NH State Representative Tom Cormen

My votes in the NH House session
of June 8, 2023

I’m not including votes on any amendments to bills. I discuss any important amendments below.

I record every motion and every vote in my own notes, and I always mark down whether I voted on the winning or losing side. This session was the first one since I started in the House in which I voted on the winning side on every single vote. The Democrats have been showing up, staying for the entire day, and hanging together. We also manage to peel off a few Republican votes on several bills.

The main question for the June 8 session day was whether to concur with the changes that the Senate made to the budget that the House had passed on April 6 (bills HB 1-A and HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL). The Senate made some good changes and some bad ones.

Some of the good changes:

Some of the bad changes:

If the House had not concurred with the Senate on the budget, then there would have been a Committee of Conference, and chances are that the resulting budget would have been even worse. A few members voted against concurring, and although I voted to concur, I respect them for voting their conscience.

Bill Motion Type of vote My vote Result of vote Notes
SB 58 OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 213 OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 201-175
SB 70-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 61 OTPA Division Yea OTPA 236-132
SB 149-FN OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 191-187 Had been tabled; removed from table in roll call vote 190-188 where I voted Yea
SB 172-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
HB 1-A Concur Division Yea Concur 351-25
HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL Concur Roll call Yea Concur 326-53
SB 204-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 42-FN OTP Roll call Yea OTP 196-178
SB 193 OTPA Division Yea OTPA 200-171
SB 110-FN-LOCAL OTP Roll call Yea OTP 190-180
SB 132-FN Table Roll call Yea Table 203-168
SB 60 OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 160-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 54-FN OTPA Voice Yea OTPA
SB 94 OTPA Division Yea OTPA 329-34
SB 118-FN OTP Division Yea OTP 192-173
SB 256-FN OTPA Roll call Yea OTPA 186-179
SB 49-FN OTP Voice Yea OTP
CACR 9 Table Voice Yea Table
SB 107 OTPA Voice Yea OTPA

SB 61

This bill allows the Department of Environmental Services to establish rules for a site-specific landfill setback from surface water. The current rule just says that the setback must be 200 feet, regardless of the actual site conditions. The bill also holds permits in abeyance until new rules are established, and the new rules must be established within 24 months. A committee amendment, 1979h, improved the bill and was acceptable to the Senate. A floor amendment, 2167h, would have made the bill even better. But it was made clear to us that the Senate would not concur with this amendment, which would result in the entire bill being killed. Not wanting the perfect to be the enemy of the good, I voted against this amendment but for the bill as amended by the committee.

SB 149-FN

I wrote about this bill on May 4. It would require agencies that hire out nurses to register with the state and to prohibit bidding wars for nurses and in-facility recruiting. Rep. Candace Moulton, a nurse, spoke against it at the time, and the bill was tabled. It turned out that she misread the bill and came to realize that her concerns about it were unfounded. At the right moment when the Democratic House staff saw that we had enough votes to remove SB 149 from the table and pass it, our Floor Leader, the indomitable Rep. Lucy Weber, moved to remove it from the table, and then we passed it.

SB 132-FN

Yet another bill that would prohibit municipalities from adopting sanctuary policies for immigrants. There were so many problems with this bill, among them:

We tabled SB 132, and it won’t be coming off the table.

SB 54-FN

I was on the working subcommittee for this bill. It allows the utilities to enter into long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for up to 20 years and for up to 20% of their power requirements. The power purchased must be from new generation sources. The ST&E Committee unanimously approved this bill with amendments, but one change was missed in the committee amendment. A floor amendment fixed that omission, and the bill was passed by voice vote.

SB 118-FN

This bill requires that children under 2 be placed in a rear-facing car seat when in a motor vehicle. Seems obvious, right? But the arguments against it included the notion that it sends a message that as soon as a child turns 2, it’s OK to take them out of the rear-facing seat, and that it might be hard to fit several such seats into a vehicle. These arguments did not hold enough water to prevent passing this bill.

SB 256-FN

This bill requires most people who operate an off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) to take a safety course. I see enough reports of OHRV riders being killed. I’m glad it passed.


This bill would, after voter approval, enshrine New Hampshire’s “first in the nation” status (that the NH presidential primary must occur at least one week before any similar contest) in the state Constitution. It’s already in state law, and because it’s about political party elections, it’s not a constitutional issue. It was tabled on a voice vote, so we won’t be seeing it again any time soon.