Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: July 2014

Hospitals settle; state on track for balanced budget

By Mario Ratzki, NH representative

While June 4 was the last session scheduled for the year in the legislature, we will have to go back at least once to vote on the governor’s vetoes. Governor Hassan has already vetoed HB 1244, which would have prohibited the disclosure of lottery winners names. I thought not releasing lottery winners names was incredibly […]

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 […]

Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: May 2014

House passes Senate bill to hike gas tax immediately

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

This past week was an eventful one at the capitol in Concord. Looking back a year and a half, we predicted that the so-called balanced budget left us by the preceding legislature was based on faulty calculations. Unfortunately, this came to pass when a New Hampshire court decision invalidated the Medicaid Enhancement Tax levies from […]

Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: April 2014

A rush of action as "crossover" looms

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

The Senate Medicaid Expansion bill passed the House on a vote of 202 to 132. The House sends its bills to the Senate in what is called Crossover with a deadline of March 27. Accordingly, a mad rush is on to finish voting on all our bills by that date. This means two- and/or three-day sessions […]

NHEC Explains “Member Service Charge”

Same charge for every member

By Fred Anderson, President/CEO, NHEC

If you get your electricity from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, you’ve no doubt noticed the Member Service Charge portion of your bill. It’s a fixed monthly charge that is paid by all Co-op members, regardless of whether you use one kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month or 1,000. No single charge on your monthly electric bill attracts […]

HB 1589-FN Posed Hard Choices

Wouldn't solve problems it addressed

By David Karrick, NH Representative

For House Bill 1589-FN, requiring a criminal background check for certain firearms sales or transfers, it was difficult for me and many other New Hampshire State Representatives to decide how to vote. I voted against the bill because I didn’t believe it would solve the problems it was supposedly addressing. I don’t vote for poorly researched […]

Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: March 2014

Bills passing, bills failing

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

The pace has picked up tremendously in Concord, with the State of the State by our Governor, Maggie Hassan, and the announcement of a possible agreement on Medicaid Expansion with a New Hampshire label. The bill is being drafted, and we will vote on it before recess. There have been a slew of defeated bills: […]

Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: February 2014

Medicaid expansion is once again a topic

By Mario Ratzki, NH representative

The 2014 session of the New Hampshire state legislature was off to a rousing start. First, the rumors of the death of Medicaid Expansion turned out to be greatly exaggerated. In a transparent attempt to establish a bargaining position with the Senate, the House voted in a partisan vote to reopen the conversation on Medicaid […]

NH House Votes to Expand Medicaid; Senate Kills Bill

Ratzki expresses "disappointment and dismay"

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

Medicaid expansion is dead. While the House voted for Medicaid expansion, the Senate could not agree on its own bill and killed the House bill by a vote of 13 to 11 on a partisan basis. One can probably blame the ACA rollout for the failure of this bill. That the rollout was poorly managed […]

Mario Ratzki Reports from Concord: October 2013

Medicaid expansion up for vote in November

By Mario Ratzki, NH Representative

The Medicaid Expansion Commission has just released its findings and recommendations. It is saying Yes to expansion and would establish a New Hampshire hybrid system of federal, state, and private health insurances. Some people would be covered under Medicaid, others with the state Health Insurance Premium Payment program, and others with federally-subsidized health care coverage […]