2013 HRA Year End Summary
The 2013 legislative session became a turning point for the House Republican Alliance (HRA). During the course of the session, we took action in a number of new initiatives and increased our participation in others. The record number of policy press releases began in March with a press release opposing the initial 83% gas tax increase. The list of the more significant accomplishments is below.
Supporting our Businesses and Working Families
HRA led the 2013 session again with visible opposition to the continued expansion of government through taxes and regulation. HRA members were united and proactive in opposing the gas tax early in the session, participating in press conferences, leading the floor fight for the working people, and keeping this issue in front of the citizens of the state. HRA members opposed new taxes, including an oil heating clean up surcharge tax and taxes on boat registrations.
HRA supported educational choices for families, including pro Charter School bills, defending Education Scholarships for needy families, and opposing Common Core bills that would remove much of the local authority from our schools for educational choices.
The fight against Medicaid expansion began in the Commerce committee and continued into a fall Special Session. The debate during the November Special session was well orchestrated by HRA; House members pointed out the problems of what could be the largest expansion of our state government in our history. With the help of the Senate, it was defeated but the fight to protect our citizens against massive government growth continues.
Actions we took
HRA conducted a record number of continuing education, policy issue and training programs this past year. We began with a series of continuing education classes for new and returning legislative members to help each Republican legislator become well versed in the legislative process and prepared to participate in committee meetings and on the house floor. HRA also engaged mentors for the new members in the House; either a fellow committee member or an acquaintance of the new member. We strengthened our relationship with our Senators by working together on many legislative issues. HRA continued our pursuit of education with two meetings: the Annual Policy Summit; designed to bring all Republicans together on 2014 proposed legislation; and an Obamacare presentation conducted by known experts. In the latter part of the year, we conducted two new recruitment training classes that were well attended by energized candidates! HRA members have actively recruited candidates across the state to help us win back the majority in 2014. We plan to continue to have more successful seminars and training sessions in the coming year.
Bills we graded
HRA scored 100 bills during the regular 2013 session and provided the roll call votes on the scoresheet for constituents to see their representatives’ voting record (www.nhhra.org). Despite our position in the minority, we were able to overturn three committee recommendations and gain a vote in our favor:
- OTP HB136, which would have doubled pay for politicians attending county conventions
- ITL HB325, rewarding state employees for cost saving suggestions
- ITL HB388, disallowing lawsuits against victims of gun theft
The Republican median HRA score was 85%. Out of 100 roll call votes, there were just four votes where the majority of the Republican caucus voted against the HRA recommendation. In those four votes, the Republican vote was closely divided.
Looking to 2014
HRA will continue to focus on promoting good Republican policy and opposing bills that will restrict freedoms or will grow government. We anticipate even more participation and media relations as we close out the legislative session.
The purpose of the New Hampshire House Republican Alliance is to preserve and strengthen the traditional principles and values of the Republican Party through the NH House of Representatives and throughout the state of New Hampshire, including fiscal restraint, personal freedom and responsibility, small government, free enterprise and strong families. We analyze legislation and provide voting recommendations based on those principles, the Republican Party Platform, and the New Hampshire and Federal Constitutions.