Below is a list of issues I find important and advocacy organizations have found important. My views are generally conservative/libertarian, but I also step away from that for specific topics.
This is a difficult issue in a moderate state like New Hampshire. I firmly believe that killing another human is reprehensible at any stage of life, including before birth. Because it is impossible when to draw a line during a pregnancy when it is acceptable to kill the unborn human. The one exception would be when the life of the mother is in danger; in that case, it is self defense. I will vote for legislation that protects the unborn.
I support strengthening protections for certain animals. I would support a ban on declawing of cats, which is a vile practice.
There are always improvements to be made in terms of transparency in government and ensuring government agents act ethically, which many do not.
Crime and Drugs
While crime here is still lower than most of the country, it is growing. This is largely stemming from the growing drug problem, which makes the two issues go hand in hand. We need new thinking on the opioid epidemic. The current practices are not working. Jail does not work. It is worth noting that when heroin was legal, very few people used it. It is also worth noting that most overdoses are caused by impurities and varying concentrations of heroin. If users could be assured of a regulated purity, overdoses would be virtually eliminated. I would be interested to look into programs, such as needle exchanges, which may help public health. The spread of disease affects everyone, not just users.
I have never consumed cannabis, but I fully support legalization. It has passed the House multiple times and I would like to help convince the Senate and Governor that it is time. Legalization is proven to reduce alcohol and opioid abuse in other states. Additionally, I would support the decriminalization of all drugs at a minimum, and we should look at legalization. Research on psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, etc) is increasingly showing many mental health benefits. I would like to see drugs treated how they are in Amsterdam, having been there, and seeing a different perspective. The general view there is of tolerance, as long as things do not get out of hand. Ultimately, what someone else consumes is not the business of government.
The alcohol purchasing age for beer and wine should be lowered to 18 and a portion of tax revenue transferred to cover the expected loss in federal contributions due to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. If 18-20 year olds are able to legally purchase beer and wine, as they are in most of the world (eg. Canada, Mexico, UK, Europe), alcohol abuse is likely to decline. If they can legally drink beer at a bar, they will not seek to binge on higher strength alcohol at underground parties. Alcohol prohibition has consistently shown to increase alcohol consumption, rather than reduce.
I support maintaining the death penalty and expanding it to repeat violent felons. I also support strengthening protections to ensure innocents are not executed.
Education is an important part of life. Parents should have the ability to choose the best schooling for their children, and should not be forced to finance other schooling. I support charter schools and am considering the ramifications of vouchers. I think a tax credit or full tax refund for the education portion of property taxes should be implemented for parents who do not choose government district schools. A separate solution will be needed for those who rent.
For district schooling, talking about funding levels is irrelevant. We need to figure out how to improve motivation and inspire students to learn and do well.
I support upgrading security in our schools to prevent tragedies from occurring here. In Manchester, all schools are locked from the inside and require buzzing in during the day. However, the best way to prevent tragedies is to tackle the mental health and alienation issues plaguing our youth.
The environment is an important part of New Hampshire. I strongly support using private property rights to prevent and counteract environmental degradation.
Family and Medical Leave
I do not support current proposals to create what is effectively an income tax to fund a welfare scheme for those seeking time off from work for family or medical reasons. If such a program is so necessary, private organizations could offer that service, and many do. For most circumstances, people can and should be able to save money towards future events. It is absurd to say that families cant afford a $400 emergency expense and then insist on taking that and more from their paychecks to support a new program.
The ability to defend ourselves is of utmost importance. If you are not able to defend yourself from threats to life, liberty, and property, then you have no freedom. I will oppose any legislation that restricts the ability of people in New Hampshire to defend themselves. I will also support any legislation that reduces restrictions on self-defense. College and university students should not be denied the ability to defend themselves. State employees, generally speaking, should not be denied the ability to defend themselves. We need to close the loopholes that remain after passing “constitutional carry”, such as the ATV loophole and the long gun loopholes, where carry restrictions remain. I would like to thank the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition for keeping me abreast of potential legislation and important issues.
New Hampshire and the United States are in dire need of healthcare deregulation to lower costs. While there are some safety concerns, many regulations are designed to restrict competition and protect the medical industry. Insurance regulations often mandate coverage for things that are not insurable by definition, thus greatly raising costs. This is a federal and state issue that has no easy fix. I would really like to see incentives for healthcare providers to be more open about their pricing, so that patients can make the best choices.
Homelessness and affordable housing are important issues that need to be addressed. Many problems in these areas are caused by onerous building codes, unnecessary zoning laws, and other restrictions. Reforms need to be implemented to greatly increase housing stock, in terms of ownership and rentals, in order to lower prices.
While immigration tends to be a federal issue, there are things states can do to help. Twenty states require some or all employers to use EVerify, which instantly checks to see if a new employee is legally here. We can have a statewide policy outlawing sanctuary cities. And we can require police to check the status of everyone they arrest. With these three policies, we can solve a lot of immigration problems, and evidence shows this will encourage illegal aliens to leave the state.
I have a number of friends involved with mental health issues who have discussed with me how people with mental health issues have essentially no rights when institutionalized and after. A mental health bill of rights is sorely needed to address these problems and I am continuing to do research to determine how we can help this growing silent epidemic.
We need massive deregulation to help lower costs, grow wages, and make the economy fairer. There are many occupations that require licensing that have no reason to be so. This prevents many people from being able to pursue careers and fields that could better their lives.
Right to Work
I strongly support worker choice in whether to associate with a union. I will support so-called right to work legislation that will prevent unions from forcing workers to join their organization. This will be an enormous boon to workers, consumers, and business in New Hampshire. I have worked in retail and thankfully have never had to join a union, and never saw any need to.
As the late great governor Mel Thomson once said, low taxes are the result of low spending. Education is one of the biggest drivers of spending, but is mainly a local issue. Vote for candidates in 2019 who put that issue first, and lower property taxes. We need to audit every agency and implore department heads to seek greater efficiency. Zero base budgeting ought to be looked into as a way to reduce the budget and ensure everything is justified. We need to reduce our reliance on federal handouts, which often start off great and then create an avalanche of problems and unfundable programs.
I oppose any income or sales tax. I want to see the property tax system in New Hampshire reformed to a flatter rate system based on land area and structure area, scaled appropriately. I also want to move as many things as possible to user fees. You should only have to pay for the services you use. I will advocate for constitutional amendments against income and sales taxes, so we can end the broad based tax debate once and for all. In 2012, a proposed amendment to ban income taxes reached 57%. I believe we can reach the requisite 67% in 2020. I will oppose any tax increases.
There are many issues with our voting system that need to be addressed. In particular, the fact that you can register on the day of election with a fake address and an out of state ID can vote is a gaping hole, given our neighbors lopsided partisanship.