As noted in a separate editorial, the legislature has the power to make its own rules. That doesn’t mean, however, that it always acts sensibly.
Actions such as the one that House Republicans took last Wednesday are a sure-fire way to once again reduce them to minority status in the next election. Their attempt to undercut Gov. Chris Sununu’s leadership was wrongheaded and deplorable.
If penalties assessed for ignoring public health orders during an emergency such as COVID-19 are always to be reversed, then why assess them at all? Of course, the truly serious and long-lasting penalty from the pandemic falls not on a selfish business but on the grandmother or the grandson with the compromised immune system who ends up dead.
The House action would not only nullify any convictions for violating emergency orders; it would reimburse those businesses that had to be fined.
Sponsoring Rep. Andrew Prout of Hudson spouted nonsense in saying that this “will allow us to chart a path to get beyond the emergency once it has passed.”
It may be up to cooler GOP heads in the state Senate to keep this nonsense from charting a path to oblivion for the Republicans, who owe much of their new majority success to Gov. Sununu’s able handling of the pandemic emergency.