NH State Representative Tom Cormen

My votes in the NH House session
of April 11, 2024

When a bill passes the House but would have a fiscal impact, it goes to the Finance Committee for another recommendation and then must be voted on again by the entire House. Today, we considered several such bills that came from the Finance Committee.

In other words, every House bill we voted on today was already approved by the House in a previous vote. Yet, several bills did not make it through a second time.

Bill Motion Type of vote My vote Result of vote Notes
SB 523 Shall House Consider Division Nay 187-192
HB 261 Concur Voice Yea Concur
HB 1560 Remove from Table Division Nay 177-201 See discussion below
HB 318-FN-A OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1005-FN Table Division Yea Table 348-33
HB 1178-FN OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 198-183 Motion for Interim Study failed on roll call 188-193; I voted Nay
HB 1199-FN-A Indefinitely Postpone Roll call Nay Indefinitely Postpone 192-190
HB 1202-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1212-FN-LOCAL Table Roll call Nay Table 192-191 See discussion below
HB 1282-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1288-FN OTP Roll call Nay OTP 196-184
HB 1307-FN OTP Division Yea OTP 363-17
HB 1339-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1355-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1363-FN Table Division Nay Table 195-186
HB 1394-FN-A OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 195-187
HB 1466-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1468-FN-A OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1564-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1573-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1577-FN Table Roll call Yea Table 193-188
HB 1583-FN-A OTP Division Yea OTP 205-177 Motion to Table failed on roll call 180-201; I voted Nay
HB 1588-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1589-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1593-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1595-FN Interim Study Roll call Yea Interim Study 208-176 OTPA motion failed on division 190-193; I voted Nay
HB 1598-FN-A OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1633-FN-A OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 239-136
HB 1647-FN-A OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1649-FN OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 233-140 See discussion below
HB 1656-FN-LOCAL OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 349-26
HB 1666-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1669-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
HB 1678-FN OTP Division Yea OTP 191-182 Motion to Table failed on division 181-192 and ITL motion failed on roll call 179-193; I voted Nay on both
SB 252-FN Table Voice Yea Table

SB 523

This was the only bill of the day that did not come from Finance. The Speaker had determined that the subject matter of this bill was substantially similar to HB 1419, which the House Indefinitely Postponed on February 15. House rules require a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules and allow this bill to be introduced. The motion did not even gain a majority of the vote.

HB 1560

This bill, which would move unused funds from the Education Trust Fund to the General Fund, was tabled on February 15. Rep. Ken Weyler, Chair of the Finance Committee, insisted that we needed to remove it from the table and pass it in order to fund the bills we were going to pass today. The motion to remove the bill from the table failed early in the day. Late in the day, Weyler tried again, and once again the motion to remove the bill from the table failed. After the session day was over, I heard Weyler uttering some, shall we say, rather salty language over his frustration that we did not remove this bill from the table.

HB 318-FN-A

A bail reform bill. It sets up a system of bail magistrates so that when someone is arrested for specific felonies, they get a bail hearing within 24 hours.

HB 1178-FN

When someone loses their employment through no fault of their own, this bill protects them from losing the benefit of earned, but unused, time.


Rep. Art Ellison died recently. His dying wish was to “Feed the damn kids.” This bill would have increased eligibility for free and reduced-priice meals at schools. Kids do not learn when they are hungry, and for many disadvantaged kids, their school meal might be the only real meal of the day. We knew that Republicans would balk at the cost, and we had an amendment ready to go that would have reduced the cost. Unfortunately, the bill was tabled, with Speaker Packard casting the deciding vote. Soon afterward, we were all treated to a free lunch in the State House Cafeteria, courtesy of Walmart. I am not making this up.

We tried to remove this bill from the table later in the day, when it looked like we might have the numbers to do it, but the motions failed 188-189 and 185-188.

HB 1577-FN

It wasn’t a bad thing that some bills went down today. This bill would allow any citizen to inspect ballots in an election, allowing independent groups to conduct their own unofficial recounts and tests of voting machines. These rogue audits would not follow any regular procedure. The Secretary of State opposed this bill, and we managed to table it.

HB 1583-FN-A

This one was a nice win. It increases the per-student education funding base from $4100 to $4404, provides $25 million for students receiving free and reduced-price lunch, and provides $39 million for Fiscal DisparityAid to show the courts that the state is taking the court decisions seriously. The bill does not satisfy the courts entirely, but it gets part way. The Subcommittee on Education Funding will work over the summer and fall to find ways to satisfy the court orders.

HB 1633-FN-A

The cannabis bill, once again. You can see what I wrote about it on February 22.

HB 1649-FN

The PFAS bill. We know the devastating effect that PFAS chemicals have on health, Merrimack serving as a sad example. A couple of floor amendments proposed by Rep. Dan McGuire did not pass, but the bill with the committee amendment did. Rep. McGuire was a cosponsor on my bill HB 1688, which limits what our state agencies are allowed to do with artificial intelligence. And he invited me to give a technical talk to the MIT Club of New Hampshire, which I did on April 9. So I felt a little bad voting against his floor amendments, but it’s important to separate personal from policy.

A motion to table this bill failed on roll call 165-215. After the OTP motion passed, a motion to print the remarks of the speakers passed on division vote 229-148.

HB 1678-FN

This bill establishes a farm-to-school local food incentive pilot program. The bill is sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader Alexis Simpson and has bipartisan support.