John Robinson

New Hampshire State Representative for Auburn and Londonderry

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Dropout Bill

The most interesting thing about the debate last week over the bill that would have raised the dropout age to 18 was the argument about the cost of dropouts.

Some opponents of the bill actually stood up and said that each would-be dropout who would have been compelled to stay in school would cost their local school $9,000.

That figure, of course, is approximately the statewide average cost-per-student. One problem with it is, it's a mix of fixed and variable costs. Obviously, if the student isn't there, some amount of funding is saved. But not a lot -- it doesn't reduce the number of teachers, the size of the school, or the energy to heat the building, and so on. So the number is silly on its face.

But for me, the best part was hearing legislators rant about how it cost $9,000 to educate a kid in New Hampshire. This is, after all, the legislature that says an adequate education in New Hampshire costs about $3,5000 -- at least, that's the amount they say meets the state's obligation to fund it.

I managed to stay in my seat.

jr

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Marriage Amendment

I've received a lot of email urging me to "let the people decide" on CACR, the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Here are some facts.

Current New Hampshire law forbids marrage between men, or between women. It also forbids recognition of any marriage from another state that would violate New Hampshire law. To read that text for youself, go to the following link, and check items 457.1, .2, and .3.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XLIII-457.htm

Next, the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" says that no state shall be forced to recognize a marriage from another state if it doesn't satisfy the law of the state where the recognition is being sought. Following is one web article explaining that. Google the term for more.

http://www.lectlaw.com/files/leg23.htm


So putting these two facts together, there is absolutely no legal need to amend the Constitution, because state and federal law already prevents the problem from happening. That leads to the first, and best, reason not to amend the Constitution: I don't think you should fiddle with the fundamental laws of the state unless it's absolutely necessary -- and in this case, it's not necessary.

After that, I get to the arguments about the purpose of a Constitution and its role in ensuring freedoms, not restricting them. The only thing this amendment would do is define a class of people who do not have a certain right. That's discrimination, and discrimination doesn't belong in a constitution -- in fact, it's contrary to centuries of constitutional tradition and intent.

Finally, I think the argument about "letting the people vote" is attractive, but flawed.
The way the New Hampshire Constitution is written, in order for the legislature to send an amendment to the ballot, the legislature has to approve it. "Approve" means agree with it and consider it a good idea, and I just don't. So "letting the people decide" in this context would mean failing to cast my own vote in the Legislature according to whether I can "approve" the proposal, and I can't do that.

But there is a way to "let the people decide" -- through a Constitutional Convention. According to the Constitution, a convention has to be held every ten years or whenever the Legislature calls for one. That's the forum for "letting the people vote" on an amendment rather than having the Legislature approve it first, and if someone proposed such a convention, I'd vote to approve it.

So in short, I anticipate that I will vote against "the marriage amendment." As always, though, I'm open to persuasion. If there's a flaw in my reasoning, or if you see something that I'm not considering, please let me know.

jr

Calendar for March 21-22

Following is this week's legislative calendar. There are a number of significant issues coming up, including sex offender legislation, constitutional amendments on eminent domain and the definition of marriage, and resolutions regarding stem cell research. There's also the "make my day" bill, which would remove the duty to retreat if possible before using deadly force, and a bill to control lobbying by public entities like schools and towns.

Please scan through the attached list and see what catches your eye. As always, I need your input in order to make the best votes for our district and state. If you'd like more information about any of these items, please contact me, or check out the full legislative calendar at this link:

http://gencourt.state.nh.us/hcaljourns/calendars/2006/houcal2006_22.html


The link includes the "blurbs" for and against each bill. Most importantly, you can also find the amendments proposed for bills marked "ought to pass with amendment," and so forth.

To find the full text of a given bill, go to the following link and type in the bill number:

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ns/billstatus/quickbill.html

PLEASE ALSO BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING: the Senate is proposing a constitutional amendment that would effectively pre-empt court challenges to education funding, by removing the clauses in the Constitution that the challenges are based on. In other words, they're trying to avoid dealing with a current issue by getting rid of more than 200 years of history, heritage, and policy. The amendment is called CACR 43, "Providing that the legislature shall determine and define the content, extent, and funding of education." Please keep your ears tuned to this item because it has a major impact on Londonderry, Auburn, and the entire cause of education in the state.

