What does a State Representative Do?

I was asked this question recently, and realized that the answer may surprise you. Being a NH State Representative has little or nothing to do with the politics you see on television. Over the last month, I have helped straighten out problems two people were having with inspection stations (misunderstanding of complex regulation), helped someone get an enhanced id even though they didn’t think they get all of the required documents, helped someone else with a Dept. ofย  Labor issue, etc. These are the kinds of constituent issues we work on.

This past term I also filed bills (which became law) to fix a conflict in law when towns try to do their audits, clarified what kinds of rust your car can fail an inspection for, and created a new registration for heavy duty recovery vehicles (which prior to this could not be registered in NH). We also passed legislation allowing wreckers to turn off those bright strobe lights once their load is secured and they are just driving.

I am currently chairing a commission to review and restructure the motor vehicle code because it is too confusing and regular people can’t find the information they need. I am also chairing a commission to determine if the brine we treat roads with in the winter is rusting your vehicles out faster. I also represent the Legislature on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness. This is a working group focused on targeting our resources to make sure that everyone in New Hampshire has shelter.

Most of a State Representative’s job is dealing with practical problems for people. The few high profile bills that you hear fights about on the news are less than one percent of what we do, if we’re doing the job right.


About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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