Punishment for poor attendance?

Jul 09, 2018

BY: Citizens Count

The New Hampshire House, which has 400 members, experienced its second worst attendance record this past session, according to a Concord Monitor review of 2,500 roll call votes from January 2009 to May 2018.

The review shows an average of 339 lawmakers being present for votes during the 2018 session; the worst was in 2014 when an average 332 legislators were present for votes.

On average, Democratic representatives were present for 87% of recorded votes, and Republicans were present for 84%.

Sometimes, lack of a full House can impact legislation, as it did when 62 members, mostly Republicans, were not present in May for the vote on a GOP-backed school voucher bill, which was defeated by 11 votes.

Click here to learn more about the debate over school vouchers in New Hampshire

Lawmakers are paid $200 and mileage for their trips to and from Concord during their two-year term. Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield, has proposed holding lawmakers' $200 biennial salaries until the end of the session to encourage better attendance.

Others say withholding $200 is unlikely to impact attendance, and voters will decide whether to return a legislator with poor attendance to Concord.

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