Today, CACR 1 was up for debate and a vote. Here is a link to the bill itself:
The basic idea is that it introduced a constitutional amendment to require a supermajority in order to increase ANY fees, or taxes, of any kind by even one penny. My floor speech on the bill is below the fold, and upon final vote the bill was voted ITL (kills the bill) by the House.
This bill is pure obstructionism. Nothing more, nothing less. When we go back to our districts and have constituents express frustration that the government can’t get anything done, this bill – that we are about to vote on – is a perfect example of what they are frustrated about. Trying to make it even harder for government to do it’s job, and giving huge power to the minority party if they so seek to obstruct routine functions of the general court, is an absurd model.
We have no idea what the future holds for the Granite State. We have no way to guess what our revenue model will look like 10, 20, or 50 years out. If the states property values plummet, or any one of a thousand other possible things were to happen, we might end up in a situation where we need to completely restructure our taxation model. Also, it would become problematic to even pass such routine measures as increasing fixed-dollar license fees to account for inflation over time. Making it harder to fund the state only serves the interests of those who would seek to dismantle our government entirely. Additionally, if we end up with some kind of natural disaster and needed emergency funding, this bill would make it even harder to secure that funding. Hurricane Sandy showed us all that unexpected disaster can strike anywhere, at any time, and entail a costly cleanup.
Handicapping our own ability to respond to the needs of the day is fruitless, and hostile to the smooth operation of government. This is a purely ideological measure aimed at the simplest possible form of obstruction but using the dangerous vehicle of a constitutional amendment as delivery. I urge you all to uphold the committee’s recommendation and ITL this horrible bill with the greatest possible haste.