RAYMOND - Thank you State Senators for doing what the Republicans in the House minority could not accomplish.
(1) For voting RC 13-11 to ITL (kill) HB-659, which was the 20 cent increase in the tobacco tax, a regressive tax that makes businesses less competitive. This House Democrat pushed bill was the last thing our small businesses, on our state’s borders needed: a tax increase that drives consumers away. When consumers come to New Hampshire to purchase tobacco, because of the lower price, they also purchase other non-tobacco products, which is good for our economy. The House had passed HB-659 RC 193-167.
(2) For standing up for New Hampshire citizen’s Second Amendment rights and their rights to self defense. Retreat is not something responsible when faced with a deadly threat. By voting to “table”, thus effectively killing, on a RC 19-5, of HB-135, the “Stand Your Ground” that the Republicans passed last term, will not be repealed. With all that has been happening lately, this vote to table, could not have come at a better time. This 19-5 vote was all 13 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted to table, with 5 Democrats voting no. It would take 2/3 vote to pull from table; but not this term - the bill is dead.
(3) For voting RC 18-6 to indefinitely postpone HB-617, the gas tax increase. By postponingit this way, the “subject matter” of the bill cannot come up again this term. The House’s version of the budget also had this tax, but this Senate move eliminates this tax from any further debate during the joint House/Senate committee of conference, on the 2013-14 budget, which will be coming up next month. We definitely didn’t need this 67% tax increase thrown on the backs of citizens, plus its effect on gas sales along our state’s border.
Last week I mentioned that the senate casino bill SB-152 was rightfully killed, but one piece of old news that hasn’t been talked about recently is the House casino bill, HB-678, that was tabled previously. Any House member is empowered to make a motion to “remove it from the table” at any session. Only a simple majority vote of the House is needed to remove it. But since it is a House bill, and the deadline is long past for House bills to go to the Senate, it would take a motion to “suspend the rules”, that would require a 2/3 vote to pass. I doubt that this will happen, but wanted to tell you, as nothing’s impossible. Stay tuned on this one.
(Editor’s Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at email@example.com)