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Steve Winter
State Representative
District 3

May 24, 2011
"Constituent Mail"

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

No other responsibility of a (legislator) so directly affects the lives of the average person as that of "constituent service." Ė Unattributed Congressman

Once again, I would like to share constituent mail I have received. One constituent said that she was opposed to allowing students to drop out of school at age 16 (HB429). She said they would "be more likely to end up in jail, use various services and be more likely to be uninsured."

My response was that students can already drop out at 16. Present law has a number of circumstances where a student can currently be allowed to drop out. The problem I have is that the control of that process is entirely in the hands of the school district superintendent.  The only recourse that the parent has is to appeal the process to the local school board which would most likely back up its superintendent.

I donít believe that students who leave school at 16 are more prone to "end up in jail or use various (state) services or be more likely to be uninsured" than students who are reluctantly forced to attend school until reaching 18.  Many of these drop outs will attend GED Certificate Programs as they mature a bit more.  Many of those required to remain will become disruptive to the learning process and be a detriment to those students who are there because they really want to learn. 

Finally, I donít believe that most parents are uncaring about their childís education.  I believe that many have concluded that continuing education is not an effective choice for a number of students whose educational needs may not be fulfilled in the current educational setting.  I believe that the parents should at least have an equal voice in this decision.  No student can just "drop out".  Leaving the current process in place while adding the parental decision to the mix seems to be a rational choice and I supported the bill. 

Other constituents have written concerning a variety of topics. One couple called about funding cuts for Service Link, a federally required program that serves the elderly, poor, and disabled members of our communities. They assist in finding the right federal program and help applicants navigate the labyrinth of paperwork required to qualify for each program.

Another wrote about the "irritating noise" emanating from state police aircraft in the vicinity of Exit 10 on I-89 while conducting aerial speed surveillance. He said, "I can hear it inside my house almost constantly during the patrol. It is loudest when passing overhead on every loop."

In each case, I spoke to the programís director. I got information regarding the agency and the problem and informed my correspondents. I also got the names of the directors of the programs and contact information to forward on to my constituents so that they can personally discuss the problems with those "in the know".

Most constituents recognize that there is little I can do to change these programs. But I do what I can to help forward their concerns.



Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319

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