Thursday, October 23, 2008

Norelli seeks second term as speaker

From the inbox:
Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth) announced today she is seeking a second term as speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
“When the 161st session of the New Hampshire General Court convenes in,” she said at a press conference in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building, “I will be ready to continue to lead members through the next two years. We have a lot of work to do for the good citizens of the State of New Hampshire.”
Norelli, who is serving her sixth term as a state representative, outlined some of the successes of the past two years, when Democrats came into the majority in the legislature and corner office for the first time since the Civil War.
She was joined by more than 50 state representatives, including Deputy Speaker Linda Foster, Majority Leader Mary Jane Wallner, House Floor Leader Daniel Eaton and a number of committee chairs and vice chairs.
“Those of us in the House have worked closely with the Senate and the governor to accomplish much for the citizens of our state,” she said, pointing to the passage of a number of pieces of legislation that addressed education issues, environmental policy and the economy.
“We worked to improve education by defining an adequate education and determining its cost,” she said. The legislature also made it possible to bring public kindergarten to all New Hampshire students, and to increase high school graduation rates by raising the dropout age to 18.
“We protected our environment and our quality of life. We took steps to protect our open spaces and special places by supporting sustainable funding for the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, passed the Regional Greenhouse Initiative, and we made the first statewide investment in our state park system in 45 years,” she said.
“We increased the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years ... we reinstituted a job training program that has already benefitted over 2000 New Hampshire workers and the companies that employ them,” she continued.
First elected to the legislature in 1996, Speaker Norelli formerly served as chair of the Portsmouth legislative delegation and as the ranking Democrat on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, where she was the chair of the Clean Air Subcommittee and was intimately involved in the restructuring of the electric industry and reducing harmful air emissions. She has also served on the House Finance Committee. Speaker Norelli has been a member of House Democratic leadership for eight years and co-chaired the Reproductive Rights Caucus for 10 years.
A former mathematics teacher at Winnacunnnet High School, Speaker Norelli received several awards for her work in the legislature, including the Champion of Choice Award from NARAL-NH. She was named Legislator of the Year by the Women’s Lobby and the National Association of Social Workers, received the Public Service Award from the Bi-State Primary Care Association, the Friend of Education Award from NEA-NH and the Legislator of the Year Award from the New England Police Benevolent Association. She was also presented with the Porch Light Award, given by A Safe Place and SASS (Sexual Assault Support Services).
She lives in Portsmouth with her husband, Allen, daughter, Gina, and son, Daniel.

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