NH Democrat Susan Almy: “The religious nuts can wait in the hall.”

Susan Almy Image NHBR

The Democrat Chair of the New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee has a low opinion of homeschoolers in her state. Her voting record attests to that. So it doesn’t begin with the planned hearing on a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s education scholarship tax credit (HB632). A hearing for which she choose an inadequate space given the crowd likely to appear.

She received over 200 emails about the bill. Homeschool bills always draw big crowds. So, was the choice of hearing rooms a deliberate move by the ranking committee Democrat? It might be. On at least one occasion when the matter was discussed my sources said Committee Chair Almy was overheard saying “that the religious nuts could wait in the hall.”

That’s nice.

Some of the Religious Nuts Did Stand in the Hall

The room was too small. At least one witness present told me that half the hearing time was wasted making space and rearranging the furniture. When that was done, Almy allowed the bill sponsors and supporters of repeal to speak first. Testimony which we have already reported was ill-informed.

This left very little time for the many parents or students who signed up to speak, to tell the committee how the existing law improved their education and their lives.

A small handful got the opportunity to testify, and yes, some of the religious nuts had to wait in the hall.

But that’s hardly the point.

One More Time for The Cheap Seats

A second hearing has been planned for early next month. We do not expect it to have any effect on the Democrat majority committee vote. The testimony in favor of repeal was loaded with inaccuracies and ignorance about the program, transparency, and eligibility. But we can be certain that Homeschool students, parents, and advocates will make time to testify.

They will share compelling stories. 

But the Education scholarship tax credit has been in the cross-hairs of the Teachers Unions and Democrat leadership since it was first proposed. They challenged it in court. Repeal attempts are a progressive ritual. Now that Democrats have the majority it is difficult to think they won’t push hard to pass repeal and badger moderate Republican-support for a veto-proof majority.

New Hampshire Democrats don’t know much about the Education Tax Credit except that they don’t like it. Ways and Means Committee Chair Susan Almy’s remarks suggest it is not just about the Left’s fealty to powerful special interests and their love-affair with government monopolies.