Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, out of an abundance of caution the General Court has suspended all legislative activities through May 4th. During this time, the State House will be closed to legislative members, legislative staff, and visitors.
No in-person caucus of Republican members is scheduled at this time. Republican members may receive information for conference call caucus by email.
CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB 1665, establishing an independent redistricting commission.
“This is yet another poorly crafted Democrat legislative concept that for the most part resembles legislation from last year, that the governor vetoed, and the legislature sustained. The constitution is clear, this is a legislative responsibility. A non-binding commission will only cause confusion as to whose responsibility it really is. Any entity is welcome to work with the legislature to come up with a plan in 2021, and any group of concerned citizens are already able to share their opinion on redistricting with the legislature, or submit a plan for the legislature’s consideration. If Republicans are in the majority, I assure you that we will continue the tradition of a transparent process with plenty of opportunity for public input, without the need for a separate commission.”
“Let’s be clear. This bill is being pushed by deep-pocket, out of state dark money groups driven by the Democrat national party bosses. Democrats will stop at nothing to manipulate the redistricting process in their favor rather than preserve our existing process where the people of New Hampshire have a say. When dark money is being spent to try to influence the legislature and pressure the governor, we need to push back. New Hampshire won’t stand for that. I’m thankful for Governor Sununu’s veto of this bill, again, and is leaving this process close to the people. Republicans will stand united to sustain his veto again.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of SB 7, establishing the secure modern accurate registration act (SMART Act).
“Let’s be completely clear, there is absolutely nothing smart about the SMART Act. SB 7 attempts to create something that New Hampshire opted not to do years ago. The costs of implementing this bill could be roughly $7 million between now and 2023 and would only mean even longer wait times at the DMV to do something that is already being done at town and city clerks offices around the state. SB 7 only serves to create more bureaucracy in registering voters when the right to vote should be as close to the people as possible.”
“New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of voter registration in the entire country. This is just another example of radical Democrats attempting to change our state into states like Massachusetts when in reality those states should try to be more like New Hampshire. This bill is trying to solve a problem that, quite frankly, does not exist. Not a smart move. I applaud Governor Sununu’s veto of this expensive and unnecessary legislation.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement after Governor Chris Sununu vetoed HB250, establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.
“The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the lives of all granite staters and has given state government a lot of uncertainty regarding our fiscal picture. The latest revenue report shows us at 5.5% below plan. HB250 did not have an actuarial analysis or a simple fiscal note. Frankly, we don’t know exactly how much it’ll cost,” said Hinch. “Why would we agree to pay for something before we know how much it costs or if we can afford it? Our neighbors in Massachusetts have had difficulty paying for their own dental medicaid benefit. In the last 18 years, they’ve had to cut, then reestablish it twice already.”
“As part of the agreement on Medicaid Expansion made in 2018, if the New Hampshire Health Protection Trust Fund is not solvent, the program will be terminated. The funds to pay for this will come from that fund, and we don’t know exactly how much stress will be put on it. In these already uncertain times, Republicans will not allow Democrats to dig our fiscal hole any deeper. While in the majority, Democrats have grossly mismanaged our state finances every step of the way. Our fellow New Hampshire taxpayers deserve better. We will sustain the Governor’s veto on this bill.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement after Governor Sununu vetoed HB1660, establishing a protective order for vulnerable adults. House Republicans unanimously opposed it’s passage and were joined by members of the Democratic caucus.
“House Republicans spoke loud and clear in February by unanimously opposing this bill’s passage. We were even joined by a few of our friends on the other side of the aisle. The majority of Democrats once again were not listening and thought we wouldn’t catch their tactics. They are wrong and “this dog still won’t hunt”. This bill didn’t do enough about the concerns raised by Governor Sununu after his veto of HB696, and still raised serious concerns over the potential risk to granite staters’ constitutional rights. Rather than address any of the points raised, the bill was rubber stamped in the Senate and sent to the Governor. All with zero Republican support. Clearly a lot more work needs to be done on this issue, and House Republicans will stand united to sustain the Governor’s veto.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1234, relative to state and local government administration.
“HB1234 is a prime example of everything that was wrong with the process the Democrats used to pass legislation this year. This bill consisted of over 40 different pieces of legislation, a vast majority of which was never seen by the House until this bill came over for a concurrence vote. There was no chance for the House to properly vet the over 20 Senate bills that were tacked on. This rushed, heavy-handed, and mismanaged process done by the Democrats left out important and long established steps to the process, such as committees of conference. This is yet another example of miserably failed management by the Democrats.”.
