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How YOU Can Help

The New Hampshire legislative process begins when a member of the NH House or Senate submits an idea for a bill to the Legislative Services Office. The idea can come from a constituent, or from the Legislator, and can be an idea for a new law, or to amend an existing law, as is the case with dog shelter legislation. The deadline for submitting " LSRs" (legislative service requests) to the LSO is usually around the middle of September. The staff members of the LSO will research the LSRs, write them in legislative language and format, and send them back to the sponsoring legislator for approval by mid -November. When the sponsoring legislator(s) has signed off on a bill, it will be assigned a bill number, go to the printer and then go to either the Speaker of the House, or the Senate President (depending on which House the bill originated in) to be assigned to a Committee for further study. This usually happens during the first week of January. The Committee Chairman will schedule a public hearing on the bill, at which any interested member of the public may testify. After the public hearing the bill may be assigned to a Subcommittee, for further work. Then the Committee will vote on whether the bill, " Ought to pass," or is "Inexpedient to Legislate." The bill will them be scheduled for a vote before the full House or Senate. If a bill survives this process, it will proceed to the other legislative body and go through the same process. If the bill passes both the House and Senate it will go the Governor, who has five days to sign or veto a bill; if he does nothing the bill automatically becomes law.

The vast majority of New Hampshire legislators are compassionate people who want our canine friends to be properly cared for. They are also extremely busy people. As you can see, the above described procedure is very complex; our legislators may have five or six hundred bills to consider and vote on in a legislative session. They can't possibly be aware of or understand every piece of proposed legislation. That's why it's vital for YOU, as constituents, to contact your legislators to let them know what issues and specific bills are important to you.

This year, 2008, is an election year. Things could change considerably in both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature. If you would like help promote animal welfare legislation in the next session, find out who's running for office in your district, talk to the candidates about animal welfare issues, find out where they stand. If any of those running for office, either incumbents or new candidates, are interested in these issues, support them during the campaign. After the elections are over in early November, contact your legislators again and let them know that you will be asking for their support on pro-animal welfare legislation.

To find out who your current legislators are :

1. Go to the state's web site at www.nh.gov.
2. On the right hand side of the homepage, click on LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
3. At the next page, click once on HOUSE, 2nd listing from the top
4. At the next page, click once on WHO'S MY LEGISLATOR, left column, 6th from the top
5. At the next page, choose your town from the pulldown list, or click on your county.

If you would like to be included in our legislative updates as the 2007/2008 session proceeds, please sign our GUESTBOOK .

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope ... And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring these ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

-- Robert F. Kennedy, 1966



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