Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives flexed their new majority strength on Jan. 2, nixing the Committee for Redress of Grievances, a panel popular among Republicans.
The House voted 226-147 to amend part of its 2013 rules, eliminating the committee.
Rep. Daniel Tamburello (R-Londonderry) was among those trying to keep the panel, calling it a constitutionally created mechanism to help people redress grievances.
Rep. Robert Willette (R-Milford) also spoke in favor of it. He served as vice chairman of the Committee for Redress in the previous legislative session. Willette noted, from the committee's existence in the previous session, that every petitioner coming before the committee had to propose a legislative action or the petition wasn't entertained.
Rep. Pamela Tucker (R-Greenland) said the process "gave a voice to the people."
Moving for the rule change, Rep. Gary Richardson (D-Hopkinton) said the New Hampshire House is one of the most representative bodies, and any outstanding or pressing issue could be raised via legislation, on a case-by-case basis.
Other Democrats were more blunt.
Rep. Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) tweeted, "The Redress Committee is nothing more than a way for crack pots to re-litigate issues before an unqualified kangaroo court."
Here is the full wording of the old rule (Rule 18), according to the New Hampshire House of Representatives website:
It shall be the duty of the Committee for Redress of Grievances to consider petitions for the redress of grievances submitted to the House pursuant to Part I, Articles 31 and 32 of the New Hampshire Constitution. All petitions for redress of grievances to the House must be submitted by a member of the House, and clearly and succinctly state the grievance and a proposed legislative remedy. After hearing from the member sponsoring the petition, it shall be the duty of the committee chair to determine if any petition is the proper subject of a public hearing and to limit hearings as appropriate.