What an incredible week! Concord was rockin’ as the winds of change blew through the capitol.
No matter which side of the political aisle you call home, or if your place of comfort is to straddle the aisle, this most recent session of the New Hampshire House of Representatives - the people’s legislature - should have left you exhilarated.
Granted, no one is totally satisfied with the legislation passed. Count me as displeased with several outcomes. But I can live with that. And so can you.
What was most remarkable about this legislative session was the priority placed upon matters of historic proportion. Representatives didn’t content themselves with merely arguing over whether or not speed limits should be placed on boats racing around the lakes, or whether or not large numbers of helium filled balloons should be released into the atmosphere.
Instead, lawmakers dared to provide national leadership on issues from capital punishment to same sex marriages and the medicinal use of marijuana. And the debate wasn’t confined to committee rooms, it was waged on the floor of the House.
Now the focus shifts to the NH Senate where despite the 14 to 9 advantage among Democrats, there’s no assurance that a majority of senators will support any of these three bills passed by the House. After all, 25 House Democrats opposed the “gay marriage” bill, which won approval only because 15 Republicans voted for it.
And 46 Democratic House Reps. voted against repealing capital punishment. Had 32 Republicans not joined the majority, the bill would not have passed.
The vote on legalizing medicinal marijuana was so overwhelmingly bipartisan, that the 234-138 vote included 45 Republicans among the majority.
So as the bills move to the Senate, it’s time to begin contacting your state senators to let them know your position. And it wouldn’t hurt to let the Governor know as well how you stand on the issues.
We know that he’s promised to veto the bill repealing capital punishment, and given that 46 Democratic House Reps. opposed it as well, he has a legitimate argument even aside from his personal beliefs.
But I believe he can be persuaded on the “gay marriage” and “medical marijuana” legislation given the bipartisan support both bills earned.