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

House Majority Leader reacts to passage of HB1685

CONCORD- Today, the House passed HB1685, establishing a statutory commission for oversight over occupational regulation. This bill, passed by the House by a vote of 177-148, establishes an occupational regulation review commission to assure boards utilize the least restrictive regulation and requires a continuing review of all occupational boards. House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement:

“This was an important first step in knocking down barriers blocking average Granite Staters from finding work,” said Hinch. “This Commission will allow state government to find the best balance between safety and allowing individuals to pursue the career of their choice.”

“Workforce shortage is a looming problem facing our state,” remarked Hinch. “In order to meet the demands of a growing economy, we need to have a fresh look at our occupational regulation environment.”

House Majority Leader Responds to Fiscal Committee Approval of Medicaid Expansion Work Requirement Waiver Application

CONCORD- House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee approving the application for a waiver on the work requirement for those participating in the expanded Medicaid program. The committee approved the waiver application by a voice vote.

“This provision protects taxpayers and provides an incentive for childless, able-bodied citizens to participate in the workforce if they are to be enrolled in the program. Our state needs workers, and this creates a pathway between program participants and our business community looking to fill jobs in this growing economy,” said Hinch.

“The budget bill that included the work requirement language passed with a bipartisan vote. It is the position of this legislature and the law of the state that we submit this waiver application, and we believe this is a reasonable personal responsibility measure.”

Background: HB517 (2017) included a provision for a work requirement for any person participating in the expanded Medicaid program in New Hampshire, and gave authority to the governor and the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee to approve the application. If the waiver is not approved, the program will not been reauthorized beyond December 31, 2018. The criteria for the requirement are as follows:

Newly eligible adults who are unemployed shall be eligible to receive benefits under RSA 126-A:5 XXIV-XXV, if the commissioner finds that the individual is engaging in at least 20 hours per week upon application of benefits, 25 hours per week after receiving 12 months of benefits over the lifetime of the applicant and 30 hours per week after receiving 24 months of benefits over the lifetime of the applicant of one or a combination of the following activities:
(A)  Unsubsidized employment.
(B)  Subsidized private sector employment.
(C)  Subsidized public sector employment.
(D)  Work experience, including work associated with the refurbishing of publicly assisted housing, if sufficient private sector employment is not available.
(E)  On-the-job training.
(F)  Job search and job readiness assistance.
(G)  Vocational educational training not to exceed 12 months with respect to any individual.
(H)  Job skills training directly related to employment.
(I)  Education directly related to employment, in the case of a recipient who has not received a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency.
(J)  Satisfactory attendance at secondary school or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence, in the case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate.

House Majority Leader Responds to Governor’s Veto of HB1637

CONCORD – Today House Majority Leader Rep. Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the governor’s veto of HB1637, relative to school attendance in towns with no public schools. HB1637 committee of conference report passed the House 190-132.

“I am deeply disappointed that the governor is once again playing politics and vetoed this important legislation that would have given local control to towns and parents,” said Rep. Hinch. “There are many small towns in New Hampshire, like Croydon, that don’t have their own school systems, and parents should have the choice of where they believe their child fits best and can thrive.”

“Maybe if the governor remained in the state to do her job, she would see how signing this bill would have helped our small towns rather than obstructing them. This continued absence from her commitments and responsibilities amounts to having a part-time governor. The people of New Hampshire deserve better.”