New Hampshire House of Representatives
|New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 7, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Shawn Jasper (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Jack Flanagan (R)|
|Minority leader:||Stephen Shurtleff (D)|
Democratic Party (160)
Republican Party (238)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Part Second, New Hampshire Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (400 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (400 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of February 2015, New Hampshire is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
The Second Part of the New Hampshire Constitution establishes when the New Hampshire General Court, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Article 3 of the Second Part states that the General Court is to convene annually on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January. Additionally, in even-numbered years, the General Court is to meet on the first Wednesday of December for organizational purposes.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the General Court will be in session from January 7 to July 1 (Projected).
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the General Court was in session from January 8 through June 13.
Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included capital punishment, a proposed casino, raising fuel taxes for road improvement, Medicaid expansion, and a return of the state minimum wage.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Court was in session from January 2 to July 1.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 4 through June 27.
Major issues on the agenda included economic development, job creation, same-sex marriage, and gambling.
In 2011, the House was in session from January 5 through July 1.
Role in state budget
- See also: New Hampshire state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.
- State agencies submit their requests by October 1.
- Agency hearings and public hearings are held in November.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Hampshire State Legislature by February 15.
- The legislature adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
- The biennial budget cycle begins in July.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. New Hampshire was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, New Hampshire received a grade of C+ and a numerical score of 75, indicating that New Hampshire was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. New Hampshire was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of New Hampshire House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on September 9, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 13, 2014.
This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the New Hampshire House currently have a supermajority, which Democrats are seeking to cut into.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 11, 2010. The primary Election Day was September 14, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $489,484 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|New Hampshire House Republican Victory PAC||$7,660|
|Total of All General Election Receipts in this Report (Uncoded)||$4,997|
|Difroscia, A R||$4,637|
|New Hampshire Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons||$4,350|
|Jackman, Norma Roth||$4,293|
|Obrien, William L||$4,109|
|Pillsbury, Leland & Mary||$4,000|
|Nashua Republican City Cmte||$3,608|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 9, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $468,987. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Cmte To Elect House Democrats Of New Hampshire||$8,236|
|New Hampshire Medical Society||$5,700|
|House Republican Victory PAC||$5,697|
|Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire||$5,363|
|New Hampshire Society Of Eye Physicians & Surgeons||$5,000|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$4,850|
|International Association Of Fire Fighters||$3,000|
|Fredette, Robert A||$2,799|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $528,066. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Forward Together PAC||$23,800|
|New Hampshire Republican State Cmte||$13,289|
|Chaplin III, Duncan D||$13,074|
|Cmte To Elect House Democrats Of New Hampshire||$8,025|
|All America PAC||$6,000|
|House Republican Victory PAC||$4,435|
|Democracy For America||$4,300|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 14, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $403,625. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Democracy for America||$34,500|
|House Republican Majority PAC||$22,325|
|New Hampshire Republican Party||$9,292|
|Chaplin III, Duncan D||$8,000|
|Lebanon Democratic Cmte||$4,557|
|Cmte To Elect House Democrats Of New Hampshire||$4,326|
|New Hampshire Society Of Eye Physicians & Surgeons||$3,150|
|Strafford County Republican Cmte||$2,782|
|New Hampshire Democratic Senate Caucus||$2,666|
|New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association||$2,600|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $379,737. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Effective Government Cmte||$14,050|
|District 17 Victory PAC||$10,671|
|Cmte To Elect House Democrats Of New Hampshire||$10,212|
|Republican Party Majority PAC Of New Hampshire||$8,310|
|Stepanek, Stephen B||$7,337|
|Irwin, Anne Marie||$6,969|
|Stepanek, Stephen B||$6,811|
|New Hampshire Job Creation Alliance||$4,050|
Article 14 of Part 2 of the New Hampshire Constitution states, "Every member of the house of representatives shall be chosen by ballot; and, for two years, at least, next preceding his election shall have been an inhabitant of this state; shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the town, ward, place, or district he may be chosen to represent and shall cease to represent such town, ward, place, or district immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the house, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. It's up to the Governor to call for an election and to set an election date as soon as possible. There are no deadlines set by the state constitution on special elections.
- See also: Redistricting in New Hampshire
Redistricting in New Hampshire is handled by the General Court, with the Governor wielding veto power.
New Hampshire received its local Census data on March 22, 2011. The state's population increased 6.5 percent, with Coos County being the only county to face a decrease (-0.2 percent). Growth in the larger cities was mild: Manchester grew by 2.4 percent, Nashua decreased by 0.1 percent, Concord grew by 4.9 percent, Derry decreased by 2.7 percent, and Dover grew by 11.5 percent.
