Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live, not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
The New Hampshire State Legislature is now in full swing, and it looks like this will be one busy session. I find it somewhat mind blowing that more than 1,000 potential bills will be introduced. Fortunately, the system works pretty well and the vast majority of bills and legislative service requests usually don’t make it too far. Nevertheless, organizations like the Chamber must be diligent and pay attention to what is being introduced, because in a number of cases these bills could affect your bottom line. We are currently tracking more than 200 pieces of legislation.
New Hampshire operates on a bi-annual budget cycle, and 2019 is a budget year. This will have an effect on the types of legislation we are likely to see. With the shift in power after this year’s mid-terms, we are seeing a number of bills being reintroduced that failed last year. One such issue that is rising to the surface is family medical leave. Raising the minimum wage is back on the table. Legalizing recreational marijuana is gaining traction. We are also seeing efforts to scale back on bills that were passed last year. There is legislation that would either repeal reductions made last year to the business enterprise and business profits tax, or at least eliminate future planned reductions. Ironically, state revenues were coming in way ahead of budget regardless of the business tax reductions. We can debate whether the increase in revenue concurrent with tax reductions is a matter of cause and effect, or if the two issues are mutually exclusive.
We will be sending out a biweekly legislative ebrief to keep you informed on some of the key issues throughout the session. We are planning our annual State of the State address with Governor Sununu in March. Please check our events calendar for upcoming details on this event and RSVP early — seats go quick! Members of the local community are welcome.
If you want to get even more hands on, consider joining the State Government Affairs Committee; it meets the third Friday of the month at 8:00 a.m. at the Chamber and will convene monthly until June. If interested, give me a call at 224-2508 and I’ll put you on the distribution list.
Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog.