Last Week’s House Session
It was another great week for Republicans during the three straight days of House Sessions. And THAT means it was a great week for all I discuss below….and then some!
Lets begin with a couple bills in the Labor Committee on which I sit. We passed HB1337 which will make slight improvements to our unemployment system. I am especially thankful to see this particular bill proceed as it was only one of two that I Prime Sponsored. This is the press release from the House Majority Office:
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2022
Contact: (603) 271-3665
House Republicans Focus on Protecting Unemployment Benefits
CONCORD, NH – Representative Len Turcotte (R-Barrington) released the following statement after the House passed HB1337, relative to the duration of unemployment benefits.
“HB1337 would make modest reforms to New Hampshire Unemployment Insurance that will protect benefits for future Granite Staters that need a hand up. This legislation would tie the maximum duration of benefits to the unemployment rate. Several states have already enacted this change and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. On average, enrollees in states with indexed UI benefits move off the rolls 25% faster than their counterparts. In New Hampshire, our trust fund could grow by an estimated $217 million. This would allow us to make a significant reduction in Unemployment Insurance tax rates, allowing job creators to invest that money back into the economy. HB1337 is a reform that will save taxpayer dollars, lessen the risk of tax increases, and help promote personal independence and a strong work ethic.”
The second bill we passed in Labor was one that would repeal the FMLI bill that was improperly slipped into HB2 (the “trailer bill”) last year. Long story short, by repealing, it will allow insurance companies to provide this type of insurance to businesses in NH on a competitive basis, rather than having a bureaucratic and monopolistic plan in which taxpayers would be on the hook for paying public sector workers to receive this social entitlement at no cost to the employee!
Here is the press release on that bill:
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2022
Contact: (603) 271-3665
House Approves Repeal of the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan
CONCORD, NH – Representative Len Turcotte (R- Barrington) released the following statement after the House passed HB1165, repealing the Granite State paid family leave plan by a vote of 172-164:
“Last year, Republicans in Concord came together and passed a true conservative budget that included historic tax cuts, a $100 million reduction in property taxes, and empowers parents to find the best educational fit for their children. It was truly a ‘transformational symphony of reforms’ that all Granite Staters can be proud of,” said Turcotte. “Part of that legislation was the Granite State paid family leave plan. Since the passage of this program, several concerns have arisen and new information has come to light.”
“During public hearings for this bill, the Labor committee learned that private insurance will be developing plan offerings independent of the government’s family leave plan. Letting them meet the demand for Family Medical Leave is a win-win for the state. The government program has yet to be implemented, so now is the time to repeal it and allow the private sector to take the lead. The New Hampshire Advantage is all about making wise investments and HB1165 ensures Granite Staters will not be on the hook for millions of dollars.”
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
HB1178 passed with even a few democrats voting in agreement. This would prohibit the state from enforcing any regulations or Presidential Executive Orders that would infringe on our 2nd amendment right to bear arms.
Secondly, HB1266 would prevent local municipalities from instituting “policies” that would allow them to disregard federal immigration laws.
Your House Republicans killed a dozen plus attempts by the democrats to kill or water down the Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) we passed last year. Giving parents and kids the freedom to choose where they attend school has proven remarkably popular, and the Covid nonsense we experienced for schools only highlighted the inadequacies many see in public education. In general, few if any democrats voted in tandem with Republicans on these bills.
HB1298 passed which will allow more students to be eligible for the EFA program by raising the eligibility levels on income of the parents What was initially a program for lower-middle income households will now be a program for those including middle-income and those households slightly above.
HB1434 will allow parents to have guaranteed and easy access to all curriculum in our schools.
Covid and Vaccine Related
A very hot topic this year, we passed several bills that address various aspects.
HB1455 would prevent state enforcement of vaccination mandates. HB1080 and HB1210 added the words “right of conscience” along side “religious and medical exemptions”. Several other bills addressed mask requirements in educational facilities. All in all, great results for your medical freedom.
By a slight 6 vote margin, we voted to repeal the First Amendment restriction which prohibited protesting near abortion clinics and providers.
And by a voice vote, we maintained the 24 week limitation on abortions that became law last year.
We approved HB1432 that would prohibit NH taxpayer’s money from being used to fund new passenger rail projects. There has never been a passenger rail system in our country that has operated without taxpayers subsidizing. If a rail between Manchester/Nashua/Boston would be so great, a private business would pursue. As a co-sponsor to this bill, I could not be more delighted.
In addition to the above, we killed dozens of bills brought forward by the democrats, too many to mention. But one thing is abundantly clear, your Republicans have continued their winning ways for the benefit of ALL our citizens, whether the realize it or not. And, we will continue to do so!
Rep Len Turcotte
Senior Advisor – House Majority Office
Labor Committee, Finance Committee, Special Committee on Redistricting