2019 Scorecard Bill Descriptions

2019 Bills Scored in the Senate

Voting Rights

HB 105 would repeal SB 3 (2017), the highly controversial bill that required voters wishing to register and vote on election day to provide written proof of domicile. If they cannot do so, they must fill out a lengthy, confusing affidavit and agree to submit proof within a short period or be investigated and subject to criminal penalties. ODA considered SB 3 to be a draconian solution to a nonexistent problem, predicting it would discourage many legitimate Granite Staters from voting. HB 105 passed in the House on a vote of 209-155 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. The House failed on a vote of 220-156 to reach the necessary 2/3 majority to override Governor Sununu's veto.

HB 106 would repeal HB 1264 (2018) the bill that made what appeared to be a small technical change—equating "domicile" for voting purposes with "residency." Its ramifications were anything but small, however. Of HB 1264, the NH Campaign for Voting Rights stated: "This bill would have a chilling effect on the rights of eligible New Hampshire voters in the military, professionals and students...[and] acts as a post-election poll tax..." HB 106 passed in the House on a vote of 213-154 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. Governor Sununu vetoed it and the House failed to override on a vote of 224-158.

SB 7, the SMART Act, would provide each potential voter an opportunity to register to vote at the time they obtain a driver's license, a practice used successfully in a number of states. The Division of Motor Vehicles would share information from its database with the Secretary of State, allowing efficient updating of voter checklists whenever voters change their address. The Senate passed SB 7 on a 13-10 party-line vote. The bill was retained in committee in the House.

Transparency and political contribution restrictions

SB 105 limits contributions to gubernatorial inaugural committees to $10,000 per contributor and calls for receipts for any inaugural expenditures over $1,000 paid to the governor-elect or the governor-elect's family members. SB 105 passed in the Senate on a strong bipartisan 22-2 vote. The House passed it on a voice vote. The governor signed the bill.

SB 106 (regular and override votes) would close a loophole in election law that some independent spending groups have used to avoid registering with the Secretary of State and filing expenditure reports. It passed unanimously in the Senate and passed in the House on a voice vote. The Senate failed on a vote of 15-9 to get the 16 votes needed to override the Governor's veto.

SB 156 (regular and override votes) would close the loophole allowing a donor to create multiple Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to get around campaign contribution limits. The bill passed the Senate on a 13-11 vote and the House on a 212-139 division vote. The Senate failed on a 14-10 party-line vote to override the Governor's veto.

Citizens United

HB 504 would make New Hampshire the 20th state to call for Congress (not an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States) to pass a constitutional amendment to be ratified by the states allowing and requiring federal and state governments to regulate money in politics to prevent corruption, i.e., overturn the Citizen's United vs FEC decision. It also contained a component prohibiting partisan gerrymandering. HB 504 passed in the House on a division vote (no names associated with votes) of 200-149 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. The House failed on a vote of 221-157 to reach the necessary 2/3 majority to override Governor Sununu's veto. Despite the veto, New Hampshire can still claim to be the 20th state to go on record against Citizens United.

Other

SB 206 Utility companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses for projects like Northern Pass. SB 206 prohibits passing these costs on to consumers. SB 206 passed unanimously in the Senate, the House passed it on a voice vote, and the governor signed the bill into law.

 


2019 Bills Scored in the House of Representatives

Redistricting

HB 706 (regular session and override votes) would establish an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission. The commission would replace the current method by which boundary lines are drawn by members of the majority partya practice that commonly gives that party electoral advantage (aka political gerrymandering). HB 706 passed in the House on a vote of 218-123 and in the Senate on a voice vote. Governor Sununu vetoed it and the House failed on a vote of 227-145 to reach the necessary 2/3 majority to override.

Voting Rights

HB 105 (regular session and override votes) would repeal SB 3 (2017), the highly controversial bill that required voters wishing to register and vote on election day to provide written proof of domicile. If they cannot do so, they must fill out a lengthy, confusing affidavit and agree to submit proof within a short period or be investigated and subject to criminal penalties. ODA considered SB 3 to be a draconian solution to a nonexistent problem, predicting it would discourage many legitimate Granite Staters from voting. HB 105 passed in the House on a vote of 209-155 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. The House failed on a vote of 220-156 to reach the necessary 2/3 majority to override Governor Sununu's veto.

HB 106 (regular session and override votes) would repeal HB 1264 (2018) the bill that made what appeared to be a small technical change—equating "domicile" for voting purposes with "residency." Its ramifications were anything but small, however. Of HB 1264, the NH Campaign for Voting Rights stated: "This bill would have a chilling effect on the rights of eligible New Hampshire voters in the military, professionals and students...[and] acts as a post-election poll tax..." HB 106 passed in the House on a vote of 213-154 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. Governor Sununu vetoed it and the House failed to override on a vote of 224-158.

Citizens United

HB 504 (override vote) would make New Hampshire the 20th state to call for Congress (not an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States) to pass a constitutional amendment to be ratified by the states allowing and requiring federal and state governments to regulate money in politics to prevent corruption, i.e., overturn the Citizen's United vs FEC decision. It also contained a component prohibiting partisan gerrymandering. HB 504 passed in the House on a division vote (no names associated with votes) of 200-149 and in the Senate on a party-line 14-10 vote. The House failed on a vote of 221-157 to reach the necessary 2/3 majority to override Governor Sununu's veto. Despite the veto, New Hampshire can still claim to be the 20th state to go on record against Citizens United.

HCR 5 also calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to counter the effects of the Citizens United decision. The bill passed in the House on a vote of 198-132. As a House resolution, HCR 5 was not taken up by the Senate.

 

Scoring methodology

The score that appears in the red column on the following pages represents a legislator's percentage of pro-reform votes. Because it is impossible to know why a legislator missed a particular vote, excused absences (A/E) and unexcused absences (A/U) were treated as anti-reform votes. Representatives with fewer than two recorded votes were not scored and show N/S in the score column.


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