Well, to start things off, we elected a new Sergeant at Arms – J.B. Cullen. We wish him the best of luck and a box of lozenges for all of the Roll Call and Division Vote announcements he will have to make over the course of this biennium legislature.
We learned that persistence paid off for the 8th graders from Hampton Falls. After their four year wait, the House voted to make the Red Tailed Hawk our State Raptor (HB280 with a vote of 333-11). Immediately after that, we rightfully killed the “coyote bill” which would have enacted hunting limits on an already overpopulated NH predator (HB442). The Roadrunner was unavailable for comment.
We learned that the Majority Party was OK with restricting people from watering their lawns (HB443). At the same time, they hosed businesses in NH by instituting a 0.5% tax on wages (AKA a NH State Income Tax). This to fund a Family Leave Program which also allows an unelected bureaucrat the ability to raise this “tax on wages” in the future (SB1-FN).
We learned that the Legislature will spend time Studying Tiny Houses (HB312) and at the same time gives Coos County the ability to issue bonds for the HUGE house called the Balsams (HB540-LOCAL).
We learned that the Majority Party will penalize landowners with restrictions based on an updated definition of “prime wetlands” (HB326). Smaller wetland areas can now be chained together with connecting non-wetland areas, like swales, roads, and culverts, to make a “prime wetland.” In the words of Rep. Renzullo, it is sort of like chaining together two or more Chevys to make a Cadillac.
We learned that the Majority Party is happy to allow the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Cap and Trade program to take revenues and put them into energy efficiency programs instead of rebating cash back to customers like they are supposed to do (HB582-FN). This is from the party that complains about high energy costs for consumers.
We learned that the Majority Party was fine with passing legislation to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses in NH (HB397-FN). This bill enables expired alien registration cards to be used as ID when applying. With this bill, illegal aliens can ultimately obtain auto insurance and other services plus they can potentially vote in our elections since a driver’s license is used for ID verification at polling places.
House Democrats also killed HB498-FN which would have placed a “Citizenship” indicator on a driver’s license. However, they did pass HB669-FN to allow driver’s licenses to indicate a gender identity of (M)ale, (F)emale or (X) for Non-Binary. Rest assured that even with all of that really keen identification, you still cannot smoke in a state park (HB139) or walk your dog off leash (HB512).
We learned that the Majority Party believes that they are our Nation’s Strategic Military Nuclear Management Experts as they passed a Resolution to urge the President and Congress to adopt a policy renouncing first use of nuclear weapons (HCR7). When Rep. Ladd questioned co-sponsor Rep. Adjutant about whether the US should have dropped the bomb on Hiroshima in WW2, Rep. Adjutant had no reply and then returned to his seat with a very embarrassed red face.
We learned that at the end of the day Majority Leader Ley decided to abuse his authority, and unanimous consent, to give us all a lecture on civility and unity. His speech was interrupted by a call to remove consent for him to speak and a circus of parliamentary procedure ensued until a vote was taken to have Rep. Ley continue his hypocritical rant.
While the Majority Leader spoke of the merits of co-operation and civil debate, he might well be advised to counsel his caucus on how to behave. Was a member of his caucus admonished for telling lies about other House members on national TV?
Why are visual protests like wearing white to a Gubernatorial Speech OK for one party but wearing pearls or scarves in Chambers inappropriate for another?
How about Rep. Ley start with explaining to his caucus the purpose and essence of House debate?
Why is his caucus rarely open to accepting questions at the well after they have presented or argued their points on their legislation, blaming it instead on “declining all questions in the interest of time.” Perhaps if questions are answered in Chambers, Minority Members wouldn’t have to pursue answers while walking to the parking lot thereby creating what was reported as some sort of unwelcome dialogue and a “No means No” situation.
More to the point, yes, we can be agreeable in our disagreements but how is it that the House can allow the Majority Party to continually break their Oath of Office, ignore the Rule of Law, and scoff at Constitutional Law without rebuke?
Quite frankly, the Republican Caucus is fed up with double standards and hypocrisy and outright lies. The Majority Leader went a tad too far and created more division with this unfortunate display of verbal finger-wagging. What’s worse is that the Speaker allowed this to happen.
Finally, we learned that the House could dispense three days worth of work in two days. In that time the Majority Party levied many new taxes and regulations on Granite Staters, chipped away at their rights and undermined our economic successes while bestowing privileges to illegal aliens and growing government bureaucracy.
Stay tuned, Crossover Day is coming.