New Hampshire’s Executive Council is an important, but not widely known, arm of the state government. The Council works in partnership with the Governor to oversee the management of state affairs, and is especially critical in determining government spending and resource management. The Executive Council is proportionally representative of the state’s population, with each councilor representing one fifth of the population (approximately 263,000 constituents each). Since Councilors are directly elected from the districts in which they live, they play an integral role in making sure that state government is transparent and accountable in working for the people of New Hampshire. In fact, the press is present for all major business workings within the Council, and they are conducted in public to ensure direct transparency.
The Executive Council is distinctly not a legislative or policy-making body, but it is charged with enormous influence over how state programs and funding can be distributed. It is crucially important to have Councilors that are capable not only of checking government overexpenditure to ensure we remain fiscally responsible, but also to make sure that the state is delivering resources and funds where they are most needed. All Departments and Agencies must gain approval from the Council for any state or federal funds received or spend, and for any transfer of funds or personal service contracts with a value over $10,000. This makes the Council the most important single government body for ensuring government accountability, and preventing overspending by state Departments and Agencies.
The Council is uniquely poised to control the flow of state funds, making it hugely influential in the proper operation of the entire state. Each year, the state legislature appropriates approximately 5.2 billion dollars for expenditure – but the Executive Council is the body that is responsible for actually approving a massive proportion of that budget. In practical terms, this means that your Executive Councilor is responsible for ensuring that your tax dollars are being spent to the benefit of you and your family – from public schools and education all the way through to the roads and bridges that comprise our infrastructure.
In addition to the regulation of government spending and operations, the Executive Council is also responsible for approving the appointments of key public offices, including Judges, Commissioners, Notary Public, Justice of Peace, and Commissioners of Deeds. Each Councilor is responsible for representing the interests of their constituents in Concord and communicating essential information back to them. Together with the Governor, the Executive Councilors appoint over 300 citizens to serve on various state agencies, boards and commissions. During each appointment, the Governor will make a nomination which the Executive Council will then confirm or deny. Executive Councilors are elected every two years, and it is their job to keep their constituents informed on government dealings, act with the best interests of their people in mind, and ensure the highest levels of accountability and transparency from our government to the people.
As an Executive Councilor, I promise to always act in the best interest of all of my constituents no matter what political party they belong to, or what political stances they hold. This office is about making sure that state government is acting with integrity and doing right by the people of New Hampshire. Our state has tremendous potential, and one of the most important methods of achieving that potential is to make sure that funds are used responsibly for positive impact, and not wasted or funneled to special interest groups.