March has brought a number of wins for liberty in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The NHLA Gold Standard was influential in achieving these victories. One of the highest profile bills this month was HB437 which would repeal same sex marriage in New Hampshire. On marriage, the NHLA Board recognizes that adults have the free, inalienable right to contract with one another without government interference and any attempt from the state to further regulate, limit, or prohibit this fundamental right is anti-liberty. Therefore, it is the NHLA’s position on the subject of marriage to remove all government regulations, licensing, fees, etc. from the institution of marriage and leave it to the discretion of individuals, their families, and faiths. The NHLA came out against HB437 as it was anti-liberty. After many hours of debate and several procedural votes, HB437 was killed with an overwhelming vote of 211-116 to deem the bill inexpedient to legislate (ITL).
The cost of state mandated driver's education courses in New Hampshire has risen in recent years to a range of $600-$900. This has put driver's education out of the reach of many families. The unintended consequence is that some new drivers skip driver's education altogether and just wait to take the state test at 18 to get their license. The NHLA supported HB1440 that would give teenagers, 15 1/2 years or older, the option to take more affordable online courses, often around $75, and get their hands on training with their parents. The House passed HB1440 with amendment with a 237-75 vote.
One the closest votes this month was with HB1526 which would decriminalize possession of less than one half ounce of marijuana. The NHLA supported this pro-liberty bill which would allow law enforcement to focus more on more serious crimes that actually threaten public safety. The House passed HB1526 by the narrow vote of 162-161.
Several years ago New Hampshire was one of the first states to reject a national ID card under the Federal Real ID act. Recently there has been a similar push from the Federal government to make the now optional E-Verify system required use by all employers. This would effectively force citizens and legal residents to get permission slips to work. The E-verify system also relies on an error prone centralized federal databases to validate who is eligible to work. The NHLA supported HB1549 which would prohibit required use of the E-verify system by employers and also the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Department. The House passed an amendend version HB1549 without a roll call vote on March 15th. The amended version would only include the provision to block the Motor Vehicle Department from using E-verify.
The 2012 Liberty Forum, held from February 23rd to 26th in Nashua, was a very productive weekend for the NHLA. Representative Steve Vaillancourt led a NHLA tour of the New Hampshire State House building. Eileen Landies and Dan Garthwaite, of the NHLA Board, joined a panel of pro-liberty state representatives to speak on the state of New Hampshire legislative activity.
Eileen Landies was also invited to talk about the NHLA on the nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live. Audio from that interview can be found at (LINK HERE, still looking at the best way to post this on the NHLA site.). The full show can be found in Free Talk Live's audio archives.
At the NHLA table attendees were able to gather NHLA literature, the Liberty Rating, sign up as new members, and purchase NHLA merchandise that goes toward funding NHLA activities. There were many volunteers that helped organize the NHLA presence at the event. We would like to thank Rep. Steve Vaillancourt for leading the State House tour, Muni for driving the tour bus, Rhonda L. for coordinating the volunteers, and Rhonda, Doris, Tom, Chris, George, Jeremy, Sandy, William, and Mark for manning the NHLA table.
Did you know that the New Hampshire House followed the recommendation of the NHLA Gold Standard 80% of the time in 2010? Did you know that 119 out of 137 endorsed NHLA Candidates went on to win their seats in the 2010 elections? For the NHLA to have continued success in getting pro-liberty candidates elected and continue holding them accountable will rely not only on the efforts for NHLA volunteers but also on the donations needed to fund campaigns. The NHLA website has made it easy to make reoccurring monthly donations to the NHLA Political Action Committee. PAC funds will go toward NHLA endorsed candidates for state office. Endorsements are based on candidate surveys and/or Liberty Rating scores from previous House incumbency voting records if available. The goal of a monthly donation is to start early in building up funds to support pro-liberty candidates come election time. Please visit http://www.nhliberty.org/campaign-fund to help the NHLA make an even bigger impact on future elections.
Have you ever considered serving on the NHLA Board of Directors? It’s a great way to take a leadership role in promoting liberty in New Hampshire.
The Board has seven positions (Chairman, Civic Action Director, Political Action Director, Treasurer, Membership Director, Research Director, and Secretary) and each position is a two-year term. The Board meets once a month, at a central location, usually in Manchester, to plan, organize, and brainstorm ways of promoting the NHLA and pushing liberty forward through legislative activism and public outreach. These all-volunteer positions are very rewarding and do require some time commitment.
In April, the NHLA will be holding an election for Membership Director. The duties of the Director of Membership shall include, but not be limited to: website oversight; recruiting new members; retaining current members; maintaining accurate membership records and reporting such to Board. More details about these Board positions and the organization can be found here on our website.
Nominations for these positions are now being accepted. If you know of someone who would make a great addition to the NHLA Board (including yourself) and would like us to speak with them about their (your) possible involvement, please submit their (your) name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voting will be open from April 18th until 11:59PM, April 28th. Remember, you must be a paid member in order to participate in Board elections. To upgrade to either Full or Lifetime Membership, log in to the website and select the Join/Renew link at the top right.
The next Board meeting will be held at Murphy's Taproom from 1:00PM - 3:00PM on Saturday April 7th. Murphy's Taproom is in Manchester at 494 Elm Street. Members are welcome to attend and share their ideas with the Board.
In the February newsletter it was announced that the NHLA was planning to host a session on testimony training. Due to scheduling conflicts this training has been postponed until a later date.
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Our Gold Standard team carefully selects bills going before the House for a vote each week that have a high liberty impact upon N.H. citizens and businesses. Our Gold Standard contains our recommendations and liberty talking points on each of these impactful bills. Feel free to use our talking points to contact your Representatives as a concerned citizen in support or opposition to specific legislation. Your correspondence could make the difference on whether or not these bills pass or fail moving N.H. towards more liberty or more tyranny.
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The NHLA recognizes that its members in New Hampshire are from all parts of the state. While many of the activities take place in the Manchester and Concord areas, the NHLA would like to expand its presence throughout the state. In the past few months the NHLA has appointed regional coordinators in the Upper Valley and Seacoast areas and has held events in Plymouth and Dover. Please contact the Membership Director, Keith Ammon at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in becoming a NHLA regional coordinator for your area.
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