EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

June 16, 2013

Some N.H. lawmakers fail to show up to vote

Health, job issues prevent some lawmakers from voting

(Continued)

For those who seldom miss a vote, it can be frustrating when a colleague is often absent.

“That’s what you ran for,” Allen said. “If you are not planning to be there on session day, then you should not run. It’s unfair to the people you represent.”

Allen, 82, is serving her sixth term in the House. She missed only one vote this session, simply because she stepped out of the room, and two last year.

While some New Hampshire lawmakers juggle full-time jobs and family responsibilities, Allen said she didn’t even considering running for office until after she retired in 2001.

Once elected, those who are still working need to make arrangements with their employer to avoid missing key votes, she said.

“If you have agreed to do it, you should do it,” Allen said. “If you haven’t made an arrangement, then you are doing a disservice.”

Jobs interfere with service

Career commitments was the main reason Rep. Jeffrey Oligny, R-Plaistow, missed 94 of 164 votes, or 57 percent, this session, which ends later this month.

Oligny, an engineer, said he’s committed to serving his constituents, but still has to put two children through college.

“I’m not retired and I’m not wealthy,” he said. “You do have to support the family and pay the bills.”

Oligny said he works more than 50 hours a week and must travel between offices in Nashua and Lexington, Mass. There are many days when Oligny said he just can’t miss work if he wishes to remain employed. That translated into him missing more than half the votes as of June 5.

He said while voting is important, so, too, is building consensus for legislation among other lawmakers before key votes are taken.

A perfect voting record isn’t everything, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Photos of the Week