NH House - Bettencourt letter to Gov. Lynch

The following letter was delivered today to Governor John Lynch by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt:  

December 1, 2011


Governor John Lynch

Office of the Governor
State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301

Dear Governor Lynch,

     Many political pundits and those in the media were quick to term yesterday’s House vote on your constitutional amendment regarding education funding in New Hampshire as a political ploy.  However, the truth of the matter is that House Leadership had made a genuine effort on several occasions to reach out to you in an attempt to jump start negotiations in hopes of reaching an agreement on a sound bi-partisan educational funding amendment.

     Perhaps for the first time since the Claremont decision was handed down, I believe that the leadership in both the House and the Senate, along with the Governor, are truly committed to passing an amendment that will best serve the students of our state. I can assure you that House Republicans are committed to ending the restrictive confines of the Claremont decisions by passing a constitutional amendment that establishes the legislature as the sole authority on education and allows us to target education aid to the neediest communities.  It was, and remains, a key part of the House Republican Agenda.

     Since January we have anxiously waited to receive direction from you in hopes of making progress on bi-partisan language would be acceptable to both the House and Senate.  Education and the proper responsibility of our government to provide it has been part of the political debate since our nation’s earliest days and we felt that it was time to take action and move forward by addressing your amendment on the floor of the House.

     Republican leadership in the House remains committed to accomplish a constitutional amendment on education funding as evidenced by the fact that we stood with you yesterday in support of your proposed legislation.  In fact, several members of leadership supported your efforts through their vote, including myself as the Majority Leader, former Speaker, and current Speaker Pro Tempore Gene Chandler, Deputy Majority Leader Shawn Jasper, Deputy Majority Whip Betsey Patten, and Assistant Majority Whip David Hess, a veteran lawmaker who knows the issue of education funding was well as any legislator in Concord.

     Educating the citizens of New Hampshire is our hope for the future of this great state. We believe that New Hampshire must provide its children an education based upon excellence. We are committed to advancing policies that achieve this goal. In order to be able to present an amendment on the ballot in time for the next election, it is important that we move quickly to come to an agreement.  Time is of the essence in this matter and, to that end, we look forward to resuming negotiations as soon as possible so that we can arrive at a bi-partisan constitutional amendment that we can all agree upon.



Rep. D.J. Bettencourt

Majority Leader