Thursday, October 29, 2015

Allergy Warning

Members of the NH House have filed most of the bills for the 2016 session of the legislature. The deadline for filing LSRs was September 18. LSR is the acronym for legislative service requests. Legislative Services helps state representatives and senators with research into these fledgling ideas that may become bills. There have been 639 LSRs filed by House members thus far.

The Senate’s filing deadline is November 3. There are only 32 LSRs filed by senators thus far. It’s a safe bet that a big bunch will be filed at the last minute. Also listed on the NH General Court website are the 56 LSRs that have already been withdrawn. Only the titles of the LSRs and the lead sponsors are available, so it can be difficult, in some cases, to know what the bill is really about. In others, there is little doubt.

We all know that NH has some serious issues that need to be addressed. In looking at the House LSRs, it seems that the most important problems we face in NH appear to be guns and abortion. Get ready for the non-budget session of the biennium, with a side order of special sauce on account of the presidential election. Avoid the sauce if you have allergies, since it was prepared in an area contaminated by nuts.

State Representative Michael Brewster represents Epsom and Pittsfield. He appears to be the winner in this years “most LSRs filed contest,” after filing a whopping 37. It seems that Brewster has some grievances with our judicial system, regarding the custody of his child. Most of the 37 LSRs Brewster has filed involve judges or the judiciary system. Brewster has also filed an LSR calling for the impeachment of Governor Hassan, and another to remove the five executive councilors from office. But, so far, my absolute favorite of Brewster’s LSRs: “prohibiting the general court from filing legislation in the second year of the session.” Well done, sir.

There are several bills calling for a registry of drug dealers to be created. House Majority Leader, Jack Flanagan, has one that would establish a registry for people convicted of heroin related offenses. There isn’t a registry for the bankers who destroyed the US economy, but Flanagan wants to put some poor junkie who gets caught buying a bag on a registry that will forever impede him from turning his life around. (A gun registry would be tyranny!) Jack Flanagan is pondering a run for Congress in the second district.

Rep. Gene Chandler is one of the sponsors of an LSR aimed at amending the NH Constitution on the issue of domicile. The Republican dedication to limiting voting rights continues unabated. Other states are looking at expanding voter rights. New Hampshire is not one of them.  

State Representative Don Leeman would like to require drug testing for public assistance recipients. This has proven to be a big waste of money in other states, where the only winners were the companies who raked in the big bucks for finding a tiny percentage of people who failed the test. One wonders how far this would go. Would the families who receive assistance for their children with disabilities be required to pee into cups? Leeman filed another LSR that would restrict the use of food stamps in convenience stores. Many SNAP recipients live in areas where there are no supermarkets and there is no public transportation. Apparently it was a long, hot summer in Rochester, with nothing to do but think about ways to demonize the poor.

Self-styled Constitutional scholar, Rep. Dan Itse did not disappoint. He may have been overshadowed by Rep. Brewster in the number of LSRs filed, (Itse only filed 28) but he did manage to bring his usual level of peculiarity to the process. Itse has filed an LSR that would change the marriage license requirement to a requirement that couples obtain a certificate of intent to marry. He would also like to proclaim the second week of September as Patriot Week.

An LSR was filed calling on the US House and Senate to consider a constitutional amendment prohibiting campaign contributions, unless the donor is eligible to vote in that election. Free Staters Ed Comeau and Max Abramson didn’t utter a peep when a libertarian millionaire from Texas inserted his “free speech” into the special election in March that gave Yvonne Dean-Bailey a seat in the NH House, but both are sponsors of this LSR.  Continuing on in the tradition of legislating personal grudges, Abramson has also filed an LSR requiring the testing of law enforcement officers for steroid use. Abramson was arrested and charged with felony gun charges for attempting to break up a party at his house (in a residential neighborhood) by firing a gun.

There are at least 8 LSRs regarding firearms, but most of them aren’t coming from the gundamentalists. One would create a criminal penalty for providing a firearm to an individual that is prohibited from having one. Another would require firearm owners to have liability insurance, something that might go a long way to cutting back on stupid. For example, Max Abramson’s party trick would have caused his insurance rates to go up.

There are also 8 bills aimed at either hindering or ending a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. The faked up videos done by an anti-choice group got the GOP all wound up into thinking they can somehow ride to victory in 2016 by forcing women to serve as involuntary incubators. NH has never been a part of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program. (Only 2 of 48 states are). Demonizing Planned Parenthood means demonizing the thousands of women who rely on their services. Planned Parenthood saved my daughter’s life. They are often the only health care low income women in rural areas can afford to access.

It’s a wonderful bit of hypocrisy to see how many Free Staters support the various bills. These are people who claim to be all about freedom and libertea, but as always, when the surface is scratched, libertarian freedom applies (and appeals) to white, heterosexual men. And as always, the sponsors of these bills vote against any programs that help women, children, and families.

This is just a small snapshot of what will be coming up in 2016. It’s a mere thumbnail of the bad and the bizarre, but there are a number of LSRs that sound good. Some originate right here in Carroll County. In the coming weeks, I’ll cover those, too. Meanwhile, watch out for the allergens.

Published as an op-ed in the October 30, 2015 edition of the Conway Daily Sun


victoria said...

Great research Susan. And you explain it so well.

Brian Loudermilch said...

Many thanks for the heads-up on all the Foolishness transpiring in the State House.

I am old enough to remember when that information would have been available in a decent newspaper.

Sadly, that isn't the case anymore.

Ed Comeau said...

You incorrectly stated that I'm a cosponsor on an LSR was filed calling on the US House and Senate to consider a constitutional amendment prohibiting campaign contributions, unless the donor is eligible to vote in that election. You stated: “Free Staters Ed Comeau and Max Abramson didn’t utter a peep when a libertarian millionaire from Texas inserted his “free speech” into the special election in March that gave Yvonne Dean-Bailey a seat in the NH House, but both are sponsors of this LSR.” A resolution to ask the government to do something about campaign financing, is asking the fox to watch the hen house. The Government is not going to vote to cut its own funding. If it did pass, the super rich corporations will simply shift their funding into other avenues of influence. This is why we are different Susan Bruce. I believe in individual choice. You believe somehow that laws, rules and government schemes, created from the bowels of corruption will magically solve every ill we have. I don’t support the resolution because, it is individual choice to support anyone you may want representing you. It is not appropriate to hand the government another enforcement mechanism that crushes free speech. There is only one way to have finance reform. The people must stop supporting corruption and coercion. Corporations use their funding to create laws that benefit them, many individuals support politicians that will “get them things” in both cases by stealing it from others at the point of a gun. When people stop supporting these actions the corruptive nature of money will cease to control our future.

susanthe said...

Oh, don’t sell yourself short, Ed. That is hardly the only reason we are different! I don’t belong to a cult, I’m not part of a band of armed miscreants that intend to take over the state (by force if necessary) and eliminate the government and threaten to secede. I’m not so fearful that I must arm myself before I leave my house – in one of the safest states in the union. You are all of those things.

I’d ask you to prove what you claim I believe, but we both know you can’t. Your blubbering about laws and gummint don’t impress me – given that you moved to a state that has both. Your cult is too lazy and inept to build the Randian fantasy of your fevered imaginations, so you came here with the intention of taking over. That many of those who were already here have some issues with your plans seems to make you all awfully pouty.

I’m amused that you didn’t include the same barely comprehensible material you sent me in a Facebook message – especially the part about your mother and how I ought to move to New Jersey because it’s full of communists.