May 1, 2014
New Hampshire House Committee Responds to People’s Call for a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Campaign Co-Director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign
Today, the New Hampshire State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee voted 8-to-5 in favor of adding language into SB 307 that calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and related cases.
In March, the state Senate moved forward SB 307 as a hollow bill that created a committee to examine the impact of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling and make recommendations to the New Hampshire congressional delegation; however, it did not recognize the need for a constitutional amendment.
The committee’s bipartisan vote today to add language calling for a constitutional amendment is in line with what the people of New Hampshire want. Residents made it crystal clear that they want to free elections from corporate influence and mega-donors when they overwhelmingly passed warrants at 48 town meetings calling for the state Legislature to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United ruling. This decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.
The full House is expected to pass the amended language with similar strong support and send the question back to conference committee. There, the Senate will have a chance to follow the will of their constituents and pass the amended language.
It is important for the New Hampshire Legislature to listen to the overwhelming majority of New Hampshire residents and pass a version of the bill that includes language calling for a constitutional amendment. If passed, New Hampshire would become the 17th state to call for an amendment to stop the flood of money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy into our elections.