Louise Andrus’ View From Concord – May 2022

By Louise Andrus

It is time for candidates to sign up for the office they are seeking, and the time period for filing is Wednesday, June 1 through Friday, June 10.  I am a candidate for re-election in the newly-created District 5 (Andover, Danbury, Hill, Salisbury, Webster) for a second term in the New Hampshire House and will be on the primary ballot for the election on Tuesday, September 13.

HB 50 apportioning state representative districts passed and was signed into law by the Governor.  There will no longer be the districts of  Merrimack District 1, which included the towns  of Andover, Danbury, Salisbury, and Merrimack District 25,  which included the towns of Andover, Danbury, Salisbury, Webster, Warner. The passing and signing of HB 50 on redistricting created new districts.  There will be two House Representatives elected for the new District 5 which includes the towns of Andover, Danbury, Hill, Salisbury and Webster.   Then there will be one House Representative member elected in District 26, which includes the towns of Andover, Boscawen, Canterbury, Danbury, Hill, Loudon, Salisbury, Webster.

The House held several sessions in May.  At one of the sessions it was an honor to listen to the former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1983, Lech Walesa, as he spoke to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Many of our schools in New Hampshire have been visiting the State House and taking a tour.  It is great that these tours have  resumed and our schools are utilizing these tours as a tool for educating our children about the history of and how the New Hampshire Legislature works.

One of the bills passed in May and headed to the Governor’s office for his signature was HB 1178, a pro Second Amendment bill.  HB 1178, An act prohibiting the State from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms.  The vote was Yea 163 and Nay 143.

Another bill that has been controversial is HB 1661.  It started out as an education bill, then an amendment was added and  $30 million wanted for a legislative parking garage which included tearing down Storrs Garage, demolishing the current building that houses the DOJ, and moving the DOJ to a new location.  

I spoke against the parking garage amendment on the floor of a House Session.  I realize we eventually need a parking garage, but do we need it here and now?  What are all of our options for a parking garage?  I also asked for a detailed statement of the estimated expenses, which I have never received.  I have received the totals of expenses  but nothing in detail.  With inflation out of sight, so to speak, I believe it is time for the State to spend only on what is needed.

The amendment was passed by the House (I voted against it), the whole bill passed with the amendment and went to the Senate.  In the Senate several amendments were added which in my opinion made the bill worse.  

In mid May the bill was sent to a Committee of Conference where it was being worked on as I am writing this article.  I am hoping many citizens of New Hampshire emailed or phoned those on the Committee to say no to this bill.  

Some highlights of this bill:  1. Relative to regional career technical education agreements, 2. An appropriation for preliminary work for a new legislative parking garage, 3. Health and Human Services establishing an extraordinary-need grant for schools, 4. The release of a defendant pending trial, 5. Training and procedures for Zoning and Planning Boards, and 6. Financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development.

I encourage every citizen of New Hampshire to become more involved in local, county, and state government.  This is your State and we need your input. 

Everyone have a great summer.  I am excited that Andover is having a Fourth of July celebration this year.