In 2012 I was elected to the NH House. Why did I run? For all of my adult life, I have been convinced that having choices for getting around makes life better. Since its beginnings in 2000, I’ve been a part of the Upper Valley Transportation Management Association, a program at Vital Communities. The TMA’s main goal is to reduce the number of people driving alone. Because it is a regional association, we work in both NH and VT. I saw how each state either helped or hindered us to solve transportation problems. I decided to run to improve the chances that NH would do more helping than hindering. Both last year and this, I have filed bills to ‘allow’ communities to address and finance locally their transportation needs. For instance, one bill changes a statute in order to use a new technology to help avoid traffic congestion. Have you seen the back-up of cars on the interstate around Exit 18 on I89 each morning? This technology may help. Last year I served as chair of a sub-committee, then as a member of a study commission examining how the state can help communities to develop what are called ‘complete streets.’
I have been a member of the Public Works and Highways Committee this whole time. It’s the best committee (!) because each year of the biennium we are responsible for one big bill, plus a few others. We received the Governor’s Capital Budget and are now in the process of hearing from the departments of state government that advocate for money to accomplish their long-term and/or big-ticket projects. We then work to match those requests to the bonding capacity of the state. In the second year of the biennium, we receive the Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan and work to fund as many projects in the plan as possible.
If you’d like to visit a committee or the House, all of us would be more than happy to host you!
Representative Patricia Higgins
New Hampshire House of Representatives
Representing Grafton 12, Lyme and Hanover
Public Works & Highways Committee