Last Tuesday the NH senate judiciary committee committee heard SB-498, which would give prosecutors the ability to not charge cannabis possession as a class A misdemeanor. However, it also increases the fine for a first time offense. It’s a mixed bill, and interestingly prosecutors argued in favor of it, where normally they are against any decrim. From their perspective, it would allow them to get more fine money as well as still give them the option to charge as a Class A. It’s not really decriminalization at all – just gives them the option to move it to Class B if they want.
I had a lot to say about it, then got into an interesting several questions with prohibitionist senator Sam Cataldo. Here’s the video:
The proposal on the table (HB 1612) at last week’s state house education committee was to lower the age for compulsory schooling to 17 from 18. I spoke in favor of the proposal, which doesn’t go far enough. Sadly, NH does not offer any form of emancipation to young people under eighteen.
The Keene Liberty Alliance, a nonpartisan group of people who want smaller government in Keene, once again conducted an exit poll during today’s presidential primary, exclusively at Ward 4. As people exited the Symonds School after voting, they were invited to take our one question exit survey, which asked, “Do you think government is too big, too small, or just the right size?”
Of the 322 people who responded to the poll, 74.8% (241) said it was “too big”, 22.4% (72) said it was “just right”, and 2.8% (9) said it was “too big”.
We collected nearly 30 emails in just five hours. It was an incredibly successful day, due to the high turnout for the presidential primary. Both republicans and democrats alike are frustrated with the ridiculous size of the government and the Keene Liberty Alliance exists to bring people together from across the political spectrum to help reduce the size, scope, expense, and intrusiveness of the government.
Last week’s state house committee hearings featured two very different gun proposals. The first, HB 1314, is excellent. It would allow people to carry guns into colleges or any other government-funded entity. The other, HB 1657 is terrible. It would create a huge list of places where guns would not be allowed, including anywhere with a liquor license, hospitals, polling places, churches, and other clear constitutional violations of the right to property and religion.
In the case of the awful gun prohibition bill, the testimony was entirely against it, with the exception of the bill’s sponsor who spoke first. It was an avalanche of pro-weapons-freedom testimony which was well-spoken by its advocates. (This happens in NH anytime gun freedom is threatened. Self-defense supporters come out in large number to testify for gun freedom.) The bill went down in flames, 11-2 voting “inexpedient to legislate”. I don’t have full video of either hearing, but I got most of them. Here’s the video of the terrible gun ban bill hearing first:
I’m a fan of Vermin’s work as a brilliant satirist. His campaign pitch includes pointing out that all politicians are vermin, but he is the Vermin Supreme as well as a mandate for teeth-brushing and free ponies for everyone!
Though some libertarians were campaigning for Rand Paul and endlessly making excuses for him not being a libertarian, Rand left his supporters in the dirt this week as he ended his presidential campaign before even the first primary occurred. I was happy to see him quit, as it’s sad to see libertarians spending any time or money on someone who is not running a principled campaign. Rand is barely a shadow of his father’s commitment to liberty. If his mixed positions on the issues didn’t convince you, his quitting before the first primary is proof.
Vermin Supreme is not a libertarian either, but unlike Rand Paul, Vermin is not chickening out and ending his campaign right when it matters. He’ll be appearing on the democratic ballot at the presidential primary this Tuesday. I also recommend writing Vermin Supreme in on the republican ballot as well. It’s a true protest vote and Vermin’s a super-entertaining candidate. I mean, the guy wears a boot on his head. How can you top that?
After almost four years of railing against the wasteful spending going on here in the city of Keene, you might be under the assumption that this place is a lost cause and subsequently choose to settle elsewhere. Don’t. Keene is a great place with a lot of good people and a lot of potential. The truth is this sort of nonsense is going on across the country and in a lot of places it is much worse. The key difference here is the strong liberty community that has chosen to keep tabs on the powers that be and hold them accountable for their misguided decisions. We’ve cleared our eyes of the veil of apathy to see the truth for what it is.
To the wise old city bureaucrats and school officials: this may be your legacy, but it’s my inheritance. I WILL NOT stand by and watch while you squander it. You may get your way this year, but I’m not going to make it easy for you.
As some of you may well be aware, the Keene School District plans to cut 36.7 full-time positions, close an elementary school, and has projected a loss in enrollment of around 80 students. And yet, as you probably already expected, the budget will still be going up.
The school district has presented us with a proposed operating budget of $64.98 million, an increase of $181,394 from the previous year. Should that article fail, the default budget of $65.66 million will kick in. So, lose/lose. But here’s the real kicker: Due to less incoming revenue in the form of state tuition and previous-year surplus, the actual impact on the Keene taxpayer will be an additional $1.7 million increase. This will amount to a 5.31 percent increase on the school portion of your property tax.
These yearly increases in both school and city spending are unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable. If the school district were a private business it would have gone belly-up years ago due to its mismanagement of funds. But unlike the private sector, the public school system doesn’t need to sell you a good product to stay in business. They’ll get your money regardless of the quality and affordability of service they provide us. Or else they’ll take your house.
In an attempt to reign in this out-of-control spending, I have introduced three warrant articles that will help school board members and administrators with their future budget preparation. They include a budget cap of .5 percent, a reduction of $500 per student per year until the student tuition matches the state average, and the formation of a committee to study the feasibility of withdrawal from SAU 29. I’ve also included a fourth article to cease participation in the one-size-fits-all common core program. Sadly, all four warrants will undoubtedly be amended in such a way as to remove their original intent at the deliberative session this Saturday.
If there is one thing the school and its supporters excel at, it is removing any alternative options from the ballot.