THERE IS no secret that this legislative year will be different. Not only are we dealing with how to do our job for our constituents and the people of New Hampshire in the midst of a pandemic that has taken so much from us already, but sadly we are doing it in an ultra-politicized environment on both the state and national level.
During Speaker Sherm Packard’s acceptance speech, he addressed key differences between the two major political parties. The last two years, we saw policies and initiatives that were not in the best interest of our state, especially with the economic difficulties that we were and are still facing. We saw multiple votes on creating an income tax, attempts at raising business taxes while they were shut down, and increasingly burdensome regulations on employers. These are measures that many Democrats campaigned on that failed to win them the majority in the House.
Republicans on the other hand campaigned throughout the summer on the overarching goal of making New Hampshire a better place to live, work, raise a family, and do business. But, in order to achieve this goal, we will be required to put in the careful work in a multitude of complex policy areas, all while keeping everyone safe. As Speaker Packard stated, Republicans are adamantly against a sales or income tax, and we want to reduce your taxes, expand school choice, and make it easier for employers in our state to survive and grow again. House Republicans are up to the task, and we have the track record of carefully prioritizing legislation to overcome recent challenges and help our state succeed.
Over the next two years, we will be prioritizing job growth solutions. The last biennium saw threats to raise business taxes on a community that was, and still is, severely struggling through this pandemic. We want to see the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax lowered and not levied on recent federal help that was given in the form of Paycheck Protection Program funds. We want people to flock to our great state for the jobs, quality of life, and economic opportunities we have here.
Furthermore, Republicans will fight to reduce red tape and excessive regulations on small businesses. In a state that has some of the highest energy costs in the nation, we will prevent the cost of energy from rising and work to find solutions to lower the cost of energy for businesses and families.
Republicans will remain committed to New Hampshire’s children. The pandemic has highlighted the disparities in education throughout the state, and there are children who are being left behind and falling through the cracks. Parents know what is best for their children and deserve to have the choice, regardless of zip code, of educating their children in a manner in which they will thrive. We will support policies that increase parental involvement in education and school choice.
Lastly, Republicans have a proven track record of bringing our state back during tough economic times, and not needlessly burdening New Hampshire citizens with additional taxes or higher costs when they are already struggling. We have produced difficult budgets without raising taxes and fees in the past, and we will do it again. Republicans are the fiscally responsible party that can help our state come out of this pandemic-related revenue drop. As families and businesses across the state have had to tighten their belt as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, state government will need to do the same.
There is a lot of work to do, but House Republicans are committed to doing the work and acting in the best interest of the voters who elected us. We are proud to continue the fight of preserving and increasing your personal rights and liberties while reducing government overreach. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate, and Governor Sununu, in guiding our state out of this pandemic, out of the State of Emergency, and bringing New Hampshire back to the vibrant and successful state it was one year ago.
I am confident we can work together to deliver awesome results for the people of New Hampshire. Our message is clear: we will move forward and things are going to get better.