CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

April 3, 2014

My Opinion: April 3, 2014

By NH State Representative L. Mike Kappler
Carriage Towne News

---- — RAYMOND — We did it again. The two day House Session on March 19 and 20 was just a continuation of in-house fighting, mostly over junk bills.

Here are some of the bills:

HB-1307, prohibiting the state and political subdivisions from acquiring military-equipped vehicles or equipment which are not readily available in an open market. This bill would have prohibited towns from purchasing federal issue vehicles such as fire and heavy road work equipment, and also the better bullet proof vests. After almost an hour of debate, bill was killed ITL RC 195-138.

HB-1411-FN-A, relative to restoring money to the department of health and human services. This bill is bad public policy (1) It reopens the 2014/2015 budget, contrary to long-standing House practice. Once the budget is reopened, the majority could change anything they want. (2) The amount of money requested for HHS is only 3/10th of 1% of their budget. Surely a department the size of HHS can absorb that amount of difference, without any additional money. (3) The State “Rainy Day Fund”, according to the State Treasurer needs to be about $70M. Today it has only $9M. All the surplus money at the end of the year, June 30th, should go to the Rainy Day Fund period. After much debate, the Dems. pushed the bill through: A-0324h on VV, Republican floor A-1024h failed RC 157-172, and bill passed OTP-A RC 185-153. Not a good thing for us.

HB-1378, repealing sugar packet requirements. I brought this bill on my list to show you a sample of many of the bills we have this year, and if it’s worth the time and money to even look at. This was an attempt to repeal RSA 143:6 where it says that any eating or drinking establishment must use sugar packets and not have an open bowl or container. Bill was killed ITL RC 220-116. As I’ve said before, we have too much personal issue legislation this term.

HB-1264, relative to carrying of firearms by nonresidents. This is just another firearms bill. It came to the House floor with one committee amendment. It also had 8 other floor amendments. The debate started: (a)Table failed RC 142-154. (b) Speaker allowed committee amendment A-0659h; that completely changed bill, and had no public hearing to be debated, causing a “Challenge of the Chair” motion. Motion vote would be yes if you supported the Speaker, and no if you didn’t. Dems. supported the Speaker RC 182-144. As debate continued, a motion to “Recommit to Committee” was made. This would send bill back to its policy committee, so they could have a proper public hearing on A-0659h and do anything else they wished to do to it. Dems killed motion RC 160-176. Debate continued, then a “Motion to Table” was made again, this time after an hour and 10 minutes, the people decided to “Table” it on a D 186-150 vote. All that time, and we never got into the meat of the bill.

HB-1351, prohibiting tanning facilities from tanning anyone under 18 years. This would have prohibited a girl from getting a tan prior to going to her high prom. Motion to Table failed D162-167. Motion to “Indefinite Postponement” passed on D 175-154. Indefinite postponement is a motion made from the floor that further action on a bill be deferred and thus that the bill be killed. Motion was made to “Reconsider, and vote no” was made. Reconsider failed No VV. This reconsider motion was to prevent future debate.

HB-1570-FN, establishing a paint stewardship program. This bill would establish a program for turning in paint cans to the landfills. It would have a fee to fund the program attached to the can when sold, raising the cost of paint. Bill was Tabled back in March 5th. Motion by Dems. To emove from Table passed D 168-130, then: (a) Started debate on committee A-1053h with much arguing. (b) then Republican motion to Table failed RC 136-169. (c) motion to “Move the Question”, limiting the debate passed RC 188-112. (d) A-1053h passed RC 167-135. (e) bill passed OTP-A RC 161-142. (f) filing of protests to Speakers actions. (g) Motion to “Challenge the Chair” pertaining to protests. RC 178-121 upheld the ruling of the Speaker. (h) Due to speed of Speakers actions about protests, a motion was made to allow “late printed protests” passed on VV.

At the end of the day of each Session, a “3rd reading motion is made”. This moves all bills passed in that session, to the Senate. When motion was made, because of the problems with HB-1570, Republicans attempted to “divide” the question and move all except HB-1570. Motion failed RC 105-159. Then “3rd reading motion” passed RC 187-77. Just more of the days continuous fighting. And we have three days of it next week; can’t wait.

(Editor’s Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at l.mikekappler@comcast.net)