Legislative Principles

In addition to the established Legislative Policy positions adopted by the New Hampshire Municipal Association membership, the following principles should guide staff in setting priorities during any legislative biennium:

  1. Identify and oppose mandates that violate Part 1, Article 28-a of the New Hampshire Constitution.
  2. Work to maintain existing revenue streams to municipalities, (i.e. revenue sharing, meals and rooms tax, highway, and other state aid). Be especially watchful of proposals to reduce local aid in order to meet other funding commitments.
  3. Advocate to maintain and enhance existing local athority.
  4. Support legislation that provides greater authority to govern more effectively, efficiently, and flexibly at the local level, including local option legislation. If the legislature is considering adopting a program that is particularly controversial at the local level, support a requirement that a local legislative body vote is necessary before full implementation of the measure.
  5. Support bills proposed by individual municipal members, except when they conflict with these principles or NHMA’s Legislative Policies. Staff should prioritize time and resources when there are competing demands in order to focus on NHMA's broad agenda first.
  6. Encourage exemptions from state taxes rather than local property taxes when legislative intent is to preserve statewide resources.
  7. Advocate for municipal representation on state boards, commissions, and study committees that affect municipal government and have non-legislative members.
  8. Work cooperatively with other groups and associations to support efforts to improve the delivery of services at the local level.
  9. Support municipal efforts toward effective regional and state cooperation and delivery of municipal and state services.
  10. Advocate for local options for economic development and vitality in partnership, including public-private partnerships, with regional and state economic development goals to encourage the overall economic health and social well-being of New Hampshire.
  11. Encourage clarity and the elimination of ambiguity in statutory language, especially in areas of decision-making authority.

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