HOUSE REPUBLICANS VOTE TO BLATANTLY DISREGARD HOUSE RULES AND BASIC MATH TO DISENFRANCHISE DEMOCRATS

CONCORD, NH: January 6, 2021, at the House Session at UNH, the ruling of the chair was challenged regarding the partisan proportions of the House Finance Committee. Under the Rules of the New Hampshire House, the membership of committees “shall be divided between the two major political parties in the same proportion that the House membership of the majority party bears to the House membership of the minority party.”


The committee membership established by Acting Speaker Sherman Packard for the House Finance Committee plainly violates this rule by appointing 9 Democrats and 12 Republicans (Democrats are entitled to 10 seats on a 21-member committee, based on the House ratio of 212/187). There is no recent precedent for this type of noncompliance with House Rules on committee membership. Following the vote that upheld this clear violation of House Rules and precedent Representative Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord), ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, released the following statement:

“House Rules are very clear on how committee assignments are allocated - membership is determined by the ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the House. The ratio of seats assigned to the House Finance Committee violates House Rules and basic math. Democrats want to work with the Republican majority to craft a budget that benefits all Granite Staters, but we need a seat at the table in order to do so. It is disheartening that the Republican majority voted to deny Democrats proper representation on the Finance Committee today.”


Background:

House Rule 28 (Committee Composition)

http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/abouthouse/houserules.htm


The House Finance Committee can have a maximum of 26 members. Below are acceptable committee ratios based on the overall house ratio of 212(R)/187(D) under House Rule 28:

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