The New Hampshire House will vote on June 30 whether to agree with a Senate amendment creating an abortion insurance mandate bill. The House will vote to concur (agree) or non-concur (disagree) with the Senate’s changes to HB 685. The House intends to wrap up its session on the 30th, coming back only in September to consider vetoed bills.
If a majority votes to non-concur, HB 685 and the abortion insurance mandate will die. If a majority votes instead to concur, the bill will go to Governor Chris Sununu. The Governor has made no public statement on whether he’ll veto HB 685.
Reaching House members
To reach House members before Tuesday, June 30, look up your district and representatives’ names at the General Court website. Note that you may live in two districts, one for your town and another “floterial” district covering several towns. In that case, contact representatives from both districts.
To kill HB 685, the message is please vote to non-concur with HB 685.
Brief and courteous messages are always the way to go.
Reaching out to the Governor will be the next step if the House concurs. If you want to get a jump on that, call the Governor’s office at (603) 271-2121 and ask for a veto if HB 685 gets to his desk. Thumbs up to the staff at the Governor’s office, which fields all such calls and makes sure the Governor hears about them.
The sneaky swap: senate’s non-germane amendment
As previously reported, HB 685 bears no relationship to the original bill passed by the House. As introduced, HB 685 was about insurance for ambulance services. That’s what the House passed. The Senate, where a majority is more interested in abortion than in ambulance services, amended the bill by stripping out the original language altogether and replacing it with an abortion insurance mandate. The vote on the non-germane amendment – meaning the amendment has no relationship to the topic of the original bill – was 14-10 along party lines.
To add insult to injury, the Senate majority accepted a new name for the bill: “The Reproductive Health Parity Act of 2020.”
Even a House member who’s a fan of abortion mandates could take offense at the Senate’s casual dismissal of a House bill. Procedure alone is reason enough to torpedo HB 685 as amended.
There’s more: there was NO House hearing on the material in HB 685 as amended. No House member should be supporting that kind of sneaky process.
If this procedural nonsense succeeds, it will set a precedent for future legislatures. Its use won’t be limited to one party or the other. No House member should be willing to open that door. No representative voting to concur with HB 685 as amended will have any business objecting if his or her own pet bill falls prey to shenanigans in the future.
Because the House intends to finish this session’s regular business on June 30, without forming any conference committees, a vote to non-concur will kill HB 685.
I’ll add a link to the roll call after the House vote.