[Update: Shortly after I posted this, an attorney gently inquired of me if the Governor’s action has to wait on formal enrollment of the bill, in addition to the votes. I defer to him on matters like that, and I apologize for any error I made.]
The Governor of New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan, is a frankly and fully identified “pro-choicer.” The passage of SB 319, the buffer zone law, should be on her desk by now. So when’s the party?
According to her web site, Hassan has issued statements immediately upon the passage of several bills this session: Medicaid expansion, a transportation funding bill, improvements to the state’s domestic violence laws, “paycheck fairness.” Nowhere on the list, at least as of noon today, is a statement on the passage of the buffer zone bill.
Passage of landmark pieces of legislation in areas promoted by the chief executive usually feature a thumbs-up statement as soon as the legislature passes the bill, followed by a signing ceremony with advocates of the bill looking on approvingly. So far, no thumbs-up on the Governor’s web page. No announcement of a signing ceremony (although I’m sure one is in the works). What’s she waiting for?
I can’t believe she’ll avoid a ceremonial signing, nor can I believe she’ll let it become law without her signature. She has a few days yet to prove me wrong. Is she just waiting for confirmation from the major abortion providers that their signs are ready to go up? The law will go into effect the moment she signs it, but it can’t be enforced at any abortion facility until the signs are up around it. Perhaps she was hoping yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions would include one upholding Massachusetts’s buffer zone law. No luck there.
The buffer zones, those “no First Amendment for you” signs, will go up any day now. You’d think, though, that there’d be more celebration from an EMILY’s List beneficiary.