January may have 31 days, but the month has flown. It’s the month to finalize Senate legislation, sign-up co-sponsors, convene committees, deliver testimony, write opinion editorials, and recruit experts to testify in committee hearings. It’s also a critical time to develop a work pace that enables me to spend equal time with Cheshire County groups that inspire the case for our region.
Committee and Commission Appointments
My week includes: Tuesday morning, Education Committee; Wednesday, Municipal Affairs Committee; Thursday morning, Senate Session; Friday morning, every two weeks, Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, before which all departments eventually appear.
Additional assignments include: NH representative to Education Commission of the States; Citizens Committee on Revenues and Expenses, Special Education.
Legislation being heard this week
I am the prime sponsor on nine bills, combined two others into other bills, and am co-sponsor of many more. Education bills my office mate Sen. David Watters and I have sponsored are described in the Education Opinion Editorial http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/columnists/guest/five-education-bills-that-need-support/article_32960646-b3ab-5a56-81c4-81f8c72c906d.html which appeared in the Keene Sentinel and Foster’s papers (Portsmouth and Plymouth). Bills being heard this week, which I am sponsoring, include:
- SB 144. This bill establishes a committee to study mental health and social service information system interoperability. Senate House and Human Services, Tuesday, January 30, at 1 pm in Legislative Office Building, Rm. 101
- Also, Tuesday, January 30, I will speak in support of SB 101. This defines enrollment eligibility for career and technical education programs after one year of high school.
- SB 137. This bill requires the board of nursing to grant licenses to applicants for license by endorsement for persons holding a comparable license issued by Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, or Connecticut. Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee, Wednesday, January 31, at 9:40 am in Legislative Office Building, Room 101
- SB 182. This bill mandates disclosure of the total amount of revenue collected from the meals and rooms tax in each municipality. Senate Ways and Means Committee, Wednesday morning, January 31, at 9:40 am in State House, Room 100
First Senate Speech
I spoke against SB 11, so-called Right to Work legislation. The idea of limiting the terms of employer and employee agreements makes as much sense as the state limiting executive compensation. NH values should limit government’s role in employee-employer negotiations.
Community Visits and Testimony
If you want to know what’s going on in education, visit a school. This month’s visits included Keene Career Center, Hinsdale Elementary, Winchester School, and Swanzey’s Mount Caesar Elementary. Photos below are from my visit to Mrs. Currio’s classroom.
Provide kids with a safe, secure environment and they become willing and engaged learners. These kids warmed my heart in minutes.
Also this month, I continued my visits with town officials. Keene and Nashua occurred last week. Upcoming are:
- Hinsdale Selectmen – Jan. 30 at 6 pm
- Chesterfield Selectmen – Feb. 1 at 6:30 pm
- Winchester Selectmen – Feb. 15, at 7 pm
- Swanzey Selectmen – Feb. 22 at 6 pm
I was pleased to join the Perkins and Will Design team, which won an American Institute of Architects–NH Chapter Outstanding Design Award for the recently opened Keene State College Living Learning Center. It is the fourth time I’ve been part of the winning team on a Keene State project.
Also, I attended the annual Chamber of Commerce's award ceremony, where JoAnn Fenton was named its Citizen of the Year, which was well deserved.
Onward to February and the Super Bowl. For more frequent updates, follow me on Facebook at- 'Jay Kahn: NH State Senator District 10'.