State Rep. Dan Itse, R-Fremont, has agreed to provide a Republican perspective to what’s going on in the legislature each week for InDepthNH.org readers in his column View From the Inside. An engineer, Itse has represented Rockingham County since 2001. He is the vice chairman of the Children and Family Law Committee.
By Rep. Dan Itse, R-Fremont
This session’s two major controversies were included in House Bill 103 and House Bill 191.
HB103 is about whether to require school districts to notify parents of objectionable material regarding human sexuality and sexual reproduction so that they can remove their children from the class while the material is being taught.
While this seems to be a common sense issue: who are the parents, the parents or the schools, the democrats thought this would be too much of a burden on the schools. The roll call was 203 yea on ought-to-pass to 152 nay nearly on party lines.
The Republicans voting yea were joined by Democrats Amanda Bouldin, Christopher Herbert, Jesse Martineau, Chip Rice, Barbara Shaw and Alan Turcotte; the Democrats voting nay were joined by Republicans Daniel Donovan and Steve Vaillancourt. The bill passed.
The constitutional controversy of the day was on HB191, whether or not to allow towns to bond expansions of high-speed Internet where none exists. While this may seem like an issue of local control, it falls afoul of the Constitution. Part II, Article 5 explicitly forbids the General Court (the Legislature) to authorize any town to loan or give its money or credit, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of any corporation that has as its objective profit.
The vote was 193 yea on inexpedient-to-legislate where Republicans were joined by Democrats Roger Berube, Thomas Buco, Jacqueline Cali-Pitts, Patricia Lovejoy, Henry Parkhurst, and Robert Theberge to 168 nay (the unconstitutional position) where Democrats were joined by Republicans Brad Bailey, Phillip Bean, Patricia Dowling, Bonnie Ham, Erin Hennessey, John Lewicke, Betsey McKinney, Andrew Prout, Vicki Schwaegler, Ryan Smith, Franklin Sterling, Brian Stone, Brenda Willis and Dan Wolf. The bill failed.
The big news was the public hearing on SB12, Constitutional Carry. The bill drew enough attention that the hearing was held in Representatives Hall on Wednesday morning. The best testimony was given by Ian Underwood, who gave a detailed argument as to how requiring a concealed carry license was contrary to the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire.
I gave testimony immediately after him to which I could only say, regarding the Constitution, that I could not have done better myself. I did further state that several years ago, when I asked the Department of Safety how many persons convicted of a crime while carrying a handgun concealed without a license were convicted of the same, the answer was none.
The coupe de gras was delivered by the Hon. Joe Hannon, who referenced a 1968 U.S Supreme Court decision that stated criminals could not be held liable for not obtaining licenses such as our concealed carry license in which the application asks if the individual has prior convictions due to the Fifth Amendment (and New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 15) prohibition on self-incrimination. Thus, the concealed carry license can only be enforced upon otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Senate Bill 12, of which I am a proud co-sponsor, was recommended ought-to-pass. Senate Bill 12 will be voted upon by the House of Representatives this coming Thursday, and will become law if not vetoed by the Governor after the enrolled Bill process.
Hon. Daniel C. Itse
New Hampshire State Representative,
Rockingham County, District 10, Fremont
Life is a fact, not an opinion.