This week [actually, last week – I’m late again -Skip], the N.H. House had the second, and last, of the unique sessions this year that were designed to accommodate our capitulation to the pandemic. We held it at the Whittemore Center. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Zamboni running to clear the arena.
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We held a meeting at the Whittemore a few weeks ago, when the Democrats tried to override the calendar to act on bills that were late. The Democrats had several months to call sessions or have committee hearings but ignored them. Whether it was due to laziness or because they wanted to ram their agenda through is your call.
I choose both.
This time we had to act on numerous bills that the Senate had cobbled together with all their favorite toys. The bills were veritable Christmas trees of bills. In theory they were supposedly grouped by “germane” subject matter, but their definition of “germane” pushed reality.
As an example, the title of House Bill 1234, originally to pay for the conversion of state owned building heating systems necessary with the closing of Concord Steam, was changed to everything state business. It contained almost 40 House bills that passed and Senate bills that we never saw and had no chance to discuss or hold hearings on. Bills like: sports booking, liquor transportation, victims assistance programs, milk pasteurization and one that was probably appropriate; solid waste. So much for being GERMANE!
This is not the only example: HB:1245 was supposed to look at boards, commissions, etc. to see if we could eliminate some. Heaven forbid we eliminate useless boards. Instead it became a Christmas tree with over 40 bills with subjects like ADDING an offshore wind commission. Many of these were new Senate bills that deserved a review, not one wholesale up or down vote!
There was some good news. HB-1582 that originally provided assistance to permanently disabled veterans and their families with only three GERMANE Senate bills added. This is one that I could vote for.
The Legislature season is over. It died with a whimper, not a bang. Hopefully next year will be better. I am running for another term and hope to get your support this fall.
Representative for Hill & Franklin