The Day Bedford Schools announced Remote Learning
It's hard to think about anything but COVID - 19, with schools closing down, sports suspended, social distancing, and the bare shelves at Market Basket, I know. Hopefully, common sense and good hygiene will result in our being able to return to normal sooner than later.
The New Hampshire House is certainly aware of the risks of sitting in a crowd. I was actually in my seat when WMUR announced that the first member had been required to self quarantine! Subsequently, we began to see our numbers drop. The average age of House members is 63, which means we have lots of folks serving in their 80s, the most vulnerable age group. This week we were faced with the crossover deadline for acting on House bills that now need to go to the Senate, so it was nose to the grindstone time!
Wednesday we worked from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, but had to recess because many of our members also serve their communities as select people or town councilors and had those meetings following Tuesday's elections.
Thursday we began at 9:00 am and ended FRIDAY morning at 4:00 am! This is no typo! We were in the House for 19 hours!!! We took action on 381 bills between the two days; no summary can even begin to talk about the extent of what we did. But we did it.
Bedford was well represented throughout the night. I ran into Laurie Sanborn in the Ladies room around 11:30 pm. We spoke about being worried that some of our older members might have a hard time staying too much later, but, Folks, I want to reassure you that Dave Danielson did just fine. You would have been hard pressed to prove that he is SO much older than me! 😉
Serving in the House provides me with an education on something every single day. My most recent "aha" moment had to do with the importance of not only the laws that we attempt to create, but also those that we prevent.
Each time we are tasked with voting on bills, there are some that pass and some that don't. This week I am aware of the importance of not only voting in favor of something, like HB 1280 which caps insulin co-payments at $100 a month or HB 1665 that tries again to establish an independent redistricting commission, but also voting against something like HB 1114 which would eliminate motor vehicle inspections or HB 1307 which would require citizens to pay an employee's hourly wage to copy things requested under the right-to-know law.
This week we were reminded by leadership that every bill is important to someone. That's a reminder well worth offering and certainly worthy of remembering. Realizing that there are issues upon which we agree and others where we don't, I continue to do my best to be objective, to listen, and to represent our community in meaningful ways. Thank you for providing me with the tremendous sense of purpose that I feel...
The House will not be in session again until we are called by the Speaker, but I am always accessible via email if you have a question or concern: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fingers crossed that you are all well and remain that way! sm