“Throughout this entire pandemic Republicans agreed that our work needed to be completed, but Democrats chose a process which shortchanged the legislative process, bypassed public scrutiny, and resulted in this log jam of a bill. Democrats went through all their storage boxes of decorations for this tree. In March, the House passed a rule ensuring bipartisan cooperation would not be pushed aside in the event of a pandemic, but unfortunately House Democrats kept Republicans in the dark for months. HB1234 sets a terrible precedent for future legislatures by saying one body and party can be denied a seat at the table, and I commend Governor Sununu for vetoing this bill.”
Concord, NH – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1672, relative to absentee voting.
“House Democrats would have you believe that HB1672 is needed for our citizens to have a chance to vote in the midst of the pandemic. But, in reality, the Attorney General and Secretary of State issued guidance back in April allowing absentee balloting in the primary and general election for those who have concerns about voting in person due to COVID-19, ensuring all New Hampshire citizens are able to vote in the 2020 elections.”
“What is really included in HB1672 is a wishlist of expensive and partisan agenda items paid for by CARES Act funds, such as online voter registration. If the point is to make voting easier in this election, this program wouldn’t even be feasible to implement by September. This is unacceptable and puts our state’s reputation of having clean and fair elections at risk.”
“The provisions of this bill have more holes than swiss cheese, and I applaud the governor for vetoing it.”
Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1247, relative to mortgage defaults and nonpayments of rent during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak state of emergency.
“Governor Sununu’s continuing response to our citizens’ rent and mortgage situations during this pandemic is thorough and appropriate, and has ensured people have the protections they needed in these unprecedented times.
“In addition to existing protections, there has been money flowing to folks to help them meet their financial obligations. The governor established the New Hampshire Housing Relief Program using CARES Act funds to issue one-time assistance grants up to $2500 to assist households who fell behind on rent, or household related expenses that if not paid impact the ability to maintain housing. This grant program on top of extended unemployment, federal stimulus payments, and enhanced federal unemployment payment amounts makes this bill completely unnecessary.”
“We shouldn’t be enacting permenant new laws just for the sake of a political party taking credit, nor should we be passing laws to add to the resume of “do nothing” candidates seeking higher office to make them seem effective and relevant. The governor’s veto was appropriate, and you can expect House Republicans to be united in their vote to sustain it.”
CONCORD- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch released the following statement after Governor Sununu vetoed HB712-FN, relative to a family and medical leave insurance program. This bill would create a mandatory family and medical leave insurance program funded by a 0.5% tax on wages.
“Well, it’s Groundhog Day…again. For the second year in a row, Democrats in the State House have given their full support to a family medical leave plan funded by an income tax. Fortunately, Governor Sununu has once again vetoed this ill-advised attempt at an income tax, and House Republicans stand united in his defense of the New Hampshire Advantage. Republican actions last year made it clear that we will not support this plan, and Democrats sending a nearly identical bill to the Governor’s desk shows they were not serious about getting something passed.”, Hinch said.
“If Democrats are determined to pass an income tax, which they have repeatedly demonstrated, House Republicans are united in our vehement opposition and more than happy to stand in their way.”
DURHAM-House Republican Leader Dick Hinch issued the following statement after the House voted 198-124 to concur on HB731, relative to the state minimum hourly rate.
“Apparently Democrats in Concord would rather check boxes on their progressive wish-list than assist New Hampshire’s economic recovery. Passing a 65% mandatory wage hike in these times is particularly burdensome and cruel,” said Hinch. “This bill would disproportionately affect our already struggling small businesses, and would no doubt cause a number to close their doors.”
“New Hampshire’s employers have proven they know what it takes when it comes to attracting, retaining, and compensating their employees properly. Rather than focusing on creating a climate where New Hampshire’s economy can fully recover, they would rather legislate how companies do business and endanger people’s livelihoods.”
Durham, NH – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House voting to concur with HB1672, relative to absentee voting, on a vote of 195-130. Following today’s vote, the bill will be sent to the governor.
“HB1672 is a democrat wishlist of partisan political agenda items masked as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Attorney General and Secretary of State have already issued guidance allowing absentee balloting in the primary and general election for those who have concerns voting in person due to COVID-19 ensuring all New Hampshire citizens are able to vote in the 2020 elections.”
“Spending CARES Act funds for brand new programs, such as online voter registration, is unacceptable and puts our state’s reputation of having clean and fair elections at risk. I am dismayed that House Democrats saw this as a valid use of CARES Act funds, and it is my hope Governor Sununu vetoes this bill.”