NH State Representative Tom Cormen

My votes in the NH House session
of May 2, 2024

Overall, a good day for the Democrats. The only downside for me was that I gave floor speeches on two bills and lost the votes on both.

Bill Motion Type of vote My vote Result of vote Notes
SB 468 OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 359 OTP Division Yea OTP 192-174
SB 417-FN OTP Roll call Yea OTP 191-174 Motion to Table failed on roll call 180-184; I voted Nay
SB 463-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 498-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 573-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 248-FN Interim Study Voice Yea Interim Study
SB 316-FN ITL Voice Yea ITL Motion to Recommit failed on division 172-180, and OTP failed on division 137-229; I voted Nay on both
SB 376 OTP Division Yea OTP 192-170
SB 414-FN Table Division Yea Table 340-24
SB 415-FN Interim Study Voice Yea Interim Study
SB 563-FN Table Roll call Yea Table 188-177
SB 219-FN-LOCAL ITL Roll call Yea ITL 178-172 See discussion below
SB 341 Indefinitely Postpone Roll call Yea Indefinitely Postpone 185-176
SB 596-FN OTP Division Yea OTP 190-170
SB 380 Indefinitely Postpone Roll call Yea Indefinitely Postpone 189-178 See discussion below
SB 489-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 134-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 439-FN ITL Voice Yea ITL
SB 487-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 352-FN-A OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 355-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 403-FN OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 188-178
HB 1003 Concur Voice Yea Concur
SB 456-FN OTP Division Yea OTP 187-177
SB 496-FN ITL Roll call Nay ITL 186-182
SB 567-FN OTP Roll call Yea OTP 184-182
SB 435 OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 63 Table Voice Yea Table Motion to Table followed roll call on OTP, which failed 181-182; I voted Nay
SB 538-LOCAL ITL Roll call Nay ITL 188-173
SB 476-FN OTP Roll call Yea OTP 217-144
SB 492 OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 386 Table Division Yea Table 348-11
SB 449 OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 540 Interim Study Division Nay Interim Study 188-171
SB 603-FN OTPA Division Nay OTPA 257-103
SB 471-FN Table Division Nay Table 190-165
SB 454-FN Table Division Nay Table 180-176
SB 591-FN-A OTP Voice Yea OTP
SB 375 Interim Study Roll call Yea Interim Study 200-154 Motion to Table failed on division 162-195; I voted Nay

SB 359

This bill raises the age of marriage from 16 to 18, and it applies even to emancipated youth. Although there may be good reasons for someone under 18 to get married, there is also a greater risk of human trafficking and domestic violence.

SB 316-FN

This bill would have established a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for anyone bringing fentanyl into the state with intent to distribute. Of course we don’t want people bringing fentanyl into the state for unlawful purposes, but mandatory minimum sentences have no impact beyond the person who is convicted; nobody else is influenced to modify their behavior. Moreover, keeping someone in prison for a longer period increases the cost of incarceration and the chance of recidivism. State law already allows judges to impose harsh penalties, of up to 30 years.

SB 414-FN

Another mandatory minimum bill. This one would impose a minimum of 10 years for someone who manufactures, sells, or dispenses a schedule I or II substance to another person who dies as a result. Instead of targeting the people at the top of the drug hierarchy, it would target only those at the bottom.

SB 415-FN

And yet another mandatory minimum bill, for fentanyl-related crimes, based on the weight of the drug in posession.

SB 563-FN

We have seen bills like this one before. It allows local law enforcement to contact U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) upon an investigation of a suspected undocumented immigrant—not just after an arrest or conviction. State law enforcement leaders were concerned that this bill could erode the trust they’ve built up with migrant communities, replacing trust with fear. The bill was opposed by chiefs of police, the ACLU, religious groups, and the NH Immigrant Rights Network.


