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Marie Lozito

March 3, 2012

Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions. 

Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she ran for elected office in 2010. 


Legislation, Legislative Process and Legislators

The Federal government's line is that insurance companies, not religious institutions, will provide contraceptive care. Do any of you really think insurance companies will not be passing that cost on to the people purchasing the health insurance from them? They will. That means the higher cost for the insurance companies caused by the government mandate for contraception will be paid by everyone having health insurance - including the religious organizations. The statement that the insurance companies will provide contraceptive care is nothing but fiscal smoke and mirrors designed to obscure the reality and trick people. The idea that this is about contraception is also a deception, it is about limits on the federal government's authority and power as well as Freedom of Religion.

The other week I read an article written by one of our local Representatives, a Democrat, about bills being addressed by the House. He wrote that, “Speaking of frivolous legislation, the House also considered, but ultimately rejected, some crazy bills, in my opinion.” The impression I had after reading the article was that it was criticizing the leadership of the House for entertaining such “frivolous legislation”. That may not have been his intent, and I hope, as an experienced legislator in NH, that this was not his intent. But, it got me thinking. Most of us who are not in the legislature do not know the process or rules involved. So, I spoke with a couple of representatives in order to get the correct information so that I could share it with you. 

Any representative may submit a bill, either one he has written or one requested by one of his constituents (that's us). Once a bill is submitted it: is to have a public hearing, is to be submitted to at least one committee (a committee that deals with the subject matter of the bill) and is to come up for a vote in the House. If passed by the House vote, it is to be passed on to the Senate at the switch over. (That is when all passed House bills go to the Senate and all passed Senate bills go to the House for the other body to process.) So, if the House is considering “frivolous legislation” it is because those bills were submitted along with the much larger mass of bills submitted (about 1000 bills a year) that deal with more significant subjects such as the many Republican bills submitted that focus on jobs, being more business friendly, less government spending and lower taxes.

The same week I read another article complaining about the cost of processing bills through the system and roundly criticizing the Republican leadership for wasting our money considering some of these bills. Too bad this author didn't bother finding out about the proper process for bills that are submitted. I would much rather the legislature considered “frivolous bills” that could then be voted on by all of our elected representatives over the alternative. The only alternative is giving someone (or some small group) the power to decide what can or can not be put up for a vote – not much representation for the people in that approach! I can't find the article right now but I think it said the cost was about $1000 per bill. 

In New Hampshire we have a constitutional limit on the pay for our elected state representatives and senators of only $100/year with a limited mileage reimbursement. At that rate, I think we can well afford the cost of processing a bill in order to maintain the representation in our representative democracy!

Just for comparison, look at what says other states' representative are paid: in Maine they are paid $13,852/year; in Vermont they are paid $636 /week and a per diem of $88/day for lodging & $51/day for meals; in Massachusetts they are paid $58,237.15/year and a per diem of $10 to $100/day; in Connecticut they are paid $28,000/year, $4,500 for expenses and 55 cents/mile for travel; in New York they are paid $79,500/year and a per diem that varies from $17 up to $50/day; in Michigan they are paid $79,650/year and $12,000 for expenses; and, in California they are paid $113,098/year (That is $162 per day that they are in session!) I would once again like to extend my thanks to our legislators. These men and women put in long hours doing a hard job with little thanks but lots of criticism. They do it because they care, not because they can make a living at the tax-payers expense.

Thinking about the tax-payers expense...some random thoughts and information...
- about 47% of the population do not pay any Federal income taxes (estimates vary and most of them do pay the same other taxes and fees the “taxpayers” pay); - not all of this 47% receive money from Federal and state governments but a significant portion do; - about 70% of the Federal budget (taxes collected and borrowed money) goes to individual assistance programs (a dramatic increase in the past few years). This is a shame since research shows that private, community, and charitable aid helps individuals rise from their difficulties with better success than federal government handouts. Besides which, local and private aid is usually more efficiently and effectively distributed.; - all of the public sector union people get salaries and benefits paid from taxes collected, but they also pay taxes from their income. I'd be happier if their pay and benefits were more on an equal level with the equivalent private sector jobs instead of considerably higher; - of course there are those on the various forms of welfare whom the taxpayers support, most disturbing are the multi-generational welfare families – usually single parent multi-child families with no intention or effort to improve their lot in life. They pass the welfare recipient tradition from parent to child for generations. (In NY I knew some families on their fourth generation of being welfare recipients!) - then there are the politicians who can live comfortably on what the taxpayers pay them! (Not the NH state level politicians as I explained above.) Salary of retired US Presidents = $180,000. Salary of Speaker of the House = $223,500. Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders = $193,400. Salary of House/Senate members = $174,000. Pretty good pay for being a “servant” of the people! 


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