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Issues

Because state legislators and regulators make decisions every day that directly impact your cost of doing business in New Hampshire, BIA monitors and responds to broad-based issues that affect all aspects of your business, including:

  • Fiscal policy and state spending – changes to business taxes and the New Hampshire tax structure, as well as state spending, that impact your bottom line
  • Health care – legislative and regulatory decisions that affect cost and availability of healthcare services and insurance to you and your employees
  • Energy and telecommunications – policy and regulations that challenge your ability to cope with rising energy costs, decreasing supply and a competitive market
  • Environmental affairs – frequently changing state and federal environmental regulations and enforcement
  • Human resource issues – your obligations under labor law, health and safety regulation, employee-reporting requirements, and workers’ compensation
  • Information security and privacy – regulations that govern how you obtain and store customers’ electronic information and disclosure of business practices related to information security and privacy protection
  • Education – education funding and how the state’s educational system impacts your ability to hire and retain qualified workers
  • Economic development initiatives – efforts to promote New Hampshire’s strong business climate and help your business stay profitable and competitive in the regional, national and global economies
Economic Development

BIA supports economic development initiatives that promote New Hampshire's strong business climate and help businesses stay profitable and competitive in the regional, national and global economies.

To view the status of current legislation related to economic development, click here.

Top Issues

Workforce Housing

The lack of available, affordable housing in New Hampshire is a top business challenge. BIA remains at the forefront of education and advocacy efforts to address this growing concern and increase awareness of this key public policy issue.

Other Issues

BIA monitors and responds to legislation and regulations addressing:

  • Economic Development Incentives
  • Smart Growth and Land Use
  • Transportation
Tax Policy

BIA supports a low and reasonable tax burden for New Hampshire business and a fiscally responsible government. Lower taxes help businesses remain profitable and competitive and encourage them to relocate or expand in New Hampshire.

To view the status of current legislation related to fiscal policy, click here.

Issues

BIA monitors and responds to tax legislation addressing

  • Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax
  • Property Taxes
  • Sales and Income Taxes
  • Other Taxes
Energy and Telecommunications

BIA supports policies and regulations that make it easier for businesses to cope with rising fuel and energy prices. We also support competition within New Hampshire's energy and regulated utilities markets.

To view the status of current legislation related to energy and regulated utilities, click here.

Top Issues

Energy Cost and Supply

Rising energy prices remain a challenge for New Hampshire businesses. Although prices are driven in part by national events, BIA continues to do what it can to mitigate rising energy and fuels prices in New Hampshire. This includes educating business consumers about competitive supply options and renewable energy sources, as well as responding to legislation and regulations that may adversely impact energy and fuel costs.

Usource - an energy procurement consultant

Renewable Portfolio Standard

BIA supports the development of renewable energy sources in New Hampshire as a way to reduce energy cost and consumption. In 2007, Gov. John Lynch signed into law a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the state. An RPS aims to reduce dependence on imported energy sources; reduce the risk and volatility of energy costs; reduce air pollution, particularly greenhouse gas emissions; and foster new economic development opportunities.

The Economic Impact of a New Hampshire RPS

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In 2008, New Hampshire passed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Although BIA supported the intent of the bill - to reduce carbon dioxide emissions - the organization  voiced concern about RGGI's impact to energy costs and the possibility of businesses expanding and relocating to states with lower energy costs, advocating for meaningful ratepayer protections. BIA believes a federal solution to global warming would have greater impact, help New Hampshire remain competitive and more effectively deal with greenhouse gas emissions from neighboring states.

However, since RGGI is now law in New Hampshire, BIA will continue monitoring its impact, emphasizing the need for adequate consumer protections and advocating that money from the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund be used for energy efficiency projects and not diverted for other purposes.

What is RGGI?
Economic Impact of New Hampshire Participation in RGGI

Other Issues

BIA monitors and responds to legislation addressing:

  • Energy Transmission and Service
  • Electricity Restructuring and Deregulation
  • Telecommunications
EnergizeNH

The Business and Industry Association, New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce, believes we are facing a crisis around the supply and cost of electricity. High electricity prices hurt our businesses’ bottom line, make us less competitive, and threaten jobs and our state’s economy. Join the BIA in advocating for policies and initiatives that enable the development of low-cost, reliable sources of energy.

Here are the facts >>


How Can I help?

To address the current electrical energy crisis, BIA is advocating for state and regional policies and initiatives that enable the development of low-cost, reliable sources of energy, including expanded natural gas pipeline capacity and increased electrical transmission, into the region.

