Recent House roll calls: limiting late-term abortion, HB 625

The New Hampshire House voted 191-160 to pass HB 625, limiting abortions after 24 weeks’ gestation, with an exception for a mother’s medical emergency. The roll call is on the General Court website.

Contact information for representatives is on the General Court site as well. Thank-yous where they’re due would undoubtedly be welcomed.

A few notes

Committee recommendation overturned

Before voting on an “Ought to Pass” motion, the House had to take up the Judiciary Committee’s 11-10 recommendation of “Inexpedient to Legislate.” The House overturned the committee recommendation, as it later did with the committee’s ITL recommendation for HB 233 (born-alive protection).

No walkout

Unlike with the born-alive protection bill, there was no walkout by HB 625’s opponents. Only thirteen representatives are on the roll call as “Not Voting.”

Protecting born-alive children triggered a walkout by some House members, while limiting abortion did not. Interesting contrast there.

I have a separate post on the born-alive vote.

Party lines

The vote was generally along party lines, with Republicans in the majority. The exceptions are noted here.

Three Democrats joined 188 Republicans in voting “Ought to Pass (OTP)”: Richard Ames (Jaffrey), Stacie-Marie Laughton (Nashua), and John Mann (Alstead).

Fourteen Republicans joined 146 Democrats in opposing the OTP motion: James Allard (Pittsfield), Lex Berezhny (Grafton), Joseph Depalma IV (Littleton), Oliver Ford (Chester), Edward “Ned” Gordon (Bristol; Chairman of House Judiciary; voted against bill in committee), John Hunt (Rindge), John Lewicke (Mason), Norman Major (Plaistow), James Mason (Franklin), Russell Ober (Hudson), Diane Pauer (Brookline), Andrew Prout (Hudson), Dan Wolf (Newbury), and Josh Yokela (Fremont).

Next step

HB 625 will head to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 14-10 majority. As seen with the House roll call, though, party lines won’t necessarily hold.

Header photo by Dan Evans/Pixabay.

Recent House roll calls: born-alive protection, HB 233

The recent New Hampshire House roll call vote on born-alive protection for abortion survivors was largely along party lines, but not entirely. The HB 233 vote was messy, for various reasons. The walkout on the bill (as previously reported on this blog) could leave voters wondering if “Not Voting” next to a rep’s name means opposition or just indifference.

With all those caveats, we can now see how New Hampshire’s state representatives voted on one of the most important bills of the session so far, an act “relative to the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment.”

I have a separate post on the session’s other life-issue bill, HB 625, on late-term abortion.

Setting the stage

HB 233 was finally passed 181-49 on a division vote. “Division” means a count was taken, but no names were associated with the votes. We don’t know who voted “ought to pass.” What we do know is who voted “inexpedient to legislate,” which was a separate motion.

A look at the bill’s docket shows that no fewer than eight votes were cast on the bill or the procedures associated with it: one voice vote, three roll calls, and 4 divisions. Throw in the walkout, and we have a sense of the urgency felt by the bill’s opponents trying to derail HB 233 by any means necessary.

Remember, HB 233 is not an abortion bill. It is about protecting children already born.

You can find your own state representatives’ names and contact information on the General Court website. I recommend saying thank-you where appropriate.

The most useful vote

Among those eight votes on HB 233, the clearest and most useful vote for future reference was the roll call vote on the Judiciary Committee’s “inexpedient to legislate” motion. That was basically a simple question: shall we kill this bill? That motion failed, 46-186.

The complete roll call on the ITL motion is here. Because the motion for that roll call was “inexpedient to legislate (ITL),” a Yea vote was a vote to kill the born-alive bill. (If you are looking at the bill’s docket, see vote #40.)

That means 186 representatives went on record against killing the bill. Looks like a double negative, but that’s what happens when the motion is “inexpedient to legislate.”

I mention some party affiliations in order to sketch in the exceptions to what was otherwise a party-line vote, with most Republicans favoring the bill and thus opposing the ITL motion.

Against the party-line tide: Democrats voting against the ITL motion

Three Democrats chose not to walk out and instead go on record opposing the ITL motion. They were Larry Laflamme of Berlin, Cecilia Rich of Somersworth, and Stephen Woodcock of Center Conway.

