Friday, February 18, 2011

Scenes from a Big Day at the State House

Many big bills addressed in hearings by NH House Committees this day, 2/17/2011. Education, parental rights, 'freedom to marry' (you can still "enjoy" some of the last go-round on this topic, which ultimately resulted in NH becoming the first state to recognize gay marriage without a court order, here -- it's unlikely the arguments have changed much...). Far too many to hit even many of them. So, here's a selection.

First up, this year's version of 2009's HCR6 -- NH's first 'sovereignty' bill. HCR19: 'affirming States' powers based on the Constitution for the United States and the Constitution of New Hampshire,' heard by the House State-Federal Relations Committee.

Here, co-sponsor freshman Rep. George "On the Job Means On the Record" Lambert speaks truth to power. Then the whole hearing, including the non-typical step (at least in the House) of an immediate 'Executive Session,' where the Committee votes on its recommendation to the whole House. The result was 'Ought to Pass,' 10-2. At about 0:42, Rep. Theberge exhibits some character when he protests voting to recommend a bill he professes he isn't "well-versed" on. More of the People's representatives -- especially at the federal level -- should show such honor, IMHO. However, as you can almost hear, he commences writing the "minority opinion" before the session even concludes! Now, if that opinion will be simply that House members should actually understand bills before they vote to pass them, shouldn't there be sufficient time to become educated by the time the House reads it? Surely he's not rendering judgment on the substance, on which he admits he's not "well-versed"... I'll be interested to learn his official objection, which will be printed in the relevant House Calendar for the scheduled floor vote, which is currently slated for 2/23.

Next, while I'm waiting for the 'Obamacare opt-out' bill, I sit in on HB225: 'relative to the return of personal property confiscated by law enforcement agencies from a person charged with a crime,' before the House Criminal Justice Committee. It would seem a non-controversial concept, wouldn't it? Surprisingly, the tone while I was there reflected that rational perception. The AG's office is there purely informationally? What else should they be there for? Isn't their job to enforce the laws we tell them to?

Finally, here we go. HB126: 'prohibiting interference with access to medical services and health insurance of New Hampshire citizens' -- Obamacare nullification, effectively -- before the House Commerce Committee. Don't miss the final speaker, who regales us with this revelation, from a government employee: force-based government thinks government is good. Presumably, more force-based government is good-er.

But let's lead off with co-sponsor freshman Rep. Andrew Manuse speaking more truth to power.

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