Legislative Update February 10th

Week of February 10-17, 2020 

Key Legislation:

  • HB 1659-FN, Physician-assisted suicide
  • CACR 14, abortion in state constitution, report on committee vote
  • Updates on other legislation including born-alive protection, prenatal non-discrimination, and women’s sports

BUT FIRST, A Note from Cornerstone on
WHY Your Voice Is Important!

Why doesn’t Cornerstone provide you with one-click email messages for legislators in our weekly updates? Because your voice is what counts.

We recently heard from one committee chairman that receiving hundreds of automated emails with the same message carries little weight. This is why Cornerstone in its updates provides you with live links to the various committees and contact pages: so you can compose your own message.

When you’re concerned about a bill or an issue, take a few minutes to contact the committee or your legislator by calling, writing, or sending a short email in your own words. Your message can be as simple as stating your support/opposition and making a voting recommendation. Your voice counts!

(Note: If you email a committee about multiple bills, please send a separate email for each bill. If you opt to call, you may mention multiple bills.)

HB 1659-FN , Assisted Suicide

WHEN: Hearing is Wednesday, February 12, 1 pm, House Judiciary Committee, in Representatives Hall in the State House (enter on second floor). The committee will vote on this bill in executive session on Wednesday, March 4.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES HB 1659-FN: Behind deceptive language such as “end-of-life options” or “death with dignity,” lies a harsh reality. Most individuals seek assisted suicide not because of their own pain but because they fear they are a burden to others. This disproportionately impacts the disabled and those living with chronic conditions. No one, not even a physician, can accurately predict end of life. Cornerstone believes codifying assisted suicide in our state law will hurt our people, especially the most vulnerable. Read and share our blog post on HB 1659-FN. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 
1) Attend the hearing. The Cornerstone team will have stickers you can wear so that the committee can see a strong show of opposition to HB 1659-FN. Coming for as little as an hour can make a difference. On the sign-in sheets you’ll find on the way into Representatives Hall, sign your name, town, and check off that you are opposed to HB 1659-FN.  Your presence and voice counts.
2) Contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to recommend “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 1659-FN.

Update on Recent Legislative Action

Bills we have been following that are now on to the next steps. Your voice still needed and still matters! 

CACR 14, Abortion in the NH Constitution

STATUS: The House Judiciary Committee voted on CACR 14 in executive session on February 5. By a margin of 18-2, the committee voted “inexpedient to legislate,” and we are overjoyed. Your overwhelming turnout opposing this poorly-crafted and objectionable amendment made a clear, compelling case and was effective beyond our expectations.

NEXT STEP: The bill will be voted on by the full House, at a date yet to be determined. In addition to the committee’s recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate,” there will be a minority report submitted, so there will be a floor discussion before voting. 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES CACR 14. (Read Cornerstone’s report on the hearing, Constitutional Amendment on Abortion Meets Strong Opposition.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your representative and urge him/her to vote “no” on CACR 14.


HB 1251, Participation in school sports for female student athletes (Saving Women’s Sports) 

STATUS: Second hearing was on Tuesday, February 4. That morning, Cornerstone learned that new testimony was being allowed in contradiction to parameters the chairman had previously set (limiting testimony to those who had filled out cards at the first hearing). Opponents of the bill turned out in force armed with prepared testimony. Only half the committee members were in attendance.

NEXT STEP: The committee has not yet scheduled a vote on HB 1251. However, there may be an executive session on Wednesday, February 12th when the bill could be voted on by the committee.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1251. The research and science are clear. Allowing biological males to compete against girls robs them of the opportunity to win. Read our commentary and testimony on HB 1251.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: This bill has encountered stiff opposition and needs your support. If you haven’t already done so, please contact members of the House Education Committee and ask them to recommend “ought to pass” on HB 1251.

HB 1675-FNBorn Alive Infant Protection Act

STATUS: The hearing was held on Wednesday, January 29. This is the House version of born-alive legislation. The Senate version, SB 741-FN, is described below in this update.

NEXT STEP: The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for Wednesday, March 4. 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1675-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony at the hearing, clarifying the bill and its scope.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge the members to vote “Ought to Pass” (OTP) on HB 1675-FN.(see information on companion bill HB 1678-FN below).

Note: If you email a committee on multiple bills, please send a separate email for each bill. If you opt to call, you may mention multiple bills.

SB 741-FN, Senate version of born-alive infant protection act (House version is HB1675-FN) 

STATUS:  The hearing was held on February 4 by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

NEXT STEP: The Committee will meet in executive session to vote on their recommendation to the full senate. Date is to be determined.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS SB 741-FN. It addresses current statutory gaps in NH state law and ensures infants who are born alive will receive needed medical care. Read our full testimony on behalf of the SB 741-FN.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 
Contact members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and ask them to recommend “ought to pass” on SB 741-FN.

HB 1678-FNPrenatal Non-discrimination Act

STATUS: The hearing was on Wednesday, January 29. 

NEXT STEP: The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for Wednesday, March 4.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1678-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony at the hearing, clarifying the bill and its scope.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge the members to vote “Ought to Pass” (OTP) on HB 1678-FN and companion bill 1675-FN. (See above.)

Note: If you email a committee on multiple bills, please send a separate email for each bill. If you opt to call, you may mention multiple bills.

 

Good news on SB 663-FN, Affecting Education Tax Credit Program

Read the summary of the bill by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy: Senate bill would redirect money for lower-income scholarship kids to higher-income college grads

STATUS:   Great news! In line with the committee recommendation, the full Senate voted “inexpedient to legislate,” a vote in favor of New Hampshire’s successful education tax credit program which has enabled hundreds of  New Hampshire families to exercise school choice for the benefit of their children.

NEXT STEP:  None. The bill dies here.