--jr


CONSENT CALENDAR

FINANCE

HB 1331, relative to the New Hampshire Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


HB 1593-FN-L, relative to the construction of high school athletic fields in the town of Bedford. OUGHT TO PASS


HB 1601-FN-L, relative to the funding of catastrophic special education aid and making an appropriation to the department of education to support the Laurent Clerc Academy REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

HB 1611-FN, relative to reimbursement for personal care services. OUGHT TO PASS


HB 1645-FN, relative to fireworks display permits, the position of permissible fireworks inspector, and the sale of permissible fireworks REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

WAYS AND MEANS

HB 1227-FN, relative to late fees and reinstatement fees paid by business entities. OUGHT TO PASS


HB 1470, relative to overweight vehicle permit fees. OUGHT TO PASS


SPECIAL ORDERS

COMMERCE

HB 1177, prohibiting smoking in restaurants and cocktail lounges. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

HB 1354, relative to physical force in defense of a person. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1649-FN, including "unborn child" in the definition of "another" for the purpose of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.


EDUCATION

HB 1314, relative to an adult roles and responsibilities curriculum. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.


ELECTION LAW

HB 1236-FN-L, relative to disclosure of public expenditures related to lobbying and electioneering. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

HB 1304-FN, relative to the scope of registration of lobbyists and statements of lobbying activities. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY


HB 1490, relative to procedures on ethics violations by legislators. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1567, relative to removing names from the checklist. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION

HB 1258-FN-A, establishing a sunset review process for executive agency and judicial programs and making an appropriation therefor. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

HB 1616-FN, establishing a performance measurement system for state agencies. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1670-FN, relative to membership on certain professional regulatory boards. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1744-FN-A, authorizing the pari-mutuel commission to regulate games of chance conducted by charitable organizations and relative to tournaments conducted by charitable organizations where chips have no monetary face value. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS

HJR 20, supporting stem cell research. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.
JUDICIARY

CACR 34, relating to the definition of marriage. Providing that marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

HB 1336, relative to administrators of estates. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1548, relative to termination of tenancy. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

HB 1719-FN, defining human life as beginning at the moment of fertilization. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.


LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES

HB 1138, relative to required pay for employees called into work. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

HB 1496, establishing a right to work act which provides for freedom of choice on whether to join a labor union. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION

HB 1687, extending certain studies. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT

HB 1195, relative to salary and compensation increases included in a default budget. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

HB 1293, establishing a procedure for towns to change county affiliation. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

HB 1366, relative to a planning board's authority to require public access to open space as a condition of subdivision approval. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

HB 1558, relative to regulation of smoking by cities and towns. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

HB 1760, allowing municipalities to adopt a property tax exemption for property using, manufacturing, or supplying bio-heat systems. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT

HB 1443, relative to priorities for development of all terrain (ATV) and trail bike trails. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.


HB 1523, relative to certain rulemaking authority of the commissioner of environmental services. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY

HB 1673-FN, relative to the reduction of mercury emissions. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.

TRANSPORTATION

HB 1738-FN, prohibiting the use of surveillance devices to identify motor vehicles. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE


TUESDAY, MARCH 21

REGULAR CALENDAR

FINANCE

HB 627-FN, relative to including persons 17 years old in the juvenile justice system. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


HB 1189, relative to audits by the legislative budget assistant. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1241-FN-L, extending the kindergarten construction aid program. OUGHT TO PASS


HB 1474-FN, relative to unemployment compensation contribution rates and benefits. OUGHT TO PASS

HB 1697-FN, relative to certain state salaries. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1735-FN, relative to awarding the state employees' health insurance plan. OUGHT TO PASS

SB 110-FN-A, establishing the New Hampshire Rx plus program for prescription drugs. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

SPECIAL ORDER

JUDICIARY

CACR 30, relating to limits on the taking of private property. Providing that eminent domain shall not be used to transfer ownership of real property for private use or economic development. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

REGULAR CALENDAR

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

HB 1692-FN, establishing the New Hampshire sexual predators act. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.


EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION

HB 642-FN-L, relative to the regulation of home inspectors. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE


FINANCE

HB 1167-FN-A, making an appropriation to the land and community heritage investment program. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


HB 1384, relative to standardizing the format for special education budgets. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

HB 1626-FN-A, making an appropriation to the office of energy and planning for the fuel assistance program. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1249-FN-A-L, relative to state reimbursement for school breakfasts and making an appropriation therefor. OUGHT TO PASS

HB 1459-FN-A, relative to the department of regional community-technical colleges and making an appropriation therefor. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1464-FN-A-L, relative to mosquito control, establishing a mosquito control fund and making an appropriation therefor. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


HB 1710-FN-A, relative to appropriations to the department of health and human services for health care providers. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1726-FN, requiring the state to pay legal fees for certain supreme court justices. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1591-FN-A, requiring tobacco tax revenue attributable to tobacco sales to minors and tobacco consumption by minors to be deposited in the tobacco use prevention fund for youth tobacco use prevention programs and purposes. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.

HB 1767-FN-A, authorizing the state acquisition of real estate destroyed in the October 2005 floods, establishing a commission to determine the appropriate use of the property, and making an appropriation therefor. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT

HB 1495, relative to setback requirements for landfills located near rivers. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

WAYS AND MEANS

HB 317-FN, relative to mooring fees. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 634-FN-A, relative to solid waste reduction, establishing a solid waste disposal fee, and renaming the recycling market development steering committee MAJORITY: REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

HB 678-FN, relative to the insurance premium tax. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.


HB 1311-FN-A, relative to the electronic filing of reports and applications with the secretary of state and relative to certain fees paid to the secretary of state. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HB 1701-FN-A, relative to boat fee agents of the department of safety, increasing the boat registration fee, and relative to the prevention of exotic aquatic weeds. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Voted for the Fair Share Health Care bill

Chris Dornan in the Londonderry Times (and the Nutfield News, I assume) reported correctly that I voted in favor of the "fair share health care bill", also called the Wal-Mart bill. Chris got the quote right in the paper too.

The bill would have required employers of more than a given size to provide health insurance for employees, or contribute 8% of their payroll (up to FICA limits) to a state fund to offset government healthcare costs. The idea is that if people who work at a low wage don't get health benefits, their medical expenses wind up coming out of government funds (read: taxes), or result in higher healthcare costs that get passed on to everyone else.

In a caring society, access to basic health care is a right. I believe that's an absolute. And I don't agree that a lot of people who work the floor at Wal-Mart stores have a lot of other options. I don't believe they weighed many job options and chose the one with no health care instead of one that did. So I don't believe these folks are working "by choice" at a job with no benefits. They only choice they may have is a job with no benefits, or no job at all.

I recognize that Wal-Mart works on a very narrow profit margin, and providing health care for a lot of their employees would mean they couldn't continue offering prices as low as they do. But the fact remains, we _are_ paying health care for their employees -- whether it's through a few cents more on Sam's Club soda or several dollars more on our own health insurance, we are definitely paying it. I'd rather pay the extra dollar at the checkout counter than the extra few hundred on my insurance contribution.

So in total, I voted to support this bill because it would have looked to companies -- including Wal-Mart, but not just them, to stop passing on a cost to taxpayers or healthcare consumers in order to gain a competitve business advantage. That's only fair to their employee or to the people who are ultimately stuck with the bill -- which is to say, every one of us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Statewide Property Tax Game

At the session last week, a bill was voted down that would have repealed the statewide property tax. As everyone knows by now, that's a tax collected by the towns in the name of the state, and the money stays in the towns. There are only three towns in the state that actually pay any of the money they collect to the state. Neither Londonderry nor Auburn are among that august trio.

In the session today, a motion was made to reconsider that vote, and presumably think again about repealing the statewide property tax. The motion failed by a margin of about three votes.

I voted against the proposal both times. That money is a key part of the funding for the Londonderry and Auburn schools. There was no replacement source of revenue identified, so if that money went away, then the school districts would have to jack up their tax rates to compensate for the loss.

