Update: Griffin’s Law “re-referred” to Senate committee

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday voted to re-refer the fetal homicide bill nicknamed “Griffin’s Law”, HB 560, to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This will keep the bill introduced by Rep. Leon Rideout off the Senate floor for the rest of this year. According to Senate rules, “Rerefer to committee shall be a committee report only in the first year session and all such rereferred bills or resolutions shall be acted on by the fourth legislative day of the second year session.” 2015 is the first year of the two-year legislative session.

Senator Regina Birdsell’s Senate Bill 40, another fetal homicide measure, is still under consideration. It was amended in the House to be consistent with HB 560. It has not yet been scheduled for a concurrence vote in the Senate.

Rep. Rideout issued a statement after the vote. “I will continue the effort to bring a clear and concise fetal homicide law to New Hampshire. Families of the most innocent victims deserve no less from our state.”


Notes on a the vote: Two votes were taken on the same motion Thursday for HB 560. The Judiciary Committee recommended re-referral, and that motion was brought up for a roll call vote. It failed on an 11-13 vote, with supporters and opponents of the underlying bill on both sides of the re-refer question. The Senate President then ordered a thirty-minute recess that stretched to an hour. When the Senate re-convened, Senator Gary Daniels (a Griffin’s Law supporter) made another move for re-referral. Senator Kevin Avard asked for a roll call, but withdrew the request after a hasty conversation with his colleagues. Re-referral then passed on a voice vote.

Author: Ellen Kolb

New Hampshire-based writer, activist, hiker.