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Grateful to 3 state reps for passing lead poisoning bill, why didn't the majority of reps also pass it?

To The Daily Sun,

I am so grateful to my Laconia State Reps. David Huot, Charlie St. Clair and Frank Tilton, for supporting a bill in the House that will save children’s lives.

Unfortunately, lead poisoning continues to happen in New Hampshire. In fact, in 2015, over 73,000 children between the ages of 5 and 18 had, at one time, above the acceptable levels of lead detected in their blood. Over 300,000 New Hampshire housing units have potential lead hazards even today.

Reps. Huot, St. Clair and Tilton, along with Reps. Fields, Lang and Plumer, voted in favor of legislation designed to prevent childhood lead poisoning and to create a funding source for that purpose. Why did Reps. Abear, Aldrich, Comtois, Fraser, Howard, Silber, Spanos, Sylvia, Vadney and Varney vote against this bill? Oftentimes securing public health overwhelms the immediate price tag. In this case, the savings put in place by lead paint containment will supersede the long-term costs of supporting children with lead paint-related illnesses.

What were Reps. Abear, Aldrich, Comtois, Fraser, Howard, Silber, Spanos, Sylvia, Vadney and Varney thinking when they voted on this bill (Wednesday)? Certainly not about the best interests of New Hampshire’s children!

Kate Miller


  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 459

I was flooded with messages on education voucher bill

To The Daily Sun,

This is the 33rd in my series of reports on the House Legislature in Concord. This was the first session in the new year and started with the “clean-up” of bills that were held over from last year. As a freshman representative, I learned a little about how bills are magically sent to the graveyard. Now many of these bills deserved their fate but it shows that the fallacy of all 1,000 bills get an up or down vote. They don’t. One way is to “table” the bill – that means the bill is laid on the table awaiting future action. This is an easy vote because it avoids hard decisions and possibly getting an undesirable outcome for the bill. The catch is that it takes a super majority (2/3rds vote) of the House to bring the bill back for consideration. This seldom occurs and the bill effectively dies of starvation. Another way is the recommend a bill for “interim study.” This is done during the second year of session and puts off any action until further “interim study” is done later in the year when it is too late to act on the bill. I didn’t keep statistics, but if you look on the House website you can see the results on Thursday in the Journal for the week at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/caljourns/default.htm.

Now ... the bill that filled my inbox and phone message machine with “please pass” or “please do not pass.” This was Senate Bill 193 to establish “education freedom savings accounts for the student.” This sets aside the state designated money or about $4,000 for low-income and working families to find the best educational fit for their child. It focuses the education on the child and not the education bureaucracy. It provides grants for districts that lose more that ¼ of 1 percent of their budget. That means a district with a $10,000,000 budget will see it reduced by a maximum of $25,000. There are all sorts of protections written into the bill, but the fact is it enables the parents to exercise their responsibility to tailor their child’s education to the needs of the child. It also provides incentive to the public school to provide an education that will entice the child to remain in the public school. It did not go as far as I would have liked but it is a start. It passed the House with about a 20-vote margin and now goes to the Finance Committee for approval after which the Senate will give their approval. Now Sen. French’s will be filled with messages from Chicken Little.

As always, please contact me with your opinions, requests or just to chat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 603-320 9524.

Dave Testerman

Representative for Hill and Franklin

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 414