Though this election cycle has been nasty and private on the nationwide degree, difficult by COVID-19’s infestation of your complete nation together with the White Home, a U.S. Supreme Courtroom nomination and protests over systemic racism, different points essential to enterprise are on the road.
NH Enterprise Assessment requested the main celebration candidates working this 12 months for 4 key workplaces — the U.S. Senate, the 2 congressional seats and governor — about seven subjects: labor and employment, taxes, housing, healthcare, infrastructure, power and COVID-19. Solutions are unedited except they exceeded the phrase restrict. Biographical info can also be included.
An environmental engineer by commerce, Chris Sununu has spent his life — whether or not in public service or the personal sector — dedicated to designing techniques that enhance the standard of life for Granite State households.
Within the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Sununu took unprecedented motion to guard the well-being of Granite Staters.
Simply days after declaring a state of emergency and transitioning New Hampshire colleges to distant studying, Sununu acted swiftly to develop New Hampshire’s unemployment advantages and supply monetary aid to a historic variety of New Hampshire residents.
Following passage of the CARES Act by Congress and signature into legislation by the president, Sununu established the Governor’s Workplace for Emergency Aid and Financial Restoration to supervise the clear funding of over $1.25 billion in aid funds and the immediate restoration of New Hampshire’s financial system.
As governor, Sununu has labored to lower authorities regulation, and as an alternative, open as many doorways of alternative as doable for Granite Staters.
Dan Feltes spent nearly a decade with New Hampshire Authorized Help as a authorized assist legal professional, and now serves as majority chief within the New Hampshire Senate.
At age 41, he’s the youngest majority chief in New Hampshire historical past. He represents Harmony, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner within the Senate and is the Democratic nominee for governor of New Hampshire. A champion for working households, he sponsored laws to ascertain a paid household and medical depart program, develop entry to healthcare, spend money on job coaching and workforce growth, and fund full-day kindergarten.
He lives in Harmony together with his spouse, Erin, and their two daughters.
Do you help present restrictions on companies to forestall the unfold of COVID-19? What else would you do? Do you help a masks mandate? What type, and the way it will likely be enforced?
I help empowering localities to make an area resolution relating to masks mandates. Presently, on the state degree, we’re not a statewide masks mandate, however can all the time play that card down the road. New Hampshire continues to have one of many lowest percent-positive case charges within the nation, and as long as we stay low, we’re not seeking to enact a statewide masks mandate, particularly when a majority of cities in New Hampshire don’t have a single energetic case of COVID.
Most enterprise house owners, together with retail and restaurant house owners, would like a common sense masks requirement, so that each enterprise performs by the identical algorithm and each patrons and staff stay protected. It could possibly be applied by current public well being and code enforcement. As well as, small companies needs to be offered free PPE by the state, which was a part of laws we handed that, sadly, Sununu vetoed.
What sort of extra stimulus package deal do you help, particularly for small companies? How wouldn’t it differ from earlier packages?
Transferring ahead, we are going to proceed to discover extra areas surrounding small companies that we are able to present helps for.
As an alternative, Chris Sununu’s enterprise fund included main legislation corporations and companies with as much as $20 million in annual income. Sununu made up a wholly new fund and construction with none guidelines, after which required a number of functions that left many companies utterly ineligible.
Transferring ahead, enterprise house owners should have confidence in how the aid is distributed, and there have to be a selected deal with industries that will likely be hit the toughest when the climate modifications, particularly the restaurant trade which is able to not be capable of supply out of doors eating.
hould companies obtain any particular legal responsibility safety?
Chris Sununu signed onto a letter urging blanket immunity for companies be handed into federal legislation — that’s the mistaken method. We have to help companies by listening to how sure restrictions are impacting them and the way the state can help employee security, as a result of employee security is public security.
What ought to the minimal wage be and why?
Elevating the minimal wage in the course of a world pandemic would hinder our employers who’re already struggling. It could imply fewer jobs and fewer out there hours for our staff who’re unemployed or underemployed. Our small companies are preventing for survival, and elevating the minimal wage would simply grow to be one other burden positioned on our employers’ backs as they attempt to recuperate.
Do you help paid household and medical depart? To what degree and in what type?
My plan has been vetted by insurance coverage specialists in each the private and non-private sector, they usually concur that my method is viable and can work. I’ve sought compromise with the Legislature, however it’s unlucky that the Legislature refused to compromise and insisted on an revenue tax.
The plan I used to be compelled to veto acknowledged “insurance coverage premium funds shall quantity to 0.5% of wages per worker per week for every week of the previous quarter. Employers could withhold or divert no better than 0.5% of wages per week per worker.” That’s an revenue tax, and neither I nor the individuals of New Hampshire would ever help it.
