January’s still three months off, and as of this writing 355 proposals for bills have been filed in Concord. The complete list of these LSRs, or legislative service requests, is here. It’s always interesting to get a preview of coming attractions. This is a simple list of sponsors and topics; the texts of the bills haven’t been prepared yet. Other sponsors will undoubtedly sign on to these proposals later in the drafting process.
Abortion. Rep. Kathleen Souza (R-Manchester) is proposing bills regarding licensure of abortion facilities and collection of abortion statistics. An aside: A post I wrote recently mentioning the lack of a stats bill in NH drew an objection from a reader, who said I had no statistics about abortion’s effect on women to support my concern that we need statistics to measure abortion’s effect on women. Got that?
Death penalty. Rep. Robert “Renny” Cushing (D-Hampton), whose father was murdered in 1988, is once again introducing a bill to repeal the death penalty in New Hampshire. I oppose the death penalty, after years of being ambivalent about it. I have attended hearings on death-penalty bills before, and I am always struck by how many abortion advocates oppose the death penalty and how many defenders of the unborn support it. Time after time, the most consistent voice, defending the right to life for preborn children as well as for condemned murderers, comes from representatives of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester.
Another Dominick’s Law? Rep. Leon Rideout (R-Lancaster) has an LSR to “include ‘fetus’ in the definition of ‘another’ for the purpose of certain criminal offenses.” Another fetal homicide bill, perhaps? If so, recall that in 2012, only a last-minute desperation move by abortion advocates prevented an override of Gov. Lynch’s veto of a similar bill.
Suicide. Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter) wants to see suicide prevention programs in schools. Rep. Tim O’Flaherty (D-Manchester) has submitted a pair of LSRs relative to suicide, including one to create an affirmative defense for a person who aids or assists someone to commit suicide. Interesting juxtaposition there.
Establishing a committee to study end-of-life decisions. Rep. Charles Weed (D-Keene) is back. Recall what one of his colleagues had to say the last time Weed sponsored an “end-of-life” bill.
Stay tuned for more clues about the 2014 session. At this point, no LSR has been posted online about repealing New Hampshire’s parental notification law.