WELL UNDER THE RADAR, proponents of expanded gambling are making a big boost by 2021.
The latest suggestion is the Historic Race, where players can wager up to $ 25 on races chosen at random from an archive of hundreds that have already been run. The players do not know the outcome, but they are given a background similar to a racing shape on which to base their bets.
The big upside to this case is that if approved, it will make a ton of money for the New Hampshire charities that were struggling during the pandemic.
“Destination casinos will never happen in New Hampshire. Let us now support the model that we have, ”said the MP. Patrick Abrami, R-Stratham, the main sponsor of the House Bill (HB 626), which was filed before the House Ways and Means Committee late last week.
Together with Abrami, House Public Works and Highways Chairman are on the bill John Graham, R-Bedford, chairman for fish and game Tim Lang, R-Sanbornton and House GOP executive member Fred Doucette, R-Salem.
An almost identical Senate bill (SB 112) is supported by an even larger collection of heavyweights with the chairman of the trade committee Harold French, R-Webster, who enacted the bill co-signed by the Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Gary Daniels and Democratic Senate Leader Donna Soucy from Manchester.
No less than a dozen lobbyists have pledged to represent interests that drive this move forward. Manchester's Granite State Poker Alliance has five lobbyists, including Rath, Young and Pignatelli Dave Collins and Gina Powers, Ex-GOP employee Joel Maiola and former Democratic Chief of Staff Rich Sigel.
Ex-State Rep. Fran Wendleboe and Mike McLaughlin represent companies that sell very lucrative pull tab games at these charity events.
GOP campaign advisor Alicia Preston represents the New Hampshire Charitable Gaming Operators, as does the former Democratic representative. Rick Newman, which also stands for Grover Gaming of Greenville, NC, which is a historic racing player in other states.
You also have the former Senate President Peter Bragdon Representing Churchill Downs, which operates one of the most lucrative historical racing programs in its home state of Kentucky.
Bragdon testified last week to support an offer from Rep. Richard Ames, D-Jaffrey to have a full study of non-profit gaming (HB 626).
In the early 2000s, when gambling casinos were viewed as the big prize, historic racing was dismissed by most as a "niche business" with little growth potential.
That is no longer the case.
Only a handful of states offer historic races, but Wyoming turned heads shortly after it started in 2013.
State officials most recently reported that $ 793 million was wagered on these races in 2019, with cities and towns generating $ 7.9 million in profit, $ 2.9 million going to the state, and $ 3.3 million Dollars flowed into a horse breeder's fund.
Under both New Hampshire bills, the state and charities would share 25% of the profits.
The New Hampshire Lottery estimates the state would share $ 12 million net and 30 charities would share up to $ 5.8 million.
House meeting in Bedford
House Speaker Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, announced that the first business meetings of the House of Representatives will be held at the NH Sportsplex at 68 Technology Drive in Bedford from February 24-25, 2021.
Packard said the facility's 50,000-square-foot space will allow lawmakers to expand and socially distance themselves.
"We are working with the Department of Health and Human Services, the State Firefighter, Bedford Fire and Police and the State Police to ensure a risk-reducing and safe environment for all members and staff present."
A health and safety plan will be posted on the house calendar next week, Packard said.
“We are continuing to investigate whether there is a reasonable remote solution that will not interfere with the operations of the 400-strong House of Representatives. A solution that meets our individual requirements has not been identified, ”Packard updated.
Everyone gets tired of it.
"Looks like I have to ride again … can't wait until everyone is vaccinated and we can have another session at the State House so I can just walk," tweeted Rep. Eric Gallager, D-Concord.
Hiring stop ended
Gov. Chris Sununu Last week ended a freeze on government attitudes it put in place in response to the pandemic.
Sununu said in his speech on the state budget that improvements in revenue and financial management have brought the projected deficit down to $ 50 million for the current year.
Last spring, Sununu warned that the red ink could be eight times that amount.
"The lifting of this hiring freeze is yet another sign that our management has paid off and our economy is on its way to returning to historical highs prior to this pandemic," said Sununu.
A poll by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics released last week is sure to fuel "Run Chris Run" 's talk about a US Senate bid.
Asked if Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Should be re-elected next year, 39% said yes and 47% said they were looking for someone else. The rest were undecided.
