So kids, what did we learn from Thursday’s House Session (02/13/20)? - Granite Grok

So kids, what did we learn from Thursday’s House Session (02/13/20)?

We learned that the Legislature can come together to honor our fallen heroes. The New Hampshire Senate voted, 24-0, to adopt a joint resolution to grant New Hampshire Medal of Honor to Air Force Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf of Hudson who died in an Afghanistan plane crash last month. The New Hampshire House unanimously voted adoption of this joint resolution!  Additionally, part of Route 49 will be named in honor of Specialist Marc P. Decouteau who perished in Afghanistan while serving there in 2010. May we always remember their sacrifice.

We learned that New Hampshire is doing quite well with Governor Christopher Sununu at the helm. In his State of the State Address, Governor Sununu enumerated the many positive things that are happening in New Hampshire. He spoke about our low unemployment, booming economy and that more young people are moving here. New Hampshire is the number one state for economic freedom, opportunity and taxpayer return on investment. New Hampshire is the most popular destination for millennials and we have the lowest poverty level in the nation.  The Governor’s speech was a celebration of our state. He outlined initiatives to protect pregnant women in the workforce. He spoke of what is being done to rebuild our mental health system. He increased funding for education and has plans for lowering prescription drug and medical care costs. He is working on a renewable energy plan and voluntary family leave legislation. Republicans stood and applauded all of this good news while Democrats silently and glumly sat in their chairs. This only underscored the glaring fact that the Majority Party Democrats in the House don’t stand for anything.

We learned that the Majority Party Democrats killed a bill (HB1335) that would have established the  right for parents to take legal action when their child is being bullied at school, and the school fails to address it properly.  Don’t you find it interesting that these same legislators do not want to protect children from real bullies, but instead will call certain bloggers bullies for writing about them and exposing their bad behavior. They are even pursuing legislation (HB1159) to punish these bloggers for what they write!  For the record, Rep. Luneau (D) made it very clear in his speech that New Hampshire anti-bullying laws are adequate.

We learned that the Majority Party Democrats killed a bill that would have prohibited town employees and elected officials from profiting from businesses that do business with their town. Yes, public employees are getting kickbacks on municipal contracts across the state, by getting things like discounted prices on fuel oil, snow plowing or other goods and services when the town does contracting with them. House Democrats voted this bill down (HB1568- FN-LOCAL) because they were concerned that they would lose their gym memberships (i.e. discounts which are normally part of employee benefits).  No kidding! Their new motto must be “Don’t Treadmill On Me”.

We learned, after about an hour of debate, both parties agreed to killing the road usage fee bill (HB1649) which sought to fix the problem of electric cars not paying their share towards road and bridge maintenance in New Hampshire since they do not pay the road toll (gas tax).  Legislators will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to get owners of more fuel efficient vehicles to pay “their fair share” for road and bridge maintenance in New Hampshire.  This bill would have increased vehicle registration fees. Aside from that being an inequitable solution, it does not account for tourists using our roads. Meanwhile, a fairly identical bill (HB478) is sitting on the table.  Hopefully bills that promote road usage fees through car registration have run out of gas.

We learned that the Majority Party Democrats passed the bill to allow non-resident aliens, and that would include those awaiting asylum hearings, to obtain New Hampshire drivers licenses (HB1700-FN). Current laws already allow non-resident legal aliens to get paperwork that allows them to drive in New Hampshire. The Majority Party Democrats don’t think it’s a problem if New Hampshire issues drivers licenses to non-resident aliens that are identical to those issued to permanent residents… you know, the same documents that we use to verify voters at the polls in New Hampshire.

We learned that the prohibition on hunting with ferrets still stands as law in New Hampshire as the House voted against the repeal of using ferrets to hunt other animals (HB1213).  New Hampshire Dogs will be happy to learn that ferrets won’t be taking away their jobs of getting down in holes to hunt rodents and other small pests. Yes… we spend time debating such things in Concord.

Finally, we learned that SEIU and others took time out of their busy work day to construct a fake graveyard at the Capitol steps with headstones depicting all of the 57 bills vetoed by Governor Sununu in 2019. Hopefully, we’ll see that graveyard grow much bigger in 2020 with all of these crazy bills being passed in the House and Senate.

Stick around and see what happens next week!  There’s more to come!