Senator Odell is Chairman of
the Ways and
Means Committee, a
member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development
Committee, and the Finance Committee.
District 8 towns:
Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont,
Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury,
Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity,
Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.
In the first couple of weeks after an election, newly
elected legislators participate in caucuses and other meetings so that everyone will be in place for December 3rd when
House and Senate members will be sworn-in and the Senate President and House Speaker
will be voted into office.
The Democrat Senate caucus, having a 14-10 majority, has chosen Sylvia Larsen
(Concord) to again be President of the Senate, Martha Fuller Clark (Portsmouth) will be
President Pro Tem, Maggie Hassan (Exeter) will be Majority Leader and
Kathy Sgambati (Tilton) will be Deputy Majority Leader.
Republicans in the Senate met in caucus last week and chose a new leader. It is
Peter Bragdon (Milford). His family and mine go back a few generations as the old
family farms were close by in Amherst. Senator Bragdon will chose an Assistant
Minority Leader shortly.
Why do legislators get sworn-in on December 3rd? The Constitution of New Hampshire, Part Two, Article 33
deals with the Secretary of State examining records of votes and "shall issue his summons" to the winners " ...
that there may be a due meeting of senators and representatives on the first Wednesday of December,
biennially ...". This year, that is December 3rd.
To get ready for the swearing-in and the start of the legislative session, the six
new Senators will be offered a couple of days of orientation. One will be on "How to be
an effective Senator" and then four of us in the category of "experienced" Senators will
run through a mock committee hearing, opening of the Senate and Senate session. While
four of the new Senators are moving over from the House and one is a former House
member, the procedures and tempo of work in the Senate with 24 members is
much different from the 400 member House of Representatives. The orientation
sessions give new members a chance to be ready to go on December 3.
* * *
Last week I noted that New Hampshire has the only legislative body with women
in the majority. NBC was in Concord last week interviewing members of the Senate
for a news story. An email over the weekend announced that the segment on the new New
Hampshire Senate, with women in the majority, will air tonight on the NBC
evening news program.
* * *
With only caucuses and planning meetings in Concord, last week gave me an opportunity to participate in several important local events. Wednesday morning was the
annual Newport Area Chamber of Commerce "Salute Breakfast." Owners of new
businesses get a chance to let other business leaders know about their new ventures. And
this year, WCNL (1010 AM) and manager Steve Smith received special recognition. An
area native, Steve has restarted WCNL broadcasting from the studio on Main Street in
Newport. WCNL is part of the Koor Communications group of radio stations. The
company and owner, Bob Vinikoor, are celebrating 20 years in broadcasting in our area.
November is National Home Care & Hospice month. Thus, it was appropriate
that a joint Business After Hours of the Newport Chamber and the Greater Claremont
Chamber was held at the Connecticut Valley Home Care and Hospice on John Stark
Highway on Wednesday evening. Hospice services are tailored to individual needs and
provided in the client homes but organized from the John Stark Highway facility.
Legislative colleague, Carla Skinder (Cornish), administers the Adult Day Out
Program. The program provides an opportunity for adults, often seniors, to get
individualized care while participating in a variety of activities in a safe environment.
Next door is the Child Care Center for the children and grandchildren of Valley Regional
Hospital employees. Teacher Tracey Bundy took me on a tour explaining the education
philosophy behind the center including the interaction of the children with the adults in
the Day Out Program. The hospice service, Day Out Program and the Child Care Center
are all part of Valley Regional Hospital.
The Library Arts Center "Gallery of Gifts" opening reception was held on Friday
evening. What a show! It is so good I was back again on Saturday afternoon with Sandy
to pick up a few gifts for Christmas. The exhibition of crafts and fine woodworking by
furniture masters like Terry Moore is exceptional. But there are also absolutely beautiful
pieces made by state prison inmates through an outreach program of the New Hampshire
Furniture Masters Association.
Terry Moore is a mentor for the outreach program. His special efforts made it
possible for the prisoner made furniture to be at the exhibit. With very reasonable
pricing, the many red "sold" stickers on the card on each piece suggests sales were brisk
on Friday and Saturday. A volunteer told me additional pieces will be brought in to
replace items sold. Congratulations to Terry Moore and to the new Library Arts Center
executive director, Kate Niboli, and the professional and volunteer team at the center.
I finished up Friday evening with a stop at the Claremont Soup Kitchen open house.
Jan Bunnell was there at the new facility just she has been since opening the
kitchen on January 10, 1983. That first day there were 10 people to be fed; on Friday
there were 70 and another 30 food boxes delivered. When thinking about special
Christmas and Thanksgiving gifts, consider our local food pantries and soup kitchens.
The need is great.
New Hampshire State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301-4951