House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff Expresses Condolences On the Passing of Representative Debbie DiFranco

CONCORD – House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff today expressed his condolences upon learning of the death of Representative Debbie DiFranco of Portsmouth.

“It is with great sadness that we learned the news of Debbie’s passing,” said Shurtleff. “Debbie served her first term from Portsmouth Ward 3 and was on the Election Law committee. Debbie showed great courage and perseverance this past year and we are inspired by her example.”

“Although Debbie was only with us for one term at the New Hampshire State House, we were impressed with her compassion and grace.”

“Speaking for all members of the Democratic Caucus, our heartfelt condolences go out to Debbie’s family and friends.”

NH Legislators to sit-in in solidarity with Congressional Democrats

CONCORD – In a show of solidarity with their partners in Washington, members of the New Hampshire House and Senate will gather today at the State House to urge the U.S. Congress to take action on gun safety and hold votes on legislation to curb the epidemic of gun violence in America.

“Common-sense measures like expanding background checks and closing the terrorist gun loophole are so widely supported here in New Hampshire that they’re nearly unanimous. The obstruction of congressional Republicans including Frank Guinta and Kelly Ayotte on these simple measures is baffling and speaks only to their loyalty to the gun lobby over the people of our state,” said Representatives Katherine Rogers and Renny Cushing.
“We stand with Democrats in the U.S. Congress and millions of Americans across the country in saying enough is enough,” they added.
 
Members will begin gathering at 10 AM and support is expected to grow throughout the day. All are welcome to join.
 
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House and Senate Democrats File Record Fundraising Numbers

House and Senate Democrats File Record Fundraising Numbers

Both Committees show record breaking cash on hand figures

CONCORD – With strong candidates already running all across New Hampshire, the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses announced record cash on hand totals heading into this year’s election.

The Committee to Elect House Democrats raised $247,000 and reported over $100,000 cash on hand, while the Senate Democratic Caucus has over $161,000 cash on hand and raised over $373,000 total. The Senate Caucus’ figure breaks the previous record set in 2014 of $149,000, while the House Caucus’ figure far exceeds any previous year’s record.

“We’ve had a fantastic couple of weeks as we gear up for the November election,” said House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff. “This strong financial filing reflects the enthusiasm we’re seeing on the ground for our both our candidates and our values. The House Caucus will be a vital resource for our candidates as they move closer to victory in November.”

After the candidate filing period officially ended last week, Democratic candidates for the House are covering more ground across the state than their opponents, starting out the election season with a 26-seat advantage. In the Senate, Democrats are running candidates in all 24 districts while the Republicans have failed to field any candidate in two districts.

“Senate Democrats are organized and ready to win the senate this November and our strong fundraising report demonstrates our commitment to doing just that,” added Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn. “The stakes could not be higher this election with six Republican retirements threatening to make the Republican Senate Caucus even more extreme and out of touch. Senate Democrats are prepared to move our state forward and deliver Granite Staters the results they deserve and to continue to expand opportunities.”

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House Democratic Releases Statement on Verizon Contract Agreement

CONCORD, NH– House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff released the following statement upon announcement that Verizon Communications and its unions have reached agreement in principle on a 4-year contract that ends a six-week strike.

“I am very pleased to hear that Verizon Communications and union employees have reached tentative agreement to bring the employees back under contract.  Hard working employees deserve a contract with clearly defined benefits, which is why Democratic House members joined Verizon employees on the picket line in Manchester, standing side-by-side over the past six weeks.  While terms of the agreement are still unknown, it is my hope that this contract restores the health care benefits to Verizon employees that were recently eliminated.”

House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff Expresses Condolences on the Passing of Representative Marcia Moody

CONCORD – House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff today expressed his condolences upon learning of the death of Representative Marcia Moody of Newmarket.

“I was very saddened by the news of Marcia’s passing,” said Shurtleff. “During her six terms in the New Hampshire House, Marcia was a tireless advocate for the progress agenda she tirelessly supported and a valued member of the Election Law Committee.”

“Speaking for all members of the Democratic Caucus, we will miss Marcia’s passion, strength and good humor. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Marcia’s family and friends and all who knew her.”

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Statement from NH Democratic Leader on Governor Hassan’s State of the State Address

CONCORD, NH – Representative Stephen Shurtleff of Penacook, NH House Democratic Leader released the following statement following Governor Hassan’s State of the State Address.

“Thanks to Governor Hassan’s strong, bipartisan leadership, the State of New Hampshire remains strong and is getting stronger. In her address today, the Governor presented specific steps that we as a state can take to continue this progress while bolstering the middle class and ensuring that every Granite Stater has the opportunity to succeed.”

“I was pleased to hear the Governor discuss the importance of early childhood education and workforce training programs in her State of the State address. The Gateway to Work program is a bold idea that will help bring more of our citizens into the workforce and help them thrive in the 21st century economy, while continuing to attract businesses to our state for our skilled, trained, and motivated workers. My colleagues in the State House and I look forward to working with Governor Hassan to build a New Hampshire where all of our people and businesses have a fair shot to get ahead and stay ahead.”

Statement from NH Democratic Leader on Governor Hassan’s State of the State Address

CONCORD, NH – Representative Stephen Shurtleff of Penacook, NH House Democratic Leader released the following statement following Governor Hassan’s State of the State Address.

