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N.H. Senate To Negotiate With House on Contraception Bill

N.H. Senate To Negotiate With House on Contraception Bill

The New Hampshire Senate on Wednesday agreed to negotiate with the House on a bill (SB 356) that would allow certain religiously affiliated employers to exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans, the AP/Google News reports..

N.H. Senate To Negotiate With House on Contraception Bill

May 25, 2012 — The New Hampshire Senate on Wednesday agreed to negotiate with the House on a bill (SB 356) that would allow certain religiously affiliated employers to exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans, the AP/Google News reports. The bill would apply to entities partially or wholly owned by a religious society, as well as those formed with a religious intent.

The House added the measure to an unrelated Senate bill last week and requested a committee to negotiate a compromise (AP/Google News, 5/23).

Senate leaders agreed to negotiate after Sen. Fenton Groen (R) -- who supports both the contraception measure and the underlying bill -- said he only wants to negotiate with the House about the original legislation, which is about delegates to state constitutional conventions.

Senate President Peter Bragdon (R) said Groen would be on the committee of conference and that he would take him "at his word" that any compromise would not include the contraception measure.

The committee has about a week to negotiate. Committee reports must be signed by May 31 and voted on in both chambers by June 7 (Spolar, Concord Monitor, 5/24).