CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett) offered the following comments in reaction to the lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, American Civil Liberties Union and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union challenging the constitutionality of the school choice law passed by the New Hampshire legislature in 2012. The law allows businesses to donate to scholarship programs for lower income families in exchange for credits against their state business taxes.
House Republican Leader Gene Chandler
“We believe the school choice law is constitutional. The policy committees that worked on this issue did a thorough job in ensuring we had a constitutional bill. This law is intended to help less fortunate New Hampshire families expand their education choices. It is a shame that we now have an out of state special interest group leading the charge to challenge this law. This frivolous lawsuit will no doubt cost the taxpayers of New Hampshire money and tie up resources. In the end, we believe the law will stand and New Hampshire will be able to continue this program to empower families by having the opportunity to do what they think is best for their children.”
Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess
“The legislation we worked on for several months and passed last year was modeled after similar legislation that was fully vetted and successfully passed in a number of other states. We wanted to ensure we had a bill that would withstand such a challenge. This is a privately funded scholarship opportunity that makes programs of academic excellence available to moderate and low income families. We are not giving funds to religious institutions we are giving scholarships to families. It is the families’ choice where they choose to use the scholarships.”