Additional Victory Achieved In Promised Emergency Powers Changes
EAST DERRY, N.H.—RebuildNH is celebrating a meaningful victory today as the Legislature passed a strong budget containing meaningful emergency powers reforms as well as a promise from the governor to deliver the rest of our critical constitutional requests using bills retained in House committees. Additionally, two other RebuildNH supported bills advancing health freedom and religious liberty are on their way to the governor’s desk.
“I am grateful for the House Freedom Caucus and for House Majority Leader Jason Osborne who stood strong and worked a last-minute budget agreement with the governor to advance the emergency powers reforms we have been asking for all year,” said Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of RebuildNH. “The budget itself has some great first-step achievements, also, and we could not have accomplished either of these protections of the people’s liberty without the help of our tireless activists and the ReopenNH-endorsed House reps.”
The budget companion bill, HB 2, included emergency powers reforms that would have improved the realities of the State of Emergency declared by the governor in March 2020; namely, provisions that:
- Empower the Legislature to vote out individual emergency orders and give them advance notice prior to their enactment,
- Reverse claims and fines against businesses that defied the governor’s emergency orders during the recent so-called emergency,
- Call the Legislature into session every 90 days to definitively vote on whether to end a state of emergency,
- Require Legislative oversight of executive spending in excess of $100,000 from federal grants, and
- Create Education Freedom Accounts that financially enable parents to choose schools that protect their children’s wellbeing.
“While the reforms in HB 2 are not an antidote against future abuses of the emergency powers statutes, the last-minute concessions by elected officials made it possible for liberty-minded representatives to support the budget,” said JR Hoell, secretary/treasurer of RebuildNH. “We look forward to working with the Governor and the Senate to enact even stronger emergency powers statutes that will protect us against a future constitutional crises like the one we suffered through during the past 15 months.”
In addition to the budget, RebuildNH-endorsed representatives also passed HB 220, which presents a powerful health freedom statement as policy of the state, and HB 542, which guarantees religious institutions will not be treated differently than other organizations during a state of emergency.
“This year, we achieved measurable success for RebuildNH supported legislation,” said Melissa Blasek, the executive director of RebuildNH and a Republican state representative from Merrimack. “We want to thank all the activists who helped and engaged legislators. With the governor and senate’s endorsement of RebuildNH supported state of emergency language, we are sure to have a concise win with state of emergency reform soon.”
Moving forward, RebuildNH will be hyper-focused on ensuring our additional emergency powers reforms are passed into law, as promised by the governor in a deal he made with House Majority Leader Osborne. Those changes would restore authority to the Legislature by requiring an affirmative vote to extend a state of emergency. RebuildNH will also turn its attention to additional health freedom provisions that protect people from medical manipulation by both the government and private entities. Additionally, the organization will be working with its grassroots supporters in their efforts to prevent medical tyranny in public schools and by other local government bodies.
RebuildNH, also known as ReopenNH, is made up of concerned individuals devoted to getting New Hampshire back to work through a restoration of balance and reason in state government.