Sununu contributed to the Good Morning New Hampshire program Jack Heath last Friday the numbers were no surprise.
“Everyone in New Hampshire wants people to get things done and in Washington. They don't do the job, ”said Sununu.
Hassan's favorable rating was better, 49% favorable to 40% unfavorable. Meanwhile, Sununus remains strong – 72% cheap to 27% unfavorable.
Democratic Party spokeswoman Gates MacPherson noted that US Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., Had a 36% perkiness rating before going on a fifth tenure in the 2nd District.
Feltes is back
After several weeks of relative silence, 2020 democratic candidate for governor Dan Feltes of Concord returned to the political stage with several social media posts criticizing Sununu's state budget.
Last Friday followed Feltes Sununus offer to remove the 5% tax on interest and dividends over a period of five years.
“The tax breaks for interest and dividends are being cut by the richest 10 percent who receive over 80 percent of the benefit. In the past, people in both parties were against it. Some cynically urge this to help "struggling seniors". That's wrong, "Feltes wrote on Twitter.
“The currently best interest-bearing savings account rate: 0.60%. The individual exemption is $ 2,400, plus an additional $ 1,200 if you're 65 or older. So seniors must have an interest-bearing savings account of at least $ 600,000 before they can even pay a penny. "
“Dividends are payments made by listed companies as a reward for wealthy investors. If you receive dividend payouts from big companies, you should be fine. Do you know who not? Real estate taxpayers, including working families and fixed income senior citizens. "
Sununu spokesman Benjamin Vihstadt answered.
"I must have missed Dan's swearing-in as governor. It looks like he learned nothing from his landslide defeat when his income-generating tax record as Senate majority leader helped bring back a GOP majority at that session. On the other hand, it's no surprise that Dan would prefer the government to keep more of the seniors' hard-earned money"Said Vihstadt.
GOP attacks Thomas
With the warming of the special elections in Merrimack, the GOP heads of state are enlivening a controversy on February 3, 2020 involving a Democratic candidate and a former representative of the state. Wendy Thomas.
republican Bill Boyd and Thomas are caught in a contest to replace the late house speaker Dick Hinchwho died last December. The election is on April 13th.
An employee of the Ministry of Security sent a complaint to the House staff about Thomas visiting the Ministry of Motor Vehicles to obtain a Real ID license.
According to the email, Thomas didn't have the documents she needed.
She once declared "this is (expletively) ridiculous" and later said: "I am a state representative and I shouldn't have to be forced to."
"It's bad enough that we get customers who are uncomfortable with missing documents, but it is terrible when a representative of the NH state treats us like that," wrote an unidentified employee to the head of the legislature Terry Pfaff.
On February 14, 2020, house speaker at the time Stephen Shurtleff Thomas said his ethics advisory group recommended that she receive a warning letter about her actions.
"This warning letter is issued with the understanding and hope that you will consider your future conduct carefully and act in a manner that is consistent with the honor and style of a government official," wrote Shurtleff.
GOP Executive Director and Salem GOP Rep. Joseph Sweeney von Salem condemned Thomas's behavior.
"Elected officials in New Hampshire must set a good example for the granite state and must not seek special privileges associated with their service," Sweeney said.
"If this is Wendy Thomas' idea to serve, this episode is totally disqualifying and Merrimack voters should take note," Sweeney said.
Thomas made a letter of apology.
“There is no excuse for attacking an employee and I regret my choice of words. Our government employees work hard every day for Granite Staters and have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, ”said Thomas.
Jewish representatives speak out
To keep up pressure on two GOP state officials, 10 Jewish State officials called on Packard to crack down on what they viewed as anti-Semitic posts on social media.
State representative Dawn Johnson, R-Laconia, apologized for her post, which she withdrew shortly after her criticism. Packard said he didn't consider a contribution from Rep. James Spillaine, R-Deerfield, to be anti-Semitic.
"We ask you to immediately – in the clearest and most unambiguous sense – impose substantial sanctions on Rep. Johnson and Rep. Spillane," said the letter from the group, headed by Rep. Paul Berch, D-Westmoreland.
"We often refer to the NH house as 'family'. We have a problem in our family and we have a duty to deal with it because history teaches us that if we let it fester, it will only make the problem worse," said the group led by Rep. Paul Berch, D-Westmoreland.