Democrats Denounce Change to House Rules

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Gary Richardson, Democratic Floor Leader and Representative Stephen Shurtleff, Assistant Deputy Democratic Leader, issued the following statements regarding a change to House Rules that would give subpoena power to a small number of members.

“This change to House Rules gives the Speaker the authority to issue subpoenas, subject only to the approval of committees that are appointed by the Speaker,” stated Representative Gary Richardson. “This will totally change the way the House operates. It makes the committees into vehicles to conduct inquisitions. This change in Rules delegates our responsibility and authority to subpoena as elected members of the House of Representatives to a small number of members of a committee. This is a constitutional crisis waiting to happen and is a dangerous shift of power to the NH Speaker.”

“This change to House Rules was brought in to the Rules Committee on Friday and then placed in an Addendum to the current House Calendar yesterday afternoon to be voted on first item this morning,” said Representative Stephen Shurtleff. “There has been little time to discuss or analyze this change. Is this how Republican leadership defines open and transparent government?”

Democrats Denounce Efforts to Disenfranchise Voters

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative John Cloutier, Democratic Policy Leader on the House Transportation Committee and Representative David Cote, Democratic Policy Leader on the House Election Law Committee issued the following statements on the House passage of House Bill 1478, which disenfranchises New Hampshire voters by amending motor vehicle registration laws.

“House Republicans are attempting to disenfranchise New Hampshire voters through amendments to motor vehicle registration laws,” stated Representative John Cloutier. “As public officials we should be encouraging all New Hampshire citizens to vote and to participate fully in our democracy and not change our election laws to unfairly burden those voters that have recently established a domicile in New Hampshire and are qualified to vote in this state.”

“This bill would make it more difficult for our younger voters and our newest residents to exercise their constitutional right to vote.  House Bill 1478 would prohibit otherwise qualified citizens from registering to vote on election day in New Hampshire if they had registered a motor vehicle in another state, or possessed a driver’s license issued by another state. This bill is also likely to create confusion and new difficulties for senior voters who own second homes in other states and may maintain motor vehicles in other states,” said Representative David Cote.

“Our election laws clearly establish that voters must be domiciled in New Hampshire in order to vote in this state, and that all New Hampshire residents must comply with motor vehicle registration and licensing requirements. This bill is unnecessary; any changes to our election laws should not be placing undue barriers on any citizen’s constitutional right to vote,” concluded Cote.

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House Republicans Pass an Anti-Business and Anti-Economic Development Bill

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli issued the following statement on the passage of House Bill 1282-FN-L, a bill that would decrease the availability and affordability of housing for middle class people in New Hampshire.

“In 2008, the Democratic-controlled Legislature worked hand and hand with the Business and Industry Association to pass workforce housing legislation, which was a key priority for House Democrats and NH’s Business Community. Creating greater opportunities for affordable workforce housing here in New Hampshire is important to our families, our businesses and our economy – the last thing we should be doing is repealing our progress.”

“This is just another example how bill after reckless bill, State House Republicans aren’t focused on jobs and the economy.”

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Democrats Condemn the so-called “Women’s Right to Know Act”

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader, and Representative Jennifer Daler issued the following statements on the House passage of House Bill 1659, which forces doctors to give women misinformation before they make a medical decision.

“When House Republicans are not focused on repealing contraception coverage or defunding basic preventive health care services for thousands of New Hampshire women, they are spending their time legislating that women be given misinformation when exercising their right to have an abortion,” said Representative Norelli.

“Because of House Bill 1659, the so-called ‘Women’s Right to Know Act,’ New Hampshire would be passing off propaganda as objective information,” stated Representative Daler. “This lengthy bill is full of inaccurate information that would be written into our statutes. This disputed science has no place in our state laws and should not be forced upon our citizens.”

“This bill would require that doctors give medically unfounded information to patients – in violation of the woman’s rights and the physicians’ responsibilities,” continued Norelli. “The New Hampshire House should be focusing on jobs and the economy, I hope at some point this year we will start passing legislation that will help citizens across our New Hampshire.”

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Democrats Decry the Passage of Bill Attacking NH’s Working Families

Concord, NH  – Representative Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader and Representative Jeff Goley issued the following statements on the passage of House Bill 1677, another Republican leadership attack on working men and women in New Hampshire.

“Republican leadership is determined to continue their attack on middle class and working families. The first part of this bill is the exact same language as HB 474 ‘Right to Work’ that was heard in the House last year.  The only thing that has changed is the title,” said Rep. Jeff Goley, of Manchester. “Other states that have adopted similar regulations have seen wages fall, increased workplace safety concerns, and have not shared in New Hampshire’s economic strength and resilience over the past few years.”

“The bill removes ‘exclusive’ representation in collective bargaining. Democrats believe this could increase the number of bargaining units in cities and towns, which would increase the number of contracts to negotiate, leading to increased costs,” said Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader. “HB 1677 will hurt our local communities. It is overly burdensome to cities and town across our great state, and will force increases in local property taxes.”

