The Lakes Region Local Strength Team met with three NH House Representatives at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the Lakes Region Community College in Laconia.
Eleven SEA members representing five different state agencies, two SEA retired members, and one state employee spouse had an opportunity to discuss among themselves their concerns before the legislators arrived to join in the discussion.
Newly elected representatives Lisa DiMartino (Laconia), and Ian Raymond (Sanbornton) along with returning Rep. David Huot were the three legislators who attended.
The meeting provided an opportunity for legislators to meet with and hear concerns from their constituents. The discussion was wide ranging. Some of the topics discussed were expanded gambling, privatization, the NH Retirement System, health insurance costs, lack of enough full-time faculty members at the Community College System, the Liquor Commission’s recent action of denying contractual benefits to its part-time employees, the state budget, and the difficulty that some state employees are having in meeting day-to day living expenses.
Several of the representatives indicated awareness of a need for a more balanced legislature by noting they believe actions taken through the last two legislative sessions must be carefully addressed or the current legislators risk becoming one-term legislators.
Tuesday’s meeting was part of an ongoing union effort to increase direct communication between members and lawmakers. As we begin a new legislative session, it will be as important as ever to have open dialogue with legislators who will be making laws that affect both our personal and working lives.
As the legislative session progresses, more meetings between members and legislators will be planned not only for the Lakes Region, but for other areas of the state. In fact, the Nashua area local strength team is planning a forum with Nashua area legislators for Feb. 7 with a planning/preparation meeting scheduled for Jan. 17.
Watch for upcoming opportunities in your area of the state!