NH House: Attendance is key!

A narrow partisan margin in the NH House, combined with the obstinacy of Republican leadership to accommodate members with health or other issues by permitting remote participation, has put a spotlight on attendance this year
Grafton County Democratic Representatives have responded. Five of our legislators made the 100:100 club, 100% voting participation and 100% in session day attendance: Susan Almy (Lebanon), Heather Baldwin (Thornton), Bill Bolton (Plymouth), Tom Cormen (Lebanon) and Sallie Fellows (Holderness). Another six of our Representative made the 96:100 club, close to perfect voting and full session attendance: Tommy Hoyt (Campton), Peter Lovett (Holderness), Corinne Morse (Canaan), Russell Muirhead (Hanover), James Murphy (Hanover), George Sykes (Lebanon).

These 11 legislators deserve our thanks for juggling their duties at the State House with work and family. But a May 3, 2023, NHPR article on ‘How Often are your NH representatives showing up to vote’, pinpointed issues behind attendance. During the height of Covid, the NH House and Senate accommodated remote participation – just as many state legislatures continue to do.

But when Republicans regained the majority, they eliminated all options for remote participation and have made no provisions to assist on child care or adjusting calendars to assist legislators who are paid just $100 annually for their state service coordinate their State House duties with jobs and families. That’s why the House and Senate are overwhelmingly populated with retired individuals and business owners who can afford to take time away from work.

The best way to change all this to elect a Democratic majority in the NH House and Senate next year, which will assure steps are taken to truly value families and working people by accommodating them with modern changes to allow them to serve with far fewer challenges.