The intent of the bill was to "eliminate the myth of state support for schools" -- meaning, the sponsors wanted to show that the state wasn't actually giving the towns any of those funds, just raising and allocating them locally. In dollars and cents terms, of course, it would have been a wash: taxpayers would not even notice the difference. You'd pay the same amout of money, only one line on the tax bill would disappear, and another one would grow dramatically.

But even though the impact of the schools raising their own taxes to make up the loss would have no impact on taxpayers, it would have an impact on the schools. The school budgets were designed based on that money coming "from the state." Whether the money ever left town, it was still collected in the state's name, and was part of the education burden carried by the state. Taking it away would make the schools appear to have a much higher tax rate that they otherwise do, and would help fuel a perception that school spending is out of control.

And it's not. Londonderry's school spending is slightly below the state average on a per-pupil basis. That's the basis that counts.

Of course property taxes are too high, but the solution to that problem isn't to shuffle the numbers around. The solution is to fix the statewide educational adequacy funding problem. Part of that is identifying ways to raise money outside of property taxes (and outside of sales taxes and income taxes). When we do that, and state money is actually flowing to the towns, then the property tax rates could and should come down in proportion to the funding from the state.

(By the way, the original bill was sponsored by a leading Democrat. Yes, I actually voted against a Democratic proposal. And it wasn't even the first time.)

Monday, February 20, 2006

House Calendar for 2/22

Hello again. Following are the bills coming to the House at the session on Wednesday. The "consent calendar" includes bills that will be passed in a single vote unless a member pulls one or more for individual consideration. The "regular calendar" includes bills that come up individually, but in most cases, the committee recommendation is accepted without debate. Please take a look at the list, and let me know if any of these are particularly interesting to you. If you'd like to access the calendar directly from House website, it's here.


CONSENT CALENDAR

COMMERCE
HB 1218, relative to the unauthorized use of the name of a financial institution. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1299, establishing a medical malpractice insurance study commission. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1325, relative to state regulation of martial arts schools. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1483, authorizing vehicle licensing, title, and registration recovery fees by motor vehicle rental companies. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1606-FN, relative to coupons and rebates used to purchase alcohol. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1105, relative to eyewitness identification procedures. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1149, regarding public notification of sexual offender information and establishing a committee to study the creation of a sexual offender classification system. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1335, relative to the authority of law enforcement officers during a state of emergency. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1380, establishing the New Hampshire forensic science oversight commission. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1435, relative to the emergency plan for service dogs and other animals. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1639-FN, prohibiting the confiscation of lawfully owned and lawfully carried firearms during a state of emergency. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1642-FN, relative to criminal penalties and forfeiture for activities in support of illegal immigration. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1643-FN, relative to enhanced penalties for committing an assault in the presence of a minor. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1729-FN, implementing a "good time" sentence reduction system for inmates in the state prison system. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY

EDUCATION
HB 1157, relative to the definition of a sending district. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1306, relative to threats made by pupils against a school. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1308, establishing a commission to study revising the New Hampshire special education statutes. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1378, establishing a committee to study the financial implications on local school districts when special education students attend charter schools. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1428, relative to the duties of the advisory committee on the education of children/students with disabilities. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1518, relative to the joint board of a school administrative unit.
ELECTION LAW
HB 1385, relative to nomination papers and the definition of "party." INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1577, relative to the eligibility of persons with nontraditional domicile to vote. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

FINANCE
HB 690-FN, relative to aid to the needy blind and relative to undue hardship for public assistance. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1656-FN-A, establishing an electronic toll collection transponder inventory fund. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1765-FN-A-L, appropriating matching funds for disaster relief resulting from the October 2005 floods. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

