CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

April 24, 2014

My Opinion: April 24, 2014

By NH State Representative L. Mike Kappler
Carriage Towne News

---- — RAYMOND - I was recently invited to attend an associates’ general meeting at the Wal-Mart DC in Raymond to witness a very pleasing event. My lovely wife, Terri, was awarded the Wal-Mart Distribution Center 6030 Associate of the Year Award for 2013. This pleasant surprise made me very happy and proud. “Congratulations Terri, Well Deserved”.

The April 16th House Session was a nice quite day It started off with the annual “Tartan Day” celebration and only had a few bills on the calendar, includimg the following items:

SB-220-FN, relative to the regulation of electricians by the Electricians Noard. Bill adopts the latest National Electrical Code (2014) prospectively, which allows electricians to get the training they need in order to comply with the law as of January 1, 2015. It also clarifies in statue that apprentices must complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, which ensures licensing reciprocity with other states. I have a concern about the new fee, so I voted against this bill. It passed and was sent to the House Ways & Means Committee as a 2nd committee. Let’s see how it comes back to the floor. Bill passed Ought to Pass (OTP) on a voice vote (VV).

SB-405, requiring registration of radon mitigation system installers. Bill registers another profession, in the guise of protecting the public from incompetent trades people. This one is unique in that no consumers testified as to being victimized, and no installers came out to demand to be licensed. Bill adds unnecessary red tape to these small business owners, by requiring a new registration of radon mitigation system installers with the board of home inspectors. Bad legislation, so I voted No, but Dems passed it OTP-A RC 172-147.

SB-311, authorizing fish and game to allow reciprocal snowmobile privileges with Vermont & Maine. Bill, as amended, allows the Director of Fish & Game to negotiate reciprocal snowmobile, OHRV, or dirt bike privileges with Vermont and Maine, including fees, with the approval of the Fiscal Committee. This would help expand our growing tourism industry, particularly in the North Country. Bill passed OTP-A VV, and was sent to Ways & Means Committee as a 2nd committee.

SB-151-FN, relative to the payment of witness fees and other fees for services in criminal cases. Bill clarifies the procedure for payment of witnesses in criminal cases, and also clarifies payment for services in a post-conviction proceeding. Out of my Judiciary Committee, this bill, with good intent could cost you the taxpayer up to $1M per year in non-budgeted expenses in protracted proceedings related to death penalty appeals. Voting no, the Dems pushed bill through OTP-A D 195-124.

SB-209, expanding the good Samaritan law to engineers and architects. This bill was not necessary. In my committee, we heard no testimony related to cases where any professional was sued for rendering services which would be covered under this bill. We did hear of over 40 professionals already certified to work with the state office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. We were able to kill bill ITL D 214-113.

SB-295, prohibiting an employer from using credit history in employment decisions. Bill creates yet another protected class that can sue for imagined discrimination in employment, violating federal law in the process. Employers must be able to use all the tools they need to ensure their employees are suited for the job. I voted no, but Dems. pushed it though OTP-A RC 192-142.

SB-390, (new title) prohibiting discrimination against employees who are victims of domestic violence and establishing a committee to study the protection of employees from domestic violence. Bill creates yet another protected class that can sue for imagined discrimination in employment. Employers do not need any further restrictions on who they choose to hire, they need the best person for the job they can find. I voted no, Dems. pushed it though OTP RC 186-153. Bill went to Criminal Justice Committee as 2nd committee.

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