House, proponents of the bill are optimistic that the bill’s recommendation may be overridden and the bill approved.  

“We were incredibly disappointed in the House Legislative Administration Committee’s recommendation this past October to essentially bury the bill quietly through interim study,” said Lindsay Jakows, New Hampshire Campaign Organizer with People For the American Way. “Our elected officials now have a responsibility to represent the majority of Granite Staters who support overturning cases like Citizens United by voting no on interim study and yes on ought to pass,”  she said.

The committee created in SB136 would be responsible for “Recognizing the need for a United States Constitutional Amendment to address the Citizens United ruling and related cases, that protects New Hampshire’s ability to make its own laws regarding campaign finance while protecting the First Amendment,” it states.  It would examine the impact of the Citizens United ruling and related cases on New Hampshire elections, such as the recent U.S. Senate race where $64 million was spent, most of which came from outside Super PACs.  The committee would also examine different approaches and language being proposed by the United States Congress for a constitutional amendment, and possible short term solutions.

“A recent Bloomberg poll has Republican support to overturn Citizens United at 80%, and Democratic support at 83%,” said Brian Beihl, deputy director of Open Democracy, one of the groups supporting the bill.   “Plus, 69 New Hampshire towns have now passed a warrant article resolution at town meeting, and another 35 towns are working on initiatives for this spring’s town meetings.   Voters are getting angry and taking matters into their own hands because they don’t see action on either the state or federal level,” Beihl said.

The movement to overturn Citizens United now has 16 other states which have already recommended repeal, and over 5 million signatures have been collected on nationwide petitions.    Including New Hampshire’s 69 towns, 674 local municipalities nationally that have also called for an amendment.     With its position in the presidential campaign, passage of SB136 will be important on the national stage as well.  

“SB136 was passed by the Senate as a bipartisan bill,” said Jonah Minkoff-Zern, co-director of Public Citizen, another group advocating for campaign finance reforms addressing Citizens United.  “If legislators are listening to their constituents, they will vote down this ‘interim study’ recommendation, and do the right thing by voting ‘ought to pass,’ Minkoff-Zern said.  “New Hampshire voters should call their representatives and encourage them to do the right thing and approve SB136,” he said.

The vote takes place in the State House on Wednesday, along with other 2015 bills retained from last year.   Proponents of SB136 will be gathering at the second-floor ramp at 8:30 to greet legislators.   More information is available at 603-620-8300.

Text of SB 136 at the NH General Court website:   http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2015/SB0136.html

Open Democracy is a Concord, NH-based nonpartisan organization that works for transparent and accountable governance in the Granite State. Learn more at www.OpenDemocracy.me.

Ten States, Including NH, To Introduce Resolutions And Legislation To Make College Debt Free

By Vanderweil Engineers Boston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Vanderweil Engineers Boston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Progressive Democrat Marjorie Porter, State Representative from Hillsborough, NH, plans to introduce a resolution to the NH House pushing the state towards a goal of Debt Free College.

The idea of Debt Free College is being floated by all three of the Democratic Presidential Primary candidates. Though they vary on how they would like to accomplish this goal, the idea is that a basic college education should be open to everyone and be covered by the state like we cover elementary schools.

For too many students the cost of a college degree is too much to bear, even with Pell Grants and the ability to take out student loans. This keeps many stuck in the low-wage job cycle, as more and more employers are requiring a college education before being considered for employment.

We already know that workers with a college degree earn higher wages. In 2011, college graduates earned between $20,000-$25,000 more annually that those with only a high school diploma.

Even our community college system is unaffordable for many students. 40% of all community college students must take out a loan just to receive a two-year associates degree. Considering that 40% of all college students attend community colleges that equates to a ton of students.


Click image to enlarge

New Hampshire is leading the country when it comes to student debt and cost of higher education. This is not something to be proud of.