Against the party-line tide: Republicans supporting ITL

On the other hand, twelve Republicans joined 34 Democrats in supporting the “inexpedient to legislate” motion:

Lex Berezhny (Grafton), Joseph Depalma IV (Littleton), Edward “Ned” Gordon (Bristol; chairman of Judiciary Committee; he joined committee Democrats in the committee’s 11-10 ITL recommendation), John Graham (Bedford), John Hunt (Rindge), Melissa Litchfield (Brentwood), James Mason (Franklin), Russell Ober (Hudson), Diane Pauer (Brookline), Dennis Thompson (Stewartstown), Dan Wolf (Newbury), Josh Yokela (Fremont).

How many reps bailed out on the vote?

The number of representatives listed as “Not Voting” on HB 233 – as opposed to “Excused,” which is a formal advance notification to the House Clerk of absence for cause – was 121. That reflects the walkout.

That’s right: one hundred twenty-one. If your representatives were among them, feel free to ask them why they left. Maybe they had a good reason. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they were confused about the motion. Don’t assume. Ask.

Party line? Close. Seven Republicans joined 114 Democrats in “Not Voting”: Dennis Acton (Fremont), David Danielson (Bedford), Joseph Guthrie (Hampstead), Mary Ann Kimball (Derry), David Lundgren and Betsy McKinney (both of Londonderry), and Mark Warden (Manchester).

One of my reps (a Democrat) walked out. As she explained on Facebook, “We were hoping to deprive the House of a quorum to vote on it, but it passed anyway.” I appreciate her candor, even if I don’t appreciate her walking out on her job. Perhaps her action was instructive, and someday a bill she supports will fall victim to a quorum call. Who knows?

If you look at the roll call you’ll see there were 44 excused absences, which is on the high side for a session. COVID concerns may have played a role. Given the walkout on HB 233, the bill would have passed anyway, even if all the representatives with excused absences had voted against it.

Next step

The next public hearing on HB 233 hasn’t been scheduled yet. We’ll have to wait awhile to see what the bill’s opponents will do next to kill a bill to provide medically appropriate and reasonable care to any infant born alive.

Header photo: Daisy Laparra/Pexels

Where’s the roll call on SB 66? (Update: Found!)

Update: a few hours after this post went up, so did the Senate roll calls for SB 66. View them at this link. The first roll call listed is the 8-week amendment that failed on a 12-12 vote. Sens. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and Dan Innis (R-New Castle) joined the Senate’s ten Democrats in rejecting that language. They did support the 20-week amendment, which passed 14-10. 

The thing about legislative roll calls is that they’re public. They tie elected officials to particular votes. They’re an accountability measure.

During the debate on Senate Bill 66, the fetal homicide measure passed yesterday by the New Hampshire Senate, three roll call votes were taken, according to the official docket for the bill, accessed via the General Court’s web site.

Docket of SB 66 as posted 11:30 a.m., 2/17/2017.

The first roll call (“RC”) was on an amendment; the vote was 12-12; the amendment failed (“AF”). This was the attempt to change the bill’s language to 8 weeks, instead of keeping the original “viability.”

The second roll call was on the amendment to replace “viability” with 20 weeks. This one passed (“AA” or “amendment adopted”) 14-10. The third roll call was to accept the bill as amended, and on another 14-10 vote, the bill passed.

Those RC notations are all hyperlinked to the page that ought to give us the roll calls: each Senator’s name, each Senator’s vote. Instead, we have this.

Record indicating no roll calls on SB 66, as viewed 11:30 a.m. 2/17/2017.

Each day’s roll calls are usually posted online by the end of the day. The recent House right-to-work roll call was online within ten minutes of when the vote occurred.

Personally, I’d like to know the breakdown on that 12-12 vote. I feel safe in saying all ten Democratic senators opposed the bill in all its proposed versions. So who are the two Republicans who couldn’t support the 8-week amendment?

I could just call the Senate clerk or call a Senator. But there’s that thing about roll calls being public. There’s that roll call page on the web site.

I’ll update this when and if the roll calls are posted.

