Civil unions bill inches toward governor

Legislation establishing civil unions in New Hampshire has been slowly making its way toward Governor Lynch’s desk ever since its final approval in the Senate more than a month ago.

But it’s expected that the measure, House Bill 437, will finally be sent to the governor today.

HB 437 had been lingering somewhere in the post-legislative process. After final approval by the Senate on April 26, it passed muster with the Committee on Enrolled Bills on May 3. It then awaited the required signatures of House Speaker Terie Norelli and Senate President Sylvia Larsen before it could be sent to the Secretary of State’s office, which receives bills for delivery to the governor for his signature.

The measure finally did arrive Wednesday afternoon in the Secretary of State’s office, said Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan, who added that he expected the bill to be delivered to the governor sometime today. The governor has already announced he would sign the bill into law. Once delivered to his desk, he has five days to sign the bill, otherwise it will become law without his signature.

After enactment, New Hampshire would become the fourth state to allow civil unions but the first to do so solely through the legislative process and without a court challenge. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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