BIA lists ‘07 policy priorities

Addressing the high cost of energy and health care tops the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire’s public-policy agenda for 2007, which it released Tuesday.

The organization listed five issues on which it will work this year – issues that it says are important to the New Hampshire business community and to maintaining the state’s competitive business advantage.

The organization said it would work to address the five issues as well as “pursue related action steps to achieve progress in these areas”

On energy costs:
• The BIA said it will seek to educate businesses on ways to conserve fuels and reduce energy
• Support the development of renewable energy resources in New Hampshire.
• Support fair and equitable disbursements of system benefits charge funds.
• Continue helping members explore competitive supply options.

On health care:
• Oppose new or added health insurance mandates.
• Support efforts to promote better health in the workplace and community.
• Support efforts to develop and implement electronic medical records and electronic prescriptions.
• Oppose cost-shifting from Medicare and Medicaid to the private sector.

On workforce housing:
• Support efforts to promote technical assistance and planning grants to municipal planning and zoning boards.
• Encourage members and chamber partners to become more engaged in workforce housing at the local level.
• Continue to raise awareness of the issue through workshops, forums and public information

On state tax policy:
• Oppose an income or sales tax.
• Oppose any increase in the business enterprise tax or business profits tax.
• Oppose a reduction in, or repeal of, the BET credit against the BPT.
• Support reinstatement of a research and development tax credit in New Hampshire.

The groups also said it would support the creation of a high-level group of business, political and opinion leaders to develop a statewide strategic plan. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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