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I was one of the 'tireless minority' who stopped the House budget

To The Daily Sun,

This is the 11th of my reports to the voters of Hill and Franklin on what is happening in Concord. I did not write a report last week because it was very slow with hearings on a few Senate bills in the Criminal Law Committee.

One interesting bill that passed our committee should be going to full House and then on to the governor addressed the jurisdiction of State Police. It turns out that for many years the State Police have been restricted from action in any town with over a population of 3,000. I don't know the genesis of this but I suspect it was territorial wars between some larger city police chiefs and the State Police commissioners. Smart lawyers and things like GPS finally brought it to a head. Cases were dismissed when the lawyers found an incident occurred in a town with too large a population by comparing census records with the State Police GPS records. This was common practice on roads like 101 and Route 4. Today it is important that all police agencies work together. The chiefs of police and the State Police presented a bill they all agreed would solve the problem to make this action a thing of the past.

Last week we worked to pass the budget. However, we failed because of egos and an unwillingness to compromise. A group of about 70 conservative legislators examined the budget and could not agree to the overall increased spending. This is a good biennium for tax revenues, but we all know that if you spend it all you are building a base that will be hard to overcome when times are sparse. And that will happen. The Republican platform says the increase should not exceed the rate of inflation plus any population growth. Over the next biennium an increase in spending should be no more that 3 percent. The budget spent general funds at a rate of 7-10 percent increase, depending upon the set of rules being utilized. I am using a range here because it is hard to determine a straight answer. Nonetheless, it was higher than the 3 percent rate of inflation over the biennium. The conservative group tried numerous amendments to no avail. They also went to leadership to negotiate a compromise, but met a wall of resistance. In the end, the budget failed. The Democrats were never going to vote for a Republican budget and, with the conservatives in opposition, the budget went down in flames. The Senate will start fresh to come up with a budget. In the end, a budget will be proposed and in a Committee of Conference between the House and Senate members will work out the details before it is presented to the House and Senate to pass. The final result will then go to the Governor. John Adams once said, "It does not require a majority to prevail, but an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." I was one of the "tireless minority."

Legislation is moving fast. By the time, you read this report it may be too late for you to voice your opinion on a given bill, but you must be engaged to have your voice heard. You can view the House Calendar every Friday to see what bills will be presented at www.gencourt.state.nh.us. Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 320-9524 if you have any questions.

Dave Testerman
N.H. State Representative
Franklin and Hill

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Another welcome home Vietnam vet event? Only if we say so

To The Daily Sun,

As a Vietnam veteran, I took the opportunity to attend the "First" N.H. Welcome Home for Vietnam Veteran's' some years back and had the opportunity to speak and of course took the opportunity to discuss the 'POW/MIA' issue, which is NO longer referred as the POW/MIA issue but "DUSTWAN." Also the DPMO (Department of Missing Personnel) is now the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency). You see, terminology and the change of, is very much part of the game and so much is lost. DOD and the Pentagon is in full control.

Anyway, the "First" N.H. Welcome Home. I know many Vietnam vets didn't know what to expect. N.H. Welcome Home? What? Well, about 2.000 Vietnam veterans, family members and friends were gathered in the armory hanger in Concord with military and political leaders. Wonderful! The idea was that of a Vietnam veteran and a great idea it was. BUT, N.H. Welcome Home'? It was Vietnam veterans again welcoming home one another! Am I wrong, to those who might have been there? Not that it wasn't nice but NH Welcome Home? Not quite! Now this was supposed to be the "5th" and LAST. Why the 5th? Who says "last" if Vietnam veterans actually DID want a N.H. Welcome Home down Main Street Concord and ask the PEOPLE of N.H. to be there? Not that it will happen because. who cares? It's way too late but don't put the others as N.H. Welcome Home and the fact that this governor was going to speak? Really?

Look, lets discuss reality and thank OUR Vietnam veterans . . . why are our troops so well taken care of today and welcomed home as they deserve and should be? Thank You Vietnam veterans! Thank you for starting rap groups so many (40) years ago at White River and Manchester and discuss your issues when NOBODY cared and called you crazy and you guys placed the name PTS and PTSD on the devastating issue and took the hits. Thank you. You guys were treated with Valium, Thorazine and just about anything you asked for or didn't ask for just not to be dealt with (not a great thought today but true). Thank you for taking the hit and fighting for the changes needed because WE knew wars would follow and never again could young Americans be treated with disgust for doing what asked of them and serving their country when others walked. Others may have received their PhDs BUT we had our DD 214s and WE were going to fight through the mess called the VA system. Thank you Vietnam veterans!

I could go on but I won't. I will say great changes have been made and we must keep fighting for ALL veterans because if budgets need cutting and history means anything, the VA will be part of cuts. "Thank you for your service" means what?

After OUR war. all evidence showed live Americans were known to have been left behind. "Let us not forget?" Are you kidding? How long did it take to get rid of the flags after 9/11? If you still were showing them after 3-4 months you were "over patriotic!" Remember?

Now after so many years of fight for the families of those left behind (knowingly in some cases), DOD and Pentagon are discussing doing away with DPAA! Yes! Why? Money! As has been said for the past many years, "When one American serviceman/women is not worth the effort, then we as Americans have lost." Does it really matter? Those that have been involved in this issue for the past so many years and have had the opportunity to actually meet the families and seen and read the facts can tell you. Sad, but it only seems to matter if it's your son or daughter. Your reps? Seldom, if ever, do they even know the names. Discuss a fact with a rep and you'll be handed a card and be turned over to a staffer.

Sorry, got off the subject. "5th and final Welcome Home for Vietnam Veterans?" Hey, ONLY if and when WE (Vietnam veterans) say so!

Bob Jones

Meredith

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