There was a surge in political activism over the last couple of weeks. State employees, their friends and family, and community leaders flooded NH Senators with phone calls, emails, face to face meetings and letters to the editor, asking them to craft a responsible state budget. In many ways these advocates succeeded. There were improvements in the Senate’s budget over the House’s version and Senators have said they will resolve the issue of the Executive Branch contract in the next step of the process – Committee of Conference. We sincerely thank all who spoke with their Senators. Personal interactions with constituents certainly influenced the Senators in creating their budget.
Even though each chamber’s budget has passed, the job is not complete. Legislators will now roll up their sleeves and get to work in Committee of Conference. Members from each chamber will begin working out their differences between budgets and will arrive at a budget that will go to the Governor for her signature.
What Do We Do Now?
Now is the time for us to step up our efforts. Over the next two weeks we need to continue to reach out to the legislators. Over the next week, let’s focus on the Senators. Once the Committee of Conference members are identified, begin reaching out to them, and to local Representatives. Let them hear from you! If you are overworked due to job vacancies and are now doing the work of two or three people – tell them. If your clients are not being served well because of absurd case load numbers – tell them. If you worked for 48 hours straight keeping snow off the roads – tell them. If you are working as hard as you can and still have to moonlight to make ends meet – tell them.
You can see who is on the Committees of Conference for other bills that the two chambers don’t concur at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/committee_of_conference/default.aspx. Once the Committee of Conference is set for the budget, you will find it there. We will also keep you updated.
If you want more information about what a Committee of Conference. Click here.