GOP-controlled NH State House Approves MAID bill

In a series of history-making votes of national importance, the largest state lower house with 400 members (the 5th samllest state in the Union by size and 11th smallest by population with 1.4 mio citizens) became the first state to advance MAID legislation with a GOP-controlled chamber.  THe current composition of NH's State House is 201 GOP, 194 Dems and 2 Inependents (and 3 vacancies).

Nevertheless, HB1283 , the Death with Dignity Act, after being inroduced in Jan as the End of  Life Options Act, and having been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it passed 13-7 thanks to the efforts of Chairman Bob Lynn (R-17)a former NH Supreme Court Chief Justice..  Chairman Lynn, in debating the issue in committee, observed “At the most fundamental level, what this bill is about is freedom,” said Rep. Bob Lynn.

Judiciary Committe Chair Robert Lynn

“Should a terminally ill person, within six months of death, make a knowing, intelligent and  voluntary decision to end suffering and die peacefully in their sleep?”

Other Republican legislators supported the effort.  ""For me, this issue is about liberty. This is about medical freedom. This is about body autonomy," said state Rep. Emily Phillips, R-Fremont. "And I'll be damned if the government doesn't let me do what I want with my body."

The bill then won approval in the full House by the very close vote of 170-176 on March 20, 2024.  It survived the next day's Motion to Reconsider 210-147.

The fate of the bill in the 24-member State Senate (with 14 GOP and 10 Dems) is unkown, nor the predispositon of GOP Governor Chris Sununu.  However, history was made in that 34 GOP legislators joined a majority of their Democratic colleagues to pass a bipartisan bill, making NH the first state where the Republican majority in a chamber approved MAID legislation.

The debate was typically very emotional with advocates from the disability rights community speaking up while others feared the slippery slope would lead to perdition.

Neverthelss, common sense joined the libertarian streak of many Repulicans to push the bill forward.