Sens. Chuck Morse and Jeb Bradley: Republicans delivered results, Democrats delivered inflation
AT THE BEGINNING of the year, we promised that the New Hampshire Senate would “focus on the needs of working families.” We did that, and we delivered results.
All year, rising inflation has squeezed household budgets, made it harder to fill our gas tanks, and more expensive to put food on the table. Since the Legislature can’t reduce out-of-control federal spending that has fueled inflation or open up domestic oil fields to lower gas prices, we looked for ways to provide relief. Fortunately, years of conservative fiscal management has given New Hampshire a growing economy and a healthy state surplus. We’ve focused on sending some of that surplus back to cities and towns to lower local property tax rates.
Last year’s budget already included a $31 million annual increase in local Rooms and Meals revenue sharing and a $100 million cut to the Statewide Property Tax. This year, we crafted a property tax relief package totaling more than $130 million. These funds will go toward local highway and bridge projects, water and wastewater cleanup, police body and dash cameras, and a state contribution to local employee retirement costs. Having the state share these costs will allow your local budget writers to lower your property tax bill.
Senate Republicans stood up for parents. After seeing concerned parents shut down for wanting to get their children back into the classroom, we passed a law guaranteeing that the public would always have a chance to be heard at local school board meetings. The Senate passed a Parents Bill of Rights to ensure that they would always know what was going on in their children’s schools.
We stood up for seniors, increasing nursing home reimbursement rates and protecting families from unnecessary nursing home bills after their loved ones pass away. We also passed legislation protecting vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.
Senate Republicans worked to improve health care, voting to add a dental benefit to our state’s Medicaid program. We increased funds for respite care for elderly and disabled family members. We invested in clean drinking water, adding $25 million to the PFAS Remediation Loan Fund, establishing statewide standards for PFAS remediation cleanup, and improving the testing program for drinking water in our schools and childcare centers. We also directed state officials to address the growing problem of cyanobacterial blooms, harmful algae that can pollute our lakes.
We supported our first responders with increased mental health training, and by expanding death benefits for first responders who die from suicide.
Affordable housing remains New Hampshire’s top economic challenge and we passed legislation improving training for local land use officials and streamlining the application process for housing projects. More work remains as we continue to tackle the housing crisis.
New Hampshire voters have always had faith in how we run our elections, but local errors in Windham and Bedford have shown that mistakes happen. We passed a series of bills to improve election integrity that included better procedures for voters who register without a photo I.D., improved transparency for voter rolls, voting machines and ballot boxes, and a transparent audit procedure following the 2022 elections. These common-sense steps will bolster faith in the integrity of our elections.
Senate Republicans stood firm against rolling back gains we made in last year’s budget. We protected the innovative Education Savings Account program that is enabling 2,000 working New Hampshire families to choose the best school for their children. We maintained New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination law, which ensures that racism has no place being taught in our schools. We voted down attempts to raise local property taxes and undermine the solvency of the New Hampshire Retirement System.
New Hampshire’s ability to protect taxpayers starts with a strong economy. Unfortunately, Washington policies have produced record inflation, spiked food and gas prices, and created the real possibility of a recession. It’s ever more important that the Granite State maintains its competitive advantage over other states to retain employers.
Republican-led tax reductions and opposition to a sales or income tax have not only helped hardworking New Hampshire families and small businesses but also produced record budget surpluses. These policies have delivered success for our state and will protect New Hampshire residents from the threat of inflation and recession.
Sen. Chuck Morse (R-Salem) represents District 22 and serves as Senate president. Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) represents District 3 and serves as Senate majority leader.