Louise Andrus’s View from Concord – February

By Louise Andrus

Happy Maple Syrup Season which means Spring is just around the corner!

The House and Senate have been very busy with bills in committee public hearings and House sessions.  In the Judiciary Committee, we have had hearings on bills like:  HB 1602 , relative to the authority of the housing appeals board; HB 1283, relative to end of life options; HB 1002, relative to fees for records under the right-to-know law.  As for HB 1002, I spoke against the bill in a House Session – the NH Constitution, Part I, Article 8 states: “[a]ll power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them.” 

RSA 91-A, also known as the right to know law, establishes a person’s right of access to the records of public bodies and public agencies. This bill, in the view of the minority of the committee, may be unconstitutional. This bill basically takes away the people’s constitutional ability to ensure that the government is transparent. This bill discriminates against people that cannot afford to pay up to a $25 an hour charge for records if it takes a governmental employee over 10 hours to obtain requested information. RSA 91-A already addresses fees. There was no substantial supporting data that this bill is a necessity, and that our 234 municipalities or our school districts or any other public body or agency are overwhelmed or overloaded or swamped with requests for records. The testimony on “substantial size requests” suggested that many such requests came from commercial entities rather than individuals.“

I have started questioning what is going on in our State, and why some are so interested in giving their distorted views of others. It is a given that as a member of the public I do not expect that everyone is going to agree with me. I received a postcard calling me a maggot and so on and so forth. It was a total negative. Then a few weeks ago I noticed a post on Facebook asking if we had seen a list that was attached to the post. I viewed the list which was from GraniteStateMatters.org.  In the spreadsheet  were listed 514 names one of which was my name.  I recognized many of the names who are great ordinary NH citizens who believe in the Constitutions and Democracy.  At the top of the list it stated anti-democracy extremists by town. The list included people affiliated with extremist groups, for example, the NH Constitution Party.  Whoever belongs to this group has some problems.

On a brighter side I have several cucumber, lettuce and tomato plants under lights. Really feels like Spring is coming.  Have a great month and if I can be of help in any way, please let me know.  Rep. Louise Andrus, 406 Raccoon Hill Road, Salisbury, NH  03268; 603 658-2510 or email l.a.andrus21@nullgmail.com.