By Bailey Ludlam
CONCORD, New Hampshire: A proposal recently shared by Gov. John Lynch faced a vote by the New Hampshire House of Representatives early last week on November 30 and was left defeated following a vote of 264-114 against.
The amendment would allow the legislature to set standards for public education such as, targeting education aid to certain communities.
Some called the vote premature and a media stunt, while others called the proposal itself a media stunt. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for November 22 prior to the House's November 30 vote. House Speaker William O'Brien scheduled the session to vote on what has been called "Lynch's education proposal" after Gov. Lynch emailed his proposed language to the media in October 2011 without notifying O'Brien or Senate President Peter Bragdon.
The Governor's proposal marked the third proposal filed for the 2012 ballot. The governor's proposal substituted the Senate's proposal. The House proposal, CACR 14, remains pending. The House amendment, by O'Brien, would give the state full discretion to decide how much, if anything to pay for aid. Reports indicate that the Senate may amend the bill to include portions from Lynch's amendment.
In order for the state legislature to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot, both chambers of the state legislature must approve doing so by a vote in each house of at least 60%. Once any such constitutional amendment is on the ballot, the state's voters must approve it by a 2/3 vote for it to pass.