This Wednesday, CACR19 is on the Consent Calendar of the House with a recommendation of Interim Study. In the second year of a Legislative session, this is known as “death with dignity” for bills. I like to think that more often it is “I can’t pass this, but don’t have the guts to vote it down”. This bill would put a question on the ballot for voters to weigh in on. In a nutshell, if we take your money for some special purpose (usually some crisis), and put it in a dedicated fund for dealing with that issue, should it be hard for us to steal it for something else. Here is the question:
IV. That the wording of the question put to the qualified voters shall be:
“Are you in favor of amending the second part of the constitution by inserting after article 6-b new articles to read as follows:
[Art.] 6-c. [Use of Dedicated Funds.] Whenever by statute a special fee or assessment is imposed to defray the costs of a special program, all revenue therefrom shall be devoted to supporting the special program, except for an amount that reasonably approximates the state’s actual costs of administering the special program, unless two-thirds of the house and two-thirds of the senate vote to appropriate such revenue for another purpose.”
This passed the Senate 21-2. The House, however, has killed it. One of the things that hurts me on a personal level the deepest, is the lack of trust that voters have in the state government, and that both parties have worked so hard to earn that mistrust. Not passing this measure is extremely disappointing. Trying to kill it quietly on the Consent Calendar without debate, without an up or down vote, is embarrassing and repugnant. I’m at least going to stop that Wednesday. I’m pulling it off of the Consent Calendar and asking for a roll call vote (the first I’ve ever requested). People need to know that there are those in the NH House who do not want to ask voters if we should be honest when we take their money and spend it.