There has been a great deal of debate in recent weeks about the state budget. This is not just about spending; there are some key provisions in House Bill 2 (HB2) that we have spent years fighting for. Today, the 603 Alliance has issued the following statement in support of the budget. We urge you to reach out to your State Representatives (click here to find out who your reps are) and urge them to vote FOR the budget on Thursday.
603 Alliance urges passage of HB2
On Thursday, members of the New Hampshire House will vote up or down on House Bill 2, the budget rider bill that contains provisions enacting school choice, restrictions on public funding of critical race theory in New Hampshire schools, a ban on late-term abortions, and meaningful tax cuts. While the final version of the bill does not contain everything we could wish for, it undoubtedly delivers some historic wins for life, liberty, and limited government.
It is profoundly disappointing that one critically important element is missing; the budget bill lacks any meaningful reform of New Hampshire’s Emergency Orders statute. That law provides that the Governor may unilaterally declare a state of emergency, issue enforceable executive orders, and (according to a 2020 NH Superior Court ruling) can even limit or suspend Constitutional rights. While reasonable people may disagree as to whether our current Governor went too far in exercising the powers granted to him under the Emergency Orders statute, it is indisputable that the law as currently written (and as interpreted by the NH Superior Court) presents a significant threat to liberty.
The question before us is whether or not our lack of satisfaction with regard to emergency orders ought to prevent us from accepting historic wins for life, education choice, lower taxes, and the prevention of indoctrination in our schools. A small number of Republican legislators has the power to defeat this bill. We agree with their goals, and we applaud legislators who take a strong stance in defense of liberty; but we ought not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
There is much to be gained by passing HB2. A vote against the budget is a vote against school choice. It’s a rejection of tax cuts, it gives ideologues a free pass to preach identity politics to our children, and it is a lost opportunity to save lives.
If HB2 fails, New Hampshire will be forced to live under a continuing resolution. That will require a two-thirds vote of the House, which will inevitably mean handing power to the Democrats. For freedom-oriented legislators, there are powerful implications in casting a “no” vote. If the budget fails, we lose everything. If it passes, we will have achieved a great deal.
For liberty-loving members of the NH House, it’s time to collect our winnings and celebrate. While we would strongly prefer to see meaningful reforms to the Emergency Powers statute, the 603 Alliance Board of Directors supports the passage of HB2 and urges legislators to vote in favor of this budget.