Carla Gericke's blog

A (School) Choice Between Hope and Fear

An excellent column in the Valley News about school choice by early mover and vice chair of the Croydon school board, Dr. Jody Underwood.

"One fact that Nelson does get right is that if children leave inadequate public schools, those schools will lose some of their funding. That sounds bad, but consider the same argument stated in a different way: We should prevent children from leaving failing schools because those schools need the money. In this view, children exist for the sake of public schools, rather than public schools existing for the sake of children.

Origin Stories: Peter Russo Finds His Peeps

I am mover #1653. To know my Free State Project story, I must tell you where I was and how I got here.

It’s mid-July, 2014 and I live in Marion, OH, an hour north of Columbus, when I first hear of the Free State Project. Marion is a place where jobs were scarce. Ironically, I had moved there, in 2008, for a kitchen manager position for a new restaurant concept. Then the financial crash came and my position was absolved. What followed over the next 7 years was my full awakening and transformation into the person I am today.

In 2010, after a year of being unemployed or underemployed, I returned to college, at 40, to pursue a career in web media design. Most of my previous work experience had been restaurant related. After the experience in 2008 I felt I should pursue other interests of employment. It took me 3 years to get my Associate's degree in Interactive Media. In those 3 years; I was homeless 2 consecutive summers due to lack of viable work, I learned to grow marijuana on an expert level, and most importantly became a non-statist.

Libertarians Can Be "More Effective in NH" Says U.S. Senate Candidate and New Mover

You win some, you lose some, and in this case Colorado's loss is the Free State Project's gain. Lily Tang Williams, the Libertarian Party’s fiery 2016 U.S. Senate candidate, is moving to the Granite State. “I think maybe I could be more effective here,” Williams told The Colorado Independent from New Hampshire, saying it can be hard to compete in a state as populous and politically diverse as Colorado. Read more here and learn more about Lily Tang Williams, a Chinese immigrant who was born at the start of the Cultural Revolution, and her recent Senate run here.

Love Shack? Nah, Sugar Shack, Baby

If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says '15 Miles' to the... Sugar shack... stop, and enjoy! This weekend heralds the 22th Annual Maple Weekend. Join the fun at a local New Hampshire sugar house. Visit sugar makers to learn more about the centuries-old craft of maple sugaring. Meet your neighbors, and get some sweet tree gold while you are there. Insider tip: For the best maple syrup, go for dark... it's more flavorful and sticky-finger-licking good!

Photo credit: NH Maple Producers

Big Day in da Haus

Yesterday was a great day for liberty in the state capitol. Pro-liberty bills passed left and right in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and will now be considered in the Senate, after which they could make their way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

School Choice

The State Senate has already passed one version of the “Croydon Bill” (SB 8) and the House passed its version yesterday (HB 557). This bill gives school districts the power to assign children to private schools in certain circumstances, using taxpayer dollars.

Says the Union Leader:

A Brief History of NH Marijuana Legislation

Few things get my goat more than when we see liberties expand in New Hampshire--as we saw recently with Constitutional Carry--and then the naysayers respond on Facebook with some version of "Still can't grow weed," or "Legalize MJ then I'll move."

Besides the giant red flag of demanding that other people expand your liberties for you before you commit to moving, it is frustrating when you consider how many years Granite State activists have been working on marijuana reform. An early mover posted the following in response to one such comment, and I thought it would be good to share for educational purposes:

1997, HB118 – Decrim <1½ oz.; killed in House

1998, HB1559 – Legal medical; killed in House

1999, HB87 – Decrim <1 oz.; killed in House (219-142)

2000, HB202 – Legal medical; interim study

2001, HB721 – Legal medical; killed in House (223-101)

2005, HB197 – Decrim all amounts; killed in House (295-60)

2005, HB238 – Legal medical; killed in House (252-116)

2007, HB92 – Decrim all amounts; died in House

Constitutional Carry Signed into Law

Gov. Chris Sununu signs SB12

Constitutional Carry SB12 has been signed into law by Governor Sununu. You may recall, a similar bill was passed in 2015, only to be vetoed by then Governor Hassan.

New Hampshire is an open carry state, meaning anyone who legally owns a gun can carry the firearm in the open. But before today, gun owners needed to get a license from local police or town officials to carry a loaded firearm concealed. From today forward, there is no longer a “suitable person” permit requirement to carry concealed.

During the legislative session, the New Hampshire state Senate voted along party lines,13-10, to pass the bill, followed later by a 200-97 vote in the House in favor of the measure.

New Hampshire now joins its neighbors Vermont and Maine as another Constitutional Carry state. As with the other 11 states that have moved to Constitutional Carry, the Granite State’s “shall issue” permit system will remain in place for residents seeking reciprocity with other states.

Liberty Forum Was Awesomesauce!

Hundreds of free thinkers attended the Free State Project’s 10th Annual Liberty Forum this past weekend. Thank you to everyone who came! Tickets to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, our summer extravaganza went on sale. We’ve already sold more than 150 PorcFest XIV tickets, so take advantage of the lowest available price, and get yours today!

Due to renovations at the Radisson, we held Liberty Forum in the Expo Center where we utilized the 65,000 square foot space for our vendor area, keynote addresses, our dining area, as well as a bar and lounge where folks could hang out. Talks and kid’s activities were held in breakout rooms. We even had a virtual gun range--thanks, Bill D!

Look What's Cookin' in the Granite State Today

I still get and read the Union Leader the old fashioned way--paper delivered to my doorstep (or thereabouts... sometimes it seems the distance from my front door to my paper shifts depending on the temperature outside. The colder it is, the farther away it lands). Here are some highlights from today's edition:

In Granite Status, Dan Tuohy writes the "Governor's budget proposal should keep legislators busy". In the article, Governor Sununu (R) says there are "two guiding principles that should be considered at every step":

“We urge Congress to untie the hands of the States, Let us have the flexibility to design a New Hampshire system for New Hampshire Citizens.”

“We urge the creation of narrowly focused market-based solutions, rather than onerous regulations. Let us regulate our own marketplace and then hold ourselves accountable.”

School Choice Week, Soon An Everyday Occurrence?

It's National School Choice Week, and New Hampshire is showing a hearty appetite for more school choice!

You may have followed the saga of the NH Department of Education's witchhunt against the small town of Croydon. The Education Commissioner responsible, Virginia Barry, is stepping down at the end of this month. The new appointee tapped by Governor Sununu is none other than Frank Edelblut, the conservative homeschooling accountant and former legislator who surprised many (but not me!) by coming within 800 votes of beating Sununu in the Republican primary last fall. Edelblut is a big proponent of school choice, all seven of his children were home schooled, saying:

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