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Column: Session was focused on jobs and economy

The beginning of April marks the halfway point of the State Senate session. My focus has remained a practical one, aimed on job creation and economic growth through creating economic opportunity, supporting business growth and innovation, and passing a fiscally responsible balanced budget that meets the needs of the citizens and businesses of our state.

Efforts toward job creation and economic growth can be seen with Senate Bill 1, a bill which I was proud to co-sponsor. Senate Bill 1 doubles the Research and Development Tax Credit. Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate and House and was recently signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan. This law supports a stable environment for economic development, and that is what New Hampshire businesses need, as we continue to recover from the great recession.

I have also co-sponsored Senate Bill 126, which helps to ensure stability for our local auto dealers. This piece of legislation levels the playing field in the business practices between motor vehicle manufacturers, distributors, and dealers to ensure our local dealers are not burdened by more costs due to unnecessary regulation and requirements. This is an important business friendly piece of legislation and I am happy to sponsor this on behalf of our communities’ local dealers. Bipartisan efforts such as Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 126 have set the tone for cooperation this session as we begin to solve problems in a common sense, bipartisan fashion.

Continuing the Senate’s efforts to moving toward a more stable and pro-growth focused economy requires updating old laws. The Senate unanimously passed SB 41 another one of my co-sponsored pieces of legislation. This bill is a revision of our New Hampshire Corporations laws. The business community is extremely supportive of this, because it will be the first update in 21 years. A lot has changed in 21 years and by integrating newer legislation from other states and the most up-to-date business practices will provide New Hampshire with the access it needs to the always changing business world while ensuring the stability of the private sector.

One of the largest tasks coming before us will be the state budget. I agree with Gov. Hassan that creating an innovative economy requires a fiscally responsible and balanced budget. We must also ensure we are investing in the priorities that will help our state grow and succeed. The last budget went too far with cuts to our mental health system, judicial system, educational system, and hospitals. We need to work in a bipartisan way to begin to restore funding to our priorities while we make sure to keep taxes low.

Sen. Peggy Gilmour represents Greenville, Mason, New Ipswich and Rindge, among other towns. She can be reached at 271-4151 or at peggy.gilmour@leg.state.nh.us.

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