At the time of redistricting, Republicans controlled the General Court, and the Democrats controlled the governorship. On March 23, 2012, Gov. John Lynch (D) signed into law a new Senate plan but vetoed the House map, citing a lack of representation in towns that exceed 3,000, which automatically merit their own representative; the Legislature overrode the veto on March 28, 2012. The Department of Justice -- which has the duty of pre-clearing New Hampshire redistricting maps under the Voting Rights Act -- approved the maps in May 2012. On June 19, 2012, several lawsuits regarding the House map were thrown out by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the New Hampshire General Court are paid $200/two-year term. There is no per diem.
New Hampshire does not provide pensions for legislators.
When sworn in
New Hampshire legislators assume office the month after elections (December).
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of February 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order, enforcing and interpreting parliamentary rules, making committee appointments, and referring bills to the appropriate committee for review. The Speaker only votes in the case of a tie.
|Current Leadership, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Speaker of the House||Shawn Jasper||Republican|
|House Majority Leader||Jack Flanagan||Republican|
|House Minority Leader||Stephen Shurtleff||Democratic|
Note: In New Hampshire, a member of the state legislature can be designated as being a member of more than one party. If a candidate runs on one ticket and the opposing party fields no candidate, and if the candidate gets a certain number of write-in votes on the opposing party ticket, then as an elected official, that politician is defined as belonging to both parties.
As of the 2012 elections, there is one member listed as being of both parties: Janet Wall. The New Hampshire House of Representatives keeps an official online list of all members of the chamber. On that list, representatives who have more than one party designation by custom have the party that could be considered their true party listed first. On that list, Wall is considered a Democrat first. The list below follows that practice.
Bills are first referred to committees arranged by subject matter. The committee holds hearings on the bills and makes recommendation for action to the House. In 2011, one committee was dissolved (Local and Regulated Revenues Committee); and two new committees were established: Constitutional Review & Statutory Recodification and Petitions for Redress & Grievances.
The New Hampshire House has the following 24 standing committees:
- Children and Family Law
- Commerce and Consumer Affairs
- Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- Election Law
- Environment and Agriculture
- Executive Departments and Administration
- Fish and Game and Marine Resources
- Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs
- Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services
- Legislative Administration
- Municipal and County Governments
- Public Works and Highways
- Resources, Recreation and Development
- Science, Technology and Energy
- State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs
- Ways and Means
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Hampshire State House of Representatives for five years while the Republicans were the majority for 17 years.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the New Hampshire state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. New Hampshire experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas during the years of the study. Two Republican trifectas occurred in the first years of the study, from 1992-1996 and from 2003-2004. The state then shifted and had a Democratic trifecta from 2007-2010. New Hampshire ranked high in the SQLI, finishing in the top-10 every year of the study, and in 1st over half of the years of the study. The state finished 1st during both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as during years of divided government. Its lowest rankings occurred in the last two years of the study, when the government was divided.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 2.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 1.71
- SQLI average with divided government: 2.20
- New Hampshire General Court
- New Hampshire State Senate
- New Hampshire state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in New Hampshire
- Official website of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
- NH House of Representatives, "House Roster," accessed June 9, 2014
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- census.gov, "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000," accessed May 15, 2014
- Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, "Constitutional Amendments New Hampshire," accessed June 9, 2014
- New Hampshire Business Review, "Taxes, workers’ comp at top of legislative agenda," January 8, 2015
- Vermont Public Radio, "New Hampshire Lawmakers Have Their Work Cut Out For Them," January 13, 2015
- The Associated Press, "Death, taxes, gambling face NH Legislature in 2014," January 5, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- New Hampshire Business Review, "Nearly 300 bills being proposed in Concord could have an impact on business," January 10, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- The Associated Press, "N.H. Legislature to convene 2014 session today," January 8, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- Sentinel Source, "After a shake-up, N.H. legislators have new issues to tackle.," January 4, 2013
- Concord Monitor, "House GOP: Jobs the focus," January 4, 2012
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 session dates for New Hampshire legislature," accessed June 9, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- New Hampshire Secretary of State, "How to file by nomination papers," accessed June 9, 2014
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed December 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-House of Representatives," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Sections 12 and 16)
- State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-Senate," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Section 34)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers New Hampshire's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," accessed June 9, 2014
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- New Hampshire General Court, "House Leadership," accessed June 9, 2014
- Information verified by House Clerk on December 15, 2010
- New Hampshire General Court, "New Hampshire House of Representatives Standing Committee page," accessed June 9, 2014
State of New Hampshire
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Executive Director of Fish and Game | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |