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By: Dan Bennett

It’s a new year and the dust from the Midterm elections has more than settled. The House, Senate, Executive Council, and Governor have all been sworn in and the 2019 legislative session is now starting to get going.

While we expected turnover and a bit of a swing, typically about 1/3rd of the House membership changes in an election year, what happened in the NH legislature went much further than expected. House Turnover was closer to 50%.  

While Governor Chris Sununu (R-Newfields) was successful in maintaining the corner office many of his fellow Republicans were not and the control in the other chambers has flipped. The NH House of Representatives will now be controlled Democrats with a majority of 234 to 166. The next House Speaker is Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) now in his 8th 2-year term and the Republican Leader is Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack). The Senate is controlled with a 14 to 10 Democratic majority and led by Senate President Donna Soucy (R-Manchester) with Senator Chuck Morse (R-Salem) as the Republican leader. The Executive Council which was led by a 3 to 2 Republican majority is now a 3-2 Democratic majority.

In the next month or so NHADA will have a very important contract in front of the Executive Council as the current NH OBD II emissions testing system is out for bid. Stay tuned as more information is released on that and our call to action. Thanks to some of our members who have already been hosting and meeting with Executive Councilors to introduce them to the electronic safety and emissions testing program.

In the House and Senate there approximately 1115 bills filed. As of now the titles of 890 or so are public knowledge. The rest will be released over the next few days. 100 or so bills will likely be withdrawn prior to the upcoming deadline and not see action.  NHADA casts a very wide net when it comes to our legislative vigilance to protect your business interests. Our first pass through we identified 190 bills of interest, and that is not even counting the 145 or so that are still not public. We will read and review all bills of concern and seek feedback from the NHADA Legislative Committee, partners, legislators, stakeholders, state agencies and importantly you. In a typical legislative session we will actively monitor, support, or oppose 100 to 120 bills and I imagine this session it will be the same.

There will be bills impacting our collision repair members, titling of vehicles, unsafe used car sales, ATV and Snowmobile trail and registration issues, an attempt to repeal the distracted driving law, digital right to repair, and vehicle transportation emissions, to name a few.

There will also be bills that will impact your business such as raising the minimum wage, reversing recent business tax cuts, and a NH Family medical leave insurance program for small businesses.  

As the session evolves stay tuned for more information on the details of the bills. Keep your eye out for our legislative calls to action as well. Whether it daily and directly impacts your business or not NHADA is strong because of our loud collective voice in all corners of the state.  We work hard to assist in making grassroots outreach to the legislature as informative and easy for you as possible. Get ready to make some noise in 2019 because as you have always heard us say, and will continually repeat “Our Voice in Concord is Only As Loud As Yours back Home”.

For questions on legislative matters I can be reached at dbennett@nhada.com or (800) 852-3372.


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Dan Bennett


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