FISH AND GAME
HB 1140, establishing a committee to study the establishment and enforcement of protection zones for nesting loons. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1182-FN, relative to the recreational taking of lobster by scuba divers. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1302, relative to hunting in the town of Bow. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1341, relative to the use of land for hunting. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1423-FN, relative to prorating the initial registration fee for off highway recreational vehicles. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1646-FN, relative to the use of a leashed tracking dog in the recovery of a wounded deer, moose, or bear. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1747-FN, establishing a New Hampshire healthy tidal waters and shellfish protection program and fund and establishing fees. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS
HB 1331, establishing a committee to study the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1346, requiring certain persons to keep the contents of prescriptions confidential. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1465-FN, relative to food stamp overpayments. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1708-FN, relative to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) eligibility for 2-parent families. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1709-FN, establishing an autism registry in the department of health and human services. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1717-FN, requiring certain direct care services in nursing homes. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1722-FN, relative to the New Hampshire council on developmental disabilities. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1763, extending a committee and adding certain duties relative to pharmacy reimbursement. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1764, relative to the committee to study medicaid reimbursement rates for pharmacy providers. OUGHT TO PASS

JUDICIARY
HB 1193-FN, directing the secretary of state to remove certain language from the text of Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire constitution. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1256, establishing a committee to study the feasibility of creating an independent administrative office of the courts. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1266, relative to acceptance of consular identification documents. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1277, providing limited immunity to mental health care providers caring for voluntarily admitted patients. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1316, exempting records of the National Animal Identification System from the right-to-know law. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1322, relative to the establishment of allodial rights. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1382, regulating the disclosure of personal information. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1388, relative to tenant security deposits and termination of tenancy. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1505, relative to private actions under the consumer protection act. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1512, relative to civil liability for volunteers. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1552, relative to the authority of land surveyors to enter onto land to make surveys. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATEHB 1554, relative to the amount paid for property in eminent domain. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1596-FN, relative to eminent domain compensation. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1636-FN, relative to appeals from class A misdemeanor sentences imposed by the district courts. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1641-FN, establishing a common law court. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
HB 1106-L, relative to charter commissions. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1257, relative to conflicts of interest of municipal officials. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1273, relative to the disposition of municipal records. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1445, relative to including "none of the above" on official ballot budgetary questions. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1584, relative to cemetery setbacks and septic systems. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS
HB 1186, relative to the location of the Cheshire county superior court. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1313, naming a bridge between the towns of Newfields and Stratham the United States Submarine Veterans of World War II Memorial Bridge. OUGHT TO PASS
HJR 23, designating a Purple Heart Trail spur to the New Hampshire state veterans cemetery and providing additional signs for the Purple Heart Trail. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY
HB 1146, establishing a committee to study renewable portfolio standards. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1425, establishing a commission to study the efficacy of current laws in reducing exposure of children to lead hazards. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1431, relative to air permit applications. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1691-FN, establishing a geothermal assessment project. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

STATE FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
HB 1754, relative to canteen privileges at veterans' clubs licensed by the liquor commission. OUGHT TO PASS
HCR 23, urging the President to find it necessary to drawdown the strategic petroleum reserve. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HCR 25, urging the United States to withdraw funding for the United Nations if the United Nations adopts a resolution in violation of the United States Constitution. OUGHT TO PASS

TRANSPORTATION
HB 1201, relative to child passenger restraints. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1261, relative to driver's license revocation or denial for drugs or alcohol involvement. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1270, relative to the use of wireless telephones while driving. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1297, relative to requirements for a vehicle dealer license. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1484, relative to including motorcycle safety in driver education courses. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1664-FN, relative to nondriver identification cards. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1444, relative to definitions under the real estate transfer tax. OUGHT TO PASS
HB 1460-FN-A, establishing a deduction against the business profits tax. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1618-FN-A, relative to net operating loss deductions under the business profits tax. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1699-FN-A-LOCAL, establishing a tax on fees charged by railroad companies for transiting of cargo over, under, or across railroad rights-of-way. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE


REGULAR CALENDAR

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW
HB 1127, relative to obligation of religious leaders to report child abuse. MAJORITY: REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.
HB 1580, relative to the child support formula. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.


