In the last 30 seconds or so, the camera pans to the spectators viewing the legislative drama. According to text inserted into the YouTube video, the audience was composed almost entirely of charter school opponents. There was a representative from the Democratic governor’s office, for example. There were lobbyists from a powerful teachers union and a school boards association. Behind those lobbyists: more lobbyists.
None of them looked happy with the result of the vote. One got up immediately after the vote and left the room, slamming the door behind him with an angry thud.
“The moratorium seems to have been designed as a way to make the unions happy after they spent $1.3 million in New Hampshire in the last election cycle,” suggested Matt Southerton, director of the New Hampshire Center for Innovative Charter Schools.
Southerton uploaded the video onto YouTube.
House Bill 299 now heads to the House Finance Committee for another vote. If it clears that hurdle, the next step will be a vote in the full House.
Democrats currently control the New Hampshire House of Representatives by a fairly narrow margin.