September is here, and that means it’s time for legislative fun to begin again. September 9 was the first day that representatives could file LSRs (potential bills/Legislative Service Requests) for 2014. September 27 is the last day to file House LSRs. September 30 is the first day for Senate LSRs, and the cut off date for the Senate is October 25.
So far, House members have filed 86 LSRs. They have not yet been assigned numbers; there is no actual bill text available, just the titles chosen by the sponsors of the LSRs. Those titles sometimes provide great clarity into the potential bill, and sometimes create more questions. It’s worth noting that 2014 is an election year. Some legislators are intent appealing to voters through social engineering. Some are intent on making a name for themselves through means that the rest of us might find unusual.
The very first LSR listed is quite clear: “repealing the death penalty in NH,” is sponsored by Rep. Robert Cushing. At a time when other states are repealing their death penalty statutes out of fiscal concern, NH chose to bring ours out of mothballs and use it, thanks to former AG Kelly Ayotte, who rode a death penalty case right to the US Senate. That case has already cost our state millions, and will cost us many more before it is finished. It’s sad that the moral argument has less power in this state than the financial – but the bottom line is pretty simple. Are you willing to see an increase in your property taxes to pay for executions?
Representative Kathleen Souza has filed 2 bills that seem related to making a legal procedure more difficult for women to avail themselves of in the state of NH. The first has to do with the licensure of out patient abortion clinics, and the second has to do with gathering data. Naturally women have no right to medical privacy. Imagine a bill filed to gather data from the records of men getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs? Would men meekly submit to having their private medical records invaded by nosy number seekers?
Rep. Leon Rideout has filed an LSR to include the term “fetus” in the definition of “another” for the purpose of certain criminal offenses. This is a tactic frequently engaged in by the uterus police in an attempt to create “fetal personhood” which would grant a clump of cells the same legal rights as an adult woman is supposed to have. In an election year we can expect to see more bills aimed at regulating women from the crowd that is bitterly opposed to regulating guns.
Rep. George Lambert has filed 6 bills so far. Rep. Lambert is considering a run for governor next year. Lambert would like to repeal the timber tax, eliminate sugar packet requirements, and repeal the licensing of career schools. He also has bills relative to the conferring of college degrees, relative to training programs in career schools, and relative to funding career schools. These are interesting areas of focus for a guy who is considering a run for governor in a state where he has no name recognition. It sounds as if the freedom and liberty crowd is gearing up for another attack on hair stylists and beauticians. Or to put it more bluntly, an attack on women’s work.
NH currently has 500 bridges on the red list for structural impairment. Rep. John Cloutier, who proposes that the priority status of the widening of I-93 be repealed in the 10-year transportation plan update, filed the only LSR filed that has any grounding in infrastructure. Perhaps there will be some interest in solving our infrastructure problems when one of those bridges finally collapses and people are injured or killed.
Rep. JR Hoell has filed an LSR requesting Congress investigate the Benghazi incident. As we all know, Congress has, in fact, investigated. Rep. Hoell just doesn’t like the results of that investigation, so he’s willing to waste $1500 of our tax dollars to get his name up in lights with a bill to nowhere.
The NHGOP doesn’t seem to have heard, never mind heeded Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s warnings about the need to stop being “the party of stupid.” Former NH State Senator Jim Rubens announced his intention to run against popular US Senator Jeanne Shaheen. At his press conference, he described Senator Shaheen as “out of touch” with New Hampshire voters.
Shortly after the announcement, we learned of a blog post Rubens made in 2009, linking women in the workplace to the incidence of mass shootings. It seems that women have taken men’s jobs away from them, and that’s caused them to start gunning people down. In this same blog post, Rubens also said that “tweaking the tax code to add manufacturing jobs would be one way to relieve the stress on men.” It seems Rubens slept right through NAFTA and all other free trade agreements, and is unaware that the US gave the manufacturing industry away.
Rubens has since removed that post from his blog, and put his blog behind a firewall so that we can no longer see his odes to being part of the glorious one percent: “I just returned from a not atypical vacation of private charter flights, organic meals on white linen, and a private bungalow.” It seems likely he wasn’t the inspiration for Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
This is some kind of a record – beginning and ending a campaign on the same day. It’s all over but the shouting (or the shooting). Rubens just doesn’t realize it yet. Those who defend him will only serve to alienate female voters even further, especially given that the gender wage gap is higher in NH than many other states. Women in NH earn $0.77 for each dollar earned by men. Ten percent of NH women live in poverty. Of minimum wage earners in our state, 69% are women. No wonder there haven’t been any mass shootings here, eh Jim?
There are a great many problems in our state and our nation that need serious attention. It’s a shame they won’t be getting any this year.
“If stupidity got us into this mess, than why can’t it get us out?” ~ Will Rogers
© sbruce 2013
published as a biweekly column in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper