House Clerk Paul Smith’s Parliamentary Points

  • Learn House Rules.
  • Mason’s is fourth on our precedent list and only speaks where rules are silent.
  • Debate must be confined to the question before the body and avoid personalities. (Mason’s 124.1)
  • Debate on a bill is confined to the bill confined to the bill under consideration and does not extend to criticism of other bills before the house OR in committee, even though they related to the same subject. (Mason’s 101.4)
  • No one is to speak impertinently, or beside the question, superfluously or tediously. (Mason’s 121.1)
  • No person may indulge in personalities, use indecent or profane language, or participate in conduct that disrupts or disturbs the orderly proceedings of the body. (Mason’s 121.2)
  • It is out of order in debate to refer to matters not yet reported out by a committee or to refer to committee procedure, including what was said or done in committee or by any member of the committee, unless it is referenced in the committee report itself. (Mason’s 101.5)
  • No member should refer to the other members by name in debate. (Mason’s 110.2, 124.2)
  • It is not the person but the measure that is the subject of debate, and it is not allowable to arraign the motives of a member… (Mason’s 124.3)
  • It is irregular and unparliamentary for a member of one body to quote or refer to the vote by which a measure passed the other body of the legislature. (Mason’s 111.2)
  • Any matter awaiting adjudication in a court should not be debated or discussed in a legislative body. (Mason’s 111.3)
  • The purpose of a question is to obtain information and NOT to supply it to the body. A question may not contain statements of fact unless they be necessary to make the question intelligible and can be authenticated. (Mason’s 114.6)
  • Debate on a point of order is closed when the presiding officer makes a decision thereon. (Mason’s 100.5) The decision of the speaker on a question of order shall be conclusive unless the decision is IMMEDIATELY appealed to the house. (House Rule 2) An appeal is debatable… the question of which an appeal rose is not subject to debate on appeal, but only the specific question involved in the point of order from which the appeal was taken. (Mason’s 232.2, 3)
  • Motions to limit debate are not debatable, but are amendable. (Mason’s 358.1, 2)
  • The presiding officer of a house of a state legislature is always addressed as Mr. or Madam Speaker or in committee, including committee of the whole, Mr. or Madam Chair. (Mason’s 110.3)

Example of a Parliamentary Inquiry: LINK

Debatable Motions

  • Postponing to a day/time certain
  • Commit (or recommit)
  • Withdrawing bill from committee
  • Disposition of bills
  • Reconsideration (within limits)
  • Adopting/Amending Rules
  • Suspending Rules
  • Appeals

Non-Debatable Motions

  • Adjourn
  • Lay on the Table
  • Previous Question (Limit Debate)
  • Remove from the Table
  • Call of the house
  • Recess (when other business is pending)
  • Parliamentary inquiries
  • Questions relating to priority of business for the day
  • Dividing the question

Bradley, Hinch disappointed in work requirement rule objection by JLCAR

Concord, NH – Today, the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) objected to an interim rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services to move forward with the work requirements that were authorized by the 2018 legislature. Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement:

“The objection today by the Democratic led JLCAR was nothing more than a politicized stunt to circumvent the work requirements put into the Medicaid Expansion law which was negotiated in a bipartisan manner,” said Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “I am disappointed that some members of the committee would put 53,000 Granite Staters healthcare in jeopardy and undermine the bipartisan agreement on Medicaid Expansion. Republicans will continue to put the healthcare of New Hampshire citizens first while supporting work requirements for able-bodied adults.” “We worked tirelessly with members of both parties in both the House and Senate to get this work requirement to the Governor’s desk,” said House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack). “This was negotiated in good faith, and compromises were reached on both sides. Clearly, this was an organized effort by Democrats to bypass the bipartisan agreements made just this year.”

House Republican Leader Reacts to Rules Committee Vote

CONCORD-House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House Rules committee voting 6-4 to amend House Rules to prohibit the carrying of firearms in Representatives’ Hall.

“Although this is not unexpected, I am extremely disappointed in today’s vote by the Rules Committee to prohibit the carrying of firearms in the House chamber. There are far more pressing issues facing our state than immediately taking away House members’ constitutionally protected right to bear arms. By removing this basic right, we are effectively making the chamber a gun-free zone and less safe environment for our colleagues.”


House Republican Leader Announces First Leadership Appointments

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released a list of his first appointments to House Republican leadership team today. Hinch was officially appointed Republican (Minority) Leader by newly elected Speaker Shurtleff on Wednesday, and had previously been elected by the House Republican Caucus as their nominee for Speaker on November 29th.

The appointments are as follows:

Deputy House Republican Leader – Rep. Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry)
House Republican Floor Leader – Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry)
Senior Republican Advisor – Rep. Steve Smith (R-Charlestown)
Republican Policy Leader – Rep. Kim Rice (R-Hudson)
Republican Policy Leader – Rep. Jason Osborne (R-Auburn)
Deputy Republican Floor Leader – Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack)

“These individuals represent a broad spectrum of our caucus, and each bring many years of legislative, personal, and professional experience to our team,” Rep. Hinch said of the appointees. “We will continue building the list of people who will be helping us organize the caucus, working with members, and formulating our message as part of the Republican leadership team. We may not be the majority party, but we have a caucus full of talented and thoughtful leaders,” Hinch offered. More appointments will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

House Republican Leader’s Statement on the Election of Secretary of State

House Republican Leader’s Statement on the Election of Secretary of State

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement on the outcome of the election for Secretary of State, where incumbent Bill Gardner earned a majority of votes of the newly elected New Hampshire House and Senate. The vote was 209-205.

“Republicans stuck together on the vote today to support one of the state’s greatest public servants. The office of Secretary of State is not for sale, and today’s vote demonstrated that a bipartisan majority of legislators rejected Van Ostern’s attempt to turn it into a political trophy.”