Policy Setting Process

NHMA's legislative policies originate with its members and its legislative policy committees. These committees consist of elected and appointed local officials who represent all regions of the state, and all sizes of towns and cities.

In the spring before each new legislative biennium, NHMA solicits legislative policy proposals from member municipalities. The three policy committees review these proposals and make recommendations to NHMA's Legislative Policy Conference, held during the fall of the same year. The governing body of any member municipality may also submit a floor policy for consideration at the conference.

The Legislative Policy Conference is held in September of even-numbered years at the NHMA offices (25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord). Every NHMA member, regardless of size, is entitled to one vote at the conference.

Legislative Policies adopted at the Conference guide the actions of the Government Affairs staff in addressing legislation during the ensuing legislative biennium. For the highest-priority policies—identified by the Legislative Policy Conference as action policies—the Government Affairs staff will draft legislation to implement the policies, identify and work with sponsors to introduce the bills, and support them through the legislative process.

NHMA also uses a set of guiding Legislative Principles, which are reviewed and reaffirmed as appropriate by the Legislative Policy Conference, to develop positions on legislation that has not been expressly addressed in the adopted Policy Positions. Examples of legislative principles include: opposing unfunded mandates; working to maintain existing revenue streams to municipalities; and advocating to maintain existing local authority.

During the legislative session, the Government Affairs staff regularly reports to the NHMA Board on legislative developments. During any legislative session, new issues may arise which were not contemplated by the current Policy Positions. The Board has the authority to establish legislative policy positions between Legislative Policy Conferences, in order to provide timely, continuing guidance to the Government Affairs staff.

For more information, please read the 2019-2020 NHMA Legislative Policy Process Questions and Answers.