Today at the NH State House, all of the bills that were not dealt with last week came before the House. There were 11 bills. Some came out of committee with near unanimous votes. One came out of committee with a vote of 18-0 and got the full loon/lead sinker treatment. For the same reasons, though they weren't spoken aloud either time.
During the opening rituals, Rep. Peter Schmidt of Dover sang the national anthem, acapella. And he rocked it! This man can sing! He tells me that he can dance, too. Rep. Schmidt is apparently something of a renaissance man - who knew?
First up, SB 96, relative to vexatious litigants. The NH Liberty Alliance found this bill to be "anti-liberty" because of course in Randia, everyone can sue all they want. Committee recommended OTP (ought to pass) as amended (OTP/A). Despite some complaints from the land of Freedumb, the bill passes 198-130 on a division vote.
SB 100: authorizing electronic payroll. This bill would allow companies to stop writing paper checks and issue little debit card like things to employees. The thing about little debit card like things is that they also come with debit card like user fees. Another thing about those payroll cards is pretty simple: they are almost alway issued to low wage workers. You don't give the guy who's making $100k a year a little debit like card with user fees. As Rep. Tim Smith put it: This benefits employers, NOT employees." Rep. Smith also referenced "company scrip" - thereby invoking the days of the company store.
The bill doesn't just benefit employers. It also benefits banks and card companies. Everybody gets a piece of the low wage pie - at the expense of the low wage worker. Apparently this bill was written at the behest of Cranmore Mtn. Ski Area. One of the supporters of the bill pointed out that there was a credit union within 5 miles of Cranmore, for people to use. He failed to note that there is no public transportation for those low wage workers to use to get to the credit union.
The liberty frat boys in the back row of the House were mocking - "bet this is the argument blacksmiths used against cars, haw haw haw" to suggest that the people who oppose this were anti-technology. If the company were willing to eat the user fees instead of passing 'em on to employees, there would be greater support for this bill.
The bill went down on a division vote of 235-93.
SB 143, relative to benefits for unemployed persons who are trying to start a business. This bill would enable a small percentage of unemployed persons to commit to starting up their business, as opposed to looking for full time work. Some 2.5% of NH unemployed persons would be eligible. Naturally this was opposed by those who claim to be focused like a laser on job creation. Reps. Ulery, Daniels, and Flanagan all objected and presented misinformation. Flanagan demanded a roll call vote. The bill came out of committee with an OTP recommendation, and it did, on a vote of 183 - 149.
SB 153: relative to legislative approval of collective bargaining agreements entered into by the state.
The anti-union folk were out in full voice. Vallaincourt waxed on about the need for such a bill. The members of the House have long been under the delusion that they should oversee everything in the state, so this was no more of an overreach than we've seen in the past. Rep. DeSilvestro pointed out that this would insert politics into process. That, of course, is the point. The bill came out of committee with an ITL recommendation, and in a roll call vote it was officially ITL'd 191 - 135.
SB 11, the controversial waster and sewer bill was moved till the end of the calendar at the request of Rep. Tucker, to accommodate a legislator who wasn't there yet. There was actually a division vote on this special order. 275-45 in favor of adopting the measure.
SB 179, clarifying the definition of "renewable generation facility" came out of committee with a recommendation of OTP/A on a vote of 14-4. This didn't get the full lead sinker treatment, but it did get a division vote, which resulted the bill's passing on a vote of 256-63.
SB 20 concerned modifications to the DUI ignition interlock program. The bill came out of committee with a recommendation of OTP/A on a vote of 15-1. This bill was opposed by the Liberty Alliance who claimed that there were provisions in this bill for installing cameras and GPS tracking. There was no language in the bill that indicated such a thing. O'Flaherty (the anarchist Free Stater who ran as a pretend Democrat) spoke on behalf of the minority. Apparently they were more interested in squirting to mark territory rather than actually swaying anyone, O'Flaherty not being a persuasive speaker.
Back to SB11. We all donned our sunglasses to keep from being blinded by the sudden glare of a hundred tinfoil berets.
This bill came out of committee with a recommendation of OTP, on a vote of 18-0.
Somehow the Birchers decided that SB11, a bill to allow municipalities to work together to finance and build water and sewer projects was really the UN trying to achieve world domination through septic systems. None of those who spoke against the bill referenced the Agenda 21 hysteria, but some of those who spoke in favor of the bill were quite candid about it. The tinfoil brigade was desperate to shut this down without discussion. So Rep. LeBrun moved to table the bill. A division vote was requested, which morphed into a roll call. On a roll call vote of 86 - 244, the motion to table failed.
Rep. Jane Cormier gave a one-woman filibuster of nonsense about Maryland and Oregon, and claimed the EPA "now considers rainwater a pollutant." Horse hockey. This may have been aimed at running down the clock till JR Hoell could arrive.
Flanagan moved to recommit the bill (send it back to committee). The same committee that unanimously passed it. A division vote was requested and the motion to recommit failed 98-229.
Rep. Abrami of Stratham (a town that would benefit from this legislation, as they do not have town water) pointed out that Secretary General Moon of the UN had not visited Stratham to help write the bill. He also said, "I'm a conservative guy. You think I'd stand up here and allow the state to steal our wells?"
Rep. Burt asked for a roll call. Hoell made it in time to vote. The bill passed on a vote of 254-74. All that posturing and bloviating was for naught - with each vote they lost more of the tinfaithful.
The same kind of petty obstructionism going on in Congress is being mirrored right here in the NH House, where the fauxliberty crowd persists in giving every bill the lead sinker treatment, even when they know they can't possibly win.