NH Legislature Passes School Choice by Veto-Proof Majority

The New Hampshire House and Senate have overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give businesses tax credits for contributing to scholarship funds, which could make payments on behalf of students attending private schools. Even if the governor vetoes, the bill should pass into law. According to the Ruger-Sorens database of state policies, New Hampshire will join Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania in offering tax credit or deduction programs for private education.

(Nota bene: The New Hampshire Supreme Court has previously ruled that giving tax relief to parents for sending children to religious schools would violate the establishment clause of the state constitution. Thus, this sort of program is the only way that full school choice that includes religious schools can be enacted in New Hampshire.)

4 thoughts on “NH Legislature Passes School Choice by Veto-Proof Majority

  1. The New Hampshire Supreme Court has previously ruled that giving tax relief to parents for sending children to religious schools would violate the establishment clause of the state constitution.

    Blaine Amendment. Ugh.

    What would it take to amend the NH Constitution?

    1. 3/5 of each house must approve the amendment, followed by 2/3 of the voters. This basically means that only amendments with substantial bipartisan support can get through the 2nd stage.

      1. Adam Schaeffer at the Cato Institute has done impressive work on why tax credits are more popular than vouchers as well as being better policy. His dissertation was on school choice and the fiscal frame.

        I think that if a large majority of parents could be convinced that a Universal Tuition Tax Credit would be equivalent to a Universal Tax Cut for Parents, it might me able to clear this high bar of approval. (E.g., the message would be “Hey, parents! Lower your own property tax liability!”)

        I would think that this would take no less than 12 years with a combination hard work, adequate funding, organizing savvy, and good luck.

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