New Hampshire is the number one state in the country for the percentage of students who graduate with massive student debt. 76% of graduates walk out of New Hampshire colleges with an average of $33,410 in student loans.

New Hampshire is also dead last in the amount of money given by the state to support our public universities. The state spends about $104 per capita for higher education. The national average is more than double what NH spends at $242.45.

As a matter of fact, New Hampshire spends more money on prisons that we do on our colleges and universities.

Many states are still struggling to recover from the 2008 recession and the severe cuts to their budgets as a result of lost revenue. In budgetary funding New Hampshire is still 26.8% below where we were prior to the crash in 2008.

Budgetary cuts and low funding to our public colleges and universities have shifted the burden directly to the students. To compensate for the lack of support from the state budget, NH colleges and universities have been forced to increase tuition putting NH squarely at the top of the list for highest in-state tuition.

Legislators from ten different states (NH, IA, SC, MA, HI, SD, IL, WI, and MO) plan to submit similar resolution to evaluate the potential of making their public colleges and universities debt free.

If our goal as a nation is to have the best educated population in the world, we must ensure that every student has the ability to attend college without being saddled with overwhelming student debt. This all begins with making public colleges and universities debt free.


NH Politicians Continue Assault On State Retirees’ Health Benefits

Senator Gerald Little and Representative Ken Weyler
Lead Crusade against State Retirees’ Health Benefits

Earlier today, the NH Fiscal Committee voted to increase the monthly cost share (premium) of retirees who are under age 65. The amount is a 5% increase, which, when announced, caused an audible collective gasp from a room packed with State retirees.  These are the people who have served the State for decades and had planned their lives and retirement according to promises that had been made at the time of employment and are being broken today by state politicians.

The increase moves the monthly cost from 12.5% to 17.5% of the premium, which currently means retirees under age 65 will be paying an additional $46 per individual covered each month.

“This vote is a continuation of breaking promises that were made to people who spent their careers serving this state,” said Rich Gulla, president of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “Today, a handful of politicians decided the fate of over 3,000 devoted, hard-working former employees and their dependents.  The committee kept talking about no other alternatives. There were plenty of alternative ways to fill the deficit in the retirees’ health benefit plan. They just took the easy way out today – on the backs of retirees.”

Committee members repeatedly attempted a blame game. They tried to blame the Governor, they tried to blame increasing medical costs; they tried to blame everything and everyone other than themselves. However, after all the grandstanding, they were the ones who voted for today’s state retiree’s health plan changes. They could have found another way to plug the budget hole including opening up the State budget and finding the dollars someplace else.

It was apparent to attendees that the outcome of the meeting was pre-determined prior to its convening. “They knew full well how they were going to vote, even before today’s meeting began. They had already made up their minds to put the screws to the retirees who are under age 65,” said Gulla.

Last month, the committee voted to increase the co-payment for prescriptions for all retirees. “In combination, these increases are going to present a significant hardship for our retirees. The average pension for a NH State retiree is about $13,000/year.  Our retirees will literally be deciding between paying their heating and grocery bills or paying for medical care. It just sickens me,” said Gulla.

“The only way to stop this assault on our retirees is to vote out those Representatives and Senators who voted for this atrocity today,” said Gulla.  Senator Little made the motion to accept today’s plan and Representative Weyler seconded the motion.

It is also important to know that Senators Lou D’Allesandro and Andy Sanborn and Representatives Daniel Eaton and Cindy Rosenwald voted against the increases and in favor and respect of our state retirees. “For that, we thank them,” said Gulla.  The remaining Fiscal Committee members voted against the retired workers.  “Our members will not forget this; you can be sure they will remember exactly who was with them and against them next fall as they cast their ballots.”

State Workers Praise Bipartisan Cooperation That Ends Continuing Resolution

Concord, NH, September 17, 2015 – Yesterday, after months of political posturing, the Governor, Republican and Democratic legislators arrived at a compromise budget that ended the continuing resolution. The approved budget contains and funds the NH State Employees’ previously negotiated contract.
“On behalf of our Executive Branch members (state employees), I thank the Governor and the Legislators for acknowledging the hard work and commitment of those who serve the state,” said Rich Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “I also applaud our members and allies who called or emailed their legislators asking for their support,” said Gulla. “and, thank the members of the general public who requested and proudly displayed yard signs in support of the state employees. We know these conversations and signs had an impact, and we are grateful.”

This budget is a compromise that resulted from both sides of the aisle working together and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is cautiously optimistic that the legislature can continue to work well together and take up additional concerns the organization has. Including:

· NH State Retirees have not had a Cost of Living Increase since 2009 – six years without an increase in income while living expenses rise. The average pension for a state worker is around $13,000 a year.

· NH DHHS is still underfunded to provide the important services to our citizens in need, including caring for and educating children at Sununu Youth Services Center and the additional funding in this budget for addiction treatment for the growing heroin crisis and mental health is a start, but more is needed.

· NH DOT is still underfunded for winter snow removal. This jeopardizes public safety and commerce. If produce trucks, emergency vehicles, and winter sports enthusiasts cannot travel in the state, the NH tourism economy will suffer.

· The high cost of medical care in New England is a concern. SEA/SEIU Local 1984 will work with the Governor and legislature on responsible and humane ways to address this issue.

· Medicaid expansion is not dealt with in this budget but is kicked down the road for another day, as is the revenue hole that will result from the compromise on the business tax.
“Today, we celebrate the funding of the state employees’ contract. Tomorrow, we roll up our sleeves and tackle the other issues,” said Gulla. “In the meantime, the employees who keep the state running smoothly and efficiently now have a contract.”

Governor Hassan Signs Fiscally Responsible, Bipartisan Budget Agreement But Not Everyone Is Happy About It

 CONCORD – After signing Senate Bill 9 – the fiscally responsible, bipartisan budget agreement – Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:

“This fiscally responsible, bipartisan, compromise budget addresses the central concern that I had with the original budget – unpaid-for tax cuts – by including important safeguards that will help ensure long-term fiscal responsibility and protect our ability to support critical economic priorities in the future. It puts in place a trigger contingent upon state revenues meeting certain targets, ensuring that revenues are at levels that would at least sustain the current budget before additional tax cuts go into effect. It also allows the next legislature to determine what spending or revenue offsets should be made to pay for those additional tax cuts if they go into effect.

“In addition to the safeguards on the business tax cuts that will help us maintain fiscal responsibility, our compromise agreement also includes the previously negotiated modest cost-of-living increase for our hard-working state employees. While this agreement is not perfect and fails to include even higher levels of funding for substance misuse and the immediate reauthorization of the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program as I proposed, it reflects many of the priorities I laid out in February – funding for mental health, to combat substance misuse, for economic development and for public safety.

“I want to thank Senate President Morse, Speaker Jasper and legislators from both parties who worked over the past few months to reach this fiscally responsible, bipartisan compromise. We still have much work to do to combat the heroin crisis, encourage innovation, support job-creating businesses and attract and retain more young people in New Hampshire, and I look forward to continuing to do that work together. But today, I am proud to sign this fiscally responsible, bipartisan budget compromise into law to help keep our state moving forward.”

The legislation is contingent on an override of the Governor’s budget veto, which the Governor asked Democrats to support if Senate Bill 9 passed.

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn also praised the passage of the fiscally responsible budget compromise:

“The passage of the budget compromise is exactly why our constituents sent us to Concord: to work together across party lines to find bipartisan solutions facing our state. While this agreement isn’t perfect and does not contain everything that Senate Democrats would have liked, it is a fiscally responsible, bipartisan path forward that invests in and safeguards critical economic priorities, such as combating the heroin crisis, higher education, roads and bridges, and health care.” 

“The budget contains most of the priorities that Governor Hassan laid out in her budget proposal in February. I’m grateful that under the Governor’s leadership both sides were able to come together like we did two years ago to develop a responsible budget that meets the needs of our people, businesses, and economy.” 

“We can all be proud of this compromise, there is still much to be done as we move forward. And while I had hoped that reauthorization of the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program would be included in a final compromise, I appreciate and thank my Senate Republican colleagues for committing to take up reauthorization legislation as soon as we return in session in January. This is a vitally important program, not only because it is working to reduce health care cost-shifting onto our hard working families and businesses, but it is the single most important step we can take to combat the heroin and substance abuse crisis facing our state.”

However not everyone was jumping up and down over this new compromise. Jeff McLynch Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute remains “concerned” about these cuts and their long term effects on “New Hampshire’s ability to invest in public services” and the fact that the budget compromise does not include the reauthorization of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program that provides healthcare to 41,000 Granite Staters. 

“Governor Hassan and members of the New Hampshire legislature should be commended for working together to craft a budget that seeks to meet the needs of all New Hampshire’s citizens and, in particular, for ensuring funds are available to support the previously agreed upon contract with state employees. 

“While the agreement ratified today conditions future reductions in the rates of the business profits and business enterprise taxes on attaining a particular revenue threshold, NHFPI remains concerned about the long-term impact of such reductions and the effect they will have on New Hampshire’s ability to invest in public services like education and infrastructure that are critical to the state’s economic future. 

“It should be clear from the past nine months of budget deliberations that New Hampshire already lacks sufficient resources to meet its needs. Reducing revenue still further will only make it harder to maintain our roads, educate our children, and provide health, safety, and other public services essential to a strong economy and shared prosperity for all in the Granite State.

“Hopefully, the bipartisan collaboration that produced today’s agreement lays the foundation for the expeditious reauthorization of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program in early 2016. More than 41,000 Granite Staters now participate in that program. Swift action will be needed to ensure they maintain access to affordable health coverage and that hundreds of millions of federal funds continue to flow into the state’s economy.”

We will see if the Republicans hold true to their word that they will pass a bill to reauthorize the New Hampshire Health Protection Program or are they making more false promises to get tax cuts that we do not need to give.

State Employees Praise Budget Compromise Agreement

“We are pleased not only for the state employees, but for all citizens of NH that the Governor and GOP leaders have reached a compromise budget agreement. 

The compromise budget will include business tax cuts and the state employees’ previously negotiated 2% cost-of-living pay increase.  It will support critical priorities for New Hampshire’s families and businesses. And, it will include a trigger mechanism that ensures revenues are at levels that would at least sustain the current budget before additional tax cuts go into effect. It will also allow the next legislature to determine what spending or revenue offsets should be made to pay for the second round of tax cuts – before they go into effect.”

We applaud the Governor and the legislature for continuing to work together to arrive at this point.  We were confident that, in the end, ideology would take a back seat to this common sense approach that benefits NH citizens by preserving critical public services, while also serving the interests of our economy.

Tomorrow, the legislature will introduce legislation that reflects the compromise – a bill that provides for the 2015 – 2017 employment agreement with the state employees and a bill that provides for the business tax decrease, with the “trigger.”  They will then consider an override of the Governor’s budget veto. If the legislation passes, Governor Hassan will then ask Democrats to support overriding the veto allowing both the compromise and the budget to go into effect.

The state employees’ will receive a 2% wage increase as of January 1, 2016 and a second 2% increase in January 2017. 

While we are happy with this forward movement and support the compromise, we remain concerned about other outstanding issues.  We look forward to continuing to work with our legislators to find reasonable solutions that are fiscally conservative and protect the state’s long-term financial outlook and ability to support critical priorities for New Hampshire’s families and businesses.”

You can read Governor Hassan’s full statement of the compromise here.

You can also read the response from the NH Senate Democrats here.

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