FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25th, 2021
Freedom Caucus Tri-Chairs
House Freedom Caucus Celebrates a Victorious Year and is Already Planning
to Continue the Prioritize the Additional Necessary Reforms
Concord N.H.- The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus is pleased that the Legislature passed a strong budget this week that included Freedom Caucus priorities, with compelling assurances that more state of emergency reform is upcoming. The Freedom Caucus priorities included state of emergency reform and the reversal and forgiveness of all fines and charges related to violations of COVID-19 emergency orders. While state of emergency reforms were not fully achieved prior to passage, after a deal struck by Majority Leader Jason Osborne, the Governor has agreed to meaningful reforms for early next year.
“Businesses, who struggled throughout the pandemic, no longer have the burden of charges and fines for violating orders,” says Rep Andrew Prout (R-Hudson). “We are leaving this pandemic behind with all citizens united and charges forgiven.”
While the budget did not include language to give the Legislature purposeful checks over the extension of a state of emergency, the budget did add several elements of reform including Legislative oversight of spending in excess of $100,000 from federal funding, power for the Legislature to terminate an emergency order, and a severability clause that requires any order found to be unconstitutional or invalid to be inapplicable to all persons and circumstances.
“We look forward to working with the Senate and the Governor on further state of emergency reforms,” states Rep Leah Cushman (R-Weare). “But this budget is a great first step for the people and the businesses of New Hampshire.”
The Governor and Senate agreed to language that allows the Governor to declare a state of emergency that will automatically terminate after three renewals and will then require the Legislature to vote to declare a new state of emergency. The Legislature may then renew that declaration as many times as it deems necessary. This new approach has been reviewed by the attorney general and solves the constitutional concerns that plagued the discussions during the committees of conference.
“The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus led the fight for constitutional, limited government and we are excited about our victories this year,” says Rep Keith Ammon (R-New Boston). “We look forward to furthering the cause of liberty for the citizens of New Hampshire.”
The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus would like to give a special thanks to Majority Leader Jason Osborne for his tireless efforts getting this budget across the finish line.
About the Freedom Caucus: The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus is a grassroots organization consisting of legislators and private citizens, who believe in personal liberty and the traditional conservative “Yankee” values that made New Hampshire a great place to live.