Make Sure These Bills Turn Out the Right Way
The RLCNH has had Action Alerts all session long on various bills of high importance to liberty. The following bills are still in play, and the RLCNH urges action to make sure they turn out the right way. Please ask your representatives and Senators to support all of these bills:
- HB 1297 in the Senate and SB 219 as amended by the House would prohibit the implementation of a state health benefits exchange, would save the state $15 million to $30 million a year, and would make the repeal or amendment of Obamacare much more likely in Washington.
- CACR 26 would restore the Legislature as the sole law-making branch of government by repealing Part 2, Article 73-a in the constitution. For more information, see Carolyn McKinney's recent op-ed and the video of a seminar and panel discussion sponsored by the National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies.
- HB 1617 repeals Chapter 151-C, the certificate of need board law, and starts to unravel the grievous errors of so-called “progressive” ideology in New Hampshire that have led to the decline of quality medical care and natural cost controls in the state.
- SB 332 as amended by a House Amendment to the bill, adds the text of HB 628, the TSA Accountability Act, and will help shine a light on bad TSA behavior and potentially bring it to an end.
- SB 266 would limit the use of Smart Meter gateway devices to spy into private homes and businesses without a propery owner's consent.
- SB 372 and HB 1607 are bills that create tax credits against the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax for businesses who contribute to a scholarship fund for private schoolers and home schoolers. This will encourage competition for education and will likely increase the quality and decrease the cost of education, over time.
- SB 229 would fix the state's pension system for good by creating a defined contribution plan rather than a defined benefits plan for retirees.
- HB 1677 is a common sense right to work bill that protects workers from having to pay dues to a third-party just to get a job and feed their families.
- HB 383 prohibits public unions from collecting “agency fees” from non-members.
- HB 1560 is an act relative to the interstate Health Care Compact, which would free New Hampshire to create its own systems for managing Medicare and Medicaid.
- Please e-mail ALL Senators and ask them to pass the above bills in the bulleted list as indicated.
- Please e-mail ALL Senators and ask them to use the RLCNH recommendations for passing CACR 12 and CACR 8.
- Please use your own words when e-mailing representatives and senators and explain to them why you support the RLCNH position using the talking points in our report below as a guide.
Thanks to your efforts
The Senate passed the following bills:
- HB 137, which added checks and balances on the adoption of the State Fire Code or State Building Code in New Hampshire.
What's Happening in the House this week
The House will meet in Regular Session on Tuesday, May 15, Wednesday, May 16, and Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 10 a.m. Please review the House Calendar for more details of what's to come.
- · SB 282: Stop the Government from Requiring Ignition Interlock Devices
SB 282 would require drivers convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device with a camera installed in all vehicles he or she is registered to drive once the person is allowed to drive again. While well intentioned, this bill is a gross violation of the double jeopardy clauses of the U.S. and N.H. Constitutions, a violation of privacy and potentially, a requirement that will ensnare innocent citizens driving a vehicle with such a device installed. In addition, the requirement will have no effect on a convicted person who decides to drive another vehicle without such an interlock device installed. The law is unenforceable and constitutionally troubling. Please SB 219 would implement inconsequential sections of Obamacare that allow the state insurance department to maintain regulatory authority, amendment 2012-2178h adds the House language of HB 1297, which would prohibit the implementation of a state exchange under the terms of Obamacare, as a non-germane amendment. It's important to pass this bill as amended by the majority amendment to ensure that HB 1297 is passed by the Senate and becomes law. The Senate MUST be convinced to pass HB1297 as amended by compromise between the Senate and the House, and the House should go along with the amended version, too. The language House and Senate leaders of this effort are working toward will preserve the intent of HB 1297 and add New Hampshire to the list of states taking a strong stand against Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office now says will cost American taxpayers $1.7 Trillion over 10 years. By prohibiting the creation of a state health insurance exchange under Obamacare, New Hampshire will be exercising its 10th Amendment Authority to say no to unconstitutional federal law, and will be resisting the creation of another costly federal unfunded mandate. Please Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy Studies, the Cato Institute, the Goldwater Institute and the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
- · SB 334: Repeal A Gag Order on Insurance Brokers
