ICYMI: House & Senate Democrats Tout Victories, Admonish Republicans in Final Press Conferences
CONCORD, NH — In case you missed it, House and Senate Democratic Leaders held press conferences last week discussing the highlights and lowlights of this past legislative session, the many ways Republicans have failed the people of New Hampshire, and to preview legislative priorities for the upcoming campaign season. Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Mancester) talked about Democratic wins on property taxes and abortion rights. “We have prioritized efforts to decrease the property tax burdens felt by our working families. We have passed legislation aimed at addressing the workforce crisis. We have worked to pass bills aimed at clean water and clean energy to create a sustainable future for generations of Granite Staters to come. We have fought day after day to increase access to child care, affordable housing, and health care. And with the imminent fall of Roe v. Wade right around the corner, we continued to put forward legislation to gaurentee the legal right to safe abortion care,” said Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy opening the press conference and defining the Senate Democratic Caucus victories over the last five months. Senator Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) celebrated the long-awaited Medicaid dental benefit, work on property taxes, and took Senate Republicans to task for their culture war legislation. “I am thrilled to stand here today to celebrate the passage of SB 422 which creates a dental benefit for over 100,000 Granite Staters currently enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. For years, we have been working with advocates to pass this crucial legislation expanding dental health care for low-income, elderly, and disabled Granite Staters… I am also extremely proud to say that my bill, SB 412 is also on its way to the Governor’s office. Every session we work to pass legislation that will decrease property taxes on the already overburdened New Hampshire tax payer. SB 412 which addresses local nursing home rates is an essential piece to that puzzle,” Senator Rosenwald said. “But of course, we have also had to endure watching this majority pass some of the most irresponsible legislation seen at any time in New Hampshire history. This session I have witnessed the most extreme, partisan legislation of my career in the Senate. I have watched a Republican majority, often at war with itself, over how to make the most political, least beneficial laws to harm Granite Staters. Culture war over everything, all the time." House Democratic Leader David Cote (D-Nashua) spoke in defense of Representative Debra Altschiller (D-Stratham), who was booed by House Republicans after trying to give a speech honoring victims of gun violence. "On the other side of the aisle, the Republican majority in the House has spent the past five months promoting anti-family legislation that prioritizes serving an extreme far right fringe over the health and success of the vast majority of our children, families, and businesses." “We saw some truly unconscionable behavior in the House, when Rep. Altschiller tried to have a moment to honor victims of gun violence, she was booed and jeered from House Republicans, and they called a vote for her to stop. This just two days after the second deadliest school shooting in our Nation’s history. Reprehensible. Behavior like that has come to define this Republican majority over these last five months,” Said Rep. Cote. Democratic Victory Campaign Committee Chair Representative Matt Wilhelm spoke about Republican attacks on schools and teachers this session, as well as how well positioned Democrats are for the campaign to come. “This past session, Republicans tried to expand their incredibly unpopular school censorship program — which is as much an attack on teachers as it is an attack on our collective history — and expand it to state colleges and institutions of higher learning with House Bill 1313. Just unprecedented government and ideological overreach like we have not seen before really anywhere.” “We were proud to kill House Bill 1431 — New Hampshire’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill which would have created truly toxic government overreach into New Hampshire classrooms. That was just another front in their war on teachers, and are all grateful to watch a bill that bad die the death that it did. So while Republicans have spent the last year working on passing incredibly extreme, unpopular legislation, House Democrats are extremely well positioned going into November.” “We have invested in our campaign infrastructure in a totally unprecedented way, more-than-doubling our staff and hiring earlier than ever before. We have one of the strongest, highest-quality field of candidates we’ve ever recruited,” Rep. Wilhelm said.