Take action today –make our elected and appointed government representatives aware that you are concerned about the high cost of electricity because it makes New Hampshire less competitive, jeopardizes current and future jobs, and threatens the state’s economy as businesses grow (or relocate) operations and employment outside New Hampshire and New England.

Contact members of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (responsible for reviewing and approving energy infrastructure projects in New Hampshire); members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives’ Science, Technology and Energy Committee; the New Hampshire Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Governor Maggie Hassan, your own state representative and state senator; and US Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen.

Contact Your State Senator >>

Contact Your State Representative >>

Contact U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen >>

Contact U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte >>

Contact Members of the Site Evaluation Committee >>

Contact Members of House, Science, Technology and Energy Committee >>

Contact Members of Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee >>

Contact Governor Maggie Hassan >>


What Are People Saying?

“The high cost of electricity in our state makes it hard for my business to compete. If nothing is done, prices will continue to increase, placing businesses and our state at a huge disadvantage.”  
- Don Welch, President, Globe Manufacturing Company

“Businesses may well be forced to move facilities to another region with lower electricity prices, taking jobs and income away from New Hampshire.” 
- Val Zanchuk, President, Graphicast – BIA chairman

“There needs to be a greater focus on expanding our energy infrastructure. These projects can be accomplished respecting our communities and environment, complementing existing conservation and renewable energy efforts, while filling the supply gap that is leading to such high electricity prices.”  
- Gerardine Ferlins, President, Cirtronics Corporation 


To Learn More About Energy Projects

Access Northeast

Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM)

Antrim Wind Energy

Atlantic Bridge Project

Eversource

Granite Reliable Wind Park

Groton Wind Farm

Lempster Wind Power Project

Northern Pass

Northeast Energy Direct:
http://energymattersnh.com/
http://northeastenergyfuture.com/
http://www.kindermorgan.com/pages/business/gas_pipelines/east/neenergydirect/
http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/NED_CapacityOutlook.pdf
http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/NED_Synergy_Natural_Gas_Renewables.pdf

Revision Energy

Solar City


Additional Resources

New England Coalition for Affordable Energy
BIA Energy Buying Group powered by Usource
Office of Energy and Planning
New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC)
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC)
New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA)
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Environmental Affairs

BIA works collaboratively with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and business members to advance business-friendly environmental policies and regulations that preserve and protect New Hampshire's natural resources.

Top Issues

​Oppose efforts to make New Hampshire’s environmental regulations and statutes more burdensome than federal environmental regulations, unless there is clear justification for doing so.

  • Advocate for initiatives to streamline and expedite permitting and regulatory processes.
  • Advocate for creative approaches to simplify and reduce the business community’s regulatory burden, while protecting public health and the environment.
  • Foster discussions about how the Department of Environmental Services (DES) is funded, focusing on the appropriate allocation of the state’s fees and taxes.
  • Advocate for increased transparency and the effective use of state environmental fees, funds and cost recovery policies.
  • Support policies that promote private sector environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Human Resources

BIA favors minimal government involvement in the daily operation of business. The organization does not support policies that result in healthcare cost-shifting from the public to the private sector or additional benefit mandates. BIA supports efforts to foster a well-trained and educated workforce and collaborates on various workforce development initiatives.

To view the status of current legislation related to human resources, click here.

Issues

BIA monitors and responds to HR-related legislation including:

  • Labor Law
  • Health and Safety Regulation
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Unemployment
  • Employee-reporting Requirements
  • Workforce Development
Health Care

Rising healthcare costs continue to challenge New Hampshire businesses. BIA does not support policies that result in cost-shifting from the public to the private sector or additional benefit mandates. BIA supports efforts to alleviate the high cost of healthcare and insurance for employers and employees.

To view the status of current legislation related to health care, click here.

Top Issues

Medicaid Funding
BIA supports adequate state funding for the Medicaid program and equitable tax treatment of healthcare providers. Below-cost Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals and other healthcare providers results in cost-shifting to the private insurance market and increased premiums. Businesses predominantly pay the cost of higher health insurance premiums. 

New Hampshire Health Protection Program
BIA supports the New Hampshire Health Protection Program and expanding the state’s Medicaid program to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The BIA board of directors adopted the following principles for support of NHHPP.

