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Steve Winter
State Representative District 3


November 5, 2011
"What is in store for 2012 "

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

 


"I would much appreciate what programs you would like to see continue this coming year and what you hope could be initiated towards the future welfare of the citizens of the state of New Hampshire." 
– A local reader of this column


I thought that suggestion was excellent so I will attempt to look into my crystal ball to see what’s in store for next year.

The 2011 work is finally beginning to settle down. The final day to file legislation for retained bills and study committees was November 1. Many of us will be glad that 2011 is over. It was a very difficult year. It is always easier to give away money than it is to take it back. But we were elected to do just that and the heartache and dismay we all experienced in making the necessary budget cuts made the 2011 session year one of the most difficult in anyone’s memory.

What is in store for 2012? First we will see the results of the many, many study committees that were formed, and bills that were retained in the standing committees for further study. My understanding is that we had more retained bills and study bills in 2011 than in any other first year session in history. Our task was not accomplished lightly.

 

The first result we should see is passage of our sunset bill that would automatically defund after eight years any program that had begun after passage of that bill. In order for the program to continue, the governmental agency or department in charge of the program will need to appear before a legislative committee to document that the program has been successful, efficient, and worth the cost. If the agency is unable to do so, funding for the program will be eliminated.

Another 2012 bill is the de-licensing of a number of professions such as cosmetology, athletic trainers, sports agents, etc. We have over 140 licensed professions in New Hampshire, the fourth highest in the nation. Licensing gives the consumer a false sense of safety and competency. In fact, competency is earned through the training offered by the professional school, college, or other institution. As a consumer, I would prefer to see a certificate of graduation from an educational or training institution hanging on the wall rather than a license from the state that is frequently obtained by filling in a form and paying a fee.

Lastly, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a constitutional amendment last week to prohibit an income tax in New Hampshire. That will go to the full House in January and, if passed in both the House and Senate, it will go on the ballot in 2012. The governor is not involved in that process.

Some on these pages will say that we need to have a discussion about new revenue, i.e., an income tax. I say that we have been having that discussion for well over 20 years. Every gubernatorial candidate who has espoused an income tax has been soundly defeated. The people have already spoken.

 

 

Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319
Email: libertynh@myfairpoint.net


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