The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

NH Governor John Lynch and State Senator Bob Odell Visit PBPL 45 Class

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On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) and NH State Senator Bob Odell (R) visited with students in Professor Ron Shaiko's PBPL 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research class.  Governor Lynch began the class with a discussion of two bills that became laws in New Hampshire in recent years through the efforts of the Governor.  Students were asked to identify stakeholders and to identify key sources of research and analysis that would shed light on the two issues:  1) raising the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18, and 2) prohibiting the writing of text messages while driving.  These two case studies allowed the students to view the state policymaking process through the overtly political lens of Democrats and Republicans working in the legislature as well as to understand the role of objective policy research in the policy debate. Governor Lynch then responded to general questions about state government from the students.

 
During the second half of the class, Senator Bob Odell discussed the role of the Senate in the policy process.  Senator Odell commented that the Senate, unlike the current House of Representatives, is a collegial body within which Democrats and Republicans tend to work together to find common ground when possible.  He spoke of a productive and cordial working relationship with Governor Lynch during his time in the Senate.  Senator Odell also discussed the state budget from his perspective as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee.  He also explained to the students how he ended up running for the Senate and why he remains there.  Following the class, Senator Odell met with three students in the class who are working on the project focused on assessing the juvenile justice system in New Hampshire.  Senator Odell is sponsoring one of the eight projects currently underway in the PBPL 45 class.  Each project will move into the Policy Research Shop at the end of the term.  During the winter term, students will testify before legislative committees in Concord and Montpelier to present their findings.         

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