The N.H. House passed the budget bills today containing the emergency powers reforms that you helped us include, and now the bill is on its way to the Senate. We appreciate the representatives who voted with us today, and we also appreciate you for reminding them to do the right thing. Thank you!
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Votes tomorrow and Friday for our other emergency powers bills are still to come as part of this week’s House session.
Now that the N.H. House budget has passed, it will be sent to the Senate, which will work to pass its own version of the budget. We are going to want to contact the Senate and ask them to include emergency powers reforms in the budget. Once the Senate budget is passed, the House and Senate will appoint members to attend a committee of conference to work out the differences.
This is the point when we must push the hardest for our Legislature to do the right thing. Assuming the Legislature acts to include the emergency powers reforms, and the amended budget passes both the House and the Senate, the governor will then have five business days to sign the budget, veto the budget, or allow the budget to become law without his signature. We will continue to ask our representatives to deny their support for any budget that does not include these emergency powers reforms.
We are working on several strategies to advance our cause from this point forward. As of today, please contact all 24 senators using the email addresses listed below and ask them to support emergency powers reforms in the budget. You may also use “Find Your Senator” to get a phone number to call your own Senator.
Talking points to consider using in your calls and emails:
- The House budget contains comprehensive State of Emergency reforms that the governor promised us last fall, but has since said he won’t sign. Let’s hold the governor to his word and restore the Constitutional balance of powers to the Legislature by including these reforms in the final budget.
- The emergency powers reforms in no way impede the governor’s ability to issue emergency orders during a State of Emergency, but they do create legislative oversight to the extension of State of Emergency declarations to prevent abuses of power.
- The State of Emergency is intricately tied into the budget because the budget defines spending policy for the state and the executive branch is spending our tax dollars to implement its emergency powers, so it is perfectly appropriate for State of Emergency reforms to be in the budget.
- It is imperative the Senate pass the budget so that the Legislature can have a say in the budget process. The Legislature, not the governor, should be creating state laws and setting state spending policy.
- The State of Emergency is over and citizens need to have some normalcy restored so the economy and culture can recover. It’s going to take time, but we cannot let this biennium go by without a return to the Constitutional balance of powers. Passing these reforms in the budget is our best chance we have to restore our government to its intended form.
N.H. State Senate
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