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Patricia "Ricia" McMahon
State Representative
District 3

 

 

 

 

June 13, 2010

Representative McMahon is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration Committee, and represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton.

 
The NH General Court concluded the 2010 Session on June 2 and then proceeded to a Special Session conducted on June 9. During the past month several hundred bills received their final determination and were voted on by either the House or Senate. When both bodies could not immediately agree on an outcome, a Committees of Conference was called. 

I served on six different Conferences including SB313 that ultimately extends the State Parks Advisory Council for two more years. The bill also granted the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), home to the state parks and trails bureau, the ability to streamline financial purchases. Senate Bill 313, as amended in the House, now stipulates that DRED can immediately collect donations at Jericho Mountain State Park and must commence charging in January of 2011. 

New Hampshire is the only state with an expectation that the state park system should be self funded. Mount Sunapee contributes to the state parks fund through a leasing arrangement with DRED. Jericho Mountain State Park was purchased by DRED in 2005 after several years of planning for this park as an ATV destination. It seemed to many legislators that the $2.1 million purchase price that promised a return on investment was now long overdue, which was part of amending SB313 based on the prospectus presented to the Governor and Council five years ago.

 

 

Several Interim Studies will be conducted this summer by the committee that I chair as part of Executive Departments and Administration. Among the bills that we will consider are those that address various park funds. This includes SB414 regarding the Mount Washington Commission, which consists of an organization of stakeholders who are neighbors and businesses located on or abutting Mount Washington State Park or whose members use the state park. To prepare for responsibilities of this interim study, Representative Sue Gottling (Sunapee) and I attended the quarterly meeting of the Commission on Friday June 11 in order to get an update and history of this organization, construction projects and activities, and also to brief them on the scope of our interim responsibilities and the prospect and form of the continuation of the Commission.

This summer between sessions will also require study of recommendations for the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS) that has over 50,000 active members and over 20,000 retirees. As the House of Representative appointee to the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Subcommittee on Retirement, a review of potential legislation for the next session will be examined. Over the past several years changes were initiated to correct faulty actuarial methods created 20 years ago and to assure financial soundness for the NHRS, stability for employers that contribute to the system and for local taxpayer relief. Additional work is needed to continue the review to implement best practices, maximize investments, fiduciary education and accountability.




Ricia McMahon msricia@yahoo.com
State Representative, Merrimack County District 3
Newbury and Sutton


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