Dear Honorable Committee Members,
My name is Carla Gericke, former Republican state Senate candidate in District 20. I live in Manchester, am an immigrant from South Africa, and am an author, activist, and attorney. I am writing today to ask you to SUPPORT HB63, and I ask that this email testimony be submitted into the permanent record for this bill.
I have been following the outlandish unconstitutional response by New Hampshire’s governor to the COVID situation with much alarm, having seen this sort of government “emergency power” overreach as a child growing up in a police state, where the little guy always got bamboozled by the all-powerful, unconstrained state.
What I saw over the past year should never be repeated in our great state, and I ask you to SUPPORT HB63 to help reverse the harmful, unnecessary, unilateral, and unconstitutional actions taken by one man acting like a king.
Governor Sununu spent the last year issuing scores of executive orders based on an incorrect reading of the situation. According to the state’s own data NO EMERGENCY has existed in NH because the All-Cause Mortality Rate remains on trend, meaning there is no discernible pandemic death rate spike.
I further submit that even if an “emergency” exists, no Governor has the authority to suspend the US and NH Constitutions, which, shockingly, is what Governor Sununu’s executive orders claimed to do by eliminating the right to assembly, worship, and free speech. Even more shockingly, and, as an attorney, tragically, the Courts played along. Executive Order #65, which institutes penalties and fines against people trying stay in business, is especially egregious, as is the arbitrarily enforcement of this order by the AG’s office against some businesses.
HB63 aims to right this wrong by voiding or reversing such fines and penalties.
Now that President Biden has said there’s “nothing we can do about COVID,” it seems time for our legislature to follow suit and SUPPORT HB63 to get New Hampshire back on track and stop punishing people for trying to make a living.
Mistakes were made, but now that we have a better sense of the actual risks, where they lie, and whom is most vulnerable, let’s work together to fix the problems that were inadvertently created by the governor’s orders. This starts with SUPPORTING HB63 to reverse the penalties and fines instituted arbitrarily against productive Granite Staters.
Thank you for your time.