NH House kills bill to keep taxpayers out of the abortion business

A bill to prevent New Hampshire funds from being used to subsidize abortion providers went down to defeat this morning. Rep. Warren Groen (R-Rochester) sponsored the bill, HB 677,

Here’s the link to the roll call. The vote was 216-142 on an “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) motion. Voting against the motion was the right thing to do.

A few notes about the vote:

  • Three Democrats bucked their party by opposing the ITL: Roger Berube (D-Somersworth), Amanda Bouldin (D-Manchester), Alan Cohen (D-Nashua). The other 139 votes against ITL came from Republicans.
  • A Republican representative has advised me that the speaker’s leadership team did not take a formal position beyond advising the Republican caucus that the Judiciary Committee had recommended ITL. Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) and Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) voted ITL; majority whip Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) opposed the motion; Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson was presiding and did not vote.
  • Thirty-eight representatives are listed as “not voting.” That makes no distinction between excused absences and simply ducking the bill. The House Journal for the day’s proceedings will be ready in a week or so, with excused absences listed.
  • When a similar bill came up in 2012, (HB 228, also sponsored by Rep. Groen), the House voted to pass it, 207-147. The Senate later tabled the bill.