NH lawmaker compares budget cuts to euthanizing disabled
CONCORD - Lawmakers behaving badly?
This time it doesn't involve fourth-graders and a raptor, but instead the state budget.
One state representative asked if the budget isn't going to help people with disabilities, then why not euthanize them?
"Since we are refusing to raise revenues to fund needed programs, to fund services to disabled, for example, have you looked at euthanasia?" asked Rep. Michael Cahill, of Newmarket, Wednesday as lawmakers debated the budget.
It's a question that raised a lot of eyebrows on the house floor.
House Speaker Shawn Jasper quickly called Cahill out of order and said his comments inappropriate.
Cahill would later apologize to fellow lawmakers.
Thursday night, Cahill told NH1 News over the phone that he got too emotionally involved as the budget debate got heated.
"I don't think we should be abandoning people, and I know we have to balance the budget," Cahill said.
Also tonight, Jasper said Cahill obviously made a mistake but acknowledged he did so in the heat of the moment.
"People get very passionate about the issues that are important to them and particularly during the budget season," Jasper said.
Jasper also said he was glad Cahill took steps to backtrack on his earlier statements.
"To his credit at the end of the day, he had calmed down and recognized his comments were out of line," Jasper said.
When asked if he regretted the comments, Cahill said, "Yeah. I mean I apologized. It was a poor choice of words."
It's a choice of words, Cahill said, he won't use again.