Covid19 LTE - June 2020

Brentwood Newsletter COVID19 LTE - June 2020

With each passing day we learn that the predictions and fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 were nowhere near where they were suggested in March. For people under 60 with no pre-existing conditions, it is more dangerous to drive to the grocery store than have SARS-CoV-2. With 70-80% of New Hampshire deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living homes, the strategy to blunt the effects should have shifted, but New Hampshire and other states seem unwilling to shift the plans.

As people get more information, even some of the people who originally supported the idea of staying home have started to venture out. The numbers of people staying home are dropping and some states are threatening to fine or arresting people that don’t stay home. Americans have a spirit which does not just appeal to authority, we need to be convinced it is in our best interest or we are more than happy to rebel. Not only is rebelling more frequent with nonsensical rules, I have seen people talking about voting with their feet by moving to another state with less stringent rules. I know of one person who has already moved from a more restrictive state to a less restrictive state and another who is planning to move in the beginning of June. New Hampshire population growth comes from people voting with their feet because of personal freedoms we enjoy in New Hampshire. With New Hampshire not being able to lead the way relaxing the controls because of fear that people from Massachusetts will flood in that net migration might falter this year. The people talking about moving are not talking about New Hampshire as one of the places they are considering.

The NH House will meet June 11th for the first time since March at the UNH Whittemore Center. The Speaker chose an arena so that we could space out. I expect there to be some fireworks that day. There may be someone who wants to end the State of Emergency or limit emergency powers of the Governor. More likely is a discussion over the power of the Speaker to require masks of all legislators during session as he said he would require in the 5/14/20 calendar. It is likely that such a rule would require a rule change by the House and would need a ⅔ vote to pass. Since masks are only helpful when not social distancing, it is likely there will be some civil disobedience as the whole point of a 7,500 seat arena is to allow everyone to keep their distance so the requirement for masks flies in the face of the logic of the situation.

Without a solution to public hearings for bills, it is possible some bills could be pulled from their committee and voted up or down on the House Floor. However, I fear that we could end up with a lot of Tabled bills to avoid having a full debate on the issues since by this time in the year we are wrapping up so there is a perceived time crunch while other bills will get rammed through in spite of their problems.

Representative Josh Yokela

Rockingham 33 (Brentwood, Danville, and Fremont)