Newsletter February 14, 2024

On February 2, Cyril and I got to do what we like the most – help host The Pittsfield 4th Grade visit to the State House. The students arrived at 9:15 in the front courtyard area, where we introduced ourselves to about thirty students while we waited for Virginia Drew, who runs the Visitor’s Center. At that point, it didn’t take long to find out who was in charge. Virginia mentioned to the students how important they were since their State Reps were here to meet them.  

The first part of the tour was Representatives Hall, where Cyril and I work. After explaining how a bill gets brought to the floor, discussed, and voted upon, Virginia made them all State Representatives. HB 1016 was introduced. HB 1016 is a bill that concerns the NH state flag and will add the state motto, “Live Free or Die,” under the state seal. This bill is actually waiting for its fate in committee. Quickly, the junior reps presented two opposing opinions: the flag has been around for a long time and should not be changed, and the state motto, “Live Free or Die,” is an important addition. After much debate, HB 1016 passed. “Live Free or Die” prevailed. 

The class then moved on to the State Senate, where State Senator Howard Pearl joined to explain how HB 1016, which passed their House vote, would need to be adopted by the Senate. Questions from the students moved to the four large paintings that cover most of the back wall. Virginia is our expert in these matters and explained their history and importance. A picture of the first graduation from Dartmouth College shows the importance of education. Daniel Webster, reading the Constitution, helped to form the state government. Abbott Thayer teaching an art class. His work created the field of camouflage design. And John Stark, who was responsible for “Live Free or Die,” preparing to join George Washington’s army. 

The students then went to the last step in making a bill law – the Governor’s office. All bills must pass both the House and the Senate and finally get signed by the Governor to become law. Some of the students were then voted in as members of the Executive Council. They needed to help the Governor by approving his candidate to the Supreme Court. 

The tour’s last step was visiting the Hall of Flags, which displays flags from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War. This is worth the visit alone.  

Cyril and I thank the 4th graders for their questions, interest, and behavior. It was certainly a memorable day, consistent with our favorite House activity. Respectively, your State Representatives Clayton Wood and Cyril Aures