Sometimes a Bill’s Title Does Not Reflect What the Bill Actually Would Do

During the the March 14th House Session, Representatives approved HB 198, “repealing the prohibition on texting while driving” by a vote of 252 – 73.  Why would so many Legislators approve such a bill?  What the bill actually did was repeal one provision in state law, which only referred to texting (RSA 265:105-a) and reinforced a newer, more comprehensive section of state law (RSA 265-79-c), commonly known as the hands-free law.  And it increased penalties: for a first or second offense, the penalty would be $250 – $1000 (not $100), then not less than $500 for any subsequent offense.  Further, the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles would be able to suspend a driver’s license for 10 days for a second offense and for not less than 10 days for any subsequent offense.  So while the bill’s title suggests that the prohibition against texting while driving was being repealed, the bill was actually strengthening enforcement and penalties for the hands-free law.  The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration and if it passes, it will go to the Governor for his signature or veto.

Remember to Vote in the Special City Election on Tuesday, March 5th

Update:  Congratulations to Benjamin Clemons who swept all nine wards in the City’s Special Election to fill a vacancy for Alderman-at-Large on the Board of Aldermen.

The City of Nashua is holding a special election on Tuesday, March 5th, to fill a vacancy on the Board of Aldermen that resulted from the untimely passing of Aldermanic President Brian McCarthy late last year.  The winner of the Special Election will complete the unfinished four-year term (2016 – 2019).

Two former Aldermen are campaigning for the Alderman-at-Large position: Fred S. Teeboom, 24 Cheyenne Drive, and Benjamin M. Clemons, 188 Ash Street. Teeboom was originally elected as an Alderman-at-Large in 1993, served a four-year term, and was again elected in 2005 for another four years.  Clemons served on the Board from 2008-2012 as an Alderman-at-Large, and again from 2016-2017 as a Ward 6 alderman.

Turnout during Special Elections tends to be lower than the turnout for a regularly-scheduled Municipal Election.  Every vote is important.  Please be sure to take some time to get to the polls on Tuesday.

Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 5.  Polling locations for each Nashua ward are as follows:

• Ward 1: Broad Street Elementary School, 390 Broad St.

Ward 2: Charlotte Avenue Elementary School, 48 Charlotte Ave.

• Ward 3: Amherst Street Elementary School, 71 Amherst St.

• Ward 4: Ledge Street Elementary School, 139 Ledge St.

• Ward 5: Main Dunstable Elementary School, 20 Whitford Road.

• Ward 6: Fairgrounds Middle School, 27 Cleveland St.

• Ward 7: Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School, 50 Arlington St.

• Ward 8: Bicentennial Elementary School, 296 E. Dunstable Road.

• Ward 9: New Searles Elementary School, 39 Shady Lane.