"When I make a
mistake, it’s a beaut!"
This week’s column will again review important bills that were brought to the House floor for a vote in this hectic week before all House bills must be sent to the Senate for disposition.
First, however, I need to correct a couple of mistakes I made in last week’s column. When discussing the marijuana bill, House bill 1526, I said that it passed by only one vote, 262-261. It does not take a math wizard to see that totals to 523 votes in our 400 member House. The vote was actually 162-161.
Next, in my discussion of HB 1546, I said that I did not want to "pay for contraception to facilitate illicit sexual activity." I knew but had forgotten that unmarried sex is no longer illegal in New Hampshire.
HB 1659 required complete information regarding an abortion procedure to be presented to a woman who had requested an abortion. I received a number of emails from constituents who objected to this requirement. I told those writers that I saw no harm in that requirement and would support it.
I had no objections to the 24 hour waiting period, the special emergency escape clause, or the de-identified data collection for research. During the discussion on the floor, however, other information came forward and I heard testimony that changed my mind.
It was apparent that a document that mandated a process lasting an hour or more was an intrusion into the patient/doctor relationship and therefore unwise. I also learned that the required information for the "interview" contained questionable, if not inaccurate, information mandated for the doctor to recite. Finally, the cost to the state for the promulgation of this information would run $100,000 annually. Although I voted against this bill, it passed anyway.
HB 1716, relative to the state 10-year transportation improvement program, came up at the end of the day on Thursday. This is a bill that has been of great concern to the residents of Sutton. Section 10 of that bill removed the Sutton-Bradford Route 114 Project from the 10-year transportation improvement plan. But that is not the end of the story.
Rep. Gene Chandler, the chairman of the Public Works and Highway Committee and the Speaker Pro Tem of the House, told me that the project should have never been in the 10-year plan.
Chairman Chandler said, "The Public Works Committee believes that it is inappropriate to begin designating projects within the (10-year) Plan be paid solely from the Betterment Fund. The Committee recommends that the communities along this corridor, in conjunction with the Regional Planning Commission, coordinate with the DOT for use of Betterment Funds and/or the State Aid for Highways program to facilitate needed improvements in alleviating the worst of the problems along the corridor over time."
"Betterment Funds" are funds that are block-granted to the Department of Transportation which are then further sub-granted to the individual regional districts for special projects in those districts. Sutton is located in both Districts 2 and 5.
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Contact: ken.s+sunacom.com (replace "+" with "@")