The NH House of Representatives, today, approved HB 564, relative to possession of firearms in safe school zones, which would incorporate the Federal Gun Free Schools Act into New Hampshire law. The final roll call vote to pass the bill with an amendment was 194 – 154 in favor of the legislation. This is position that I supported during my campaign for State Representative, and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to cast my vote in favor of this legislation.
HB 551, establishing an independent school funding commission, was approved 207 – 148. Supporters of the bill argued that the legislature has not adequately addressed the directives of the original Claremont court ruling on how to fund public schools and that an independent commission could provide a more comprehensive review. HB 184, to include full-day kindergarten students in the adequacy formula, passed on a roll call vote, 203 – 148. Funds currently provided to support kindergarten are conditional on Keno revenues, and those revenues are falling behind initial projections and have been insufficient to fund full-day kindergarten. HB 177, which would stop the continued reduction of stabilization grants was approved on a 268 – 90 roll call vote. In 2017, a change to state law would wipe out the stabilization grants over 25 years by reducing payments to school districts by 4% each year. Many school districts across the state rely on the stabilization grant to make up for some of the inadequacies in the education funding model.
There were a number of very important bills approved by the House today. Tomorrow is the last day to act on bills that need to be referred to a second house committee. Over the next few days, I will provide highlights of other bills that were — or will be — acted upon by the House this week.