Executive Director Message

Margaret M.L. Byrnes

By the time this issue of Town & City goes to print, the legislative session will be over!

The session this year was about two weeks longer than usual (for a nonbudget year) due to the significant number of bills filed. More than 40% of the 1,000+ bills filed had some municipal component—up from about 30% last year—meaning NHMA was following over 400 bills in the 2024 session.

We will report on the outcome of the session in the Final Bulletin, which typically comes out in August or early September, but here's a snapshot of the wins for cities and towns this year:

  • Defeat of HB 1069, which would have required state and local governments to send Right-to-Know Law requests to anyone, anywhere in the world;
  • Defeat of statewide zoning mandates, such as mandating additional accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and duplexes; 
  • Defeat of retirement bills that would have cost taxpayers millions of additional dollars;
  • Defeat of yet another bill—in a long line of attacks—to prohibit local officials and their organizations from advocating for their interests at the legislature, lobbied for by out of state special interest groups.
  • Authority for municipalities to set seasonal speed limits; and
  • Authority for municipalities to use video monitoring at covered bridges to prevent and recoup property damage of these historic landmarks.

We are your eyes, ears, and voice at the legislature, but we can’t do it without you. Many of the successes this session were a direct result of outreach from you. Senators and representatives repeatedly commented that they had heard from local officials on various issues. Your advocacy truly makes a difference. You can stay up-to-date on during the session by logging into our new portal and making sure you are signed up to receive the Legislative Bulletin, a weekly update delivered to your inbox. (If you’ve never logged in before, please follow these instructions.)

Last, but certainly not least, it’s hard to believe our next issue of Town & City will feature NHMA’s Annual Conference! For the first time in recent memory—or perhaps the first time ever! — the conference will be held in October (October 30 & 31). We will be bringing back our dinner and entertainment event for a second year, along with many educational sessions and time for networking. We hope you’ll enjoy a bit of a Halloween theme this year for a spooky good time!

Keep an eye out on our website, in Newslink, and in our other communications for more information about the Annual Conference.

Have a safe and fantastic summer!

Warmest regards,

margaret byrnes

Margaret M.L. Byrnes, NHMA Executive Director