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Steven Cunningham State Representative
Sullivan District 2


August 10, 2010

Steven Cunningham represents the towns of Springfield, Croydon, Newport, Goshen and Washington in the NH House of Representatives. 

Representative Cunningham is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government.


Local Control

Legislators love local control. Mainly because true "local control" is popular with the towns and most taxpayers, and it means votes for the legislator. And "local control" should be popular. Local control, for instance, would be a town voting to decide what standards their school should follow as opposed to the state telling a town which standards it will follow. Don't we wish!

Power hungry local officials, however, often seek "HOME RULE", and call it "local control". We had a few laws like this pass last session (I voted NO). What is the difference?

"Local control" allows taxpayers in a town to decide how issues that affect only that town should be handled.

"Home rule" allows taxpayers in a town to decide how issues that affect other state residents passing through town should be handled.

A good example of each:

The townspeople vote on which roads should be salted in the winter. Local control.

The townspeople vote that automobiles must have bumpers between 18 and 24 inches off the road, no higher or lower. Someone from town #2 that voted bumpers should be 22 to 26 inches off the road drives through town #1 and is ticketed. Now imagine town #3 voted bumpers should be 16 to 21 inches off the road. You can imagine the problems. New Hampshire does not allow home rule. Unfortunately, it does sneak through occasionally.

Don't be mislead when a law good for one town, but bad for others, is called "local control". It isn't.


Steven Cunningham
NH State Representative, Sullivan County District  2

Telephone:  603-271-3317

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