Statehouse 101: New Lawmakers Learn the Ropes at Legislative Orientation

Nov 29, 2016

Credit Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New state representatives got a crash course in lawmaking on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In preparation for the 2017 legislation session, representatives-elect crowded into a large room in Concord's Legislative Office Building.

One of the incumbents tasked with teaching the newcomers — Rep. Tara Sad — made things interesting, acting out the process of drafting a bill.

"I have a really good idea for a bill," Sad said, playacting to Jill Sieveking, Director of Legislative Office Services. "But I don't know anything about it. Can you help?"

It was a full day of tutorials for the soon-to-be legislators, touching on everything from the complicated committee process to the essentials, like how a bill becomes a law. And, of course, the basic necessities, as pointed out by Rep. Lucy Weber, another incumbent, during a building tour.

"There is a set of bathrooms right here," Weber gestured behind her in the Legislative Office Building lobby, "for people who are collecting bathroom stops."

New representatives will finish their orientation Wednesday. But they were told to take it slow — and to think of their first years as a long learning process.