SB 334 makes it legal again for an insurance broker to sell life insurance or annuity products when a potential client has come in to discuss Medicare products without having to make a separate appointment for that purpose. Currently, an insurance agent has a legal gag order against being able to sell these other legitimate and legal products under RSA 417:4 when a client has an appointment with the broker to discuss Medicare products. The current law is a violation of the insurance broker's first amendment right as well as his or her right to make a livelihood by selling perfectly legal and legitimate products. The current "Nanny State" law assumes that some people will be duped into buying life insurance or annuities when they don't really want or need them, but that decision should be made by individual clients or their representatives, not by the government. SB 289 requires a voter to present a valid photo identification to vote in person at the polls. This bill does accommodate those without photo identification by allowing them to execute a challenged voter affidavit, which will be verified by mail, and by requiring the secretary of state to pay the cost for a nondriver’s picture identification card upon presentation of a voucher to the division of motor vehicles. A House Amendment makes the bill effective for the coming election, when it will be desperately needed. SB 318 clears up state law to make it clear that only domociled N.H. citizens can vote in our elections. Due to the clear evidence presented by Project Veritas in recent videos that voter fraud is possible and may occur regularly in New Hampshire, a voter ID bill is necessary to ensure that legitimate voters are not disenfranchised by votes from people who shouldn't be voting. Please SB 332 is a rather inconsequential bill, but a House Amendment to the bill added the text of HB 628, the TSA Accountability Act, which would allow citizens to report to a police officer on the scene or the county sheriff any invasive search by TSA agents, and that report will be sent to a designated directory for public viewing with the state police. This bill as amended also allows citizens to video- and audio-tape their own search to verify their report, and it requires police officers to be of assistance in the taking of the citizen’s report. While security is of utmost importance, the maintenance of that security must be conducted in a way that respects citizens’ rights and decency. This bill would shine the light of transparency on the TSA, which generally encourages good behavior. Please e-mail House Republicans at SB 409 would make state legalized medical marijuana a reality for many of our sickest citizens, potentially offering them relief or even a cure. The House amendment makes the bill better by making the program self-sustaining via donations. Please e-mail RepublicanHouseMembers@leg.state.nh.us and ask members to support SB 266.
- · SB 229: Fix the State Pension System
SB 229 was amended by the Senate into a study committee, but this bill originally resembled HB 1460 as amended by the House
- Bills Requiring Special Attention
There may be other important bills of note taken up by the House, some that were tabled, some that were amended by the Senate and some that have come from a Committee of Conference. Please be attentive to bills of interest on those lists by reading the House Calendar. Bills in these categories appear under their own heading after the Regular Calendar.
In House Committees This Week
There are no public hearings of note this week. Please consult the House Calendar for more details.
What's Happening In the Senate This Week
The Senate will meet in Regular Session on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 10 a.m. Please review the Senate Calendar for more details.
- HB 1297: Keep Up the Fight Against Obamacare
The Senate voted to table HB 1297, which would prohibit the implementation of a state exchange under the terms of Obamacare, but sources say the bill may pass this week with some non-germane amendment attachments. The Senate MUST be convinced to pass this bill as amended by compromise between the Senate and the House. This amendment will preserve the intent of the bill and add New Hampshire to the list of states taking a strong stand against Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office now says will cost American taxpayers $1.7 Trillion over 10 years. By prohibiting the creation of a state health insurance exchange under Obamacare, New Hampshire will be exercising its 10th Amendment Authority to say no to unconstitutional federal law, and will be resisting the creation of another costly federal unfunded mandate. Please e-mail HB 1297 with the new Senate amendment that improves the bill by taking the bill off the table and passing it. Get informed: Read more on why state exchanges are a bad idea from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy Studies, the Cato Institute, the Goldwater Institute and the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
- HB 1560: Help Restore a Free Market for Health Care in New Hampshire
Unfortunately, the Senate tabled one of the better ideas introduced by House and Senate Republicans this year. New Hampshire Republicans shouldn't just be about shutting down bad Democratic ideas for medical care and health insurance reform, but also proposing their own vision of free market reform. With the introduction and advancement of HB 1560, no one can say the House of Representatives doesn't think outside the box. A Health Care Compact would allow member states to suspend federal laws, rules and regulations for health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, and create their own health care systems. Compacts are agreements with other states that must be approved by Congress, according to Article 1, Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution. Under HB 1560, an act relative to the interstate Health Care Compact, member states upon receiving the permission of Congress would be able to enact state laws that supersede any or all federal laws regarding health care within each state. At the same time, member states would still receive federal funding equivalent to the amount they received in 2010, adjusted for inflation and other factors. The member states would not have any authority over the other member states under the plan, and nor would the federal government, once it ratifies the compact. RLCNH is supporting the idea of a Health Care compact. Learn more by visiting www.healthcarecompact.org/new-hampshire. Please e-mail Senators@leg.state.nh.us today and ask members of the Senate Education Committee to support HB 1560 by taking it off the table and then passing it without amendment.
