Policy Setting Process
Our Advocacy Efforts Matter! Your Voice Matters More!
Established in 1941 as a voluntary association of New Hampshire’s cities and towns, the New Hampshire Municipal Association has served as the primary legislative advocate for New Hampshire’s municipalities, representing its members at the state legislature and before numerous federal and state administrative agencies.
We are a unique advocacy organization in that we do 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 many municipal officials already know, our legislative work is a full-time, year-round job. It is an ongoing process and staff members have already been working on laying the foundation for the next legislative biennium. The success of NHMA’s legislative efforts, in large part, depends on you. You work at the level of government that is closest to the citizen and you are uniquely situated to help legislators understand how pending legislation affects your city or town.
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.
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. Once the committees complete their work, their policy recommendations will be sent to every municipal member of NHMA. Each municipality’s governing body will be encouraged to review the recommendations and establish positions on them. Members will also have an opportunity to submit floor policy proposals in advance of the Legislative Policy Conference in September.
At the Legislative Policy Conference, each member municipality is entitled to cast one vote on every policy recommendation submitted and on any floor proposals. Each policy proposal must receive a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and voting in order to be adopted as an NHMA policy.
The NHMA legislative policy process is moving forward!
Below are the links to the proposed 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Positions and Legislative Principles, as recommended by NHMA’s three policy committees. NHMA members will have an opportunity to vote on these proposals at the Legislative Policy Conference on September 23. We urge each municipality’s governing body, prior to the Legislative Policy Conference, to vote a position on the recommendations and floor proposals (see below) to provide direction to your voting delegate at the conference. Otherwise, your delegate is free to cast your municipality’s vote as he or she chooses.
In addition, any municipality with an interest in proposing an additional policy may do so through the floor policy process, described below. We will be providing a copy of those floor policy proposals to members in advance of the policy conference.
NOTE: Please do not send your governing body’s vote results or positions to NHMA. Your governing body’s discussions and votes are only for the direction of your voting delegate. The only way a municipality may vote on these policies is to send a voting delegate to the policy conference on September 23.
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.
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.
Floor Proposals - August 12, 2022
The deadline for submitting floor proposals is Friday, August 12. A floor proposal will be accepted only if it is approved by a majority vote of the governing body (select board, aldermen, or council) of the town or city submitting the proposal, is submitted in writing, and is received no later than August 12. After that date, we will send all floor proposals received to each municipality so there will be an opportunity to take a position on them before the Legislative Policy Conference. Floor proposals may be submitted using the Floor Policy Proposal form, which is also available on the NHMA website under “Advocacy/Policy Setting Process.”
To submit a floor policy proposal, please e-mail it to email@example.com, or mail it to NHMA, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301.
Legislative Policy Conference- September 23, 2022
The 2023-2024 NHMA Legislative Policy Conference will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. at our offices at 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03303. This is an in-person event. Each member municipality will be asked to appoint a voting delegate to cast its vote at this conference. Each member municipality, regardless of size, has one vote on all policy matters. About six weeks before the conference, municipal officials will be able to register online as voting delegates. We will send out a reminder email at that time.
In the absence of any other designation by the select board, aldermen, or council, NHMA will recognize one official as a municipality’s voting delegate in the following order of priority:
Mayor/Chair of Board of Selectmen/Council Chair
Mayor Pro Tem/Vice or Assistant Mayor/Council Vice Chair
City or Town Manager/Town Administrator/Administrative Assistant
NHMA’s bylaws require a two-thirds affirmative vote of those members present and voting for approval of any NHMA legislative policy or principle.