 

Voting Records: Rockingham County state reps, 2015-16

In a downloadable PDF document embedded below, here is a compilation of votes cast by New Hampshire state representatives from Rockingham County on selected bills on which I’ve reported in the past session, 2015-16. No scores or endorsements – just votes.

Records for Hillsborough County representatives are in another post. I’ve not compiled records for New Hampshire’s other counties, but voting information is available at the General Court web page.

VOTE on November 8. Do not be dissuaded by the choices at the top of the ticket, if you share my aversion to the lot of them. Downballot is where policies will be made and enforced, for good or ill. Let’s get to work.

Request a sample ballot from your town clerk, if you’re not sure in which district you reside.

The only candidates I’ve included here are incumbents seeking re-election. I have omitted party affiliation. One incumbent running for re-election, Michael Edgar of Rockingham district 21, won a special election late in the term and was not in office when these votes were cast.

Any errors in the compilation are my own.

Download (PDF, 85KB)

Links to bills used for this compilation

Each hyperlink will take you to the roll call I used for the bill.

  • HB 1399, requiring licensure of outpatient abortion facilities
  • HB 1570, buffer zone repeal
  • HB 1623, prohibiting abortions for genetic abnormalities (eugenic abortion)
  • HB 1625, limiting post-viability abortions
  • HB 1627, relative to infants born alive after attempted abortion
  • HB 1636, limiting abortions past the point at which the fetus can feel pain
  • HB 1663, prohibiting buying, selling, and experimenting on aborted fetal remains
  • HB 1684, prohibiting the use of public funds, employees and facilities  in assisting or performing abortions
  • HB 194, acknowledging the personhood of the unborn human being
  • HB 560, Griffin’s Law/fetal homicide, as introduced by Rep. Rideout (more on fetal homicide legislation here)
  • HB 670, conscience rights for medical personnel

Voting records: Hillsborough County state reps, 2015-16

In a downloadable PDF document embedded below, here is a compilation of votes cast by New Hampshire state representatives from Hillsborough County on selected bills on which I’ve reported in the past session, 2015-16. Rockingham County will follow later this week. No scores or endorsements – just votes.

VOTE on November 8. Do not be dissuaded by the choices at the top of the ticket, if you share my aversion to the lot of them. Downballot is where policies will be made and enforced, for good or ill. Let’s get to work.

Look up the sample ballot for your district here, or obtain one from your town clerk, if you’re not sure in which district you reside.

The only candidates I’ve included here are incumbents seeking re-election. I have omitted party affiliation. Some former reps are running again; I’ve listed them at the end of this post.

Any errors in the compilation are my own.

Download (PDF, 101KB)

Links to bills used for this compilation

Each hyperlink will take you to the roll call I used for the bill.

  • HB 1399, requiring licensure of outpatient abortion facilities
  • HB 1570, buffer zone repeal
  • HB 1623, prohibiting abortions for genetic abnormalities (eugenic abortion)
  • HB 1625, limiting post-viability abortions
  • HB 1627, relative to infants born alive after attempted abortion
  • HB 1636, limiting abortions past the point at which the fetus can feel pain
  • HB 1663, prohibiting buying, selling, and experimenting on aborted fetal remains
  • HB 1684, prohibiting the use of public funds, employees and facilities  in assisting or performing abortions
  • HB 194, acknowledging the personhood of the unborn human being
  • HB 560, Griffin’s Law/fetal homicide, as introduced by Rep. Rideout (more on fetal homicide legislation here)
  • HB 670, conscience rights for medical personnel

Former representatives running again

Several ex-representatives from Hillsborough County are trying to get back into office.  Before the 2014 election, I made a compilation of votes similar to the one I’ve posted here, and many of these former reps are listed. Go to the 2014 post “How They’ve Voted” to view or download the Hillsborough County sheet and search for these names (here with district numbers in parentheses):

Mark Warden (8), Win Hutchinson (9),  Steve Vaillancourt (15), Brenda Grady & Bob L’Heureux (21), Shannon Chandley (22), Melanie Levesque (26), Sylvia Gale and Jan Schmidt (28), Michael Balboni (29), Mariellen MacKay (30), Linda Harriott-Gathright & Kevin Brown (36), Andy Renzullo (37).