RAYMOND - The January 29th House Session was another day of hate and discontent, arguing over nothing, talking on and on instead of saying what you had to say, and just plain trying to interrupt the day’s business. Needless to say, I have not been happy with the sessions we have had so far this year. Representatives on both sides of the aisle need to get down to doing the peoples business, that’s what we are sent there to do.
Some of the bills of the day were:
HB-580, establishing moratoriums on wind turbine plants and electric transmission line projects. This bill would have prohibited the Site Evaluation Committee from approving any wind turbine plants or transmission lines until the Comprehensive State Energy Plan is completed. On one hand, it diminishes the property rights of landowners to put up turbines or transmission lines; on the other hand, it asserts local control, typically neglected by the current process, and legislative oversight by creating incentives for the energy plan to be completed. Republicans attempted to get it passed, but the Democrats killed it ITL RC 194-148.
HB-427, relative to tobacco tax laws. This bill sets an arbitrary figure to define “premium cigars”, which is in violation of the NH Constitution in dividing one class of a product into two separate tax rates. Bill would also have a negative impact on the small businesses that make up the “premium cigar” industry in our state. Unfortunately bill passed OTP-A RC 185-152.
HB-485-FN-A, establishing keno. Bill will expand lottery to include the electronic lottery game Keno in any establishment that pours liquor, which includes bars, restaurants, and non-profits such as American Legion or VFWs. Keno will be operated and licensed under the Lottery Commission, with revenues going to the Education Trust Fund. Bill pass OTP-A RC 202-141.