“HB 1677 will chip away at our New Hampshire advantage,” continued Norelli. “House Democrats opposed this irresponsible bill today, and we will continue to oppose any and all attacks on workers and wages in New Hampshire.”

 

Democrats Call out House Republicans for Raising Health Care Costs

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader and Representative Cindy Rosenwald issued the following statements on the House passage of House Bill 1617, which repeals the certificate of need law, leading to higher insurance premiums on businesses and families.

“House Republican Leadership, by twisting arms to overturn a thoughtful and unanimous bipartisan committee recommendation, continued with attempts to weaken our hospitals by passing the repeal of the certificate of need law in New Hampshire,” stated Rosenwald. “Without the certificate of need law in place, New Hampshire is likely to see an overcapacity of hospitals and that will raise health care costs, not lower them.”

“Whether passing a new $250 million tax on hospitals in the budget that forced hospitals to lay off over 1,2 00 good paying jobs or now repealing the certificate of need law; Republican actions will mean that Granite State businesses and families will pay higher insurance premiums,” said Norelli. “I urge the Senate to reject the repeal of the certificate of need law. ”

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House Republicans Cede Control to Federal Exchange

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Donna Schlachman, Democratic member on the Commerce Committee, issued the following statements on the House vote of HB 1297, which prohibits the state of New Hampshire from planning, creating, or participating in a state health care exchange or a federal health care exchange.

“New Hampshire Republicans are ceding control to a federal exchange if we don’t prepare now. Rather than make decisions for our state, House Republicans are passing the buck on to the federal government and failing to meet their responsibilities. Businesses and families can’t just assume something is going to happen – they need to be prepared for contingencies.”

“There is bipartisan support for creating a health care exchange in New Hampshire. Besides, the Business and Industry Association, supporters of exchange preparedness include Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, CGI Employee Benefits Group, City Fuel Co. Inc., Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, MVP Health Care, New Hampshire Association of Insurance Agents, New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, Northeast Delta Dental and Ski NH.

“If Republicans continue to halt the creation of an exchange, control over it and its creation will be turned over to the federal government.  New Hampshire will have no say in how much it costs or who operates it. That is neither fiscally responsible, nor good public policy.”

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House Republicans Spend Even More Time Attacking Health Care for Women

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Sandra Keans issued the following statements on the passage of HCR 41, which would urge the U.S. Congress to find a grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England unconstitutional and void.

“Over the last 14 months, State House Republicans have spent an excessive amount of time focusing on defunding health care for 16,000 New Hampshire Women. For over 30 years, Planned Parenthood Health Centers across our state have provided basic health care services such as annual exams and cancer screenings.”

“Earlier this year, the Republican majority in the House passed reckless Legislation that will place many women in jeopardy of losing their health care. House Republicans should be focusing all of their attention to what Granite Staters care about – jobs and the economy.”

“I urge the House Republicans to end their laser like focus on attacking health care for women and spend time on the reason the people of New Hampshire sent us to the State House”

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House Republicans Allow Employer to Make Decisions on Contraception

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli, Policy Leader on Constitutional Review Committee Representative Chris Serlin, and Representative Jennifer Daler issued the following statements on passage of House Bill 1546, that would undermine health care for women and families across our State by putting employers between patients and their doctors.

House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli

“I never thought that in 2012 the New Hampshire Legislature would be debating the use of contraceptives. This issue is settled for Granite Staters. This out of touch agenda only goes to show that House Republicans are focused like a laser on social issues while jobs and the economy are left on the back burner.”

“Unfortunately, this has been the story at the State House for the past fourteen months. Bills that would be laughed out of any living room in New Hampshire have strong support among Republicans in the State House.”

Policy Leader on Constitutional Review Committee Representative Chris Serlin

“My Republicans colleagues are using the banner of religious freedom as a way to mask their blatant attacks on women’s health rights. No entity or individual faces a restriction of their religious liberty under current insurance law. This bill would prevent women from making their own decisions about contraception.”

Representative Jennifer Daler

“This religious argument was absent 12 years ago when a group of bipartisan members of the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 175. When it passed the House more than a decade ago, only 83 members voted against it. In 1999, nearly every member of Republican Leadership voted for this bill and was a part of the bipartisan coalition to pass that common sense bill – a coalition that consisted of 120 Republicans, 121 Democrats and two independents.”

“Contraceptive coverage is a basic part of women’s health care. We must not allow political ideology to be more important than reliable, quality healthcare for women.”

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House Democrats Declare Judicial Review Unrealistic

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representatives Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader and Representative Lucy M. Weber, issued the following statements regarding the passage of HB 1718, legislation regarding judicial review of electoral districts.

“In mandating this unnecessary procedure for court review of redistricting plans, the Republican majority imposes an arbitrary and unrealistic time frame on the court’s review process,” stated Representative Terie Norelli.

“The court is well aware of the need to move quickly to address any redistricting question brought to it, but must balance the need for a speedy resolution with the ability to adequately address whatever issues are brought before it,” stated Representative Lucy Weber.

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