By Jen Wheeler
Government Day is an opportunity for the class to get a glimpse into the political landscape and experience firsthand how policies are made. This year was no exception.
While driving home from Concord that afternoon, I reflected on the major themes I heard throughout the day. Interestingly and coincidentally, they all started with the letter ‘P’:
- Priorities: When asked about the most important priorities facing New Hampshire, each presenter answered the same: economy, education and energy. However, when the NH Center for Public Policy Studies examined the policy questions that have driven state spending, different priorities are at the top: education, health and human services, and criminal justice.
- Partisanship: Yes, we have Democrats and Republicans in our legislature. Yes, they sit on different sides of the aisle- sometimes literally. But at the end of the day, all believe they are working in the best interests of the people of New Hampshire and the Seacoast. They just believe in different paths to get there, and – from what we heard- all are interested in crossing the aisles to work together to solve the issues facing New Hampshire.
- Pride: Without a doubt, every leader we met with was filled with and exuded a great sense of pride to be not only living in the Granite State, but also representing their constituencies. Governor Hassan, House Speaker Norelli, Executive Councilor Sununu, Steve Norton from the NH Center for Public Policy Studies, Jim Monahan from the Dupont Group and Virginia Drew from the Statehouse Visitor Center all spoke with love and adoration for the state, its history, and its future. What are you most proud of as a resident of the Granite State?
Some questions to ponder:
– Why is there a disconnect between state spending and the state’s priorities?
– What are you most proud of as a resident of New Hampshire?
– What do you think are the challenges and opportunities ahead of us?