Friday, February 03, 2012

Small Government Theocracy

The NH legislative session is in full swing. The total number of bills filed in the NH House for 2012 is 870. There have been 175 bills withdrawn. At a cost of approximately $1500 for each bill that goes through legislative services, the NH House is costing NH taxpayers $1,305,000. Money well spent? You decide. Go to the website for the NH legislature:, where you will find all kinds information, including the text of bills, their status, the House and Senate calendars, as well as voting records for legislators.

Please join me in shedding a tear for HB 1580, the bill that would have required quotes from the Magna Carta in new legislation. After making NH a national laughingstock, the bill went down in flames. That may have been the most ridiculous bill (this session) but there are plenty more that are a waste of our tax dollars.

HCR-2 is a resolution declaring that NH supports the Arizona immigration law. I’m sure that makes all the difference in the world to the folks of Arizona, but does it make any sense to the taxpayers of NH? It doesn’t create any jobs. All it does is affirm the bigotry of the majority party, on the taxpayer’s dime.

HB -587, a bill that would allow no-fault divorces only if the parties involved have no minor children. This bill was sponsored by Representatives Hopper, Groen, Comerford, and Ingbretson; all members of the majority party. A party that claims to be the party of small government. The party of less government interference in your life. It’s one of life’s great mysteries that these people can make those claims, all the while filing bills designed to interfere as much as possible in the lives of their constituents.

HB 1147 is a bill to make March 31 of every year a day to remember Teri Schiavo, a woman who had no connection to NH. A woman who was kept alive by government interference, long after her brain was dead. Is this money well spent? Will this create jobs? (Maybe some tacky souvenirs.) The House leadership chose not to allow this bill to be debated, and instead laid it on the table. That’s parliamentary speak for “we’re putting it aside for now, but we can revive it.” Maybe later, when they aren’t embarrassed to be wasting tax dollars on such an exercise in pious vanity.

One of my favorite bills was also deemed inexpedient to legislate. HB 228, was loftily called, “The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act.” It’s even more impressive, when one learns that the authors and sponsors of this bill are all men. Representatives: Robert Willette, Lawrence Kappler, John Cebrowski, Jon Richardson, Warren Groen, and David Bates. This is akin to Susan Bruce writing, The Whole Man’s Guide…to anything. These are men who don’t like women, and don’t want them to have any control over their bodies. In fact, this bill would have prohibited NH HHS from contracting with Planned Parenthood (as they have done for over 40 years) to provide services to low income, uninsured women. I don’t know why these guys want women to get breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer, but they sure do seem to want to. You’d think they’d want the incubators to be healthy. We already know that “less government interference” doesn’t apply to the lives of women.

HB 1712 would require the teaching of a Biblical literacy course in grades 9-12. The best part of this bill is the rather grandiose justification:

“The general court finds that New Hampshire Republicans are united by our belief in God, individual liberty, personal responsibility, places of worship, communities, and volunteerism. The general court also finds and recognizes the history of our country, from the Mayflower Compact, Revolutionary War, the Federalist Papers, and other speeches and writings of our Founding Fathers, is rooted in the belief in God and the teachings of the Bible.”

NH Republicans are united by their belief in God, so in the interest of individual liberty, they’re going to force their beliefs on high school kids. There was no fiscal note attached, so the potential cost to cities and towns is unknown. This GOP theocracy bill is currently in committee. No word on when a course in Rastafarian Literacy will be required.

HB 1421- required a vegetarian diet for all inmates in the NH corrections system. No rationale was given, but there were provisions for providing supplements, which leads one to believe that there was some influence from corporate America, perhaps in the guise of Monsanto or Archer Daniels Midland. It would have increased food costs by nearly 5% annually, and so it was deemed inexpedient to legislate.

The same representative, who gave us HB 1421, also filed CACR 24, an amendment to the NH Constitution that would stipulate that no one would be eligible to become a judge until they had reached age 60. No word on what the reasoning behind this was, but again, it was deemed inexpedient to legislate. That’s $3000 right there that Rep. Kingsbury wasted on frivolous legislation. We can’t send him a bill, but the voters of Laconia can rectify this mistake in November.

And finally (for now) there is HR 27, a resolution urging NH lawmakers to declare “brainpower” a state resource. Who says irony is dead?

© sbruce 2012

This was published as an op-ed in the 2-3-12 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.


Anonymous said...

It's really helpful and very informative that you sum up bills (and issues) such as these. And when they are all seen together on one page, it also sums up our crackpot right wing legislators and the bizarre thought processes they clearly all possess. HB1421 may have had some merit had its author chosen 100% plant based AS AN OPTION (vegan) rather than vegetarian which does rely 100% on the mega slaughterhouse conglomerates since this where all dairy and eggs originate. But it's a moot point and overall we now have nothing to be proud of in NH particularly since Lynch is leaving his post. We can be sure that the mindless Zombie following will pick another right winger for the job,flapping his/her way and ours into further lunacy.

Anonymous said...

If "NH Republicans are united by their belief in God," how do they square this with their fetish for Ayn Rand, who considered all religions a pathological evil?