Come discuss what our legislature accomplished this year and what is on the agenda for next year.
The SNH 9.12 Project was honored to host the Honorable Speaker of the House Bill O'Brien on July 12th. He spoke on many issues, beginning with the budget. He re-iterated there were tough choices to be made regarding balancing the budget with an inherited $650 million shortfall, but the house kept their promises of no borrowing and no accounting gimmicks, and based the budget on realistic revenue projections... as they focused on ensuring the tradition of liberty in NH.
Speaker O'Brien acknowledged that some people will see cuts, but not as bad as the opposition makes it sound -- and reinforced the notion that government should be the last resort... not the first resort when seeking assistance.
Unemployment in NH has dropped this year and is currently under 5%, but he expressed a concern that young people are leaving the state and we need to reverse that trend.
During this passed session, there were 180 bills were passed. In addition to the budget, some of the highlights include:
- The retirement age for pensions has been adjusted up
- Employee contributions to the retirement plan have been adjusted
- Overtime now has a reduced impact on pensions
- The Kimberley Cates law has been passed. Now it is a capital crime for home invasion murder
- Legislation was passed that allows towns to put in tax caps!
- VERY IMPORTANT: The evergreen clause was eliminated. Now contracts will need to be voted each time without assurance of previous contracts continuing in perpetuity until a new agreement is signed.
- Drivers will no longer must prove they can drive after 75
- Legislation was passed to address the Ward Byrd situation. Speaker O'Brien mentioned this may be vetoed
- Regarding transparency, people can now go online and see the State's check book