BUSINESS TAXES ARE KEY TO NH BUDGET DEBATE
Less than $200 million in a more than $11.3 billion budget separates the NH Republican-controlled Legislature and Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan. In years past that might have been a simple fix, but not after she vetoed the budget. The stalemate is due to fundamental differences in political philosophies that prevent the two sides from coming together and sets the stage for the 2016 election. Business taxes are the primary battleground. New Hampshire does have high business tax rates compared to surrounding states and the rest of the country. Business taxes comprise about a quarter of all state revenue so they are important, but that is where the agreement ends. Hassan says she wants the revenue in order to pay for the safety net under the most vulnerable, while the Senate leadership wants to cut the rates to spur business and create jobs. As a result many proposed bills have been retained as budget issues remain unresolved. In fact, of all the legislative action this session, budget related or not, only a few bills ABC has been involved with have been passed by both the House and Senate, they are listed below. For a complete roster of legislation and status CLICK HERE.
HB292, expanding the Good Samaritan law to licensed engineers and architects rendering assistance in an emergency in the absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
SB86, specifies the information related to state procurement of goods and services which shall be available to the public. This bill also includes ethical guidelines for relationships between vendors and agency members.
SB125, requires persons providing residential mold assessment services for mold contamination in residential dwellings be certified by certain professional organizations and requires the board of home inspectors to inform the public that mold assessment professionals are required to be certified.
SB133, requires the insurance commissioner to consult with certain groups and organizations and to make a report by December 2015 to the legislature and the governor with recommendations on options for including workers' compensation data in the New Hampshire comprehensive health information system. This bill also clarifies certain payments for medical costs under workers' compensation.
SB190, modifies the determination of financial responsibility for tuition for career and technical
education center programs and the administration of CTE programs by the department of education.