Contact: Senate President Ted Gatsas
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March 22, 2006

Citizens Say on Education Funding is Defeated
Senate Democratic Caucus Votes to defeat Constitutional Amendment
moving State one step closer to a Broad Based Tax

Concord , NH – The Senate Democratic Caucus today issued a major blow to Education Funding in New Hampshire by voting against the proposed Constitutional Amendment (CACR 43) that would have allowed the citizens to decide on education funding.

CACR 43 proposed that, “The legislature shall have the authority to make reasonable determinations of the content, extent, funding, and delivery of public education.” The proposed wording would be added as a new provision immediately following Article 83 in the New Hampshire Constitution. Fourteen of the sixteen Republican State Senators voted for the Constitutional Amendment as amended by the Senate Finance Committee. The Committee Amendment received the majority vote necessary to amend CACR 43 and was then moved to the table. An additional vote is needed to get the necessary 3/5 vote to move CACR 43 to the House of Representatives.

Senate President Ted Gatsas (R- Manchester) author of CACR 43 began, “A Constitutional Amendment of this nature is not a new idea. In 1998 a similar Amendment received bi-partisan support. The motives of the minority are clear. This is about the Democrats support adopting a broad based tax and denying the people the right to have their voices heard.”
Opponents to CACR 43 claimed that the Legislature currently has the constitutional power over Education Funding and CACR 43 would circumvent the power of judicial review. Senate Majority Leader Robert Clegg (R- Hudson) added, “CACR 43 does not deny any citizen’s right to judicial review. What it will do is once and for all give the Legislature the responsibility to fund education. Unfortunately, today, this is not the case in New Hampshire.” The decision of Claremont v. The State of New Hampshire mandated that the Legislature fund an “adequate” education. “Time after time the court has made rulings based on adequacy. The intent of CACR 43 is to give the voter the opportunity to decide if they want the court to make education decisions based on what’s precisely written in the New Hampshire Constitution or not,” ended Senator Clegg.

CACR 43 has been laid on the table and needs 16 votes to be removed.