Executive Director Message
The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.
Are you ready? It’s time to ramp up for another legislative session!
In September, the initial LSRs (Legislative Service Requests) came out, and by the time you are reading this, more will be available. LSRs are the like the idea for a bill, and while not all of them will actually become official bills for the 2023 session, many will. The title of each LSR gives us a glimpse into what kind of bill it may become. You can view them on the General Court website, by clicking on “Public Listing of Legislative Service Requests (LSRs) for 2023” in the “General Court Updates” box.
As you can imagine, many of the topics we are starting to see are not new, including a renewed effort to make it more difficult for cities and towns to engage with the legislature through voluntary memberships with organizations like NHMA. For this reason, now is the time for local officials speak with their senators and representatives, including inviting them to board and council meetings. Talk with them about local issues and how legislation affects local operations—and find out what types of legislation they are filing or supporting, and how it will affect cities and towns. Additionally, since we are going into a state budget year, it’s crucial that local officials share how important state aid and revenue sharing is for local government, including thanking legislators who supported increasing the municipal distribution of the meals and rooms tax in 2021 and providing additional, one-time funding in 2022 for roads, bridges, and to retirement costs. Ensuring that the meals and rooms distribution does not change, that state aids grants for water and sewer are fully funded, and continuing to work to reinstate a state contribution to local retirement costs are top priorities for NHMA and local officials when talking about state budget priorities.
And in those important conversations, we urge local officials to share NHMA’s policy positions with legislators which can be a great way to facilitate or kick off that discussion. In September, nearly 50 local officials from across the state gathered here at NHMA to discuss, debate, amend, and ultimately adopt the Legislative Policies and Principles that will direct NHMA’s advocacy efforts over the next biennium. You can find the policies and principles on our website under the "Advocacy" tab.
Margaret M.L. Byrnes, NHMA Executive Director
As we said in the last issue of Town & City, we still want to hear from you about any legislation you’re working on with your senators or representatives. We look forward to working with you in the upcoming session. Our success is your success, and it is a direct result of working together.