Sometimes They Do Talk To Their Constituents!

It's not often one has a chance to spend time with their representative in state legislature. It's even better when you can do so at their home, or if there are some conflicting activities, on the phone.

In this case, I called my state representative to find out how things went during this year's legislative session. To say I got a not unexpected earful would be an understatement. (It was a lengthy and contentious session, so there was a lot to talk about.)

His list of successes and failures:

State Budget – FAIL: (Still too fat and carrying over items from the previous spendthrift Democrat governor.)

Business Tax Reduction – PASS...sorta: (The two taxes, the Business Enterprise Tax and Business Profits Tax, have been reduced. However the aim by a number of Republican legislators was to eliminate them altogether. Maybe next time.)

Repeal the Interest and Dividends Tax – FAIL: (New Hampshire has no income or sales tax, but it does have the Interest and Dividends tax which doesn't affect wage earners but does effect retirees and prudent investors. There has been an effort to eliminate this for some years as it doesn't really help all that much in the way of revenues but does hurt some Granite State residents.)

Return To Biennial Legislative Sessions – FAIL: (Back in 1984 the citizens of New Hampshire were sold a pig in a poke, that being that a single ~6 month legislative session every too years was too long. Two annual ~3 month sessions would be better. The voters changed the state constitution to go to annual sessions and it's been all downhill from there. Now there is an annual ~6 month session which means legislators must put in twice the amount of time at twice the cost to the state's taxpayers, but not all that much more gets done than if there had been a single every-other-year session. The bill to return to that schedule died in committee...darn it.)

Constitutional Carry – PASS: (A permit to carry a concealed weapon is no longer required. New Hampshire has had Open Carry for years and this was the next logical step. Despite both Open Carry and Concealed Carry there has not been bloodshed on the streets nor 'OK Corral' style shootouts as predicted by the anti-2A folks. New Hampshire has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.)

Tighten Election Law – PASS: (Same Day registration has been grossly abused, used by 'transient' residents with no real domicile in the state. This law is designed to stop that kind of abuse by making proof of domicile a condition for voter registration. It is expected the ACLU and LoWV amongst others will be taking the state to court on this one.)

There were a host of other items we discussed, including issues in our county. (The state representatives also serve as county delegation members to the County Commission in each county and vote on things like the county budget and taxes.) My representative has stated it's been a learning experience as this was his first session as a representative. He and 399 other members of the New Hampshire House had to slog through governmental inertia, back channel deals, the reluctance/refusal of state funded entities (like the University System of New Hampshire) to open their books while at the same time demanding more money, and a whole host of pigheadedness and ideological blindness to try to get anything done. At least he now has a better understanding of the swamp that is state government.

As my representative said, “Take this experience at state level, multiply it by 50 states, then add on the even greater swamp of government in Washington DC.”

Scary thought, ain't it?