“The Rest of the Story” Concerning Legislative Impacts

By Mary Anne Broshek

The stated legislative impacts in the October Louise Andrus advertisement do not tell the whole story. I picked four of the items to show the rest of the story.

Background: Beginning in 2010, when Republican Bill O’Brian was Speaker of the House, many State obligations, including promised State contributions for teacher/police retirement, water, and waste treatment, bridge maintenance, room and meals tax sharing, school building aid, and revenue for education, were shifted from the state to a town/city responsibility (nhmuniciple.org/legislative-advocacy). What Democrats have been trying to do since 2010 is return these dollars to towns and cities so property taxes can be lowered.

HB 616: Louise’s ad says this will increase retirement costs for towns. This bill, signed by Governor Sununu, provided a cost of living increase for State pensions after nine years without one. The true hit on the cost of retirement costs to towns was the 2010 downshifting that eventually changed the state contribution for retirement costs for teachers and police from 35% in 2009 to 0% in 2013.

HB 623: Louise’s ad says this bill “raises business taxes.” HB 623 removed a planned reduction in the business profits tax and business enterprise tax. As shown by the The Tax Foundation (taxfoundation.org/publications/state-business-tax-climate-index/) tax reduction for corporations is not essential since New Hampshire currently ranks sixth best in the nation for “best business climate.” When property taxes are reduced everyone benefits — businesses and individuals.

SB 159 Net metering: Governor Sununu vetoed this bipartisan bill, and Ken Wells voted to override the veto. The Public Utilities Commission (Docket DE16-576) found no evidence of cost shifting to regular customers. Increasing the net metering limit allows more homeowners and towns to take advantage of the lower costs of solar energy.

SB 290: Louise’s ad says this bill removed the work requirement from Medicaid. SB 290, signed by Governor Sununu, made changes to the New Hampshire work requirement policy. In the past, work requirements were never allowed in the Medicaid program because the goal of the program was to help with medical expenses to those who could not afford it. 


A 2018 waiver submitted by Governor Sununu established the New Hampshire work requirement. In July 2019, a Federal court struck down the New Hampshire work requirement waiver as “arbitrary and capricious,” and more than $4 million dollars in implementation costs were wasted.

You can see the text of any bill that interests you by going to gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/. Just enter the year the bill was introduced, the bill number, and press “Submit.”

I am thankful that Ken Wells has used his scientific background to bring greater expertise to the House Science and Technology and that he brought real help to District 1 by:

Working with Danbury to finally bring an internet provider to the table so they could have WiFi and using that momentum to introduce legislation that would help all New Hampshire towns with WiFi.

Working with statewide Democrats to undo some of the 2010 downshifting which brought back $166,000 to Andover, $176,000 to Danbury, and $117,000 to Salisbury.

Joining forces with the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association to support loggers and the biomass industry.

Authoring HB 1135, a bi-partisan bill to create a unique, no-cost apprenticeship program covering high school through community college that builds the specific skills employers need. The program is now being piloted in Franklin.

Co-authoring an action plan to move New Hampshire to clean renewable energy by 2025.

I want a legislator who studies the impact of legislation, listens to the people in the district, and has the skills to create positive change. Ken Wells is that person.