The New Hampshire Senate cast a couple of really important votes yesterday. Senators voted fourteen to nine, along party lines, to approve House bills 1 4 4 and 5 1 7, which they amended to include the state budget. You may recall that the Senate had to amend two existing House bills to work on the state budget because the House failed to pass House Bills 1 and 2 which were the state budget. So, according to the Senate majority, what’s in the budget and what’s not.
First, they started with the budget proposal submitted by Governor Christopher Sununu. But, funding for Full Day Kindergarten was removed.
There are no new taxes or fees and no increases in any tax or fee. In fact, there were small reductions to the Business Profits and Business Enterprise tax rates. The Senate established revenue targets that weren’t as rosy as the governor’s, but weren’t as conservative as those that came out of the House Finance Committee. More money was added to the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
It doubled the amount of money dedicated from state liquor revenues to fund the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery and dedicated two million dollars from those existing and unspent funds to build a juvenile treatment facility at the Sununu Youth Center in Manchester.
The budget increases funds for families with disabled children and adds sixty new beds and community treatment options to address the state’s spiraling problems treating people with mental illness. Funds to make changes to the leadership, oversight and staffing levels at the Division of Children Youth and Families were also allocated.
The Senate budget also increased per pupil funding for charter schools and provides funds to expand the FIRST Junior Robotics program, which started in Manchester, to every elementary school in the state.
In praising the work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Gary Daniels, Republican from Milford, for shepherding the budget through an unusually tough process given what happened in the House, Senate President Chuck Morse, Republican from Salem, said, quote:
This budget balances the needs of our citizens while also growing our economy and creating good jobs for New Hampshire families without raising or creating any new taxes or fees. This budget provides funding to tackle the heroin crisis, increases support for families with a disabled child and adds beds for mental health patients, among other key priorities that will effectively help and care for our friends and neighbors.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Ninety four thousand six hundred ten. That’s the number of people registered to vote in twenty seven states that also have the EXACT same first name, the EXACT same last name and the EXACT same birth date of people who are registered to vote in New Hampshire. Of that number, forty thousand three hundred sixty four people registered to vote in Massachusetts have the exact same first name, the exact same last name and exact same birth date as voters in our state. Thirteen thousand three hundred seventy voters in Maine, interestingly, have the exact same first name, the exact same last name and the exact same birth date as voters registered in the Granite State.
This information comes from the Grid of Potential Duplicate Voters produced by the Interstate Voter Cross Check program run by the state of Kansas. New Hampshire joined the effort last year after passing legislation to permit sharing data from the state voter database with the program.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner has yet to reply to our inquiries on the information, which was first made public here on the Girard at Large Radio Show during yesterday’s A Question of Voter Fraud segment with Ed Naile, Chairman of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers. Naile basically asked what Secretary of State Bill Gardner knew about the data, when he knew about it, and why he’d not addressed it publicly. We’ll let you know when we get a response to our subsequent inquiry on the matter.
The Candia School Board will hold a public hearing tonight at six on the controversial policy adopted last year regarding “trans-gendered” and “gender-non conforming” students. The board established the public hearing pursuant to a Citizens Petition Warrant Article that passed by an overwhelming majority in the election held last March; an election that saw two incumbents who defended the policy soundly defeated.
It’s expected to be lively as state and national organizations for and against the policy have urged their supporters to show up. One group, Freedom N H, lied to is supporters in urging them to turn out, saying the pressure they brought at the prior meeting of the board prevented a repeal vote. In fact, the only item on the agenda was to discuss setting a hearing in accordance with the wishes of the voters who approved the warrant article.
It’s going to be held in the gym of their school. We’ve linked to the agenda, which includes the policy. We’ve also linked to the page with members of the school board so, if you can’t go, but want to share your opinion, you can send an email.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!