September 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
at the Whittemore Center, UNH


No in-person caucus of Republican members is scheduled at this time. Republican members may receive information for conference call caucus by email.

House Republican Leader Praises Veto of HB1494

Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1494, adopting omnibus legislation concerning workers. HB1171 was attached to this bill in the Senate and would create an unfunded mandate on municipal governments with the trust cost unknown.

“HB1494 is yet another example of Democrats’ failed leadership during the COVID-19 crisis. Rather than working with Republicans on setting up a reasonable vetting process, they forged ahead and used it as an opportunity to pass wish-list items and bills that have not been vetted in the House,” said Hinch. “Regardless of their heavy-handed and mismanaged process, they can’t really expect Republicans to support an unfunded mandate on our communities while they are wrestling with lost revenue. There is a mountain of unanswered questions, including how much it will actually cost our cities and towns. Democrats don’t care about that detail. They are downshifting that expense willy-nilly. I commend the Governor on looking out for local taxpayers and vetoing this bill.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of Gun Grabbing Legislation

Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto of HB687, relative to extreme risk protection orders. 100% of Republicans opposed it’s passage in the House and were joined 22 House Democrats.

“Democrats since coming into control have dedicated themselves to trying to erode the 2nd Amendment rights of Granite Staters. HB687 would have set a dangerous precedent by adding yet another tool to strip law-abiding citizens of their guns. This bill will inevitably result in false accusations and abuse that will lead to suspension of an individual’s constitutional rights without proper due process,” said Hinch. “Under HB687, a warrant can be signed for seizure of firearms based on a mere accusation. If that person was then deemed to not be a risk, and the order vacated, they would have to go to court in order to retrieve their property. That is flat out wrong, and will not fly on our watch. Not now…Not ever!”

House Republican Leader Praises DOJ Review of Out-of-State Income Tax Collection Practices

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement on the announcement that the NH Department of Justice is reviewing how some states may be improperly imposing taxes on New Hampshire employees who are working from home during the COVID 19 pandemic.

“For the last two years, we have been fighting against New Hampshire Democrats’ proposals to institute a state income tax here in New Hampshire,” Hinch said, “Now we are pushing back against what may be an improper application of other state’s taxes on New Hampshire’s growing work-from-home population.”

“Let us be clear. The New Hampshire Advantage should be defended from all enemies – both in-state, and out of state,” Hinch said, “If other states are in violation of any state or federal law or constitutional provision, they should get their hands out of our workers’ wallets immediately. I thank the governor and our Department of Justice officials for taking action on this serious issue. New Hampshire workers should not be funding other states’ budget woes if they don’t step foot in that state.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of Redistricting Redo

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.”

House Republican Leader Praises Veto SMART Act

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.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of HB250

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.”

House Republican Leader Pleased by Governor’s Veto of HB1660

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.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of HB1234

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.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of Omnibus Election 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.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Veto of HB1247

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.”