400+ Bills - Full Time Job!
I have struggled this weekend with where to begin.
As a point of reference, we were in the NH House for three full days this week from approximately 9 in the morning until 9/10 at night. We dealt with over 400 bills, 200+ requiring a vote.
Education, women's healthcare, civil rights...all were under attack, and all took a hit in one way or another.
There is good news in the fact that we rejected the attempt of some Representatives to secede from the United States. Read that again: they wanted us to SECEDE from the USA. Think your taxes are high now, try living without the federal government?!
Many, many bills were tabled this week. That means that they are basically done for the year, unless a supermajority gets behind them to put them back in the running. Controversial topics often go out this way, but this time it seemed like any Democrat's bill that made it to the floor was denied the opportunity for debate, effectively killing it. Things like affordable housing, net metering and teacher censorship never saw the light of day.
There was a move to repeal the ban on conversion therapy. That's the one where whippings, shunning and shame may be used with minors to drive the gay away. That bill was eventually tabled, so it's gone for now, but not necessarily forever. We also tabled the anti-trans family bill disguised as an attempt to level the playing field in women's sports. The bill contains provisions for bathrooms and prisons...still think it's about safety in sports?
We did approve dental benefits for Medicaid recipients for the second time, but the majority will not offer breakfast to hungry kids who meet the poverty threshold. I am not kidding when I say that I can't decipher why some things makes the cut and other things don't. It all seems rather arbitrary and somewhat mean.
Have you ever witnessed an accident? Even if you're not directly involved, you can't get the images out of your mind's eye. You can still hear the sound of twisting metal and feel your face flushing. Your heart pounds and for a split second, you can't figure out if you should run towards the accident or flee as fast as you can?
That's what it felt like to me sitting on the floor of the NH House this week. Watching people jeered, listening to the cat calling, continuous chaos, the sarcasm and absolute disdain some members displayed towards others? Let's just say that it didn't show up as much when we had a little healthy distance between us. Now that we're back sitting in each other's laps, I am worried. And you should be, too.
I have attached my colleague's highlights reel so you have a frame of reference for some specific bill activity. As always, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com with questions or concerns.
In the meantime, do you think we've broken the back of Winter? I am hopeful!
Best to all, sm