, Kingston, NH

My Opinion

January 23, 2014

My Opinion: January 23, 2014

RAYMOND —The New Hampshire House met on January 8 to take up the Governor’s vetoes and close out the 2013 Session.

The three bills that the governor vetoed were taken up. Please bear in mind that both the House and Senate passed these bills and sent them to the governor to be signed. On each bill a “veto override/passage” (VOP) is taken, with a “yes” vote to override the veto and a “no” vote to sustain the governor’s veto. To VOP a 2/3 passage is required.

The three bills were:

HB-183 (HB - House bill), relative to processing absentee ballots.

VOP RC 176-163 (RC roll call), failed, veto sustained.

HB-403, establishing a committee to study end of life decisions.

VOP RC 124-218, failed, veto sustained.

HB-505, relative to the economic development advisory council.

VOP RC 165-175, failed, veto sustained.

With the 2013 work finished, we closed out the 2013 Session, took a break to switch over the voting system.

Returning, we opened the 2014 Session with 341 members present, out of the 400 seats. Was your representative present?

The consent calendar had 76 bills on it, of which six were pulled for debate. These will be debated after the regular calendar is done. Some of the bills of interest we did were:

HB-525, raising the age of minority for juvenile delinquency proceedings from 17 to 18 years of age. Amendment (A) A-2373h passed on a voice vote. Bill passed Ought to Pass (OPT) with A OTP-A RC 324-17. The main reason to pass this bill raising the age is the enforcement of the “Prison Rape Elimination Act and the “Civil Rights of Incarcerated Persons Act”. These two laws require very expensive sight and sound separation of an inmate under 18 from those over 18.

HB-544, repealing the prohibition on a state-based health exchange. The Democrats jumped on this bill, which the policy committee voted “Inexpedient to Legislate” (ITL), with a plan to bring back their special session bill, SSHB-1 “Medicaid-expansion” bill they passed, but the Senate killed. The vote on ITL failed RC 165-178, and A-0025h was brought forward. Debate on it being germaine failed. Attempt to divide the A failed RC 160-183. Challenge of the Speakers ruling of being germaine failed RC 215-116 upholding her. Three amendments to the newly amended bill all failed on RC votes. An attempt to recommit bill to the Commerce & Consumer Affairs Committee so it could receive a proper public hearing failed RC 152-184. Bill voted OTP-A RC 181-154. Attempt to commit bill to Finance Committee failed RC 151-184. Our only hope now is that the Senate in their wisdom will kill this crazy bill again. Please contact your Senator and ask that they vote to kill it. This is not for New Hampshire!

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