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Steve Winter
State Representative District 3

March  31, 2012
"Not the Party Line II"

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).


"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." 
Ė Peter F. Drucker,
writer and teacher

There are times, however, when even good leaders do not always do the right things. At the airline where I worked we were trained to think for ourselves. We had a system called "cockpit resource management" where the co-pilots were to "advise" the captain whenever they felt that the captainís decisions were not correct. Captains were trained to listen to their junior officers because the company realized that the captain may not always make the right decisions.

I have applied the same philosophy to my work in the NH House of Representatives. Although I consider myself to be a good fiscally conservative Republican and I follow the lead on fiscal issues, I cannot always agree with those who we have elected to lead us. There have been a few recent bills on which I have disagreed with the Republican leadership. When that happens, I go back to my basic principles and my constituents instead of leadership.

HB 437, the repeal of same sex marriage laws, was an instance where I did not agree. My basic political beliefs make me an advocate for liberty and freedom. Our government has never granted liberty only to take it back when the party in power changes. Gay marriages are not a threat to me or my marriage. While civil unions protect these loving couples in all legal ways, they still felt they had a right to be equal with all other citizens in every way, including their personal lives. 210 others, 65%, agreed with me.

I have always said that Rowe v. Wade is federal law and New Hampshire cannot change it. But there are things we can do at the margins. HB 1659 was an overreach in that effort. It required women intending to have an abortion to be "informed" regarding the process. I had no problem with a 24 hour waiting period, or emergency exceptions, or anonymous data collection. But I felt that mandating doctors to recite specific information to a woman, some wholly inaccurate, was an intrusion into the doctor/patient relationship. I donít want government to have that much power. I opposed the bill.

HB 1642, giving tax breaks and other considerations to "boutique" hospitals, was a subsidy that is not permitted in the constitution. It allows the state to pick "winners" and "losers" to the detriment of our fine local hospitals. Granting special favors to one group to the detriment of others is not the New Hampshire way. I opposed the bill.

Finally, a somewhat esoteric bill, HB 1617, was the repeal of a Certificate of Need for hospitals. An amendment was proposed to extend the CON for a period of time to make sure that our medical infrastructure would be capable of handling such a drastic change. I voted for the amendment but it failed. I opposed the bill.

Although I voted against them, these last three bills, which leadership supported, passed anyway. Nevertheless, I am comfortable with my votes.


Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319

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