State House Roundup
It was a very busy Wednesday at the State House, with the House and Senate taking up a number of key votes on both important bills and veto overrides, and the Executive Council had a full agenda as well. Here’s a look at some of the votes we were watching…
The budget passed by a 274-108 House vote and a party lines 19-5 Senate vote. The $10.2 billion biannual budget cuts billions in spending – about 9% total – eliminating up to 1,000 state employees, and including across-the-board cuts to many state agencies. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse called the budget process a “balancing act” and he seemed to have it right – some Democrats attacked the spending plan for its deep cuts to social services, and some conservatives attacked it for not cutting enough. The budget now heads to Gov. Lynch’s desk, where a veto is unlikely as it was passed with solidly veto-proof majorities in both chambers.
SB-52, which amends previously passed SB-500 by giving greater authority to the Parole Board to determine sentencing and early release for parole violators, passed by a 270-100 vote in the House and a voice vote in the Senate.
SB-196, which increases requirements for public school teacher tenure and adds new restrictions for teachers to contest firings, passed 18-6 in the Senate and via a voice vote in the House.
The House vote on an override of Gov. Lynch’s veto of the Right-To-Work legislation has been tabled until the fall, when Speaker Bill O’Brien plans to finally bring it up for a vote, which he must do by December. Must be pretty anti-climatic for all those protestors that have been turning out every week.
The House voted to override Gov. Lynch’s veto of a bill requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions by a vote of 266-102, followed by a 17-7 Senate vote. Parental notification will become law on January 1st, 2012.
The legislature voted to override Gov. Lynch’s veto of a bill that prevents planning boards from requiring fire sprinkler systems to be installed in every new home by a 294-72 House vote and 17-6 Senate vote. This issue was part of a NHJ study on housing costs, where homebuilders told us that the sprinkler requirement would add an estimated $20,000 to the median cost of a new home.
Meanwhile, the Executive Council voted to reject a proposed $1.8 million state contract with Planned Parenthood, citing the organization’s role as an abortion provider, a $250K CEO salary, and its location outside New Hampshire as primary reasons for the decision.
Did we miss anything? Leave your tips in the comments section below!