Legislative Update July 6: Legislative Wrap Up

House and Senate Wrap Up Their Work; Now It’s Governor Sununu’s Turn

 The New Hampshire House and Senate disposed of hundreds of bills in the last two days of June. The ones that passed will soon be on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk to be signed or vetoed.

Cornerstone has been following two bills in particular that deserve a veto: HB 685 and HB 1162. 

Each passed bill will first go through the administrative process known as enrollment, so we don’t know when a particular bill will be presented to the Governor. It’s not too early to let him know what you think. 

Your brief, clear, and courteous message could make the difference!

HB 685, Abortion Insurance Mandate 

Call to Action: Ask Governor Sununu to Veto HB 685

Governor Sununu should veto HB 685, which now mandates that certain health insurance policies cover abortion. 

  • Abortion insurance mandates violate the conscience rights of pro-life Granite Staters.
  • No one seeking health insurance for herself or her family should find herself without abortion-free options. Supporters of HB 685 as amended like to say that abortion is already covered under many health insurance plans. So why the effort to mandate it in even more policies? No insurer should be compelled by the state to cover – that is, help pay for – abortion. No employer who cares enough to offer health insurance as an employee benefit should thereby be forced to participate in abortions.
  • It would be an insult to voters to sign a bill that passed House and Senate in such an underhanded manner. HB 685 was rushed through to accommodate abortion supporters. The original version of HB 685 was on another topic, but the Senate voted in June to replace that language with the abortion insurance mandate. That’s called a non-germane amendment, and the House violated its own rules in order to accept it. The public had no opportunity to testify on that language before the House voted to concur with the Senate amendment. 

HB 685 will soon arrive on the Governor’s desk after the House voted last Tuesday to concur with the Senate’s abortion-mandate amendment. The vote was 196-132, mostly along partisan linesA “Yea” vote was a vote to accept the mandate. Independent Rep. Max Abramson and Democrat Mark Vallone joined 130 Republicans in voting Nay. All other Democrats were joined by two Republicans in voting Yea.

Email Governor Sununu on HB 685: governorsununu@nh.gov
Call the Governor’s Office at (603) 271-2121

HB 1162, Relative to Adoption and Parentage 

Call to Action: Ask Governor Sununu to Veto HB 1162

This bill would allow any two adults to adopt a child, regardless of any relationship that may or may not otherwise exist between the adults. That change in adoption law deserves far more scrutiny and analysis than it has gotten so far.

HB 1162 is the prime example of an omnibus bill that needs to be stopped. Fourteen bills relating to child welfare were rolled into one by the legislature. When legislation is about the composition of the family, it deserves its own vote. Bundling it with more than a dozen other bills is not in the best interests of families or children. 

HB 1162 will soon arrive on the Governor’s desk after the House voted last Tuesday to concur with a Senate amendment to the bill. The vote was 209-119

Email Governor Sununu on HB 685: governorsununu@nh.gov
Call the Governor’s Office at (603) 271-2121

Update on SB 480, Save Women’s Sports

SB 480, the Save Women’s Sports bill, was tabled by the Senate. Now that the Senate has adjourned, the bill is dead.

Cornerstone supported SB 480 as a matter of fairness and equity in school sports. We thank everyone who spoke up for the commonsense policy that every student should have the opportunity to participate in school sports, on teams consistent with the student’s biological sex.

From the U.S. Supreme Court: Good News for School Choice, Bad News for Women’s Health

On Monday, June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court in June Medical Services v. Russo overturned a Louisiana law requiring that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges in case a woman suffers post-abortion complications. This 5-4 decision placed the commercial interests of abortion providers ahead of women’s health. See Cornerstone’s commentary on the June Medical decision.

The following day, the Court issued a decision that will strengthen school choice initiatives in every state. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, on a 5-4 vote,the Court invalidated a constitutional provision called a Blaine Amendment that prevented low-income families from choosing religiously-affiliated schools for their children receiving education choice scholarships. New Hampshire has a Blaine Amendment of its own, which is likely to be unenforceable after Espinoza.Read more about the case on the Cornerstone blog