The Town of Merrimack has something it has never had in all the years I have lived here. More than one Democrat in the New Hampshire House. We may have two at one time. But with eights seats to fill, for the first time I can recall, Merrimack sent four Democrats to Concord. It might not be historical, but it is uncommon.
Those Reps had an opportunity to vote on a series of rules this week. The vote on Rule 63 got the most attention but there were three others. And how our Reps voted is instructive.
d = Democrat, r = Republican
Rule 63d: Depriving Representatives of their right to self-defense.
All four Democrats from Merrimack voted to deprive Reps of their constitutional right. All Four Republicans voted to secure it. In total 98% of House Democrats voted to deprive members of the right, 99% of House Republicans voted to protect and secure the right self-defense. The Democrat majority prevailed. The right to self-defense was denied.
Rule 67d: requiring all Representatives to attend sensitivity training for sexual harassment.
All four Democrats from Merrimack felt it necessary to assume Rep’s needed sensitivity training. Data suggests these programs tend to make no measurable change and are a waste of time and money. But three out of four Republicans from Merrimack agreed with the Democrats.
Only Republican Rep., Jeanine Notter, opposed.
97% of all House Democrats voted to require harassment training. 56% of House Republicans voted against it. The measure passed. All reps are required to take the harassment training.
Rule 67r: requiring all Representatives to attend training on the NH and US Constitutions.
On the matter of helping Representatives understand the documents limiting the power of government all but two of Merrimack’s Reps voted in support of this training. 90% of all House Democrats voted to kill the program. 91% of all House Republicans voted to pass the measure. The Rule failed.
Rule 100, stating that members of the public will be recognized prior to lobbyists in public hearings.
These decisions used to be left to the committee chairs. They could decide who went first during a hearing based on whatever factors suited the circumstances. Not any more. By rule, the public will speak first. Not necessarily a bad thing. More a pointless use of regulatory force. 73% of Democrats voted to Pass the rule. 74% of Republicans voted to kill the rule.
I will try to make this a regular feature but time attention (deficits and disorders) may obstruct us from our best intentions.