- HB 545: Protect Homeschoolers from Abusive Government
While HB 545 as amended by the Senate is still worth passing as a step in the right direction because it requires the state board of education to first get review and comment from the home education advisory council before submitting the rules to the Joint Legislative Committee for Administrative Rules (JLCAR) for legislative scrutiny and approval, it is by no means as good as the House version, and thus your efforts could be directed toward defeating the Senate amendment. The House version of the bill also repeals the requirement that parents annually notify a school district of their intent to continue homeschooling and only requires a one-time notification, and it also requires the home education advisory council to approve proposed state board rules prior to their advancement to JLCAR. Additionally, the House version preempts any local ordinances or rules that are stricter than state laws and rules, meaning that no local community could become a more hazerdous place to homeschool your kids than another. Please e-mail HB 1403 as amended by House Education puts a new twist on "local control" of education by prohibiting a local school board from handing over its authority to an international program for managing educational curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate program, which is funded by UNESCO and de-emphasizes national sovereignty, the U.S. Constitution and other patriotic aspects of the United States and its founding. The bill as amended by the House also requires a local school committee to prove it is not involved in any programs subject to inspections by foreign bodies or organizations, and it requires all disputes about such programs to be resolved within New Hampshire systems. Finally, the bill as amended sets up a committee to study the IB program and others like it. Unfortunately, the Senate thinks that it's OK for international organizations to take over your local schools, so long as your local school board lets them. The Senate Education committee voted this bill Inexpedient to Legislate. E-mail Senators@leg.state.nh.us today and ask them to OVERTURN the committee report of Inexpedient to Legislate so they can support an Ought to Pass motion for this bill.
- HB 1571: Reestablish Equitable treatment for home schoolers
HB 1571 as passed by the House was an important parental rights and educational freedom bill that respected a parent’s right to direct the education of his/her child without interference from the state. In this case, the bill as passed by the House eliminated an annual evaluation of parents who are teaching their own children, which as part of existing law undermines the parents' authority to teach their own children as they see fit. Dreadfully, the Senate Education Committee stripped the House bill and amended it to limit liability for local school districts, local school boards or educational employees regarding injury, death or loss to person or property associated with a child who is or has been receiving home education. Please e-mail HB 1583 as amended by the House struck the right balance to bring sanity back to the school house by granting teachers and administrators some level of immunity when they use reasonable force to end a disturbance, to maintain safety or to remove a problem student from a situation. Unfortunately, the Senate amendment goes too far and creates "a defense to any offense," which means that a teacher can do whatever they want without fear of reprisal. Under the House version, students would no longer run the classroom, and the school house would once again become a place of learning and respect. Under the Senate version, teachers may go too far and harm a child, and then they won't face any recourse, which could invite such bad behavior. Please e-mail HouseRepublicans@leg.state.nh.us and urge strong support for this bill.
- CACR 13: Prohibit an Income Tax in New Hampshire
CACR 13 is a Constitutional Amendment that would prohibit any new tax on personal income in New Hampshire from now on. Income taxes punish people for their success, thus discouraging the type of capitalism that was the basis of this nation's founding and its great, early success. By prohibiting an income tax, the Legislature and the People would be securing the New Hampshire Advantage for the long term future, attracting new companies and encouraging corporate expansion in New Hampshire, thereby promoting jobs and economic opportunity. Please e-mail Senators@leg.state.nh.us and ask the Senators to support CACR 13.
- · Please e-mail and ask the Senators to oppose HB 1699.
- · HB 1332: Extend Freedom from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
HB 1332 would protect hunters, fishermen and others from unreasonable searches and seizures from Fish & Game officers unless the officers had some probable cause to search or seize a person. This bill also puts the burden on the state to pay for any seized items kept in storage, which would have the effect of decreasing the frequency of such seizures. Please email Senators@leg.state.nh.us today and ask members support HB 1332.
In Senate Committees This Week
There are no public hearings of note this week. Please consult the Senate Calendar 19 and 19A for more details.
