The Liberty Agenda of the New Hampshire House

(This is the fruits of a multi year approach by the Free State Project.  A group of libertarians that moved to NH.  Realized that their best hope was through the GOP and organized.  These are the fruits of their labors.   – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

The New Hampshire legislative session is in full swing, and there are some interesting things happening. Of course, it is worth following to determine the impact on Massachusetts. But, as a political junkie and conservative activist, it’s just plain exciting. I can’t recall a more aggressive liberty agends being advanced in my lifetime.

Republicans have large majorities in both houses and can override any veto. Still, I’ve been surprised by the number of bills being advanced and the margin of some votes. It’s a conservative uprising. There’s a new breed of Republican in New Hampshire. These are not your father’s old guard, New England Rockefeller Republicans.

The real action will occur in a few months, when the bills land on the Governor’s desk, as most House votes are on the cusp of an override. But just to get a flavor of what’s going on, so far the House has:

* Passed a right-to-work bill that would make New Hampshire the only RTW state in the region, which could have a direct impact on Massachusetts and the regional economy, and lighten the pockets of union bosses.

* Passed a bill effectively ending affirmative action in state agencies and public universities – “Prohibiting preferences in recruiting, hiring, promotion, or admission by state agencies, the university system, the community college system, and the postsecondary education commission.”

* Passed a bill withdrawing NH from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, potentially saving NH millions and giving them another competitive advantage over Massachusetts. (Every other New England state plus NY and NJ remain in the compact.)

* Passed a jury nullification bill by a surprisingly wide margin. This may create a divide between some libertarian-conservatives and some law-and-order-conservatives, but I support it. It’s a fascinating legal and political development that empowers the citizenry.

* Passed a series of gun rights bills that would make NH a conceal carry state with no permit necessary; legalize the use of deadly force in self-defense inside and outside(!!!) of one’s home (one must first demonstrate an attempt to retreat outside of one’s home, no need to retreat at home); and extend more rights to property owners who use the threat of force to remove trespassers.

* Passed a bill repealing an “evergreen law” that grants automatic pay raises to public employees every year.

* Passed a constitutional amendment that would give the legislature authority over state education standards and spending. (The state supreme court mandated expenditures in a case of gross judicial activism.)

* Expand the death penalty to include murders committed during a home invasion.

* Passed a parental notification abortion bill.  

* They even passed a nano-brewery bill easing restrictions on home brewers and small scale beer distributors. (Yay!) They also passed a medical marijuana bill. (Meh.)

* Passed a bill requiring NH to join the lawsuit against ObamaCare

There are many, many more bills out there. It is early, but many of these bills will pass, and it could alter the politics and the economy of the region for years. Although I am excited, it is, unfortunately, a potential harbinger of a continuing and increasing exodus from Massachusetts.  

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