Friday, April 10, 2009

Follow Up: Portsmouth "Meet Your Legislators" Forum

Photo: NH Senator Martha Fuller Clark spoke about the importance of having citizen input on legislative issues. Also pictured (left to right): moderator Hillary Niles, Rep. Jim Splaine, Rep. Paul McEachern, Rep. Laura Pantelakos, House Speaker Terie Norelli, Rep. Jackie Cali-Pitts, Rep. Rich DiPentima, and Rep. Robin Read.

The Seacoast for Change "Meet Your Legislators" forum (April 4) was informative and well-received by those who attended the Saturday morning event. NH Speaker of the House Terie Norelli and NH State Senator Martha Fuller Clark provided a brief overview of how a bill becomes law in New Hampshire, inlcuding the process of Committee reviews and public hearings. While discussing the influence of professional lobbyists in Concord, Senator Fuller Clark emphasized how important it is for ordinary citizens to speak out on legislative issues. Portsmouth Representatives Jackie Cali Pitts, Rich DiPentima, Paul McEarchern, Laura Pantelakos, Robin Read, and Jim Splaine answered questions from the audience, which included concerns about the just-passed seat belt law and reducing retirement benefits for state employees. The discussion was moderated by Hilary Niles, producer of Front Door Politics NH ( The forum was covered by Foster's Daily Democrat -- you can read the story here.

Special thanks to Larry Drake and Joan Jacobs, who took the lead on organizing the event.