Thursday, December 23, 2010
Cut Spending, Cut Taxes, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The 2011 NH legislative session will begin on January 5. Our new state legislature will have plenty of work to do. As I write this, 888 LSRs have been filed. An LSR is a legislative service request, which is another way of saying a potential bill that might go before the legislature, after it’s been looked at by Legislative Services and examined for compliance with our state constitution, etc. The cost of each LSR filed, by the way, is approximately $1500. Good thing that 124 of the LSRs already filed were withdrawn. As it stands right now, the approximate cost to NH taxpayers for the 888 LSRs already filed is $1, 332,000. Remember, this new legislature ran on the promise of “cut spending, cut taxes, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.” This new group had plenty to say about the “nanny state” as well. Bearing that in mind, we should expect to see no frivolous legislation, and no gummint interference in our “personal freedoms.”
As is so often the case, what we expect to see is very different from reality. The mantra of “cut spending” seems to have been a load of tainted baloney sold to gullible voters. Our new majority in Concord seems to be focused on a very narrow social agenda., and some seem to think they were elected to Congress. Welcome to the Teabaglican nanny state. There are at least 4 LSRs that call for the repeal of NH’s marriage equality law. Interestingly, Rep. David Bates of Windham’s name is on most of them. Apparently just one bill is not enough for David Bates. He wants at least $4500 worth of assurance that gay couples are not treated equally in our state.
LSR# 0013 would repeal the Dept. of Education’s rule making authority for home education programs. In other words – eliminating standards for home schooling. This would be good news for those who would teach their kids that Noah had dinosaurs on the ark, but not necessarily good news for those kids who might want to get into a reputable college some day. Liberty University has yet to produce any Nobel Prize Winners.
Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry has his name on several of the marriage equality repeal bills, too. He also is sponsoring #1168, which concerns permitting the audio and video recording of any public official while in the course of their duties. The available text reads as if he’s in favor of permitting this sort of taping, which is rather amusing, given that last year he was taped testifying before a legislative committee. In his testimony, he stated that the state of NH sells babies to gay couples for $10,000. He was forced to publicly retract that statement, because he was caught on tape.
LSR #0075 would require that all persons elected to the US Senate and House of Representatives shall take the oath of civil officers prescribed by the constitution. Al Baldasaro, Jennifer Coffey, and Dan Itse sponsor it. I’m not clear on where this fits in to “cut spending, no taxes, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”, but I’m pretty sure it’s not worth $1500. How about LSR 0394: Ordering our federal senators to vote against the Law of the Sea Convention, sponsored by Dan Itse, who must not have any jobless folks in his district. Then there’s 0079, which concerns establishing a permanent state defense force, also sponsored by Dan Itse. I’m certain that will actually increase state spending. Given that in LSR 0223, Rep. David Hess wants to repeal all increased taxes and fees that have occurred since 2007, one wonders where the money will come from for this permanent state defense force.
With 0274, Jerry Bergevin, Kathleen Souza, Phil Grazzo, and Connie Soucy want to turn NH into a referendum state. Given that being a referendum state has destroyed California’s educational system, one can see why they’d want to emulate it. With 0806, Jonathan Malz calls for repealing the requirement that all school districts offer public kindergarten. The new legislature is also bringing back the fight over school funding.
In LSR 0629, James Summers would require random drug testing of food stamp participants. As of September, there were 51, 391 NH residents enrolled in the food stamp program, an increase of 10,000 over the previous year. A similar bill was filed last year, and NH DHHS found that each urine test would cost $55. Representative Summers proposed bill would cost the state $2,836,505. No word on where that fits in to “cut spending, cut taxes, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”.
Locally, new legislator (and member of the John Birch Society, a designated hate group) Norm Tregenza is wavering in his commitment to “cut spending, cut taxes, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.” He’s filed 0684, which calls for a return to the gold standard and phasing out the Federal Reserve System. With 0685, he’s one of the many, many filing a bill that opposes the new health insurance reform bill. In 0687 he would urge Congress to withdraw from the UN. Are any of those worth $1500? I hope the voters of his district will ask him how those bills will create jobs in NH.
There are also the predictable bills restricting voting. LSR 0714 would eliminate same day voter registration. #0717 simply states, “relative to eligibility to vote.” Both are sponsored by Gregory Sorg. Republicans are always in favor of making it as hard for people to vote as possible. When they win, it’s because they have a mandate. When Democrats win, it’s because of voter fraud. Just ask a Republican.
One of my favorites is 0392, “relative to official oppression,” sponsored by Dan Itse, Dan McGuire, Jack Barnes, and Paul Ingbretson. Who would know more about oppression than a bunch of white guys?
All of the LSRs filed so far are available for viewing at the NH General Court website, where you can also peruse the LSRs that have been withdrawn. Read them. Call your representatives to find out where these bills fit into “cut spending, cut taxes, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.” Is a proposed bill worth the $1500 it will cost you, the taxpayer?
“There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.” Ralph Nader
© sbruce 2010
This appeared as an op-ed in the December 24 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.
Posted by susanthe at 7:26 PM