“Thanks to Governor Hassan’s strong, bipartisan leadership, the State of New Hampshire remains strong and is getting stronger. In her address today, the Governor presented specific steps that we as a state can take to continue this progress while bolstering the middle class and ensuring that every Granite Stater has the opportunity to succeed.”

“I was pleased to hear the Governor discuss the importance of early childhood education and workforce training programs in her State of the State address. The Gateway to Work program is a bold idea that will help bring more of our citizens into the workforce and help them thrive in the 21st century economy, while continuing to attract businesses to our state for our skilled, trained, and motivated workers. My colleagues in the State House and I look forward to working with Governor Hassan to build a New Hampshire where all of our people and businesses have a fair shot to get ahead and stay ahead.”

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House Democratic Leader Statement on Fiscally Responsible, Bipartisan Compromise Budget Deal

September 15, 2015

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff released the following statement on the fiscally responsible, bipartisan compromise budget deal:

“While this compromise agreement does not include everything that either side wanted, it is a fiscally responsible, bipartisan plan that will support the priorities that are critical to New Hampshire’s families and businesses and keep our economy moving forward.”

“After months of talks, I’m grateful that both sides were able to come together on a compromise that maintains our commitment to our state employees and ensures that business tax cuts will not come at the expense of critical priorities like combating substance abuse, mental health, economic development, and public safety.”

“While we still have much work to do including re-authorizing our state’s successful Medicaid expansion program, I’m appreciative of the hard work of Governor Hassan and members of both parties in getting this deal done.”

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Statement on Speaker Jasper Acknowledging That Corporate Tax Cuts Will Blow a Hole in the Budget

Concord, N.H. – In an email yesterday to all members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Speaker Shawn Jasper agreed that Republicans’ proposed corporate tax cuts will blow a huge hole in the budget, and admitted that House Republicans are being driven by politics in the budget process.

Speaker Jasper agreed that corporate tax cuts would lead to a huge hole in the budget, writing, “As to the business tax cuts, I do not believe that cutting them will bring in more revenue, nor do I believe that by themselves they will make New Hampshire a more attractive state for businesses to locate to or to expand.”

“While we appreciate Speaker Jasper’s honesty in admitting that the Republicans’ unpaid for corporate tax cuts would blow a huge hole in the state’s budget and are being driven by partisan politics, his admission has truly disturbing implications for our economy and the people he and his members are supposed to be representing,” said House Deputy Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald. “It’s time for our Republican colleagues to stop worrying about politics and work with us under the Governor’s leadership to pass a compromise budget that is balanced, fiscally responsible and actually meets the needs of New Hampshire’s families, businesses, and economy.”

 

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House Democrats Statement on Passage of Irresponsible Republican Budget Proposal

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – House Democratic leaders released the following statements after the state Senate voted on party lines to pass a partisan budget proposal.

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff:  “Today is a sad day for the state of New Hampshire, and a stark contrast to two years ago when the legislature came together to approve a bipartisan budget proposal that met the needs of small businesses and working families.  A budget is a statement of priorities, and the decision by Senate Republicans to prioritize special interests over the needs Granite Staters speaks volumes.  By approving a tax giveaway to big businesses headquartered out-of-state, while declining to continue the successful Health Protection Program or fund the negotiated State Employee contract, Senate Republicans have shown that their priorities are not in line with New Hampshire values.

The House Democratic Caucus will continue to fight for policies that expand middle class opportunity, support small business, and move the state of New Hampshire forward.  We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues in conference to transform this irresponsible proposal into a budget that works for everyone.”

Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee:  “When the budget left the House, we knew significant improvements would be needed to reverse the irresponsible cuts to social service programs that were approved by House Republicans.  Unfortunately, the budget approved by the Senate today fails to meet the needs of New Hampshire, and will surely harm the economic growth we have seen under the leadership of Governor Hassan.

With New Hampshire adding over 13,000 jobs since the current budget was approved 21 months ago, reducing our unemployment rate 24% in less than two years, it is obvious that the bipartisan approach we took last term is working.  While it is unclear why Republicans have chosen to abandon that successful approach in favor of partisan politics, it is clear that the budget approved today would have a devastating effect on our economy.

Failing to reauthorize the successful Health Protection Program, which has worked to eliminate the “hidden tax” on health care by reducing emergency room visits by uninsured patients by 22%, is extremely shortsighted and leaves over 40,000 Granite Staters on the brink of losing their health insurance.  Choosing instead to spend millions on tax giveaways, the majority of which will benefit just 1% of businesses, is just one example of this budget putting partisan politics over the people of New Hampshire.

As we have heard repeatedly from businesses and business organizations, the most important component for growth is a well-educated work force.  The Senate’s decision to reduce the Governor’s proposed investment for our university system, along with decisions to divert gas tax revenue earmarked for road work in local communities, and the failure to fund a negotiated State Employee contract or adequately fund substance-abuse treatment, all show that significant work is still needed before this budget is ready for approval.

While the budget approved by the Senate today is unacceptable, House Democrats remain eager to work with our colleagues across the aisle to craft a responsible budget that serves the needs of Granite Staters and builds on the economic growth we have seen over the last two years.”

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