COMMERCE
HB 1374, establishing a committee to require personal information holders to disclose a security breach. REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY
HB 1404, relative to breach of security of computerized personal information. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1542, relative to responsible drug advertising. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 1151, relative to the prohibition of illegal aliens. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

EDUCATION
HB 1178, relative to the definition of an adequate education. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY.
HB 1323, relative to the statement of purpose in the statewide education improvement and assessment program. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.
HB 1384, relative to standardizing the format for special education budgets. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

ELECTION LAW
HB 1509, relative to campaign expenditures for the office of governor. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

FISH AND GAME
HB 1269, relative to the taking of red deer or elk. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS,
HB 1681-FN, establishing the unused prescription drug program. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT


JUDICIARY
CACR 39, relating to the administration of the Supreme Court. Providing that Supreme Court rules shall no longer have the force and effect of law. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
HB 1597-FN-L, relative to municipal obligations for indigent medical expenses. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.

STATE FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
HCR 22, relative to the right to pursue a livelihood in natural resources industries. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.
HR 22, urging Congress to promote and publicize the report to the Congress of the United States entitled "A Review of the Restrictions on Persons of Italian Ancestry During World War II." INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

TRANSPORTATION
HB 1307, relative to application requirements for motor vehicle recycling yard licenses. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1328-FN, relative to motor vehicle inspections. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1417-FN, establishing gold star number plates. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE

WAYS AND MEANS
HB 1101-FN-LOCAL, relative to the definition of "hotel" for purposes of exclusion from the meals and rooms tax. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.
HB 1418-FN, relative to road toll refunds. OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT
HB 1515-FN-A, increasing the tobacco tax and dedicating certain tobacco tax revenues to the tobacco use prevention fund. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.
HB 1604-FN-A-LOCAL, establishing business tax credits for employer-sponsored shared commuting costs. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: REFER FOR INTERIM STUDY.
HB 1628, relative to expenses of operating bingo games. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
HB 1638-FN-A, reducing the rate of the communications services tax. MAJORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. MINORITY: OUGHT TO PASS.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

House Calendar for 2/15


The calendar for next week's two-day House session has been posted. You can get it here.

There are some significant items on the calendar, including repealing capital punishment, fines for school superintendents who file enrollment data late, the "fair share health care" proposal, and defining an adequate education. A summary of bills and titles is below. If you have a moment, I hope you'll take a look through the bills and choose the ones you are interested in. If you have any questions about any of these bills, I'd be glad to try to help get you some answers.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, I NEED YOUR INPUT!

Please, never hesitate to call or email me with your concerns, your interest, and most importantly, your advise regarding any or all of these bills. I'm _your_ representative, so I want to know what you're thinking. Please share your insights and wishes for me, so that I can do the best I can to represent you.


