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Hinch Elected House Speaker; Appoints Osborne Majority Leader

DURHAM – Representative Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) was elected Speaker of the House today by a majority of members present at the University of New Hampshire, where the House of Representatives held their Organization Day meeting.

Following his election, Hinch gave brief remarks where he said, in part, 

“Thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility. It is a great honor, and comes with a solemn duty to work with all of you to help make our great state even better. We have some significant challenges ahead of us. We’ve spent the last 9 months fighting to maintain our dignity and resolve in the midst of public health and economic uncertainty. Now is not the time to resort to petty political attacks and pointless spectacles. That is not what our voters sent us here to do. They want results. Not tweets, or drama, but results. So let’s buckle down. Let’s get to work. Let us lead by example. Let’s conquer these challenges together.”

Following his election Hinch appointed Rep. Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) as House Majority Leader. Osborne is serving his fourth term in the House, having served as House Republican Policy Leader from 2018-2020.

“In the last two years, we were very successful in achieving unity within our caucus, and I look forward to working with new and returning members to continue that through the 2021-2022 session, but it will take a lot of hard work. The Republican Majority intends to get to work immediately to further our Republican agenda and produce and support a fiscally responsible, balanced state budget without new taxes or fees. We are committed to improving our state’s business climate by reducing and reforming our business taxes, and continue to support policies that promote school choice and maintain funding for charter schools. I look forward to working with Speaker Hinch and the new leadership team to preserve and increase personal rights and liberties and limit government overreach.”

Speaker Hinch also appointed Robert “Renny” Cushing (D-Hampton) as House Democrat Leader. Cushing had been nominated by Democrat House members in November. Cushing is serving his eighth term in the House.

Background: The General Court meets to organize on the first Wednesday of December in each even numbered year, as required by our State Constitution. At the organizational session all members present are sworn in by the governor, in the presence of the Executive Council. The House holds an election for House Speaker and other officers. The Senate holds an election for Senate President and other officers. The House and Senate then meet in joint session and elect the Secretary of State and the State Treasurer.

The event was scheduled to be held indoors, but after careful consideration House and Senate leaders asked for the event to be moved outdoors to mitigate risk of COVID transmission as cases rose around the state.

House Republican Leader Praises State’s Response to Illegal Out-of-State Money Grab

Concord, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released a statement following the announcement that the NH Department of Justice will be filing a lawsuit with the US Supreme Court in response to Massachusetts’ announcement they will impose their income tax on New Hampshire residents working from home due to 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 another state’s assault 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.”

“I thank Governor Sununu and the NH Department of Justice for standing up for the NH Advantage and NH residents by filing this lawsuit in the US Supreme Court. The Massachusetts public hearing held on this issue had clear, overwhelming opposition to the rule, yet they chose to continue to steal money from hard working Granite Staters.”

“As we all know, taxation is theft, and Massachusetts is choosing to engage in cross-border theft to fund their historically big government spending problems.”

Republicans United in Upholding Governor’s Vetoes

Durham, NH – House Republican leaders released the following statement in response to the New Hampshire House of Representatives sustaining every single one of Governor Sununu’s vetoes today.

House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack)

“This year’s session has been filled with Washington style political stunts from Democrats. They want to raise taxes so badly that they have clearly abandoned professional protocol throughout the pandemic and pushed through their radical partisan agenda. We will not stand for this Pelosi-Schumer playbook in our state. Today Republicans stood united together to push back against these stunts on behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire.”

House Republican Policy Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn)

“Republicans remained united to block the Democrats’ tax and regulation ridden agenda. Democrats have made it clear that they will stop at nothing until we have an income tax in our state. We’re happy to report to New Hampshire voters that we successfully stopped their third attempt at passing an income tax this year making it clear they are unfit to lead our state.”

House Republican Leader Responds to House Sustaining Redistricting Commission Redo

Durham, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House voting to sustain Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1665, establishing an independent advisory commission on redistricting, on a vote of 198-135.

“Democrats have politicized nearly every non-partisan legislative commission during the last two years. I can guarantee that they would turn this Commission into a circus. 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 facilitate a fair and transparent process using the traditional methods with no distractions from a so-called ‘independent’ commission.”

