On Wednesday, I went to Concord for two committee meetings of the New Hampshire State House of Representatives Education Committee. They were hearing testimony relating to House Bill 367 and House Bill 368. I went to deliver my own testimony relating to those bills.
Last year, a bill was submitted that would increase regulation on homeschoolers. Edi and I and both of our children attended the hearings for that bill which wound up stretched over two days due to the size of the crowd (over 300 people, we estimated). This year, Edi and the kids stayed home.
I decided to prepare written testimony for both bills this year, so that I could either speak more briefly or not at all and still have my voice heard. That wound up being a good idea. This time, they heard both bills in the same afternoon and the crowd was more than double the size of last year's crowd. I estimated 700~800 people, but according to this MSNBC article about the hearing, state police estimated there were 1,000 people there. I saw many people there that I knew, most of whom I know through the Free State Project.
Like last year, there were only a very few people who testified in support of the bill. 100% of those people were a part of or employed by the government (the bill's sponsor, a superintendent, someone from the Department of Education, etc.). Many State Representatives and other employees of the government testified against the bill.
I delivered my written testimony, and also spoke very briefly about one thing not mentioned in previous testimony near the end of the day (explaining the potential magnitude of the unfunded mandate created by HB368).
Given that backdrop, the committee vote will be enlightening. What kind of government do we really have? Do we have one that respects the rights of individuals and the families they create? If so, the must vote Inexpedient To Legislate on those bills. Or do we have a government of, by, and for the people? If so, the overwhelmingly lopsided opposition to the bill makes it clear the people don't want that regulation and they must vote Inexpedient To Legislate?
Or is New Hampshire transitioning to a government of, by, and for the government? Is our government now a government who feels the rulers in Concord know better than the citizens of the state and will impose their rule despite the citizen's overwhelming opposition to it? Those committee members who vote Ought To Pass are saying they believe in that kind of oppressive government. Maybe I'll post their names here...
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- Homeschool bills (HB367 and HB368)