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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House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli Mourns Loss of Representative James Powers of Portsmouth

CONCORD, NH – House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli today mourned the passing of Representative James Powers, (D – Portsmouth), who died this morning.

“Jim was the kind of person for whom the word citizen meant everything. At a time when political service brings cynicism from some, Jim saw politics as an honorable pursuit. He approached public service with a determination and thoughtfulness that always put the public interest first. He believed in the people he served. Jim was always proud to be a Democrat,” stated Representative Norelli.

“Like every member of the New Hampshire House Democratic Caucus, I will miss Jim’s counsel and advice. More than that, I will miss his affection, friendship and humor. I know I speak for all the members of the House when I say we have lost a great friend and a valued colleague.

Powers, 73, was in his third term in the House and served on the Environment and Agriculture Committee.

House Democrats Condemn Passage of Bill that Would Allow NH To Ignore Federal Medicare & Medicaid Laws

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representatives Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader and Gary Richardson, House Democratic Floor Leader, issued the following statements regarding the passage of HB 1560, legislation regarding an interstate Health Care Compact.

“This bill is another attempt by the Republican majority to circumvent the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by, in theory, creating a multi-state compact to allow states to manage all aspects of healthcare themselves, using federal money, but not obligated to follow federal laws, for example, the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” stated Representative Terie Norelli. “Both programs could become unstable, subject to biennial budget pressures.

“Supporters argue this bill is constitutional. Democrats believe it’s a violation of Part I, Art 37 – Separation of Powers, the United States Supremacy Clause, a Commerce Clause that says that the federal government has authority over interstate commerce, and the United States Due Process and Equal Protection guaranties,” stated Representative Gary Richardson. “New Hampshire could see tax rates increase dramatically as we lose automatic federal funding increases and the Legislature could raise eligibility age or income, cut benefits, and reduce provider rates.  At least 350,000 NH residents could lose the stability of their Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Once again, Republicans are passing a bad policy bill.”

House Democrats Criticize Republican Majority for Anti- Labor Bill Passed in the Dark

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representatives Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader and Representative Ben Baroody, who serves on the House Finance Committee, issued the following statements regarding the passage of HB 1666, an anti-labor bill that had no public hearing.

“This bill was amended by the Finance Committee without a public hearing or proper notification. This is a complicated issue that should have been heard first by the policy committee – the Labor Committee,” stated Representative Terie Norelli. “It most certainly should have had a public hearing. What happened to the Republican’s claim of an open and transparent government? Another case of Republicans saying one thing and then acting the complete opposite way.”

“The amendment substantially changes the bill with NO public input. It requires legislative approval of any collective bargaining contract entered into by the state.  There are currently eight collective bargaining agreements associated with employees, all of which can reach agreement on dates independent of each other, the legislative budget cycle and the full legislative session. Most likely, all would have different enactment dates,” stated Representative Ben Baroody.

 

“What happened to the Republican declarations of less government? This bill would add layer upon layer – at the taxpayers expensive – to a collective bargaining process that does not need fixing,” he continued. “Simply put, this is another Republican anti-worker bill and another power-grab by an already power hungry and intoxicated Republican majority.”

House Democrats Object to Redistricting of Executive Council Districts Plans Ignore Communities of Interest

CONCORD – Representative Lucy M. Weber issued the following statement regarding the passage of HB 1670, legislation regarding redistricting of Executive Council districts.

“The Republican redistricting plan does nothing to group communities with common interests together.  For example, District 2 stretches from Dublin and Marlborough up to Charlestown over to Franklin and then to New Castle and Portsmouth. The plan shifts significant population centers between districts. This is unnecessary, as the existing Executive Council Districts are already within acceptable deviations, and need not be altered at all. Clearly, the changes in this plan were enacted solely for political purposes,” stated Representative Lucy Weber.

“You have only to look at the map to see what is wrong with this redistricting plan.  District 2 looks like a dragon that swallowed a donkey. The plan is an embarrassment to anyone who voted for it.”

View the map of the Executive Council Districts at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committee_websites/h48/exec_councilDistricts/Map_of_Mirski_amendment,_0518h.pdf