House Republican Leader Applauds Final Defeat of Anti-2nd amendment Legislation

CONCORD- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch released the following statement after the House voted to sustain the vetoes of HB687, relative to extreme risk protection orders and HB1660, establishing a protective order for vulnerable adults. 

“Law abiding gun owners across the State of New Hampshire can breathe a deep sigh of relief after the final defeat of these two gun-grabbing pieces of legislation. For the past two years, House Democrats were intent on eroding the Live Free or Die tradition of responsible firearm ownership. It’s clear they were less interested in facts, and more concerned on forcing their radical progressive agenda on the people of our state. Fortunately a united Republican caucus and a small handful of Democrats joined together to sustain these vetoes.” 

“The fact is both of these bills presented significant concerns in regards to due process. The idea that an individual could potentially forfeit their constitutional rights based on nothing more than an accusation is unacceptable, and will not fly on our watch.”

House Republican Leader Responds to Vote to Sustain HB1454

Durham, NH- House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House vote of 193-140 to sustain Governor Sununu’s veto of HB1454, relative to alternative learning credit rules of the state board of education.

“As we have said countless times, education is not one size fits all for students, and Learn Everywhere enables parents to have more control of their children’s education. This is especially important today as many children in our state are learning, not in the classroom as usual, but remotely, where parents are experiencing their children’s education in ways they hadn’t before. However, it is clear that Democrats do not trust parents to act in the best interest of their children. Democrats have a lot to ‘Learn Everywhere’ within their radical agenda.”

“Innovation is a key to success in New Hampshire’s education system. The Learn Everywhere program creates new opportunities for learning outside of the classroom while maintaining local control over curriculums and graduation standards. HB1454 is a misguided bill and Republicans will continue to stand up for giving children more education opportunities.”

House Republican Leader Applauds House Vote on HB1247

Durham, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to voting to sustain 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, on a vote of 196-139.

“Governor Sununu’s continuing response to our citizens’ rent and mortgage situations during this pandemic has been 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.”

House Republican Leader Responds to Upholding Veto of Omnibus Log-Jam Bill

Durham, NH- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House upholding Governor Sununu’s veto on HB1234, relative to state and local government administration, on a vote of 192-145.

“HB1234 is a prime example of everything that was wrong with the process the Democrats used to pass legislation this year. 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. 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.”

“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. HB1234 sets a terrible precedent for future legislatures by saying one body and party can be denied a seat at the table, and Republicans stuck together today to sustain Governor Sununu’s veto and say no failed management by House leadership.”

Republican Leader Hinch Responds to Vote to Sustain Governor’s Veto of HB731

DURHAM- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch issued the following statement after the House voted 197-139 to sustain the Governor’s veto of HB731, relative to the state minimum hourly rate. 

“It’s only fitting that one day after a jobs report shows significant gains in the New Hampshire economy, Republicans can keep the positive trend going by putting an end to this job-killing legislation. This is yet another instance of Democrats putting their progressive agenda ahead of common sense. COVID-19 has dramatically changed lives around the globe, and I know we can all agree on the significant impact it’s had on our small businesses. Given their record over the last two years, I shouldn’t be surprised that they would push such blatantly damaging legislation. Make no mistake, this legislation would do nothing more than force our state’s small businesses to cut hours, cut staff, or potentially close their doors.”

“New Hampshire’s employers have already made it clear that they know what it takes to attract, retain, and compensate their employees properly. I’m glad that we were able to stand up for the livelihoods of Granite Staters and defeat this job-killing proposal once and for all.”

Republican Leader Applauds Defeat of Democrats Income Tax

DURHAM- House Republican Leader Dick Hinch released the following statement after the House voted to sustain the Governor’s veto of HB712, relative to a family and medical leave insurance program by a vote of 195-143. 

“If one thing has become clear over the last two years, it’s that New Hampshire Democrats have fully embraced ending the New Hampshire Advantage in favor of turning us into a high tax state like California. Republican concerns with this bill were clear from the start, we would not support a plan that’s likely to be insolvent, mandatory, and creates an income tax. Rather than address our concerns, Democrats sent essentially the same bill to the Governor’s desk two years in a row. They were never serious about getting anything passed, they were intent on playing politics. Voters will remember their repeated attempts at passing an income tax this November, and I’m proud that Republicans stood up and said “no” at every opportunity.”