Where is old Hampshire?

Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
Trip End Feb 14, 2011

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Where I stayed
Wal-Mart (Concord, NH)

Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Monday, April 26, 2010

I started my day today with a visit to the New Hampshire State House.  This particular capitol has a couple of record-setting facts.  The first is that the New Hampshire State House is the nation's oldest state house where the legislature still occupies the original chambers, and the second is that New Hampshire actually has the largest state legislative body with 400 members.  This affords them one of the highest public representation ratios in the world.  On average, there is one representative for every 3,300 citizens.  The informational brochure stated that only the U.S. House of Representatives, British Parliament, or Parliament of India maintain more representatives.  I suppose China would as well, if their parliament actually did any representing of their populace instead of simply being communist farce.

Another interesting note is that both state representatives and senators in New Hampshire are given a salary of $200 for a two year term ($100 per year); they receive no per diem.  For quick comparison, as of 2007 South Dakota pays their legislative members $12,000 for a two-year term and they receive $110.00 per day of per diem during official legislative days, but each state varies wildly on their legislative salaries.  For example, California was the highest in '07 at $113,098 per year and $162 per day while in session.  I guess those government folks in New Hampshire had better not quit their day jobs. 

Another unique thing to the New Hampshire state government is their employment of what they call the Executive Council.  As a second arm of the executive branch, the council of five people represent five major districts of the state.  It works in conjunction with the Governor and essentially serves the purpose of providing an additional level of checks and balances within the executive branch.  They are watchdogs who are responsible for various funding approvals, official pardons, and ensuring the leaders in the state government are above reproach and serving the people rather than their own special interests.  The council seems to have worked well for them.

After leaving Concord, I made my way to Plymouth, NH and spent the afternoon doing my laundry, washing my car, and stopping at a McDonald's to use their wi-fi internet before calling it a day.
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