So kids, what did we learn from Thursday's House Session (06/13/19)? - Granite Grok

So kids, what did we learn from Thursday’s House Session (06/13/19)?

We learned that the NH State House of Representatives can still concur on really bad legislation even when voting stations are inoperative. All it takes is a head count of yeas and nays for a division vote or the Speaker determining the winning decision via voice vote.  Roll call votes are a bit more tricky and involved, so those can be postponed until voting stations are fixed by House IT personnel. That is exactly what happened.  Did our House Clerk and his staff do a wonderful job handling the situation? Yes, and I do concur on that point!

We learned that on this day the House Majority Party Democrats concurred with about 50 House bills that were altered by the Senate. There was even a bill where the alteration was the addition of a comma. One other bill had some repetitive language, which Rep. Lucy Weber declared as being “belts and suspenders” legislation. Sometimes it seems that the Senate just wants to put their smudgy little fingerprints on a bill. Would you concur with that point?

We learned that the majority of these bills that the House concurred with were just as awful this time around (with the Senate changes) as they were when the House Majority Democrats originally passed them onto the Senate. Now they go off to the Governor’s desk for signature or veto. Let’s hope common sense prevails and that the really bad bills, especially the horrible anti-gun bills HB109-FN and HB514-FN, are vetoed.   Those are vetoes I can concur with (i.e. sustain) and by the way, there are two more anti-gun bills coming; HB564 and HB696 both currently in Committee of Conference.

We learned that about 5 House bills were killed via non-concur votes.  They were HB560-FN, HB736, HB618, HB291 and HB410.  We could say, “May they all rest in peace”,  but it could also mean that their language is tucked away in some other bill yet to be considered or a budget trailer bill.  Legislative zombies do exist and apparently they roam the State House searching for votes.

We learned that we are still seeing net metering biomass subsidy bills coming before the House. HB183 came back to the House for concurrence and is now off to the Governor’s desk.  Based on what he did with HB365 (net energy metering limits) its future looks bleak.  Speaking of HB365, which the Governor vetoed, we did not have a chance to sustain his veto on that one.  That is another veto I can concur with (i.e. sustain).

We learned that the House Majority Democrats have no use for Republican input on Committees of Conference for HB1 and HB2 state budget bills.  Zero House Republicans were appointed to those important Committees.  The desire for Bi-partisanship in the House by those in control appears to be non-existent no matter how much they claim the desire to reach across the aisle and “work together” to solve NH issues.  By the way, today was the last day to be able to form a Committee of Conference, and I believe 32 bills now enjoy that status.

Finally, we learned that Hot Dog Day at the State House is delightful whether it rains or shines.  Rep. John Burt and the many people who helped organize and bring it together did a superb job.  On that point we can all concur.

Stay tuned: On June 27th, which is supposed to be the last session day, there may be more bills to consider along with more State budget shenanigans in the pipeline. Bills vetoed by the Governor, SB1 and SB2 plus HB365 and perhaps others, will be before us and will be brought up only at the whim of the Speaker. What was communicated was that, “there will be no legislative activity or mileage reimbursement between July1st and August 16th, with the exception of statutory committees or special circumstances that may arise and authorization is granted”. For sure the Speaker will be counting heads on both sides of the aisle over the summer months to see when those “special circumstances” may arise.