RAYMOND — Although the last several columns have focused on the May 15,16 and 17 sessions, I'm taking a break to bring you some higher priority information.
At the June 6th House Session, four bills that were probably the most important bills this term, were voted on. A 3/5 majority vote (237) is required on Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution bills (CACR) for them to pass. We can't lose sight of the fact that it will take 66% of the New Hampshire voters voting 'yes' to pass these constitutional amendments into law, if they get on the ballot. Republicans have worked hard for a year and a half on these four key issues:
CACR-6 relating to taxation (super majority required to increase taxes) Providing that a 3/5 vote is required to pass legislation imposing new or increased taxes or license fees, or to authorize the issuance of state bonds and providing that the general court shall appropriate funds for payment of interest and installments of principle of all state bonds. This was the House version of the bill which we passed, on 3/30/11, (roll call - RC - vote recorded by name) RC 256-177. Bill failed RC 220-132.
CACR-12 relating to public education. Text of the bill: "[Art.] 5-c [Public Education]. In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the legislature shall have the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education and to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity. In furtherance thereof, the Legislature shall have the full power and authority to make reasonable standards for elementary and secondary public education and standards of accountability and to determine the amount of, and the methods of raising and distributing, state funding for public education." After more than 18 years since the Claremont decision, this bill would have put us in the unique position in history by allowing the voters of New Hampshire the opportunity to weigh in on the education funding issue. Bill failed RC 224-144, was reconsidered, and failed RC 224-141; surprisingly, the 224 were not all the same voters both times.