Last year, the Republicans took control over both the New Hampshire Senate and the House and promised voters that they would be passing legislation that would create more jobs. Though they have passed some legislation, CBS Money Watch published an article that questions if what they passed has really created any jobs for people living in New Hampshire.
CBS takes a look at the unemployment rate first to see if the working lives of people in New Hampshire have benefitted from their new legislation. According to the article, the unemployment rate has risen rather than declined. They attribute this in part to the nearly 1,000 government and hospital workers that were laid-off due to cuts in the Republican-passed state budget. A lot of other workers are opting to retire early or take a buyout rather than be laid-off or fired. CBS Money Watch also commented on how the Republicans, mainly House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt, were quick to claim credit for the decrease in the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent back in April. When the Republicans took over the House from the Democrats in January, the rate was 5.5 percent. Bettencourt sung the Republicans praises then when he said, “It appears we are starting to bear the fruit of our hard work in the New Hampshire Legislature.” After May, the fruits of their labor slowly dissipated when the unemployment rate began to climb and was at 5.4 and rising in September.
CBS reports that the Associated Press requested the House and the Senate give them 55 law changes that were made with the intent of creating an atmosphere for businesses that encouraged adding or creating more jobs. The changes they made got mixed reviews from companies in New Hampshire. One law change that was popular with businesses though, was one that modifies how much small businesses can claim as income before facing business taxes. “The law sets $50,000 as the amount business owners can pay themselves as income without justifying it to the state if they are audited,” reports CBS. The president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Tim Sinks thinks it is too early to judge the impact of the law changes they made. He does, however, credit the GOP “with not raising taxes on business to pay for state spending in the state budget and instead making deep spending cuts.” Though the cuts may result in job loss, Sink believes that it sends the message that they’re going to have to live within their means.
Though some are happy with the changes Republicans have made, some Democrats don’t believe that they are sticking to their promise of creating more jobs. One of the law changes they made eliminates an unenforced provision on filing fees by political candidates. House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli asked, “How does that create jobs?” He believes that a lot of the changes the GOP made were just “clean up” changes that come up every year. Though one of the laws that were modified now allows street vendors to sell miniature flags and flowers, the change doesn’t really affect “the broad retail economy.”
SOURCE: CBS Money Watch