The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) has represented the interests of cities and towns before the New Hampshire General Court (House and Senate) and various state agencies since its founding in 1941. Municipal advocacy remains a central element of NHMA's mission.
NHMA's Legislative Policy Positions and guiding Legislative Principles are established at a biennial legislative policy conference, where every member municipality has an equal voice. These policies and principles serve to guide the Government Affairs staff in its advocacy activities. During and between legislative sessions, the staff works closely with the NHMA Board to ensure that NHMA's legislative policies and principles are promoted consistently and aggressively before the legislature.
A Guide to Legislative Advocacy
The Association does not support or endorse any candidate or political party. Our ability to maintain significant political relevance is tied directly to our advocacy efforts and the relationships we have cultivated over many years with state and municipal leaders, the New Hampshire Legislature, state agency officials. and other stakeholder groups.
As a local official, you work at the level of government that is closest to the citizens, and you are uniquely situated to help legislators understand how pending legislation affects your city or town. We regularly call on local officials to exercise their influence with legislators. Toward that end, NHMA has produced A Guide to Legislative Advocacy for Local Officials designed to help local officials understand and navigate the legislative process, appreciate the importance of it to their communities, and work effectively with NHMA to represent their communities’ interests.
New Hampshire law (RSA 31:8-a) permits cities and towns to belong to NHMA provided that the Association does not take positions on “matters which do not directly affect New Hampshire towns and cities, nor engage in partisan political activity by endorsing, or otherwise supporting, any political party or candidate.” NHMA strictly adheres to those limitations. It never supports, financially or otherwise, any candidate or party, nor does it take positions on legislation not directly affecting municipalities.
NHMA also does not lobby on behalf of specific municipalities, although it will support or oppose legislation of concern to a specific municipality so long as it is of interest to members generally. NHMA is careful not to take positions on legislation in the absence of clear, member-adopted policy positions or legislative principles.