Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: June 2014

Flood control payments face stiff opposition

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

Reconsideration: Having voted against a bill for two casinos – I made a promise to support only one casino – I asked for reconsideration of the vote on SB 366. Naturally, I am always torn between the supporters of no casinos and the supporters of one or more casinos.

The no-casino vote brought in a 20-vote reserve, and that pretty much finishes that discussion for the foreseeable future.

SB 370, a bill from the Senate which would have restored 2012-2013 moneys owed to flood control towns out of a settlement payment from Massachusetts of $1.12 million, came under strong attack from the Finance 1 committee. The committee of eight members – four Democrats and four Republicans – decided to Inexpedient-To-Legislate (ITL) this bill and send the money into the state’s general funds. The subcommittee vote was 8-0, and the full committee adopted the ITL motion on an 18-2 vote.

David Karrick, Leigh Webb, Scott Burns, and others organized resistance. With Gary Richardson being able to help as best he could, being in the leadership – we were fighting both leaderships – our best hope was for a tabling motion. Any change to the bill meant that it would have to go back to the Senate, where our flood control town (Salisbury) had more support. We failed by a vote of 161 to 183. We could not beat the leadership.

But the bill is not dead; SB 370 has been re-attached to another bill, HB 1282, about oil and gas contracts. Maybe both bills will survive, to the good.

We have had a couple of weeks of rest; the last session is Wednesday, June 4. There will probably be a special session in the summer or fall to deal with the MET tax “solutions.” I will keep everyone posted.

Election

I have decided to run again as Representative for Merrimack County’s First District – Andover, Danbury, and Salisbury – as a Democrat. I respectfully ask for everyone's vote, both in the primaries and in the general election.

Registration as a candidate for office – State Representative, Senator, Executive Council, or Governor – takes place in town offices between Wednesday, June 4, and Friday, June 13. Please check with your local town office for their hours.

I am always available at 735-5440 or at MarioRatzki@nullgmail.com. Yes, I have been remiss with e-mail. I got all the messages, and my only excuse is that I was under intense pressure for awhile . It is not much of an excuse, but I will take what I can get.