As a State Representative the most gratifying part of the journey is listening to the citizens in hearings or reading their emails, whether for or against any given bill. Listening or reading both sides of an issue can give a whole new perspective to an issue. To me, the Legislature is of the people, by the people, and for the people. A representative to the Legislature in my opinion is a messenger.
That being said, it all started with you electing me as a State Representative of District 1, Andover, Danbury, and Salisbury. An orientation day on December 2, as required by the New Hampshire Constitution was held outside at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
On January 6, a required new Legislative House Session convened. This was held at UNH while we were sitting in our cars.
Due to COVID-19 everyone’s life has changed, and in most cases how we do things has also changed. That is the case of the Legislature and some did not like how the first two sessions were held, I am a person that goes with the flow and adapts myself to the situation. In this case, to be sworn in and vote in the next session, I wanted to go and be a part of the Legislature. I would do both days over again the same way, if needed.
The House started sessions in January. Hearings and Executive sessions are held via Zoom. I have pretty well mastered Zoom over the past year and feel like a pro. During Hearings and Executive Sessions a Committee member can either appear in person in Concord or attend the hearing by Zoom. Testimony by the public is done virtually.
I am on the Education Committee along with 19 other Republican and Democratic Representatives. They are a very interesting group of individuals with their own thoughts and opinions. If you have emailed or called me and I have not replied, I apologize but I am spending my extra time reading the emails as on one bill I have received over 500 emails and I want to make sure I read each one. Again, I value the input from the citizens.
In the House of Representatives there are 25 Standing Committees: Children and Family Law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Education, Election Law, Environment and Agriculture, Executive Departments and Administration, Finance, Finance Division I, Finance Division II, Finance Division III, Fish and and Game and Marine Resources, Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs, Judiciary, Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services, Legislative Administration, Municipal and County Government, Public Works and Highways, Resources, Recreation and Development, Rules, Science, Technology and Energy, Special Committee on Redistricting, State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Ways and Means. The members of the House are very busy within each of these Committees, holding hearings.
The Education Committee has been holding Hearings on bills only to name a few:
HB 194, relative to the release of student assessment information and data; HB 323, relative to a statewide student assessment report; HB 442, relative to penalties for a school’s failure to file Department of Education reports; HB 349, relative to certification requirements for school nurses; HB 20-FN-A-L, establishing an education freedom account program.
HB 320 requires a civics competency assessment as a high school graduation requirement.
Next month I will have more information, as the full House will be in session on February 24 and 25 to vote on bills.
Please be a part of the bill process in the Legislature by going to the New Hampshire General Court website to find when bills are coming up that interest you and testify.
If you need help with an issue or want to leave an opinion email me at Louise.Andrus@nullleg.state.nh.us or call me at 648-2510.
March 20 is the first day of Spring. I don’t know about you, but I am waiting for warm weather and sunny warm days.
Thank you for your continued support. I don’t take you for granted.