Now we know the players in Concord – help us write the playbook

Alliance News |

michelline-dufort-oct2016For the Council, we are always working towards and planning for the next legislative session. Whether it’s regarding issues held over from a past session, working on a new legislative concept, or working towards a collaborative approach with other trade organizations, or briefing new legislators or candidates about the Council’s important work here, we are never far away from the next round of legislative work. However, there is always the mindset to “wait for the election results” during any election cycle before finalizing plans, that was certainly true for this round.

This election, even before its results came rolling in late into the night last week, felt profoundly different, which is exactly the reason that the Council chose to hold a candidate forum on the state level races after the primary. We were able to spend 30 minutes each with the candidates for Governor and US Senate and talk exclusively about issues impacting the tech sector, while hearing from the candidates on how they would look to enhance our sector. This was a first: it demonstrated that the sector has the influence to warrant valuable campaigning time and presented our members with an opportunity to ask focused questions. The benefit of that is obviously not just serving the members with an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates, but also creating an opportunity for candidates to hear directly from us on key issues so once they are in office, they will already associate the Council with the issues we will be advocating for.

One area that both lawmakers and the membership will hear from us on is a proposal to assist with the many efforts to bolster the workforce pipeline here in New Hampshire. As we have noted many times over the past few years, attracting tech talent is the top priority of the Council’s membership. Along with our usual work in speaking to and supporting business friendly legislative proposals, the Council will add its voice to the ongoing and parallel efforts to grow our economy through a vibrant and dynamic workforce of tech talent. Legislative Service Requests, known as LSR’s, are rapidly being filed in NH’s General Court with a deadline to file of December 2, and the different agencies are ready to start the internal process (and lobbying) for their own budget requests since the 2017 session is indeed a budget-writing year.

So, here’s the ask. Does this all sound as exciting to you as it does to us? Add your voice and join our Legislative Affairs Committee to help steer the work ahead, and be a true voice to the tech industry. Our Legislative Affairs Committee chair is Ellen Scarponi, the senior director of government relations and economic development for FairPoint Communications. To learn more, reach out to me at [email protected].