CACR 18 + 1
Liberal Democrats object, saying that if the state would just cover the cost of an adequate education for all students, it can target additional aid any way it wants.
"To me, this says that we continue to have done for all eternity -- first figure how much we want to spend on education and then back into that amount. We ought to be thinking larger than trying to continue the status quo," said Rep. Kimberley Casey, D-East Kingston.
Only half of the Democratic caucus supported the Majority amendment that came out of the House Finance committee. I was not among them.
I'll accept the label of "Liberal Democrat" in this context, as I completely agree with Kim Casey's remarks. I am willing to entertain other solutions, such as Andy Peterson's retained bill, understanding the constraints imposed on us by the Governor's pledge. I am not, however, willing to amend the constitution under these circumstances.
Conservative Republicans object to the idea of the Supreme Court remaining involved in the school funding issue. They feel the court's original Claremont decision interpreted the word "cherish" to create a fictional state funding obligation.
They also don't trust the use of the word "honor" in the new amendment. It says the state will fund schools in a way that "honors the rights and responsibilities of local communities."
Rep. David Bettencourt, R-Salem, said, "A lot of us saw that as the same thing that got us in trouble in first place with the word 'cherish.'"
I'm skeptical of the convictions of said conservative Republicans. I understand they intend to completely remove court oversight but I'm also willing to bet they're smart enough to realize that CACR-19, as introduced, is the best deal they're going to get. Republicans know when to cut their losses and they also enforce more party discipline, and all the more so when they're in the minority.
Still, we can take hope in the strong possibility that this will not even come to a vote.
Rep. Timothy Dunn, D-Keene, said the two-thirds vote is a major hurdle. "I don't know how they think they can twist enough arms," he said.
[I]f Whalley wants his party to help move the issue forward, Bettencourt said, "he has quite a bit of heavy lifting to do in next couple days. I don't see how House gets past that two-thirds vote."
When Rep. Andrew Peterson, R-Peterborough, then moved to indefinitely postpone consideration of any more amendments until 2009, it got more votes than the amendment itself.
I count myself among the 187 - Democrats and a handful of Republicans - who voted to send CACR-18 into the abyss.
Given that vote on indefinite postponement, a deliberate move to ensure that the Whalley amendment (with language identical to CACR-19, we're told) never saw the light of day, I am confident that there will not be 266 votes in the House to suspend the rules.