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Details matter: Vetoes should stand

September 12. 2018 11:01PM

In vetoing a series of poorly-crafted bills, Gov. Chris Sununu has tried to save New Hampshire from the good intentions of legislators.

HB 143 would allow the Adult Parole Board to shorten the recommittal of parole violators who enter into substance abuse treatment programs. Current law requires a recommittal of at least 90 days in most cases. For parole to work, there must be consequences for those who violate its terms.

The parole board has recently proven that it has not been giving enough scrutiny to some of its cases. Now is not the time to give it more discretion.

HB 1736 would double the threshold for governor and council approval of expenditures from the dam maintenance fund. The council agenda is crowded, but there is no need to lessen oversight of state spending.

SB 365, touted as a way to save the state’s struggling timber industry, would force New Hampshire ratepayers to underwrite the cost of biomass plants owned by corporations that do not need the handout. It would also provide ratepayer subsidies to the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant in Concord.

SB 446 aims to increase net metering, allowing electric customers to sell back to the grid solar and wind power they don’t use. But the bill as written would be a boon to large-scale energy projects, at the expense of home and business ratepayers.

Good ideas sometimes turn into bad bills. The Legislature should sustain Sununu’s vetoes on these bills, and take another shot at these ideas in January.

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