This bill would require mandatory reporting by school districts of school expenses. But it’s redundant with existing law. It came from the Education Committee without recommendation, with a 10-10 vote. When a bill comes without recommmendation, the first motion is OTP. In this case, the OTP motion passed on a roll call vote, 180-179, with Speaker Packard casting the deciding vote. Later in the afternoon, the numbers shifted in our favor. Rep. Ellen Read, who had voted for OTP, moved to Reconsider, and the motion passed on a roll call, 185-181. The OTP was then defeated on a roll call, 182-184. The Republicans, seeing what might happen, moved to Table the bill, and the motion passed, 184-183, with Deputy Speaker Steven Smith casting the deciding vote. A little later, we had better numbers in the chamber, and we were able to Remove from the Table on a division vote, 176-174. An ITL motion passed on a roll call, 178-172. And, just to lock in the ITL, a motion to Reconsider failed on a division vote, 173-177. (Recall that Reconsideration of a particular vote may be done at most once.)

SB 341

This bill would require any school district employee to disclose information to parents that the students might not want disclosed. It could endanger vulnerable kids, especially LGBTQ, by forcing outing to their parents. The bill was opposed by many organizations, including the Office of the Child Advocate, NH Businesses for Social Responsibility, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association. By having the bill be Indefinitely Postponed, it cannot be added as an amendment to any other bill by either the House or Senate.

SB 380

This bill would move the state primary from September to the second Tuesday in June. Advocates claim that having the primary season run so long but the general election run for under two months is imbalanced. I get that, but if the state primary were in June, then the filing period would be in March—when town meetings are taking place, and primary season would be while the legislature is meeting.

It came without recommendation from the Election Law Committee. The OTP motion failed on a division vote, 170-196, and the ITL motion passed on a roll call, 190-176. Later on, as our numbers got better, a motion to Reconsider passed, 191-175, so that a motion to Indefinitely Postpone could pass on a roll call, 189-178. (Just before the motion to Indefinitely Postpone, a motion to Table failed, 175-192.)

SB 63

This bill would prohibit mask mandates by municipalities. After an OTP motion failed on a roll call, 181-182, a motion to Table passed on voice vote.


This is the “Home-nibus” bill from the Senate. It would have been enabling legislation providing flexibility in planning and zoning to add housing units throughout the state. It would have eased converting commercial space into residential units and given more options to planning boards regarding parking. When the ITL motion passed, it was our first big loss of the day.

SB 476-FN

The men’s prison has deteriorated and is inadequate. This bill appropriates $40 million toward a new men’s prison in Concord. It’s a lot of money, but the current prison was built in 1878 and needs to be replaced.

SB 386

I wouldn’t have written about this bill, which went through my committee (Science, Technology and Energy) and would have established a commission to study power generation, transmission, distribution, and storage, except that I need to disclose a mea culpa. The vote to Table was quite lopsided: 348-11. It was I who called for the division vote. I did not know that both the Republicans and the Democrats were OK with tabling, and I wanted to make sure that we had a decisive vote. So it was because of me that we wasted a few minutes of the House’s time, taking a division vote rather than a simple voice vote. Sorry about that.

SB 540

I took the lead on this bill and gave the floor speech and parliamentary inquiry. The bill would have had the Department of Energy initiate a study on behind-the-meter and utility-scale storage in the state. I did not expect to win the vote on this bill, and I did not win the vote on this bill. You can see my floor speech and PI here.

SB 603

Some time in the next few years, New Hampshire will run out of phone numbers in the 603 area code. The question is when. This bill spends up to $300,000 to hire a consultant to extend the life of the 603 area code. I think that it’s a waste of money, and I gave the floor speech against the bill. You can see it here. I knew that I was going to lose this vote, especially because the Democratic caucus recommended voting for the bill. Apparently, some reps are concerned that if they don’t back extending the life of the 603 area code, they might lose votes in November. To be clear: when we run out of 603 numbers, we’ll get a new area code that is overlaid on the state. All existing 603 numbers will remain 603 numbers, and only newly assigned numbers will have the new area code.