Legislative Update June 10

Week of June 10th – June 14th 

Tell Gov. Sununu: Keep Abortion Out of State Budget!

New Hampshire taxpayers will be funding abortions directly if Governor Sununu accepts the state budget passed by the Senate.

Call the Governor at 271-2121 and let him know you do not want your tax dollars used for abortion!

From the New Hampshire Union Leader, 6/7/19, “Democrats moving Senate budget toward finish line”: “The debate turned to abortion when Senate Democrats added language to allow state spending for abortion in response to the Trump Administration’s ‘gag rule’ that threatens to reduce federal grants for family planning.”

In fact, that so-called ‘gag rule’ is simply an order that federal family planning funds should not go to abortion providers. New Hampshire’s Senate Democrats want to use that rule as an excuse to use your money to pay for abortions.

Under the federal Hyde Amendment, federal Medicaid dollars cannot be used for most abortions. New Hampshire has had a similar policy on the state level, up to now. The state budget proposed by the Democrats throws that policy out the window.

The state budget is still being developed, with a deadline of June 30 (the end of the state’s fiscal year). It’s up to Governor Sununu to make the final decision on what’s included. Let him know you want him to keep abortion out of the New Hampshire budget.

Committee Work Sessions 

BILL: HB 201 Increasing Penalties for Buyers under the Law Regarding Trafficking in Persons.

WHEN: House Criminal Justice will have a work session open to the public at 10:00am on Monday, June 10th; Legislative Office Building Rm 204.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  SUPPORT in its original form. The bill increases the penalties for anyone paying for sex with trafficked minors. This is a measure to protect children. Advocates of decriminalization of prostitution have tried to amend the bill for their own purposes. Cornerstone is proud to stand with allies who want to protect children and pass this bill in its original, unamended form.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  The work session is open to the public. If you can’t attend, watch for our updates on the progress of the bill.

House Session Thursday, June 13 

BILL: HB 291 Establishing a Committee to Study Certain Findings Regarding Hospice and Palliative Care

STATUS: The House has not yet voted on the Senate’s version of the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED The Senate amendment improves the bill, but does not go far enough to ensure that assisted suicide is ruled out as a topic for study. We cannot allow a bill that would usher in physician-assisted suicide

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Ask your state representatives to non-concur with the Senate version, and do not request a committee of conference.

BILL: HB 480 Sports Betting

STATUS: The House has not yet voted on the Senate’s version of the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITIONOPPOSED. HB 480 would expand legal gambling, in a manner that makes the state rely on gambling addiction in order to make sports betting a reliable state revenue source. Read Cornerstone’s op-ed, “Gambling With Our People.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Ask your state representatives to non-concur with the Senate version, and do not request a committee of conference.

BILL: HB 446, Initiating Amendments and Corrections to Birth Certificates

STATUS: The House has not yet voted on the Senate’s version of the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITION OPPOSED. Vital records exist to document facts, not feelings about one’s own age, sex, or place of birth. For more information including the text of the amendment the Senate adopted, see the blog post on the Cornerstone website

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Ask your state representative to non-concur with the Senate version and do not request a committee of conference.

BILL: HB 608 Expanding the Law Against Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

STATUS: The House has not yet voted on the Senate’s version of the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITION OPPOSED. What seems like a harmless housekeeping bill is a lot more insidious, a way to punish those who don’t get on board with LGBTQ policies. Read about the unintended consequences here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Ask your state representative to non-concur with the Senate version and do not request a committee of conference.

BILL: HB 669, Relative to Gender Identity Information on Drivers’ Licenses and Non-Driver IDs

Tell Governor Sununu it’s time to take out his veto pen!

STATUS: Now that it has been passed by both the House and the Senate, this bill awaiting the enrollment process before it goes to the Governor.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. The bill would allow a gender notation of M, F, or X (meaning non-binary or “other”) on drivers’ licenses and state-issued non-driver IDs. It makes no sense to allow a subjective feeling to determine the data appearing on such documents. Read Cornerstone’s testimony on HB 669. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you have not already done so, call the Governor at (603) 271-2121 or send him a message asking him to VETO HB 669. Not to be swayed by appeals to “compassion” for people who identify as neither male nor female. The information on a driver’s license has never before been dictated by feelings.

Update on Recent Legislative Action
Bills we have been following, that are now on to the next steps.

BILL: SB 41 Relative to Historical Racing

STATUS: Victory! The New Hampshire House has defeated the so-called historic racing bill, SB 41House voted “Inexpedient to Legislate” 184-157. View the Roll Call here and thank those who voted to kill this bill on the House floor.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. This “racing” bill would have been a back-door way to bring slot machines to the Granite State. Thanks to your efforts, SB 41 was killed Read our position here.

BILL: SB 263 Relative to Anti-Discrimination for Students in Public Schools

STATUS: Unfortunately, despite the serious problems with the bill, the House voted to pass SB 263. House and Senate language must now be reconciled.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED No one wants invidious discrimination in schools. SB 263 does not attack the problem of discrimination, however. It poses more questions than solutions, and it requires far more serious study than it has received so far in the legislature. See “Gender Politics Goes to School,” Cornerstone’s most recent commentary on the bill. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Watch future updates for information on next steps.

BILL: SB 111 Relative to the Collection of Health Care Data 

STATUS:  The House passed SB 111, a health data collection bill, after rejecting an amendment that would have included abortion statistics. There was a roll call on the amendment, with a “yea” vote indicating support for collecting and reporting abortion statistics. You can view the roll call here. If your representative voted “yea” on the proposed amendment to SB 111, say thank-you!

CORNERSTONE POSITION: We took no position on this bill earlier in the session, but we supported the committee minority’s recommendation of “ought to pass with amendment” (amendment #1789h). The bill is about collecting data on several health conditions. If state public health officials can collect data about other conditions while protecting patient privacy, they should certainly be able to do so about abortion. As the committee minority report said, “This bill is good, but is incomplete without data for pregnancy termination.”