BIA Releases 2017 Legislative Scorecard

The Business and Industry Association, New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce, has released its nonpartisan 2017 Legislative Scorecard and Victories & Defeats for NH Businesses. The annual document tracks and reports lawmakers’ publicly recorded roll call votes on issues that are important to New Hampshire businesses. Legislators with high scores are considered a “Friend of Business”; those with exceptional scores are recognized as a “Champion of Business.”

Legislative Update: How do you like them apples?

The other meeting of the minds coming up will be the Committee of Conference dealing with SB 191, a bill that would provide state aid for full day kindergarten. While there are some policy differences the chambers must resolve (like whether the state should provide targeted aid or blanket aid to all communities), there’s one major point that separates the two. The House tacked on an amendment that would pay for it by establishing Keno in the state (all funds from lottery games already go to education).

It seems unlikely the Senate will swallow Keno. For years, the House has nixed many a Senate casino proposal…so the Senate gives it right back to the House by nixing their Keno proposals. (BIA has traditionally remained neutral on Keno). Despite this, it’s expected some common ground will be achieved.

BIA supports expanding full-day K in NH. We believe it’s a long-term investment in our future workforce, it removes a barrier businesses and employees have expressed about coming to New Hampshire, and it gets parents of children back into the workforce faster.

Legislative Update: Endgame

A budget conference committee is like a three-dimensional chess game. Pawns are sacrificed; pieces exchanged, the clock ticks. As the committee regroups this week, strategy is being planned across several boards at once.
Without their own budget, the House is at a considerable disadvantage as it doesn’t even have all its pieces on the board. While not exactly Kasparov’s Gambit, the House opened with a request to look at the Senate-passed reductions in the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax. Members don’t seem concerned about the tax rates themselves; however, they want to reexamine the state revenue trigger points at which the cuts would reverse.
The Senate may shake it up with an effort to abolish the fractional Energy Consumption Tax, a fine print levy you’ll find at the bottom of your light bill. This is likely a piece exchange with someone on a completely different board: Governor Sununu. Will he be less likely to veto SB 129, which increases the fixed price on biomass-generated power, if electric bills will be lowered without the ECT? (BIA is urging the governor to veto SB 129.)
On another board entirely are House factions on both the left and the right that scuttled HB 1 & 2 in the first place. Here’s a classic pawn queening, where the usually sacrificial pieces suddenly have great power. The Senate will need one of these factions to join House leadership to pass the final budget. Otherwise they’ll be locked in an endgame resulting in an inescapable draw.

BIA: Share your school-to-career pathway experiences

BIA will host a meeting June 29 in their office, 122 N Main St, Concord from 9 – 10:30 am, for member employers who are engaging with area high schools, colleges, or both in order to expose young people to job and career opportunities right here in NH.  The meeting will allow you and other business leaders to compare notes and share best practices.  For questions or to RSVP (required), contact Sara Colson at 603.224.5388 x116 or

BIA Business Perspective: Pulp fiction

NH’s statewide chamber of commerce is urging Gov. Sununu to veto a bill hiking rates on biomass-generated electricity. In the latest BIA Business Perspective in the NH Sunday News, President Jim Roche says the bill, should it make it to the governor’s desk, will raise prices for all ratepayers at a time when the goal needs to be bringing them down.