(May 14th, 2014) - Today, the New Hampshire State House passed Senate Bill 120. The bill would redefine what is acceptable speech, expand the definition of political action committees, and alter registration requirements for them as well.
Senate Bill 120 broadly redefines what is a political action committee and does not differentiate between issue advocacy and express advocacy. This broadened status would greatly expand who and what would be regulated and diminish free speech in New Hampshire. It also is contrary to decisions already made by the United States Supreme Court.
Additionally, the fiscal impact of both the Senate and House Amendments have not been studied, leaving New Hampshire citizens without any idea what these changes will mean for increased costs of regulation and likely litigations.
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire Executive Director Matthew Murphy stated,
"We are truly disappointed, that in the "Live Free or Die State," our legislators would vote to drastically restrict the rights of citizens to have their voice heard in the public square. With this bill, it is abundantly clear that those advocating for its passage are trying to diminish the ability of groups like ours from educating their constituents on their votes. That's not just wrong, but it's unconstitutional." "If signed into law, SB 120 will fly in the face of decisions already ruled upon by the United States Supreme Court. The bill will now head to the New Hampshire State Senate for consent to the amendment. We encourage them to reject the legislation immediately."