Talk about bipartisanship! The last two sessions have been very bipartisan.
June 15 session dealt with requests from the Senate to either approve, end or change House or Senate Bills. All bills required the House, the Senate, and the governor’s approvals. In the morning, 17 Bills passed with a voice vote. The House only returned a few to the Senate for more discussion. Only 6 Bills required extensive discussion. HB 315 prohibiting provocation based on the defendant’s religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, and HB 275 disclosing of electric portfolio standards were the most notable. Both went to a conference between the two bodies for discussion. The second batch received in the afternoon from the Senate did even better, almost all being by voice.
June 8 was a critical day at the House; the state budget was scheduled for the floor. Again another first for bipartisanship! The state budget passed by record bipartisan votes (HB1 on a 351-25 vote and HB 2 on a 326-53 vote). These bills increased the state’s spending from $13.5B to $15.2B, meeting the goals of both parties’ constituents without adding any new taxes! The priorities include the following increases in spending: $200M in Municipal Aid, $75M in Highway Funding, $200M in the State Bridge program, $160M in School Funding, $50M in Low-Income Housing, the reauthorization of the Medicaid Expansion ACT for a seven-year extension and a 12% increase in salary for all state workers. HB2 also included constraints on the governor’s power in declaring a State of Emergency (SOE), limiting his control to three 25-day stays. Passing a law that restricts the duration of the SOE and adds legislative oversight was one of Cyril’s and my goals for running for the State House! Another big win was the accelerated repeal of the interest and dividends tax by the end of 2025.The state budget increase of 13% was hard for conservatives to vote for. The growth rate is high but aligns with current financial revenue trends. The 12% state salary increase is well deserved and long overdue. We must see how this affects the state’s economy going forward. Currently, NH is doing well and exceeding revenue predictions by over $1M/month. The House should be putting some of that surplus in a rainy-day fund. The previous legislature did just that, so we are in great shape! Cyril and I voted for this increase. Because we didn’t have the votes to “Get it Right,” any attempts would have resulted in more spending. We reduced the final budget by just over $700 M.
Sincerely, Your Representatives Clayton Wood and Cyril Aures.