Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wacky Bills In New Hampshire

As many of you know, I have a cottage in New Hampshire so I track what is happening in the legislature. Here are some of the wacky laws that have been introduced by the legislators…
House Bill 1580 is the product of such a brainstorming session this summer between three freshman House Republicans: Bob Kingsbury of Laconia, Tim Twombly of Nashua and Lucien Vita of Middleton. The eyebrow-raiser, set to be introduced when the Legislature reconvenes next month, requires legislation to find its origin in an English document crafted in 1215.

"All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived," is the bill's one sentence.
Concord Monitor
Now there is a progress legislation, lets got back to the 1200s for our laws!

Rep. Kyle Jones (R) of Rochester wants to do away with law requiring meal breaks after 6 hours of work.
"This is an unneeded law," Jones said. "If I was to deny one of my employees a break, I would be in a very bad position with the company's human resources representative. If you consider that this is a very easy law to follow in that everyone already does it, then why do we need it? Our constituents have already proven that they have enough common sense to do this on their own."
Concord Monitor
Oh yeah, companies will always do the right thing for their employees. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Last month the NH Senate passed a bill that even the ultra-conservative Union Leader thought it went too far.
House Bill 542 would have amended state law to “Require school districts to adopt a policy allowing an exception to specific course material based on a parent’s or legal guardian’s determination that the material is objectionable.” Though that sounds appealing at first blush, it is so broad that it would make public education essentially an a la carte menu.

It is true that public schools are too inflexible and don’t allow enough choice. They would benefit greatly from the competition that comes from charter schools and vouchers. But this bill put the burden on each public school to create a curriculum catered to each family’s individual tastes. Schools would have to provide alternatives to any instruction a family opposed, and a family could oppose anything for any reason. That is neither workable, nor sensible.
Union leader
The governor vetoed a similar bill and is expected to veto this bill.

Perhaps the worst bills introduced this session would affect domestic violence cases. Two Republican legislators wants to change the domestic violence laws…
New Hampshire lawmakers will also consider two bills on Thursday that would roll back the state's domestic violence laws, which up until now have been the strongest in the country. House Bill 1581, sponsored by state Rep. Dan Itse (R-Fremont), would prevent law enforcement from being able to immediately arrest an abuser who has assaulted his partner unless the officer has actually witnessed the crime take place. Under current law, the police can arrest an abuser based on probable cause.

"This means that if 911 has been called, and they see a victim who was assaulted and is bleeding, they wouldn't be able to arrest that person unless they went back and got a warrant," explained Amanda Grady, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "This is how it was in late-'70s before states decided to put victim protections in place."

The other domestic violence bill, House Bill 1608 [Introduced by Rep. Skip Reilly (R)], limits the grounds for which an officer can arrest an abuser who violates a domestic violence protective order. The law enforcement community in New Hampshire, including the Dept. of Safety, Attorney General's office, and Chiefs of Police Association, and domestic violence workers are all vehemently opposed to the bill.

According to state statistics, 38 percent of homicides in 2011 were domestic violence-related, and the vast majority of domestic violence cases were perpetrated by men again women.

"The passage of [these laws] will likely result in further injuries and could possibly have lethal consequences for victims and their children," Grady told HuffPost.
Huffington Post
What are these legislators thinking? Who came up with these bills? Do they even give any thought to introducing these bills? Was it an abuser? It certainly wasn’t the victims or the police.

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