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. Consider unfunded mandate issues that violate Part 1, Article 28-a of the New Hampshire Constitution to be paramount. Identify them and oppose them.
  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 existing local authority.
  4. Support issues which provide 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 other NHMA 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 all state boards, commissions, and study committees which 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 cooperation and delivery of municipal services.
  10. Support efforts to develop a statewide technology network that fosters increased communication and greater compatibility among levels of government and within and between agencies in all levels of government.