Open Thread for Wednesday, January 26th

The House was in session this morning – nothing major was acted on. I’ll have more up in a bit with the details, as well as some information on some hot-button topics being debated as of late. This will include the latest news on HB37 (which, in its current form, I cannot support).

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About Soap Box One

Former New Hampshire state legislator and now the proprietor of "New Hampshire Soap Box", a multi-media torch fueled by the voice of the People to shine a light on the enemies of freedom and liberty in New Hampshire and in our nation's capital.
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4 Responses to Open Thread for Wednesday, January 26th

  1. Lynn says:

    I’m a concerned Brentwood resident writing to you about HB 113.
    I’m writing to urge you to vote AGAINST HB 113 should it make it past the current committee hearing process, which began on 1/19/11. HB113 calls for the elimination of all support for NHPTV from the USNH budget.

    There is a significant difference between taking a reasonable cut through the state’s appropriations process given NH’s serious budget shortfalls, and eliminating NHPTV’s funding entirely. This bill eliminates NHPTV’s state funding entirely.

    NHPTV is the only TV station whose broadcast reaches the entire state, and where NH residents can count on getting local NH news and information that is solely New Hampshire based. WMUR out of Manchester does not cover the entire state, and cable and satellite stations do not bring in other local programming. NHPTV is a critical source of local information, local programming that celebrates our “life free or die” NH lifestyles, and also brings national issues of importance, education and quality entertainment to our doorsteps. lives for all New Hampshire residents. Please urge your colleagues to do the same.
    NHPTV is the sole voice of reason, credible information, sensitive reporting of the news, excellent quality programming for children as well as adults and wonderful educational special programs for teachers as well as parents. There is so much more but you must get the point I am making here.

    NHPTV uses its state funds for:
    • NHPTV’s unique education services and community engagement initiatives that reach citizens throughout the Granite State;
    • NHPTV’s state-of-the-art communications network, which is an integral part of NH’s public safety and first responder infrastructure; and
    • NHPTV’s award-winning locally focused and produced television programs and PBS programs. More than 1 million people watch NHPTV each month, including 90,000 children per week.

    The repercussions of NHPTV losing 100% of its state funding are far-reaching. There is a significant difference between taking a reasonable cut through the state’s appropriations process given NH’s serious budget shortfalls, and eliminating NHPTV’s funding entirely. This bill eliminates NHPTV’s state funding entirely.

    If you cut their state funding, I can expect my property taxes to increase because educators around the state utililze NHPTV’s unique educational programs and services that are tied to our state curriculum standards in the classroom…for FREE… as well as offering professional development credit opportunities for educators, especially in the realm of how to use emerging technologies in the classroom for better education.

    Which state budget is going to pick up the cost of NH’s public safety and first responder infrastructure? That’s a big expense that the NH state budget will have to add.

    I urge you to take a deeper look, beyond the rhetoric, beyond the misinformation and partial truths being presented by Rep. Vallencourt. Let USNH decide how best to allocate any budget cuts in state funding they receive. The fact that HB 1113 specifically targets NHPTV is outrageous. This is NH’s only PBS station and they offer alot of quality programs-at no charge, to the struggling local cable/community access channels around the state so that they have more than just selectmen meetings and school board meetings and snow parking bans on the screen- as well as to libraries, schools,parents who homeschool thier kids, etc.

  2. Lynn,

    What’s ironic is that when I went to find an update on the public hearing for this bill, the best place online I found with video from the hearing was the NHPTV website.

    Improving government transparency by posting that material online is enough of a reason to not defund NHPTV, in my mind. We need to use every tool at our disposal to make it easy and convenient for taxpayers to see what’s happening in the State House.

    That issue aside, I cannot support HB113 in its current form. Hearings on this matter will continue next week. Check the docket here for updated status info as it works its way through committee.

  3. Lynn says:

    Thank you for reply. I hope that you will continue to look into the extraordinary, unique and wide-spread value NHPTV delivers to NH parents, small business owners (who can’t afford Comcast’s or WMUR’s high promotional rates for air-time), children — and adult viewers just looking for some great programs to watch with in-depth coverage, not 30 second sound bites like WMUR ‘news’.

    I hope that, if the time comes, you’ll stand up and voice your non-support of HB113 in its current form, and that you will encourage your Concord colleagues to do the same. In fact, I’d also like to point out that NHPTV was the ONLY station who gives balloted political candidates running in national and/or state elections the courtesy of being interviewed. These are the non-front runners who are never asked to join televised debates (WMUR, NECN, etc.), but whose names appear on the election ballots (ie Libertarians, some Independents, etc.). NHPTV’s “NH Outlook” public affairs program aired a round-table discussion with these candidates so that their voices and political platforms could be heard.

    Thank you for your time- and for the link to the docket. All of us here in Brentwood who are interested in supporting NHPTV (against HB113) will continue to check in with you- either here or via phone.

  4. Lynn says:

    I want to thank you for voting against HB113 (I see that it had been amended to single out NH Public Television –and that USNH was removed from the wording). I understand that it nows move forward to the Senate. I appreciate the fact that you listened to those of us in Brentwood who took the time to phone, email, post and/or talk with you about HB113 and that you voted against it. Thank you.

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