As of 12:01 this morning, the bill to make New Hampshire the 50th state to adopt a mandatory seat belt law is dead. Passing this law would've provided the state with about $3 million dollars of federal money in a year the state is hurting for funds. Following the New Hampshire tradition, as they did when defying the feds on Real ID, the legislature refused to give in to a federal bribe.
The federal money expires June 30, 2009 so that temptation will be gone next year. In addition, I expect the legislature to be much more friendly in 2010 (the bill cannot be re-introduced until the next biennium; after the next election). This was the pro-seat belt people's best chance to pass seat belts in a generation and they failed. But it was close. The House passed the bill and the senate voted 13-11 to table the bill. When a bill is tabled, it is put aside without debate, but may be brought up at any time
for a vote. Since the bill was tabled (in April?), the possibility of the Senate bringing the bill back for a vote after a bit of arm twisting was still present, though unlikely. But no more. Senate Rule
48(h) declares "Thursday, June 04, 2009 - Last Day to ACT on all remaining House bills." June 4th is passed and House Bill 383
is dead. Senate Rule 35 states that "No standing rule of the Senate shall be suspended unless two-thirds of the members present and voting vote in favor thereof" so the chances of the rule being bypassed are nil.