Under Sununu’s State of Emergency any law, even those passed over his veto, can be suspended by him by decree — as long as the Long Emergency continues in force. The NH legislative process is a sham until the Long Emergency is revoked, which, amazingly, can be done by the House and Senate by simple majority vote.
RSA 4:45 State of Emergency Declaration; Powers. –
II. (a) A state of emergency shall terminate automatically 21 days after its declaration unless it is renewed …
(b) If the governor finds that maintaining the state of emergency is no longer justified, the governor shall issue an executive order terminating the state of emergency.
(c) THE LEGISLATURE MAY TERMINATE A STATE OF EMERGENCY BY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF EACH CHAMBER. The governor’s power to renew a declaration of a state of emergency shall terminate upon the adoption of a concurrent resolution under this subparagraph; provided, however, that such resolution shall not preclude the governor from declaring a new emergency for different circumstances under paragraph I of this section.
For nearly a year, Governor Sununu has used “emergency powers” not authorized by the NH Constitution, to (supposedly) fight Covid. He has usurped civil liberties and endangered and cost lives under the pretense of protecting us. The people of NH have been battered emotionally, socially, and professionally by his decrees.
He has ordered restrictions on our movements, which are a direct assault against the foundations of a free society, as have been:
- his failure to hold elections in keeping with the constitution or verify election results,
- his suspension of the Right to Know law and authorization of “virtual” public meetings, which has resulted in unaccountable local and state government, and
- his authorization for municipal government offices to remain closed indefinitely.
In Nashua, the police just arrested a whistleblower for “criminal trespass” when she sought public information to help elderly residents file property abatement requests by the prescribed deadline. The Nashua assessing office remains officially closed, or rather, open by appointment only, except that the office refuses to make appointments. Such is the nonsense that Sununu has enabled.
Where is the Legislature? Of what use are they if they continue to abdicate their authority and responsibility? Theoretically, the Legislature is back in session. Why hasn’t it reclaimed its authority? What are they waiting for? Sununu’s permission?
There’s no need for a Legislature, if it allows the Governor to exercise unchecked power. As long as it allows this Long Emergency to continue, the Legislature is complicit in the destruction of our system of checks and balances.
Sununu has shut restaurants, businesses, schools, churches, libraries, theaters, and social clubs. The results have been disastrous. Many so-called non-essential businesses and organizations are closed and face bankruptcy. Bit by bit our culture is being destroyed as social organizations, which took years, often decades to build, permanently shut their doors. Depression and isolation, especially for the elderly and young children, have resulted in declining health, increased suicides, and unnecessary non-Covid deaths.
There have been no apologies for the thousands of lives destroyed by our servants-become-masters. People are no longer allowed to exercise their own judgment to behave in a reasonable manner to protect their health.
It’s a charade to pretend that this legislature has any authority under an endless Long Emergency. Either the Legislature takes back its power and ensures that whatever actions are taken to fight Covid going forward will be made with public input and scrutiny, or the entire body should step down, go home, and await Sununu’s orders. They are already, anyway.
Support House Concurrent Resolution 2 (HCR 2) to eliminate the State of Emergency and end the Kabuki theater of representative government.
Public Hearing: MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2021 at 09:00 AM
Members of the public may attend using the following link to join the webinar:
Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.