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New Hampshire

January 2, 2013

Southern N.H. lawmakers to play key roles

Southern New Hampshire will continue to have a strong voice in the Legislature, with local lawmakers presiding over key Senate committees in the coming session.

Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, will play a critical role in formulating the state budget as chairman of Finance.

Sen. Jim Rausch, R-Derry, will keep an eye on funding for the Interstate 93 widening and other local highway projects as chairman of Transportation.

Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, will have a hand in environmental and energy issues as chairman of Energy and Natural Resources.

Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, will find herself at the center of judicial system and legal debates as chairman of Judiciary.

She also will have influence in how state government operates, as chairman of Executive Departments and Administration.

Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, who represents Newton, will deal with some of the important services provided by the state as chairman of Health, Education and Human Services.

With only 24 members, senators will find themselves multitasking.

Rausch and Morse, for example, will work on tax policy as members of Ways and Means, while also reviewing large state spending projects on Capital Budget.

Stiles will be a local voice on local issues as a member of Public and Municipal Affairs.

Republican-dominated Southern New Hampshire will have less clout in the Democratic-controlled House.

None of the committee chairmen and vice chairmen announced by Speaker Terie Norelli are from the region.

But Rep. Sherm Packard, R-Londonderry, will be part of the House Republican leadership team as senior assistant Republican leader.

The region also holds the ranking, or senior, minority position on key House panels.

Among them are Rep. Norm Major, R-Plaistow, on Ways and Means; Rep. Charles McMahon, R-Windham, on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs; Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, on State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs; Robert Introne, R-Londonderry, on Science, Technology and Energy; and Packard on Transportation.

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