RAYMOND — I have been asked to explain some of my acronyms I use to shorten the length of my article. When I use ones that are titles, the first time I spell out the title, followed by the acronym in parenthesis, and then use only the acronym after that. Other common ones I use are: (a) OTP - ought to pass, pass. (b) ITL - inexpedient to legislate, kill. (c) RC - roll call vote, recorded by voters name. (d) D - division vote, recorded count, but not my voter's name. (e) VV - voice vote. (f) Dem - democrat. (g) Rep - republican. (h) Table - is when bill is set aside, on "the table". Can be pulled from table later. (i) IS - interim study, retained for further work. Bill often just stays in study and dies. (j) FN - fiscal note - monies involved - goes to Finance Committee or Ways & Means Committee as 2nd committee. (k) L - local. (l) A-0123h - is bill amendment, its number, and (h) indicates originated in House, (s) indicates Senate.
In our February 8 House Session, we started with the Consent Calendar. Fourteen (14) of the 26 bills on Consent Calendar were ITL'd. We then moved to the Regular Calendar passing:
HB-1413-FN - directing New Hampshire to withdraw from the No Child Left Behind Act. Voted Table RC 253-81.
HB-1517-FN-L - prohibiting the state and any political subdivision from entering any agreement implementing any provision of the No Child Left Behind Act without prior approval of the General Court. Voted Table VV.
HB-1566 - relative to withdrawal from a school administrative unit or an authorized regional enrollment area school. This bill came from a local town problem, and this isolated instance should be handled locally. There is a process of withdrawal from a school administrative unit or an authorized regional enrollment area agreement clearly defined in law. Bill came to floor as ITL. ITL failed D 158-186. Passed OTP D 190-156. I voted to kill both times.
HB-1692-FN - making changes to the administration of the University System of New Hampshire. This Rep bill's goal is to put more money back into education, back in the pockets of taxpayers, and reduce tuition. It brings the Chancellors Office back to the size it was intended to be when it was first implemented. A-0475h YES VV. Floor A-0556h NO D 144-192. OTP-A RC 247-105. Sent to Finance Comm. as 2nd committee.
HB-1354 - relative to a person's residence for voting and all other legal purposes. This bill: (a) establishes that a claim of domicile for voting purposes shall be conclusive to residence for all other legal purposes; (b) changes 3 words in RSA 654:1 to make clear that someone must be a resident on New Hampshire to vote in NH. (c) is a good step in the direction of tightening up our election process and ensuring ballots are cast by actual residents. Attempt to Table failed. RC 113-233. Passed OTP RC 248-101.
HB-1634 - establishing a committee to study the implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 into the state, counties, regional commissions, towns, and cities. This bill relates to the new forming of the "International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives" which is contrary to our founding principles. UN Agenda 21 is alleged to oppose our Constitutional values of private property and individual freedom. As amended, the bill establishes a committee to verify these allegations, resolve the question of this being an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, and determine a plan of attack. A-0489h YES VV. Passed OTP-A D 251-92.
HB-1710 - establishing a commission to identify issues for legislation related to strengthening the role of fathers in families with divorced or unmarried parents. This commission would continue the most important function of the Commission on the Status of Men. Passed OTP YES VV.
HB-1229 - declaring March 30 as Welcome Home Veterans Day to honor veterans of Vietnam. This is a multi-state effect to finally honor our Vietnam veterans in an appropriate way. Passed OTP RC 327-8.
Motion to print comments passed VV.
HCR-31 - commending the work of pregnancy care centers in New Hampshire and across the United States Passed on RC 160-159, was tie, Speaker voted yes. Motion to reconsider failed D 132-196.
HB-593-FN-L - relative to video lottery and table gaming. I added this bill here because of high interest. It was recommitted back to Ways & Means Committee for further work. Recommit YES D 257-91.
HB-1302-FN - relative to underpayment of estimated taxes and equalization of valuations administered by the Department of Revenue Administraton (DRA). This bill provides clarity for DRA and the taxpayer. It defines "taxable period" over "taxable year" and corrects the language. It also provides that property subject to the community revitalization tax relief credit process be fair and equitable for surrounding properties and communities. Passed OTP YES VV.
Although not many bills were passed, it was a long day.
(Editor's Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)