My invoice, SB 1, had bipartisan co-sponsors and would have established paid household medical depart, giving companies quite a lot of choices for supplying it to their staff, with no mandated tax of any type. Chris Sununu has vetoed this bipartisan laws twice, even calling paid household and medical depart a “trip.”
Sununu offered a so-called “voluntary plan” that acquired no testimony in help on the public listening to — not a single particular person testified in help of his plan. Sununu opposes paid household and medical depart, even auctioning off a replica of his veto of SB 1 at a partisan political fundraiser, then auctioning off the flags of New Hampshire and the US flown over the State Home the day he vetoed SB 1.
Do you assume that the present state enterprise tax charges or federal company charges ought to stay the identical, go up or go down throughout your time period?
What would you do improve the supply of workforce housing?
The primary invoice, HB 1629, targeted on enhancing native management and bettering predictability of the event course of. It included, amongst different issues, offering free coaching supplies to zoning and planning board members, enhancing inclusionary zoning, streamlining the decision-making course of for zoning boards and planning boards, updating and increasing the definition of workforce housing, and guaranteeing equal remedy for workforce housing in awarding of growth incentives.
The second invoice, HB 1632, targeted on accelerating funding in housing. The invoice included, amongst different issues, permitting TIF districts for use for residential growth, growth of using the Group Revitalization Tax Aid Program, and the creation of a voluntary Housing Champion Certification Program to incentivize growth of workforce housing.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic severely shortened this previous legislative session, and these payments, regardless of passing the Home, weren’t enacted resulting from lack of time for full consideration by the Senate. Nonetheless, I plan to push for passage of those payments throughout the 2021 legislative session.
Within the Senate, I continued the hassle to advance inexpensive and workforce housing, together with advancing accent dwelling items, the first-ever restoration housing appropriation, and the first-ever annual appropriation to the inexpensive and workforce housing fund.
There’s extra we are able to do together with utilizing $10 million in CARES Act funds to capitalize the inexpensive and workforce housing fund of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, with precedence given to hardest-hit areas of the state, and improve from $5 million to $10 million the annual capitalization of the inexpensive and workforce housing fund, in addition to use at the very least $1 million, to assist develop workforce housing alongside the commuter rail line.
Would you and the way would you proceed to help eviction and/or foreclosures bans or proceed help to renters and householders?
Inform us your plan to enhance infrastructure and what needs to be the highest precedence: roads, rail, broadband, the grid or one other concern?
We should spend money on increasing high-speed web to all corners of our state, advancing by public-private partnerships, enabled flexibility and coordination on the native degree, and actual state help. We have to lastly transfer ahead on commuter rail, and we should lastly handle the red-listed bridges in our state. We should additionally proceed the grid modernization efforts underway on the Public Utilities Fee.
What have you ever completed and can you do to decrease healthcare prices for companies?
Extra usually, we should prioritize preventative care, as the costliest approach to ship well being care is within the emergency room, driving up prices on everybody. In doing so, we should lastly cross paid household and medical depart insurance coverage so Granite Staters can take the time they should get wholesome, we should cross Medicaid grownup dental profit, and we should get severe on the opioid disaster with precise expanded remedy capability, not merely this consumption and referral program Sununu brags about.
We should additionally make Medicaid growth everlasting. Because the lead Democratic negotiator on Medicaid growth, I can inform you that suppliers on the bottom want certainty — and certainty means financial savings.
Lastly, we should proceed to cut back prescription drug prices. I led the hassle to import protected, low-cost pharmaceuticals from Canada and to cap out-of-pocket insulin prices at $30 monthly.
What particular measures would you help or oppose to decrease the financial and environmental prices of power?
And whereas Chris Sununu has vetoed over a dozen clear power initiatives, largely bipartisan, the clear power initiatives that did make it by have been my payments, together with neighborhood photo voltaic and neighborhood energy/aggregation. As a frontrunner on clear power in Harmony, I perceive that we don’t have to decide on between the pursuits of ratepayers, our native financial system and the atmosphere.
As an alternative, we advance all three by making New Hampshire a frontrunner in photo voltaic, offshore wind, battery storage and power effectivity, whereas including 1000’s of recent middle-class jobs and decreasing power payments for all.
The most important driver of power payments is regional transmission prices, that are pushed by New Hampshire’s peak demand relative to surrounding states, and since we’ve got not shaved our peak demand by common sense measures like photo voltaic, offshore wind, battery storage and power effectivity, surrounding states are consuming our lunch on charges. Briefly, Sununu’s vetoes have elevated your charges — interval. As governor, I’ll act swiftly to declare New Hampshire’s clear tech financial system open for enterprise.
These articles are being shared by companions in The Granite State Information Collaborative. For extra info go to collaborativenh.org.