  1. It is better for economic prosperity when individuals and families are insured. The uninsured don’t receive appropriate healthcare services when and where they need them, which ultimately leads to a costlier healthcare system. Healthcare providers aren’t reimbursed for treating uninsured patients, which ultimately impacts the amount cost-shifted onto other payers, such as businesses and their employees.
  2. Any proposal to expand the state’s Medicaid program should demonstrate it will not lead to additional cost-shifting to the business community and will lead to improved access, lower rates of the uninsured and better outcomes.
  3. An expansion of the state’s Medicaid program should maximize use of the private health insurance market to the extent allowed under federal law and minimize the effect of crowd-out (the number of individuals currently insured through an employer who drop private coverage to choose Medicaid).
  4. Should federal funding become unavailable or become available at an amount less than previously committed, lawmakers should reevaluate the feasibility of continuing with an expanded Medicaid program.
  5. Any expansion of the state’s Medicaid program should not place additional financial burden on the business community, such as an increase in business tax rates.

BIA supports reauthorizing the New Hampshire Health Protection Program. Early data show it is working as intended, leading to lower levels of uncompensated care and greater access to healthcare services. Ultimately, this will help to alleviate the cost of health insurance premiums for business owners, as less uncompensated care cost is shifted onto private payers like businesses.

Health Insurance Mandates
While BIA acknowledges the good intentions behind individual health insurance mandates that seek to either expand coverage to certain populations or include additional services and procedures, collectively they add cost to health insurance. This can lead to businesses choosing to self-insure to avoid complying with mandates or, in the case of smaller businesses, stop offering health insurance as an employment benefit. BIA opposes additional healthcare mandates.

Transparency
BIA believes that access to information about healthcare quality and cost will spur increased competition among providers and enable healthcare consumers to make more informed, prudent decisions about where to go for services. This is an important first step in helping to curb rising healthcare and health insurance costs for businesses and their employees.

NHQualityCare.org - provides accurate and honest information about quality of care in New Hampshire hospitals

NHPricePoint.org - provides facility-specific information about services and charges

NHHealthCost.org - provides information on the cost of inpatient and outpatient procedures

NHHealthInfo.org - a review and analysis of key resources, including other Web-based resources, available to employers struggling with decisions about health insurance benefits

Other Issues

BIA monitors and responds to healthcare legislation addressing:

  • Medical Malpractice
  • State-sponsored Healthcare Assistance Programs and Services
  • Healthcare Study Groups and Cost Drivers
Education

BIA supports adopting a fair and sustainable education funding system and supports efforts that make it easier for businesses to hire and retain qualified workers. A key component of business leadership and prosperity in all industries is having access to an adequate and skilled labor pool.

To view the status of current legislation related to education, click here.

Issues

Education Funding

An educated workforce is a key component of New Hampshire’s continued economic vitality.  The BIA will support legislation that adheres to our core principles for funding primary and secondary education in New Hampshire. These principles are:

  • Primary and secondary education is a shared responsibility between municipal, state and federal governments.
  • State education funds should be maximized through thoughtful targeting of aid to cities and towns most in need. The BIA will support a constitutional amendment if required to accomplish this goal.
  • The New Hampshire business community is the largest contributor of real dollars to the state Education Trust Fund. Any further increases in the Business Profits Tax, Business Enterprise Tax, or property taxes applicable to business will put the state economy at risk and hurt New Hampshire’s competitive tax environment vis-à-vis other states and countries.
  • No income tax and no sales tax are key components of the New Hampshire Advantage, which must be maintained if we are to continue our economic prosperity.

Common Core State Standards
BIA supports the Common Core State Standards, a state-led effort that establishes a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in mathematics and English language arts. The standards are designed to ensure high-school graduates are prepared to enter associate or bachelor’s degree programs or enter the workforce. They are clear and concise to ensure parents, teachers and students clearly understand student expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, and mathematics.

BIA believes the Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn and are robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students will need for success in college and careers. The Common Core is an important part of ensuring New Hampshire's future workforce has the education and skills necessary to fill much-needed, high-paying, challenging advanced manufacturing and high technology jobs, many of which currently go unfilled in the state.

IT and Privacy Policy

BIA does not support policies that affect the ability of businesses to remain competitive in the regional, national and global marketplaces. As such, the organization monitors and evaluates legislation and regulations as they relate to information security and privacy.

To view the status of current legislation related to IT and privacy policy, click here.

Issues

BIA monitors and responds to legislation addressing:

  • Radio Frequency Identification Devices
  • Identify Theft
  • Information Security
  • Disclosure of Personal Information
  • Information Technology Practices
  • Social Media