New Hampshire New Hampshire Legislature Turns Policy Reins Over To ALEC

ALECImageRepublicans in the New Hampshire legislature seemingly have ceded all control of the state to the American Legislative Exchange Council by introducing an unprecedented seven of ALEC's pieces of model legislation in the past week. ALEC legislation is basically written by corporations to protect their own interests and the organization is behind a rash of legislation across the U.S. that has assaulted working families, attacked unions and sought to unravel the American social safety net. Granite State Progress is watching the progress of the New Hampshire bills:

"This is an incredible illustration of how the current leadership of the New Hampshire House and Senate are selling our state out to the highest bidder," said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress. "Corporations already funnel unlimited money into our political system but to hand them the pen and paper to craft legislation is just plain wrong."

ALEC model legislation heard in committees this week range from repealing new consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act to creating specialized tax credits for businesses and privatizing education to limiting voter access at the ballot box.

"Each of these pieces of legislation benefit special interests at the expense of everyday, hardworking Granite Staters," Rice Hawkins said. "We need to reject corporate-written legislation and focus on ways to ensure New Hampshire state laws benefit New Hampshire state residents."

The ALEC-inspired legislation includes:

  • HB 1607 "Education Tax Credit": Would divert public education money to private schools in a way to effect vouchers
  • HB 1560 Health Care Compact: Would allow member states to opt out of any and all national health care rules, including Medicaid and Medicare
  • CACR 6 Super Majority Act: A thinly-veiled Taxpayer Bill of Rights clone that would handcuff state spending and devastate all services and programs
  • SB 289 and SB 318 Photo ID to Vote: A photo identification would be required for all voters, despite there being little to no voter fraud in the state, designed specifically to suppress poor and minority voters
  • HB 1658 Eliminating Support Services for Newborn Children: The title of this one is pretty straightforward and horrific in and of itself. It would specifically target newborn children whose parents are on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, so it goes after the poorest families
  • SB 372 "Education Tax Credits": Senate version of HB 1607

    The New Hampshire General Court, the state's legislature, is controlled by Republicans 19-5 in the Senate and 298-104 in the House, but the governor is Democrat John Lynch, so it seems unlikely that most of these bills will make it into law.

  • Link to original article from Kenneth Quinnell's Blog Crooks and Liars

     


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    Rep. Robert L. Theberge (D-4) - Theberge told the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, "It is true that I was a member of ALEC several years ago. My intention was to bring forth a different perspective on issues. However, I quickly learned that the voice, of what I believed to be reason, did not prevail. I was also concerned about the make-up of the members where businesses and corporations had a direct voice and vote on national issues. In particular, pressure was placed on members to put forth legislation and provided with boiler plates for legislation to that end. In conclusion, I am no longer a member of ALEC, nor do I support their views. . . . The organization is protected by the First Amendment, and hearing opposite views hopefully gives everyone food for thought. The latter apparently does not resonate with ALEC's membership."[13]

     

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