REFLECTIONS FROM CONCORD
by David Borden and Will Smith


Jim Cerny, editor


Capitol dome, Concord.

As a monthly feature, our two State Representatives for New Castle and Rye (District 18) – David Borden and Will Smith – have volunteered to report their highlights and thoughts on the legislative process and specific bills.

The Web site for the New Hampshire General Court is easy to navigate and is a mother lode of information, including pages for each representative's bill sponsorships and voting record, plus the text and status of bills. For convenience we provide direct links to the text of any bills mentioned in the reports below.

(For the curious, we reverse the order of presentation each month!)



David Borden.

David Borden writes …

Dear Neighbors:

This bill has been amended to become enabling legislation. One way to help the bill if you wish is to e mail the committee members:  HouseTransportationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

Best regards,

David


TESTIMONY IN FAVOR OF HOUSE BILL 1261

AN ACT relative to motorcycle noise emission controls.
Rep. David Borden, District 18

Mr. Chairman and members of the transportation committee thank you for taking my testimony.

The summer I was 16, I saved up all the money I made on my grandfather’s farm in Vermont and bought a 1932 Ford Roadster. The first modification I made to the car was to remove the muffler. To a teenager, there is no sound as wonderful as an unmuffled flathead Ford V8 roaring down the road on a moonlit summer evening.

Apparently my limitless joy was not shared by our neighbors who began calling my grandmother to complain, in a chorus because we were on a party line.

I was indignant. It was my car and who were they to tell me what to do with it. And why would they want to sleep on such beautiful nights?

My uncle finally prevailed. He quoted a Supreme Court decision that said my right to swing my fist ended with the jaw of the person in front of me. It was my fist but it was his jaw.

And this is the issue here. If my pleasure is my neighbor’s nuisance, doesn’t my neighbor have a right to restrict me?

I signed on to this bill at the request of a constituent who grew so incensed at the continuous noise of unmuffled motorcycles in our picturesque little town that he bought a decibel meter for our police. You can imagine our busy town policeman standing out on the road checking the sound made by 20 motorcycles passing by and trying to figure out which one is making the most noise.

This bill is a much simpler and less time consuming solution to the problem and puts the responsibility where it should be — on the rider. Most motorcyclists use mufflers anyway.

I would be happy to take questions but my teenage years left me a little hard of hearing.





Will Smith.

Will Smith writes …

The early part of January was spent on dealing with a number of bills that were held over from the 2009 session. HB 368, which would have placed additional regulation on home-schoolers, was defeated, as was HB 304, which would have allowed doctor-assisted suicides. HB 642, which would have established a state income tax for education was also defeated. I voted against all three of these.

Unfortunately, several bills that will place additional burdens on small businesses did pass. HB 366, which sets a minimum floor space requirement for retail auto dealers, and HB 561 and HB 569, which establish additional insurance coverage mandates, passed. These might be worthwhile normally, but in a tight economy, I believe we need to do all we can to make it easier for small businesses to succeed, which will help create jobs, so I voted against them.

SB 193 would have banned short-term loans at an interest rate over 36%, including fees. Since these loans are typically to provide needed cash for only a few days, even small fees can cause the loan to trigger the 36% limit. For example, a loan of $100 that cost $5 for a month would exceed the 36% cutoff, even though it might be very acceptable to all concerned. By amending the bill to eliminate fees from the interest calculation, we were able to preserve availability of these needed loans in the state.

Committees are now holding public hearings on numerous bill recently introduced. As there are over 600 new bills, it’s a busy time. The Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, has considered HB 1454, which requires parental consent for all medical procedures on their minor children, including abortions. Since parents are responsible for the health and medical care of their minor children, I supported this bill. It is especially important, since NH is one of the few states that provide no regulation of abortions. Unfortunately, the bill failed in committee on a straight party-line vote. It will get a full vote in the House, but it’s an uphill battle to overturn a committee’s recommendation.

The recent, unsurprising, decision by the NH Supreme Court that the state cannot seize $110 Million of assets contributed by doctors to the Joint Underwriting Association for malpractice insurance has caused an immediate hole in the Fiscal 2010 budget. I and almost all Republicans opposed the seizure during budget discussions last June.  Unfortunately, the rainy day fund (that is designed to cover these kinds of problems) has been drained to balance the 2009 budget, so there are only $10 million funds available. Hopefully this will cause the state to reduce spending rather than increasing fees. We cannot continue to increase spending (10% increase this year) without serious consequences to the health of our state.

It’s easy to find out how your representatives vote on any issue for which a roll call is taken, by going to http://gencourt.state.nh.us.  When looking at the vote tally, it is important to note whether the vote is on the motion “Ought To Pass” (in which a 'Yes' vote indicates support for the bill) or "inexpedient to Legislate" (in which a 'Yes' vote indicates a vote AGAINST the bill).  These motions are indicated by "OTP" or "ITL", respectively.

You can always contact me at will.smith@leg.state.nh.us.





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February, 2010


WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK RETURN TO SECTION