by Representative Judy Aron
So, what did we learn in Thursday’s House Session?
We learned that the majority party, while supporting interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing at the State House (HB488), are totally tone deaf to the successes and economic principles that made New Hampshire a great place to live.
The Majority Party has begun in earnest to dismantle policies that have brought our State economic prosperity in order to fund overreaching government and progressive agendas. Thursday was, sadly, a very expensive day for Granite Staters.
We learned that they had the audacity to pass the very first ever Capital Gains Tax at 5% (HB686-FN-A-Local) and dared to call it a “Tax Cut.” And to further destroy business in NH, they repealed the scheduled tax cuts (HB623-FN-A) for the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax which has helped pour millions into State coffers since enacted. Perhaps we can take their “savings” or some of the money they are funneling into new set-aside funds, to buy them all an Economics book.
We learned that while they were clamoring to raise taxes on many things to “pay for education,” they also rejected Education Innovation (HB569-FN-Local) and the possibility of school district flexibility to benefit student learning. Because you know, “it’s for the kids.”
We learned that they were literally “defending the swamp” with their willingness to add new fees and double or triple the price of other fees for the Dept. of Environment Services. To the tune of a projected $3 million to be taken out of Granite Staters’ pockets. To add insult to injury, they fully gave the fee increasing authority, through rulemaking, to that department thus taking it out of the hands of the legislature (HB682-FN).
Additionally, they spent $350,000 on a grant to upgrade a guidebook and help the State dictate to municipalities how they should manage their wetlands, despite the fact that municipalities already have their local wetlands management under control and the department already receives Federal grant money for these things (HB542-FN-A).
We learned that while the majority party was abrogating their responsibility and authority to raise DES fees to that department, they also excitedly gave up their Constitutional authority (Art. 9 NH Constitution) to determine redistricting to an “independent redistricting commission”(HB706-FN-A).
We learned that they were happy to increase a room and sales tax by $2 per night (HB641-Local) to “support tourism.” And even wanted us all to believe that is was not a Tax, but a “Fee.” Speaking of terminology, the majority party passed a 0.50% income tax (with certain government employees exempted of course) to support the Family Leave Insurance program and had a North Conway Representative stating, “this is not an income tax…..it is a premium that is calculated on your earned wages.” (HB712)
We learned that the majority party sought to disarm law-abiding citizens via the School Gun Free Zone bill (HB564) on Wednesday and then tabled an unconstitutional pre-emption bill that was ITL’d in committee (HB101) on Thursday. That is so that if one doesn’t get passed the other could be resurrected to achieve the same results.
We also learned that the majority party wishes to encourage illegal immigration in New Hampshire by killing the sanctuary cities bill (HB232-FN-Local).
Lastly, the majority party found it important to set up yet another commission. I call it the Shiitake Commission. This one is to study the possible future licensure of mushroom foragers (HB634).
We did not even finish the day’s business. The majority party was just too spent to tax and spend any more.
It’s too bad they tabled the Lord’s Prayer bill (HB289) because we’re going to need it.