NH Gov. Lynch Vetoes Two Key Republican Bills

Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 11:11 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Hampshire Democratic Gov. John Lynch Monday vetoed a fetal homicide bill and a scholarship program for private and religious schools, two measures heavily championed by the state’s Republican leadership.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the first bill would have applied homicide criminal status to people who caused the death of an unborn child eight weeks or older. But Lynch said he would only support changing the homicide law to apply to a “viable” fetus of at least 24 weeks old.
The state House and Senate plan to meet June 27 to consider whether an override of both the fetal bill and scholarship bills might be possible, the Union Leader reported.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders said they were greatly disappointed as well in governor’s veto of a bill extending tax credits to businesses that donated to nonprofit scholarship funds to help finance private and religious school tuitions for low- and middle-income children, according to the Union Leader.
Lynch said in his veto statement the bill would have hurt public schools and would have cost school districts $3.6 million in the first year alone by downshifting “the cost of reduced adequacy payments to local communities and property taxpayers.”
He also complained that “it allows private organizations to determine the use of public education funds, and does not fully target scholarship funds to students most in need of help with tuition and other educational expenses.”

But Republican state House Speaker William O’Brien insisted the veto was wrong because, he said, “No parent should be forced to send a child to a bad school, and we should look for opportunities to allow parents to give their children the best chance possible to succeed.”

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