So kids, what did we learn from Thursday’s House Session (5/23/19)?

We learned that if you ever need a dedicated and talented group of young people to post colors, then the Marine Corps Junior ROTC of Winnacunnet High School with Dasha Piotrowski singing our national anthem would be a fantastic choice!

We learned that the House Majority Democrats continue their assault on educational choices as they voted against the “Learn Everywhere Program” (SB140) which allows high school credit for valuable and valid learning experiences outside of the classroom. They claimed this program goes against “local control”  of education, which is funny since local control of education can’t get more local than parental rights which they also voted against on SB196.  They essentially squashed “opt-in” policies meaning that kids will be compelled to participate in a barrage of non-academic and prying surveys without specific parental permission. The complaint was that the surveys given in the past had horrible participation rates since parents were not giving permission (i.e. opting-in) for their child to take the surveys.  That should have given the school a clue about the value parents held for these non-academic surveys. So now, by instituting “opt-out” policies parents will specifically have to say “no” to their child’s participating in any survey. They will have to search school websites for opt-out forms for the various surveys that are scheduled to be given. We all know that no parent will have time to deal with that. In the end, they will be subjecting kids to participate in surveys that their parents will not always be aware of. Survey says:  Let’s hope this bill gets vetoed and opt-in policies prevail.

We learned that when it comes to election law, the House Majority Democrats will not give up on encouraging people who don’t really reside here to vote in our elections. SB67 was yet another bill that passed through the House which offered another convoluted definition of resident and residence. I wonder if in the Senate Chambers they allow people in the Gallery to vote on their bills, because if they were consistent in their beliefs regarding voting then that would only be fair (wink).

We learned that the House Majority Democrats continue to tie the hands of businesses and their employment practices. Talk about micro-managing! SB100 makes the hiring process more inefficient and costly in the name of “social justice”. This law will limit the use of criminal background checks and inquiries until after an in-person interview. So an employer would have to waste their time with someone that they would otherwise not hire knowing their criminal background ahead of time.  If the Governor doesn’t “Red Pen Veto” this bill then perhaps he can affix some “Red Tape” to it to give it an added decorative touch.

We learned that the NH Senate Majority Democrats have a passion for sticking non-germane language into bills in order to assure passage. One such bill was SB154 which was a bill which would establish a committee (yes, another one) to study tax incentives for the promotion of dense workforce housing and community centers. What they added in there to make sure the bill passed was a section authorizing the sale of the old Milton firehouse, which was of utmost importance to the select board of Milton since they needed legislative approval. You’d think the NH Senate would have a separate bill for that, but of course they didn’t.  Another new committee was thrown in here just like extra stuff given away at a fire sale.

We learned that we haven’t seen the end of the parade of net metering bills. This one, SB165, will subsidize the installation of solar electric for the benefit of low and moderate income communities. Guess who will be paying more to cover this subsidy:  you guessed it … all the other ratepayers!  Wait, aren’t we supposed to be working on lowering electricity costs in NH for everyone?

We learned that the Senate Majority Democrats handed the House a “Blue Light Special” (SB133-FN).  Looks like even personnel who are not sworn law enforcement (police) officers will be able to have those neat sirens, blue lights, emergency and warning lights on their vehicles too.  So the car chasing you on the highway may not be a cop… could be just your local corrections officer.

Finally, we learned a very, very important lesson… and that is that one vote really does matter. No matter what side of an issue you are on, when the vote tallies are in, one vote can make all the difference in the world.  (HB455 – Death penalty repeal). Note: The Governor’s Veto was over-turned in the House and now goes to the Senate.

Next week, more Senate Bills arrive in House Chambers. Let’s see what other non-germane language the Senate will sneak into those bills this time around.