My Stance

Find out more about Bob's position regarding the issues in today's state government

Priorities for New Hampshire

New Hampshire State House

I’m Working For You…

Bringing Technology to Expand Opportunity…

With the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation, New Hampshire’s economy is clearly robust. But opportunity and prosperity are skewed toward southern NH because of its better developed technology and transportation infrastructure. Bringing high-speed internet to rural NH is essential to expanding opportunity in small and rural communities, and we recently worked with the town of Bristol to procure federal funding to install a fiber optic network. I’ll be working to build on this initial success to expand the availability of high speed broadband capability to every community.

Fighting to Save Forest Industry Jobs…

The Governor’s vetoes of SB365 and SB446 pose an existential threat to our forest and timber products industry. Shortly before he vetoed these important bills, I sent him a letter explaining the importance of these bills and the Senate’s consensus that these bills were crucial for the forest products industry. A bipartisan group of 16 Senators signed that letter, and we are working as a team to override the Governor’s vetoes and save the biomass energy facilities and the 1000 jobs and many supporting small businesses that are in jeopardy because of them.

Increasing Responsible Spending While Cutting Taxes…

I voted to reduce the Business Enterprise Tax and Business Profits Tax. In combination with changes to the federal tax code, these produced $100 million in additional revenue for the state. Those funds were distributed to every town in NH for school safety/infrastructure improvements and road and bridge construction. We also committed tens of millions to opioid/substance abuse and mental health programs, college scholarships for NH students, and other urgent priorities. We eliminated the Electricity Consumption Tax, reducing the cost of electricity for every home and business in the state.

Demanding More Transparency in Government…

NH is ranked 49th of the 50 states for government transparency because of the requirement for citizens to take government agencies to court when they wrongfully refuse to disclose information. Legal costs are a major impediment to our right to know. I chaired a commission to investigate this inequity, and sponsored legislation (SB555) that provided a non-judicial alternative to government withholding of information. I’ll be re-introducing similar legislation so that the onus is on government to prove why it shouldn’t disclose information, rather than the citizens to prove why it should.

Improving Workforce Readiness…

We’ve made significant progress in workforce readiness, infrastructure, and overall business climate. We’ve created the first-in-the-world “regenerative manufacturing center” in Manchester, bringing high-tech jobs and new technology to NH. Creating new high-tech, world class industries with high-paying jobs is critical to enabling our people to succeed and build better lives for themselves and their families. I’m working with our Community College system to develop direct training pipelines for high school students to gain certifications and training required by NH employers for current and future skill set requirements.

Attacking Substance Abuse and the Opioid Crisis…

We’ve committed unprecedented funding and resources (tens of millions) to attacking substance abuse with more and better education in our schools, more aggressive law enforcement, and greatly expanded treatment facilities. Working with law enforcement, rehab centers, child advocates and medical providers, we’re building a network making access to treatment available within an hour from anyplace in the state. However, substance abuse continues to increase, and I’m committed to developing meaningful metrics to determine if our efforts are working, and to rethinking our approach if it’s not.

Addressing Mental Health Issues…

The growing awareness of mental health as a major factor in mass shootings and drug addiction is becoming a significant driver of public policy. We’re incorporating mental health and family services into our schools with wrap-around programs that will enable families to gain assistance to prevent escalation of minor problems into major catastrophic events. As with substance abuse, I’ll be seeking metrics to accurately measure the effectiveness of our multi-million-dollar investments in these programs. One of our highest priorities is the lack of available housing for those suffering a mental health emergency; at present most are simply placed in beds outside hospital emergency rooms, often making the situation worse. I’m also actively engaged in finding transitional housing for those who have completed residential treatment programs and are transitioning back into the community.

Keeping State Spending Under Control…

State revenues continue to increase because of lower taxes and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. We’ve funded every function of state government without increasing taxes. We’re responsibly reducing taxes to allow you to keep more of what you earn, and to allow businesses to invest in modernization and expansion. We’ve prudently restored the state’s Rainy Day Fund to $110 million from its previous $8 million, improving our bond rating and saving millions in interest on the state’s bonded debt. As one of the six-member Senate Finance Committee, we delivered a budget that met our needs, reduced our taxes and reallocated resources to address the issues that are impacting our people, businesses and institutions.

When State Agencies Overstep Their Bounds…

I’ve personally conducted numerous hearings in the Senate Conference Room with Commissioners when citizens and businesses bring forward evidence that state government has acted with too heavy a hand. In every instance, we’ve achieved solutions that achieved the state’s objectives without crushing the business or individual involved.

Improving Your Quality of Life…

I vote against Family Medical Leave because the program established a state-run insurance company and was unsustainable as designed. However, I’ve been actively meeting with the Commissioners of Insurance and Employment Security to develop a private sector FMLI program, and I’m meeting with individual insurance carriers to brainstorm how to get this done in time to introduce legislation in the coming session.

As a result of legislation I introduced (SB557) I was named Legislator of the Year by NH Housing Action, an umbrella group of more than 80 organization in the state working to make housing affordable for working families and the less affluent. Though that legislation didn’t make it through the House, I’ll be introducing legislation to address the critical housing shortage affecting many places in our state.