We learned that the Democrats (the majority party) are fine with expanding dental coverage for Medicaid recipients (HB692-FN) while our State’s veterans, both able body and disabled, go without such coverage.
We learned that the Majority party is only interested in studying assisted suicide instead of enlarging the scope to include palliative and hospice alternatives (HB291). There was nothing quite like having one of their recent college graduate legislators lecturing us all on “End of Life” Issues. They really put the Die in “Live Free or Die”.
Tell Job Creators What to Do
We learned that the Majority party is continuing its march to destroy the economic prosperity of New Hampshire as it piled on yet another failed economic policy, namely a state minimum wage, upon the businesses in our State (HB186). Despite the fact that the majority of workers in NH already make far above the federal minimum wage and the fact that low unemployment has pushed wages higher in our State anyway, they would rather dictate to businesses what they should pay people rather than promote policies which create better jobs that naturally pay more. The Majority party does not seem to understand that one cannot make a livable wage if their employer goes out of business as a result of this bill.
Energy day in Reps Hall
We learned that the majority party is fine with yet again, abrogating legislative responsibilities to a third party. This time they seek to have the Public Utility Commission, an unelected commission, be able to raise the cost of energy at their whim in the name of “energy efficiency” (HB166). That way when energy prices go up, your locally elected State legislative critter won’t be to blame. But wait, there’s more! The Majority party wants to study the establishment of a State Department of Energy (HB156), that way, they won’t have to deal with all those messy and incomprehensible energy concepts and policies. Remind me, why do we have a Science, Technology and Energy Committee in the House?
While we’re on the topic of energy, did I mention that the Majority party didn’t think you’d appreciate lower electric rates since they voted Nay on changing the biomass class rates (HB157)? To add insult to injury they also prevented Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds, the money obtained from the sales of carbon allowances, from being returned to consumers who pay the RGGI carbon tax in the first place (HB477-FN). While they were planning on establishing a committee to study getting to a goal of 50% renewable energy electricity generation by 2040 they Tabled the bill that gave a nod to making wind power energy off the NH coast (HJR1). Seems like a lot of hot air to me.
Citizens United Derangement Syndrome
We learned that the Majority party which outspends the folks on the other side of the aisle by 7 to 1 and takes massive donations from unions, PACS and corporations admonished everyone else by proclaiming “Money isn’t Speech, and Corporations aren’t People”. They passed HCR5 requesting that the US Congress make a Constitutional Amendment (no less) to reverse the Citizens United ruling, because you know those Supreme Court hacks just didn’t know what they were doing.
Screw the North Country
We learned that the Majority party hates the Northern part of NH because they want to totally ruin any recreational business and fun that can be had there by making it so anyone operating an off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) has to be a licensed driver (HB592). Despite the fact that OHRV drivers get training, now anyone under the age of 18 will not be able to operate an OHRV on trail connectors or ride to the trails on roads. Sorry kids and families, you’ll just have to stay home on your iPhones and watch YouTube videos about OHRV adventures.
Keeping A Tax Door Open
We learned that the Majority party could not bring themselves to prohibit a broad-based sales tax in NH as they enthusiastically Tabled CACR11. They did, however, discuss a future State Income Tax affirming that it shouldn’t only be used for property tax relief (CACR10).
All in all, thus far, this Democrat Majority Legislature has called for many new taxes and fees, more regulation and also for taxpayers across this state to pick up the tab for around 24 new committee studies and commissions. I am certain there will be more to come.
Pearls and Things
Lastly, I applaud Rep. Welch for coming to the well to explain his reason for wearing pearls to the Extreme Risk Protection Order hearing (HB687) aka Red Flag Gun Bill. He explained that his action was to show his support for the Women’s Defense League, as he did when the Governor signed the Constitution Carry Bill into law in 2017. Some grieving people that lost family members to suicide who came to testify at the hearing misunderstood the reason why he wore the pearls and may have been offended. To those people alone, he apologized. Rep. Welch received a well-deserved standing ovation from the House for his heartfelt action.
Stayed tuned for next weeks 3-day voting extravaganza which begins on Tuesday, March 19, where the legislature will attempt to finish any remaining business which will tax and regulate Granite Staters more, and generally make NH look like its surrounding blue states.