By the Numbers: Support and Opposition for SB 193 at House Finance

We have received a lot of inquiries about the landscape of support and opposition for SB 193, the statewide voucher bill. With that in mind, we took a look at engagement around the bill at the public hearing in House Finance on January 16, 2018. Over 200 people came out to testify at the hearing. Here are the details:

In Person and Written Testimony

62 people registered to speak or submitted written testimony during the five hour hearing. Of those, 15 expressed their support of SB 193 and 49 stated their opposition.

Those in support:

  • Bill sponsor Senator John Reagan (District 17)
  • 2 State Representatives (Glenn Cordelli, Carroll-4; Al Baldasaro, Rockingham-5)
  • Americans for Prosperity NH, a conservative political advocacy group that advocates for limited government
  • Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank based in New Hampshire
  • Children’s Scholarship Fund, the organization that administers New Hampshire’s Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program, and the only organization currently qualified to administer the education savings accounts under SB 193 (should it be enacted into law)
  • Ed Choice, a national organization that supports school choice initiatives in states
  • The Granite Institute, a research organization that advocates for school choice
  • 6 testified as individual citizens in favor of SB 193

Those in opposition:

  • Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig
  • 6 School board members (from Mascenic, Hillsboro Deering, Manchester, Kearsarge Regional, Dover, and, Henniker School Boards)
  • 6 School administrators and Superintendents (from Claremont, Hampton, Manchester, Monadnock Regional, and Shaker Regional School Districts)
  • Community Crossroads, an organization that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families
  • ABLE NH, an organization that advocates for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities and their families
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • New Hampshire Association of School Principals
  • New Hampshire Special Education Administrators Association
  • New Hampshire School Boards Association
  • AFT-NH
  • Nashua Teachers’ Union
  • 2 State Representatives (Mel Myler, Merrimack-10; Timothy Horrigan, Strafford-6)
  • 27 testified as individual citizens in opposition to SB 193

Reaching Higher NH also provided comments, but did not register in support or against SB 193. Policy Director, Dan Vallone, presented a fiscal analysis of the bill as amended.

Present But Not Speaking

Many attendees formally registered an opinion on SB 193 without providing testimony. Out of the 154 people who did so, 122 opposed SB 193 and 34 were in favor.

Those in opposition (122 total):

  • Five school board members (from Franklin, Merrimack Valley, Allenstown, Mascenic,and Concord School Boards)
  • Five school administrators and Superintendents (from Laconia, Gilmanton, Franklin, and Alton School Districts)
  • Community Support Network, Inc., an organization that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury
  • NEA-NH, New Hampshire’s State Teachers Association
  • AFL-CIO of NH, a union of labor and state workers
  • League of Women Voters
  • American Friends Service Committee in New Hampshire, an organization that advocates for a peace and justice movement
  • Rights and Democracy of NH (RAD NH), an organization that advocates for healthy communities and the advancement of rights
  • 21 State Representatives (Wayne Burton, Strafford-06; Casey Conley, Strafford-13; David Doherty, Merrimack-20; Debra Altschiller, Rockingham-19; Mary Heath, Hillsborough-14; Mary Stuart Gile, Merrimack-21; Linda Tanner, Sullivan-9; Joelle Martin, Hillsborough-23; Connie Van Houten, Hillsborough-45; Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff; Shannon Chandley, Hillsborough-22; Richard McNamara, Hillsborough-38; Karen Ebel, Merrimack-5; Latha Mangipudi, Hillsborough-35; Christy Bartlett, Merrimack-19; Joseph Guthrie, Rockingham-13; Carol Roberts, Hillsborough-4; Patricia Higgins, Grafton-12; Polly Kent Campion, Grafton-12; Tamara Le, Rockingham-31; Ivy Vann, Hillsborough-24)
  • 80 Individual citizens registered their opposition

Those in support (32 total):

  • Governor Chris Sununu
  • House Majority Leader Dick Hinch
  • 15 State Representatives (Jeanine Notter, Hillsborough-21; Josh Moore, Merrimack-21; Kevin Verville, Rockingham-2; Lon Turcotte, Strafford-4; Mike Sylvia, Belknap-6; Sean Morrison, Rock-9; Tom Kaczynski, Strafford-22; Werner Horn, Merrimack-21; Ed Comeau, Carroll-5; Greg Hill, Merrimack-3; JR Hoell, Merrimack 23; Caroletta Alicea, Merrimack-8; Chris True, Rockingham-4; Lisa Freeman, Hillsborough-12; Brendon Phinney Strafford-24)
  • Cornerstone Action, a New Hampshire-based advocacy organization dedicated to furthering religious freedom and Judeo-Christian values
  • Americans for Prosperity NH, a conservative political advocacy group that advocates for limited government
  • Diocese of Manchester
  • School Choice for New Hampshire
  • 9 Individual citizens registered their support

Watch the videos of the hearing here:

Part 1:

Part 2:


Correction: an earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Representative Brandon Phinney of Rochester and Representative Ivy Vann of Peterborough’s positions on the bill. The post has been updated to reflect Rep Phinney’s statement in favor and Ivy Vann’s opposition to SB193.