The New Hampshire House continues to send mixed messages about its legislative priorities. There seems to be a gap between House Republican leaders' words and their actions.
House leaders say their top priorities are jobs and the economy.
But if that's true, why in the world would they attach an amendment requiring a woman to wait 24 hours for an abortion to a bill approved by the Senate raising the research and development tax credit pool from $1 million to $2 million? Every major business organization in the state has advocated for increasing this tax credit and making it permanent. If the House had simply approved the bill, the governor would have signed it, and it would be law. Instead, by inappropriately attaching this divisive amendment, House leaders have placed this pro-business growth bill in jeopardy.
"The 24-hour wait bill requires that women receive explicit information about the fetus, the proposed procedure, medical risks associated with it and alternatives to abortion," The Associated Press reported.
What does this have to do with helping state businesses with research and development?
This is a case of House leaders' words saying they value jobs and the economy while their actions show that social issues such as abortion are more important.
Not only was this bad lawmaking, it was also bad politics.
This abortion bill already had its hearings in the House and Senate, and the Senate voted no. It's hard to believe that the Senate, already irritated with House leaders, would suddenly change its position on the abortion bill simply because the House is holding the R&D tax credit hostage. So House leaders have jeopardized a pro-business bill to advance an abortion bill that has no chance of becoming law.
This is just one more example of why the House needs new leadership.
Read the editorial here.