BILLS ON NEXT WEEK'S CALENDAR

HB 656-FN, relative to medical decision making for those adults without capacity to make health care decisions for themselves and establishing procedures for Do Not Resuscitate Orders.
HB 1238-FN, relative to centralized voter registration database information.
HB 1647-FN, relative to lowering the legal drinking age for members of the armed forces.*
HB 1321, relative to qualifications for police chiefs in towns with populations of more than 3,000.
HB 1743-FN, relative to reimbursing towns for the operating expenses of certain railroad passenger facilities.
HB 1619-FN, relative to a certain toll plaza in Merrimack.
HB 1414-FN, relative to the protection of personal information by mandatory notice of security breach.
HB 1660-FN, regulating identity theft.
HB 1702-FN-A, establishing a New Hampshire health access corporation, continually appropriating a special fund, and allowing the healthy kids corporation to cover adults.
HB 1704-FN-A, establishing a health care fund, continually appropriating a special fund, and requiring certain employers to report certain information to the department of health and human services
HB 1422-FN, relative to the death penalty.
HB 1241-FN-L, mandating the inclusion of kindergarten as part of an elementary school.
HB 1497-L, assessing a fine against a school superintendent for late filings of school enrollment information.
HB 1502, relative to the use of surplus funds from the education trust fund.
HB 1593-FN-LOCAL, relative to the construction of high school athletic fields in the town of Bedford.
HB 1601-FN-L, relative to the funding of catastrophic special education aid.
HB 1695-FN, defining an adequate education and relative to calculating the cost of an adequate education and adequate education grants.
HB 1622-FN, relative to the state recycling program.
HB 1240-FN, establishing the position of state ethics officer.
HB 1739-FN, relative to body art practitioners.
HB 1611-FN, relative to reimbursement for personal care services.
HB 1713-FN, restricting the over-the-counter sale of pseudeophedrine base and ephedrine base drugs and establishing commission to study the feasibility of an electronic tracking system for sales of pseudeophedrine base and ephedrine base drugs.
HB 1221-FN, relative to recovery of medical assistance from a decedent’s estate
HB 1677-FN, relative to the annulment of the arrest record of a person found not guilty by a jury.
HB 1703-FN, requiring certain employers to report on the percentage of payroll which is being spent on health insurance premiums for employees.
HB 1102, allowing municipalities to adopt a property tax credit for homeowners supporting a disabled adult child in the home.
HB 1632, relative to qualifications for the elderly property tax exemption.
HB 1698-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to determination of town's share on county taxes.
HB 1734-FN-A-LOCAL, establishing a homestead exemption for seniors against the statewide enhanced education tax and a tax cap credit for seniors against local and state property taxes.
HB 1737-FN-A, establishing a beverage fee to be paid by beverage manufacturers and distributors.
HB 1470, relative to overweight vehicle permit fees.
HB 1705-FN, relative to limited driving privileges for certain persons whose licenses have been revoked or suspended.
HB 1457-FN-A-LOCAL, establishing an electricity transmission utility property tax.
HB 1651-FN-A-LOCAL, repealing the statewide enhanced education tax.
HB 1557, establishing guidelines for leaving children home alone and establishing babysitter age guidelines.
HB 1125, relative to the filing period for candidates in the presidential primary.
HB 1222-FN, relative to unlawful voting.
HB 1286-FN, authorizing the secretary of state to initiate recounts.
CACR 31, relating to the attorney general. Providing that the attorney general be elected for the same term as the governor.
HB 1183, relative to the terms of office for state department commissioners.
HB 1456-FN, relative to licensure of septic system inspectors.
HB 1108, relative to the transfer of funds among PAU's within a department.
HB 1370, transferring certain surplus moneys to the revenue stabilization reserve account.*
HB 1678-FN-A, relative to state reimbursement of public safety expenditures made by the town of Plymouth on behalf of Plymouth state university.
HB 1716-FN, relative to state reimbursement for public safety expenditures made by towns on behalf of public higher education residence halls.
HB 1724-FN, relative to compensation and benefits for reserve and national guard members who are state employees.
HB 1269, relative to the taking of red deer or elk.
HB 1294, relative to antique snowmobiles.
HB 1160, establishing a committee to study the effects of willful, habitual misconduct by individuals on their subsequent well-being which may impose a burden on public funds.
HB 1230-FN, relative to clinical trials for pharmaceuticals.
HB 1318, relative to prohibiting services for illegal immigrants.
HB 1409-FN, relative to organ and tissue donation.
HB 1654-FN, relative to the probate court mediation fund and fee.
HB 1255, establishing a committee to study improvements to the Amoskeag Street interchange at exit 6 of the F.E. Everett Turnpike.
HB 1401, exempting certain all terrain vehicle (ATV) and trail bike trail criteria from the change in use designation of rail trails.
CACR 38, relating to funding for education. Providing that revenue from lotteries and games of change may only be used for educational purposes.
HB 1473-FN-A, temporarily reducing the road toll.
HB 254-FN, establishing lifetime licenses for bow and arrow, muzzle loading firearm, and crossbow and bolt licenses.
HB 1563, establishing a committee to study the effects of immigration on the social services system.
HB 1576, implementing a voluntary Meth Watch program in New Hampshire.
HB 1578, to provide enhanced awareness of and education on methamphetamine to the citizens of New Hampshire.
HB 1437, establishing a committee to study the effects of current state and federal laws on illegal drugs and the possession and use of such drugs.
HB1477, implementing the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004.
HCR 21, urging the Department of Homeland Security to study New Hampshire's northern border and protection to our dam network.
HR 22, urging Congress to promote and publicize the report to the Congress of the United States entitled "A Review of the Restrictions on Persons of Italian Ancestry During World War II."
HB 1319-FN-A, decreasing the rate of the tobacco tax.
HB 1693-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to funding an adequate education.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Taking Office



Governor Lynch administered the oath of office to me today.