Below is a letter from today’s Portsmouth Herald. Sen. Stiles deserves a better defense than former representative Greg Hill’s lame accusations about “vapid,” but poor Mr. Hill doesn’t know any better. Mud-slinging is the only form of debate he understands. He was one of Bill O’Brien’s soldiers who, like New Castle’s Will Smith, was defeated at the polls last November because he represented an ideology rather than his constituents.
Folks in the seacoast won’t recognize the name but, along with Mr. Smith, Mr. Hill was a co-sponsor of the voucher tax credit bill that sends millions of state dollars to private and religious schools. The bill passed a Legislature dominated by the likes of Mr. Hill and Mr. Smith. Now the voters have spoken and we have a more balanced Legislature. Repealing last year’s bad legislation in on the agenda and Sen. Stiles is the single vote preventing repeal of the voucher tax credit.
The idea the Mr. Hill and Sen. Stiles are putting forward, that the legislature would revisit the voucher tax credit in a year or two, is not credible. There will be no new data in a year or two, but there will be kids depending on the program. Sen. Stiles, Mr. Smith and Mr. Hill should accept the decision of the voters and an accept repeal of one of the worst decisions that last Legislature made – now.
Feb. 19 — To the Editor:
The Seacoast should consider themselves lucky to have state Sen. Nancy Stiles represent them in Concord. As a representative who spent much time observing and testifying before Chairwoman Stiles of the Senate Education Committee, I can state she is a thoughtful and fair person. It therefore, came as some surprise to read Wendy Frosh’s somewhat vapid letter condemning the senator in this paper.
Sen. Stiles recently testified (along with 50 or so others) against the repeal of the Education Tax Credit program. In doing so, she made a point that has been oft repeated. It was made often in the prior Legislature when other repeal bills were considered. Let the recently enacted bills be tried before condemning them to the trash heap.
The Education Tax Credit legislation passed over a governor’s veto with almost 70 percent approval. That fact alone should give it a chance to prove its worth.
Gathering additional facts after it has been in place a year or two will provide us needed information to see if the results experienced in other states with similar programs can be replicated here.
Goals of high parental satisfaction coupled with state savings. That’s what Sen. Stiles was suggesting. And she was right.
The goal is not to let the law take effect and to later evaluate its measures, the goal is instead to enact a law that would be even more difficult to repeal a few years down the road.
Beautifully put, George.