For the Continued Consideration of Both the House and Senate
Defeat Destructive Educational Funding Reform Language in CACR 12
The RLCNH is confirming and reasserting its position in STRONG OPPOSITION to CACR 12, and referencing an Op-Ed on the subject from Chairman Carolyn McKinney. The following report was written in full in the last few week's action alert. Please take action on this item as your conscience dictates:
House leaders met with political leaders last month, including the RLCNH, in an attempt to persuade support for a compromise version of CACR 12, one of two educational funding reform constitutional amendments that are still alive in the current session. The RLCNH firmly opposes the suggested language, which reads as follows:
[Art.] 5-c [Public Education.] In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the Legislature shall have the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education and to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity. In the furtherance thereof, the Legislature shall have the full power and authority to make wholesome and reasonable standards for elementary and secondary public education and standards of accountability as it may judge for the benefit and welfare of this state and the full power and authority to make determinations as to the amount of, and the method of raising and distributing, state funding for public education as it may judge for the benefit and welfare of this state.
This language, which is even worse for liberty than the language passed by the Senate (and that was even worse than the language we opposed that was passed by the House), would permanently enshrine the erroneous Claremont decisions in the constitution. Considering the court's misinterpretation of the word "cherish" in Part 2, Article 83 of the Constitution, it is clear that giving the Legislature “the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education” would certainly lead to higher taxation to make sure none of the state's public schools ever fall below their current level of funding. If this language passes the Legislature, the teachers' unions would be out in force to support this generous ballot offering to the status quo.
But that's not the worst of it. The compromise language also gives the Legislature “full power and authority to make wholesome and reasonable standards for elementary and secondary public education.” This change to the constitution could remove parents and local communities from the educational decision-making process all together, and the state Legislature could take total control over what children are taught at school. To anyone who cherishes the traditional role of parents to raise and educate their own children, sometimes in partnership with local communities, this would be a troublesome development, at best.
All hope is not lost. You can help defeat this language now, or help defeat it if it happens to make it past the Legislature. The RLCNH is urging all of you to contact your representatives and senators and ask them to vocally oppose the compromise language to CACR 12 and instead support a solution proposed by the RLCNH.
The RLCNH proposal uses two different outstanding constitutional amendments to address educational funding reform and educational curricula reform that would permanently negate the Claremont decision and restore the original intent of the founders when it comes to education. Previously, the thinking was that CACR 12 could be used for both; however, the language proposed to address curricula in CACR 12 is simply anti-liberty and contrary to the original intent of the founders. By removing curricula from CACR 12 and focusing only on educational funding, the amendment improves drastically. Likewise, CACR 8 was attempting to address both, but had the right approach for addressing educational curricula. Thus, it should be amended to clarify the intent of New Hampshire's founders by focusing solely on curricula.
- CACR 12 appears to be the appropriate vehicle for educational funding reform, and should read as follows:
[Art.] 5-c [Public Education] In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the Legislature shall have the full power and authority to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity. In the advancement (or fulfillment) thereof, the Legislature shall have full power and authority to determine the amount of, and the method of raising and distributing, state funding for public education, so long as such determinations are not otherwise repugnant or contrary to this constitution.
- CACR 8 appears to be the appropriate vehicle for educational curricula reform, and should read as follows (bold/italics indicates new language):
[Art.] 6. [Morality and Piety.]
As morality and piety, rightly grounded on high principles, and inculcating the precepts of self-government embodied in this constitution, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society by the establishment of schools; therefore, to promote these purposes, the people of this state have the right to empower, and do hereby fully empower the legislature to authorize from time to time, the people within the political subdivisions of this state to make provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of teachers and schools. Provided, notwithstanding, that all schools, public and non-public, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their own teachers, of contracting with them for their support and maintenance, and of defining and establishing their own curricula. But no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any religious persuasion, sect or denomination. And every person, persuasion, denomination or sect shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any one sect, denomination or persuasion to another shall ever be established.
- Read RLCNH Chairman Carolyn McKinney's op-ed on the subject for more information.
- Please ask Representatives and Senators to reject the compromise language for CACR 12 and support the RLCNH plan by contacting them by phone or by e-mail as follows: Senators@leg.state.nh.us.
- E-mail Senate President Bragdon and Majority Leader Bradley and ask them to support the RLCNH plan.