Nov 19, 2014 4:53 PM

Kevin Landrigan: What will be Bill O'Brien's one big thing in return to role as speaker?

So Bill O'Brien will officially be reborn as House speaker on December 3. Now what's next? Not a trip to Disney World.

NH1 asked Bill O'Brien what one big thing should the next Legislature work on over the next two years.

"We should work on the costs of doing business in New Hampshire so that is certainly taxes, the budget, getting taxes down so we are no longer third highest in the nation, it's looking at regulatory costs, certainly workers' compensation costs are very high, energy costs are very high, medical insurance costs are very high,'' O'Brien said.

"Those are issues we can all do something about in a positive way in Concord."

And O'Brien's reform agenda starts with the state budget. Don't forget O'Brien made his bones with Senate President Chuck Morse crafting a 2011 budget that cut spending 11 percent, the most since World War II.

In this encore performance, O'Brien has as his partner in crime the man he barely beat to get the gavel, ex-speaker Gene Chandler.

During his own interview, Chandler said the House shouldn't tolerate building the budget on shaky revenues like Governor Maggie Hassan proposed to build her first budget getting $80 million from a casino that wasn't even legal.

"Well, we have to focus on the budget, we have to balance on the budget and make sure we have revenues that are realistic and sustainable and match whatever we spend in the budget matches those,'' Chandler said.

When it comes to this GOP checklist, O'Brien credits Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein for making the case a business tax cut is essential to restoring the New Hampshire Advantage.

O'Brien said it's embarrassing corporate profit taxes are lower in some more liberal states to the south and west.

"We're over New York at this point, over Massachusetts. We can't compete if that continues to be the case,'' O'Brien added.

Sure there could be changes in style but don't look for changes in substance with Bill O'Brien as House speaker 2.0.


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