To The Daily Sun,
This is the 30th of my reports on what is going on in the Legislature in Concord — at least in the Criminal Justice Committee. Today we dealt with bills that the committee held for a closer look.
The first was the House version of the fetal homicide bill. This was essentially the same as the Senate version we passed in last session that set 20 weeks gestation as the point at which destruction of the preborn qualified as a homicide. This is ludicrous on the surface because, scientifically, life begins at fertilization. This is not the view widely held in the pro-death crowd, who think giving personhood status to the fetus is wrong. The House version would have set the standard at eight weeks, which is consistent with accepted medical definition of a fetus. Regardless this change was voted "Inexpedient to legislate" (ITL). We will have to wait for another chance to insert sanity into the law.
A bill requiring prisons to become accredited was voted "ought to pass" (OTP). Prisons have not been accredited since 2009. Since then the funds for accreditation were used to fund a manpower slot. This action was short sighted because whenever there is a lawsuit the plaintiff uses the lack of accreditation against us. It isn’t that we don’t qualify for accreditation. It is that we do not have it. Another bill on prisons was retained for “interim study” that would give credit for school work. This program is relatively new and there is not enough data to determine its effectiveness. Retaining a bill for interim study effectively kills the bill.
The much-watched bill to legalize marijuana in the middle of an opioid problem is a stupid action to take without thinking about other consequences. First and foremost, it is still a federally illegal substance. If arrested by the feds you will be prosecuted and you will lose your ability to purchase a firearm. Just because Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Canada may legalize marijuana is not a sufficient reason for N.H. to follow suit. Rubbish. Even setting the age for legal use at 21 will tacitly tell the kids marijuana use is acceptable when it is not. It is a proven fact that the effects of marijuana use on the developing brain (until that age of about 25) are irreversible. Thankfully, the bill was voted ITL iInexpedient to legislate) by a vote of 13-7.
This concludes our legislative work for this year except for the election of a new speaker. Speaker Jasper appears to be in line to become the next Commissioner of Agriculture. Candidates are swarming like bees to honey. We’ll see who has the sharpest elbows. Until my next report, have a Happy Thanksgiving with your family.
Representative for Hill & Franklin
- Written by Edward Engler
- Category: Letters
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