NH House at Sportsplex
So, on February 24 and 25 the NH House of Representatives met right here at the Sportsplex complex in Bedford! Kudos to our own Justin Benton and his crew for hosting our mega crowd...
It's hard to know how to summarize the event! The good news is bad news or the bad news is good news, depending upon your political perspective. We could all agree that human trafficking ought to prevent you from being employed in a NH school (HB 432), that raw milk is allowable for making yogurt and ice cream (HB 95) and that the Daring Jumping Spider should be proclaimed as the state arachnid (HB 318). But the great divide was fully displayed when two anti reproductive rights bills were passed, despite having failed in their committees (HB 625 and 233), the bill that would allow Independent Redistricting failed (HB 121), and the vote to establish a statewide School Counseling Coordinator (HB 96) in post COVID schools resulted in a 202-153 vote against the measure.
The temperature under the dome ranged from somewhat frosty to scorching. At various times, members complained about being ignored. Tempers flared when representatives were ruled "too late" or out of order in their attempts to ask for a certain kind of vote or to make another motion. At one point, the Speaker called for the doors to be locked to maintain a quorum, after many Democratic members walked out in protest over a controversial vote being moved up by a day, denying members who thought the bill was going to be taken up on Thursday an opportunity to vote on it at all. The State Police stood guard, denying anyone access in or access out. Every single veteran legislator I spoke to, some with over 40 years experience, said the same thing: they had never witnessed anything like this before. Ever.
We are back to work in our committees this week. House Education is considering well over 60 bills this year, so there is LITERALLY never a dull moment.
I hope this note finds you all healthy. I understand that the schools are going back full time on March 8, so I know there will be a lot of happy families hoping the return to normal is both safe and long term. I am anxious to get my second vaccination on March 13.
Look out, Bedford! Spring isn't far away now and it looks like we made it...
Best to all, sm