WE WON! THEN WE LOST!

Introduced in 2015, Senate Bill 136 explicitly recognized “the need for a United States Constitutional Amendment to address the Citizens United ruling and related cases”.  This bill established a committee to review bills currently in Congress calling for an amendment and to make recommendations to the state legislature and to New Hampshire's congressional delegation.   SB 136 passed the Senate on March 26, 2015, by unanimous consent.

In the House of Representatives, SB 136 was considered by the House Legislative Administration Committee.  At a public hearing before the committee, this bill was supported by dozens of citizens, including representatives of We the People – Mount Washington Valley.  Not one voice was raised in opposition.  Nevertheless, the committee voted
7-3 on October 13, 2015, to assign the bill to "Interim Study".

On January 7, 2016, the state House of Representatives took up discussion and voting on SB 136, which had already passed the Senate unanimously.  The first vote was on a motion to accept the committee recommendation of “Interim Study”, which failed by just two votes.  Next a motion to table the bill failed by five votes, opening the way for an up-or-down vote on the bill.  A motion of “Ought to Pass” (OTP) passed by four votes; proponents of a call for a Constitutional amendment had won! Supporters of the bill moved for reconsideration, expecting that this motion would fail.  This routine parliamentary maneuver was intended to seal the deal and send the bill to the Governor for her signature. Then things got strange. The electronic voting system suddenly failed, thus each representative had to cast an individual voice vote on the motion to reconsider. There are conflicting reports on whether arm-twisting by the House leadership did or did not occur during the delay. Reconsideration passed, and the second OTP vote to pass SB 136 was defeated  when a dozen representatives switched their votes. Finally a motion of “Inexpedient to Legislate” (ITL, a.k.a. kill bill) passed by 29 votes and SB 136 died.

How did YOUR representatives vote?  To find out go to SB 136 status, and click on “Details”.  Remember that OTP is a vote for the bill and ITL is a vote against the bill.  Remember in November!