We learned that despite a Democrat majority, the Republicans were able to help flip and table a handful of bills today thereby minimizing the damage of today’s list of horrible legislation. We tabled the dreadful Carbon Tax bill (HB735-FN-A), tabled the Road Usage Fee (HB478-FN-A) and passed the DWI Prohibition Bill (SB34). We also tabled the OHRV highways and rail trails bill (HB683-FN) and Disorderly House Bill (HB655) both of which were on track to go Ought To Pass with Amendment. We take our victories very seriously, because they are hard to come by being in the minority. So in case anyone asks, miracles do happen.
Speaking of Disorderly Houses…. We learned that Principal… ummm… I mean Speaker Shurtleff had his hands full today with unruly Democrats. First there was Rep. Tim Smith standing up at his seat, flailing his arms and literally screaming in opposition to Rep. Flanagan who was speaking at the well regarding the Minimum Hourly Wage bill (HB 731-FN, which unfortunately ended up passing). It was quite a spectacle in the House, and there was a lot of yelling and gaveling going on, because jumping up and screaming from one’s seat, like a DEMented person, is not proper decorum. And then on the same bill, Rep. Adjutant seemed to be unable to give a proper short Parliamentary Inquiry (PI) and instead launched into a full blown speech about this bill, for which he was gaveled and asked to correct his PI…not once, but three times! Looks like he was ignoring the Speaker’s admonishment each time and simply wanted to get his words in edgewise, despite any warnings not to. Then later in the day, there was a ruckus over the wearing of “political paraphernalia” at the well since some Representative had an Elizabeth Warren tee shirt on. To his credit the Speaker said that you can wear political items and practice free speech, but when you come to speak at the well, you must not wear political paraphernalia. Without realizing, Rep. Baldasaro had his Trump scarf on and went up to the well to speak a little later and you literally could not see Trump’s name, but that did not stop Rep. Altschiller from totally freaking out. She vehemently marched down to the well and loudly and angrily point of ordered herself into a frenzy. Her complaint of course was about Rep. Baldasaro. Words were exchanged between her, the Speaker and Rep. Baldasaro, who subsequently wore his scarf as a cummerbund with Trump’s name showing and covered it up with his jacket when he went to the well later on. A day in the life of the NH House …
We learned that the Democrat majority did not care whether the NH State Constitution was being violated, they passed a bill allowing collective bargaining units to obtain personal information from the state about state employees without their consent (SB19). Unwanted mail and phone calls from those unions to those poor souls may be an unfortunate reality.
We learned that the majority Democrats continued their crusade against plastic bags, consumers and businesses in NH. They passed a bill to enable municipalities to ban paper and plastic products (HB102) and a bill to tax 10 to 50 cents on paper and plastic bags at point of sale (HB559). Since similar legislation was already vetoed by the Governor and sustained by the House, you’d think they’d bag this idea already, but no, they just keep recycling these awful bills session after session. Needless to say, after debating these bills we all went to lunch downstairs where these same Democrats were happily eating yogurt, beverages, salads, and other foods from… wait for it… plastic containers.
We learned that the NH version of the “New Green Deal”, came at us fast and furious after lunch break. We tabled the Carbon Pricing bill (HN735-FN-A) which would cost NH citizens $800 million a year in new taPxation. The Democrat majority then proceeded to pass the Energy Efficiency Fund bill (SB122-FN) which takes money away from residential ratepayers, paid by our friend “Reggie” (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) and increases energy customers bills so that money can be diverted to other so-called energy efficiency programs. They also passed changes to the renewable portfolio standards (SB124) which mandates non-competitive energy resources and assumes that consumers are too dumb to make energy choices on their own. Additionally they passed two different net energy metering bills (SB159 and SB166) which in the end shift costs to non-net metering customers. Bills like this have already been vetoed, but that doesn’t seem to spark any notion that the energy expended on this legislation could better be used in actually doing something to lower electric rates for consumers. Now that’s a shocking idea!
We learned that sometimes both sides of the aisle can agree on a bill. That happened today as we killed HCR 6, the House Resolution having to do with Convention of States and Term Limits. The bill died in a 318-27 vote. It was good that 318 House Reps decided they did not want to request a Convention of States which could produce some very undesirable and unpredictable changes to our nation’s Constitution. They have chosen wisely.
There’s more on the horizon… at the call of the Speaker.