Early House Action, 2018: Mixed Results

In the first floor sessions of 2018, the New Hampshire House approved a bill to establish education savings accounts but killed an abortion statistics bill. In a pair of dramatic votes that each required a tiebreaking vote by Speaker of the House Gene Chandler, the House voted “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) on two therapy ban bills, one of which might be reconsidered on February 7.

SB 193-FN, education savings accounts, was approved on a motion of “ought to pass with amendment,” 184-162. Next stop for this educational choice bill is the House Finance Committee.

HB 471, abortion statistics, got a favorable vote in committee but was rejected by the full House on an “inexpedient to legislate” motion, 200-154. A “Yea” vote on the ITL motion was a vote to kill abortion statistics.

HB 587 and SB 224 are attempts to ban talk therapy for licensed counselors working with minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity. The ITL vote on HB 587 was 166-165. The ITL vote on SB 224 was 170-169. A “Yea” vote on these motions was a vote to protect counselors and the minors who come to them for help.

One of the therapy ban bills, HB 587, will be brought up again during the House’s February 7 session, upon the request of Rep. Henry Parkhurst (D-Winchester) for reconsideration. If House members vote to reconsider the bill, the earlier ITL vote could be overturned.