Rep. Will Smith, who served on several committees during the past session and voted with Cornerstone 97 percent of the time, is running for one of two available seats representing Rockingham 24 (New Castle and Rye), where he has a strong chance at re-election.
Rep. Smith, a Families First Pledge signer, was instrumental in the House’s budget proposal as chairman of Division II of the Finance Committee. His work eventually helped lead to an 11 percent state budget reduction (HB 1 & HB 2) that also reduced taxes and fees without using any budgeting gimmicks or passing costs down to cities and towns. As part of these efforts, Rep. Smith also helped end the hated “donor town tax.”
Besides his role on the Finance Committee, Rep. Smith was chairman of the House Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform, which advanced the idea of a defined contribution plan for public employees similar to a 401(k) instead of the current defined benefits plan that has so far indebted taxpayers. The committee’s efforts should lead to a pension reform bill in the next session that passes into law.
Rep. Smith also served on the House Special Committee on Redistricting, which created the current House districts, and the Election Law Committee, which worked on the state’s new voter ID law. That photo identification law for voters (SB 289) will help protect the right of New Hampshire citizens to have their votes count in full without being unfairly watered down by out-of-state residents who should not be voting in New Hampshire.
Rep. Smith was a co-sponsor on a bill led by Rep. Carl Seidel that will give more time to start-up companies to recover their losses before having to pay taxes on their income. HB 242 increased the amount of losses investors can carry-forward on their business tax returns from $1 million to $10 million. This will very clearly increase the number of people willing to give seed money to entrepreneurs with good ideas, and that will definitely help the economy and families who depend on good-paying jobs.
Besides these efforts, Rep. Smith said he was proud of his involvement in passing the Right to Work bill (HB 474) in the Legislature. However, because that effort did not overcome the governor’s veto, the next Legislature will have to pursue another bill to protect workers’ rights to get a job without having to pay dues to a labor union.
Upon re-election, Rep. Smith said he would like to continue his work on the Finance Committee to keep spending and taxes under control. He will also pursue bills to address the unfunded liability in the current pension system, to pass Right to Work and further protect integrity in voting. He said he will support bills to lower the business tax rate, to increase the quality of education in the state and to defend personal freedoms.