We told you yesterday that Governess Margaret Wood Hassan claimed Executive Privilege in refusing to respond to a request from State Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn about her out of state travels for non-state related political business. Today, it would seem that Hassan’s claims go even further than we understood. According to a letter published by Horn in response to her Highnesses’ claim, Hassan didn’t just claim Executive Privilege, which would imply that there are documents she can, for whatever reason, decide are so precious that she can withhold them from the public. No, she claimed exemption from the Right to Know Law altogether, arguing that the Attorney General’s Office has long held that governors are not subject to it. That just about caused Horn’s head to explode in her response, which clearly documented the provisions of not only the Right to Know Law, but also the state’s constitution with respect to the people’s right to know. We’ve published Horn’s letter in its entirety and linked to it from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
In addition to her original request, which includes the Her Majesty’s out of state travel, its cost to the taxpayers and whether or not she’s properly notified the Senate of her departure from the state, Horn is now asking Hassan to immediately provide proof that the A G has taken that position saying quote “On its face, this position appears to be completely inconsistent with the very clear legislative intent and requirements under New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know Law, as well as Supreme Court precedent.”
Meanwhile in the State Senate two very interesting bills have cleared the Senate Finance Committee. Senate Bill Five, sponsored by Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester would automatically transfer any surplus left at the end of the state’s two year budget cycle into the Revenue Stabilization Reserve Account, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, and would require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to prevent such a transfer. As we know, that transfer didn’t take place at the end of the last biennial.
The Finance Committee also gave the nod to Senate Bill Thirteen, which would require a 2/3 vote in both the House and Senate in order for dedicated funds to be used for purposes other than that for which they are collected. Yes, that bill, which was sponsored by Senate President Chuck Morse, essentially tells the state it has to use taxes and fees charged for certain purposes for only those purposes. Hey, at least they’re passing a law that says they have to follow the laws they passed. Could be worse.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Looks like Goffstown was a late addition to the wimp list yesterday as officials decided around eight twenty to close town offices for the day. Don’t worry, though. To make up for the lost time, they’ll be open tonight until six. The selectmen’s meeting, however, did take place as scheduled last night. A parking ban in town is in place until this evening at five. Cars are not allowed to be parked on any town street before then.
Last night’s school budget meeting in Bow has been rescheduled for tonight.
Trash pick up will take place in Manchester today. If your normal pick up day is Monday, you’ll want to get your barrels to the curb today. On the chance that the Public Works Department will get to some of its Tuesday pickups, you’ll want to get your barrels to the curb if today is your normal day, just in case.
For other parking ban, meeting rescheduling and community services announcements, visit the Our Backyard Page at Girard at Large dot com and click on the link for your town.
Yesterday, we told you that the Timberlane Regional School Board held a meeting after its deliberative session. You may recall we reported that on the agenda, was an item regarding the first reading of a proposed new math curriculum and that School Board Member Donna Green’s request to have the matter moved to another agenda was ignored. Turns out that around quarter after four on the day of the meeting, the agenda was modified to remove the item, only Green wasn’t notified of the change, which was made to online documents. So, it appears as if the introduction of the proposed new math program will be done in a manner consistent with past practice and with plenty of notice for board members and interested parties alike.
The Hooksett School Board may have some ‘splaining to do. Based on a call from board member John Lyscars yesterday, we learned that board members made motions and took votes during Friday night’s deliberative session despite not having called or posted a meeting and not having any agenda. That, my friends, is a clear violation of the state’s Right to Know Law. Lyscars claimed the actions taken by the board were actions he inquired about at a previous meeting and was told by School District Moderator Becky Berk that the actions taken were not actions that could be taken. Lyscars said had the answers been different at the time he asked, those opposed to the proposed tuition contract with Pinkerton Academy may have shown up in greater numbers to ensure that the recommendations of the board weren’t changed. For what it’s worth, the votes taken by the board that night would fall like a house of cards if challenged. Folks, you just can’t do that, not even if you’re the governor, no matter what anybody says!