Cobleigh speech for a Constitutional Amendment on the Education Crisis

I move that the Resolution be read to the delegates.

First Let's Look at What This Resolution Doesn't Do :

This Resolution does not say what towns get how many dollars.

This Resolution does not spell out whether the decision should be by the incoming Legislature or by a Special Session of the current Legislature.

This Resolution does not spell out which proposed Constitutional Amendment is best.

This Resolution does not spell out, as I wish it did, that the current Democrat Governor is a nice guy whose failure to provide leadership on this, and many other subjects, is appalling.

Now Let's Look at What This Resolution Does Do :

This Resolution makes sending a Constitutional Amendment to the people the Legislature's top priority.

This Resolution reaffirms our emphasis on providing every child a top notch education.

This Resolution asks for a Constitutional Amendment to resolve this 13-year-old crisis.

This Resolution points out how far the Court?s interpretation strays from our founding fathers' words in our Constitution, "to cherish."

This Resolution clearly tells the Court to stay out of the lawmaking function once and for all.

This Resolution restates the support of 5 Republican Governors for the passage of a Constitutional Amendment.

Finally - This Resolution tells Judge Broderick and his cohorts that if he wants to force an income tax on the people of New Hampshire, he should do what many of us have done "don't hide behind your robes and lifetime appointment" but run for the Legislature yourself!

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF AMENDING THE NH CONSTITUTION, TO ONCE AND FOR ALL, END THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT?S NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS TO USURP THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE?S ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GENERAL COURT AND EXECUTIVE BRANCH BY COERCIVE EFFORTS TO WRITE LEGISLATION AND RESULTANTLY EFFECT TAX AND SPENDING POLICIES.

 

WHEREAS, For 13 years since 1993, when the New Hampshire Supreme Court defined the words in the New Hampshire Constitution Article II Section 83, "it shall be the duty of the Legislature to cherish the interest of literature and sciences" into meaning that the state must define, provide and fund "a constitutionally adequate public education to every educable child in the public schools of New Hampshire and to guarantee adequate statewide funding" and that "the tax must be administered in a manner that is equal in valuation and uniform in rate throughout the state."

 

AND WHEREAS, the New Hampshire Supreme Court through its rulings has gone far beyond the intent of the word "cherish" to invent a new meaning and definition for that word that carries with it and practically mandates new and expensive educational spending patterns that will require far greater and different taxing sources than the Legislature has seen fit to enact.

 

AND WHEREAS, this Convention believes that it is the Legislature's duty to continually improve the quality of our education. Many studies have shown that the education crisis is not solved by throwing huge piles of dollars at this basic responsibility. We are confident our elected leaders can find an effective, cost-efficient manner of carrying out this important duty without the Court?s interference and provide every New Hampshire child a top-notch education.

 

AND WHEREAS, former Republican Governors John H. Sununu, Judd Gregg, Stephen Merrill, and Craig Benson as well as Mrs. Gale Thomson have urged the return of state educational policymaking to the elected officials and away from the non-elected members of the Court.

 

AND WHEREAS Governor Merrill said, "I support the effort to address the amendment question because a Constitutional Amendment permits the people to speak on this critical subject."

AND WHEREAS Governor Sununu said, "the only way to return the power to the officials elected by and thereby accountable to the citizens of New Hampshire is to pass a Constitutional Amendment that makes sure the Courts cannot take that right away from the voters."

AND WHEREAS former Governor and now Senator Judd Gregg said, "The power of un-elected and unrepresentative judges to set basic tax policy and laws must be removed in favor of the prerogative of the people through their elected representatives."

AND WHEREAS Governor Craig Benson said, "After this recent Court decision we must act immediately to preserve local control of education. Any candidate that does not support a Constitutional Amendment condemns us to job destroying taxes and the end of New Hampshire?s economic advantage."

AND WHEREAS Mrs. Gale Thomson, the widow of Governor Meldrim Thomson, said that he "would have encouraged Governor Lynch and Legislative Leaders to work in a bipartisan fashion to put an amendment on the ballot."

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the New Hampshire Republican State Committee in Convention assembles urges the Governor and the New Hampshire Legislature to make the amending of the New Hampshire State Constitution its top and immediate priority by whatever means necessary so lawmaking as our founding fathers intended shall remain the sole province of our elected officials.

Submitted by Delegate Marshall Cobleigh