A Time Like No Other

These past few years have presented us with unique challenges the likes of which we have never seen before.  The convergence of a major global pandemic, worrisome economic instability, and unsettling civil unrest has been unprecedented.

In the midst of these uncertain times, I hear ALL Americans calling for the same basic principles; that of opportunity, safety, equality, liberty, and justice. Progress toward these ends come from listening to one another, considering different points of view, recognizing our shared humanity, and finding common ground whenever possible. It should never be a question of us against them but instead recognizing that we are all in this together. It’s about putting people over politics.

As a New Hampshire Teacher of the Year recipient, community volunteer, and Milford resident since 1987, I have dedicated myself to my family, students, and neighbors. Now as one of Milford’s state representatives, it has been my honor to bringing the same commitment to the state legislature, to lend my ideas, voice, and vote to address many important issues. I have been a strong advocate for children and families, students and schools, social and economic justice, and public health and safety.

I believe in government that supports everyone’s right to be themselves, provides opportunities which enables individuals to maximize their full potential, and allows them to choose their own destiny.

Legislating during Covid

   image.Speaking in support of children and families

Serving as clerk on the Children & Family Law Committee – Speaking during a session at the Sportsplex in Bedford

Working Together, Common Goals, Solutions

Political debate has increasingly become too divisive and mean-spirited. Now is the time to put politics aside and begin working to meet the needs of the people. We can disagree without being disagreeable.” It’s all about putting people over politics!



Taxes – The Short Answer …

There are those who would have you believe that ALL Democrats want higher taxes. That’s simply not true and defies common sense. I am a retired teacher living off of a modest fixed income. Tax increases and high energy costs also hurts me and my family. I don’t want my taxes going up any more than the next person.

Taxes – The Long Answer …

There is no need for an income tax or a sales tax in New Hampshire. We just have to stop giving away the little revenue sources we already have.

Currently New Hampshire, as well as Massachusetts and most other states, has a huge budget surplus due to better-than-expected revenues despite the pandemic estimates. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to support education and lessen the property tax burden, Republican legislators decided to cut the few state revenue sources we have by giving tax breaks mostly to the well-off.

1. They eliminated the interest and dividends tax, something most folks in NH have never heard of because only the very wealthy pay it.

2.  They cut business taxes for big out of state corporations once again – several times since 2016 – now the lowest in New England.

3. They reduced the meals and rooms tax by .05% – a negligible amount saving patrons, many of them out of state tourists, 1 cent on every $2.00 spent.

All of these giveaways add up to lost revenue … along with the surplus budget, amounts to millions and millions of dollars that should be shifted to support schools and property owners. Property taxpayers deserve a break too. Our schools should also be adequately funded.

Property Taxes

Why are property taxes so high?????

New Hampshire’s property taxes are the third highest in the nation and have been rising faster than the rate of inflation. The problem in part is due to the downshifting of costs from the state to the towns. Milford’s property taxes have increased 58% within the past decade! What happens as property taxes go up, but paychecks don’t? People on fixed incomes are being priced out of their homes.

Downshifting:  One significant problem is that over the years, the state has failed to live up to its mandated obligations to fund the retirement system and public education, instead shifting the cost to the towns and cities. It’s the equivalent of letting somebody else pay your bills. In this case, it’s been homeowners and small business property owners who have picked up the tab.  The result – higher property taxes.

Loss in Revenue Sharing:  When the meals and room tax was first initiated, 40% of the revenue was earmarked for cities and towns. Overtime the formula changed and local governments began to receive smaller amounts. During the last budget the amount was increased to 30%, still 10% less than the original formula. Local governments have lost millions and millions of dollars. The result – higher property taxes.

AdditionallyThe legalization of marijuana would generate a new source of income for the state. The result – helping to lower property taxes.


During my first term House and Senate Democrats demanded and won substantial revenues for local government to ease the tax burden. Milford’s share? $2,519,185.0 Milford’s property tax rate fell from $29.23 to $25.97. 

Public Education

New Hampshire’s public schools consistently rank among the very best in the nation – 4th best according to Reaching Higher NH; yet dead last in state funding. The issue is not the quality of education but the equity of funding and disparity in property tax support from town to town. The state must step-up and meet its obligation to support public education.

Public dollars should support public schools. The so-called Education Freedom Accounts shifts limited state resources to private and religious schools. I see vouchers as a ploy by some to get the state off the hook in meeting its financial obligation – instead pushing the cost on to parents. They frame their plan as “choice” but what choice do most parents really have when they have to come up with the big difference in tuition? The state needs to support education for all our students.

school funding 2

Quality education is the only means to move individuals and society forward. No child in New Hampshire should be denied opportunities because of inadequate funding in their respective school districts. Equitable K- 12 public education as well as affordable and expanded community and state colleges is a priority.  I will work to establish policies that foster critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and practical skills for meaningful civic engagement and employment in a constantly changing economy.

Throughout history book burning was how political forces attempted to suppress so called “divisive concepts.”  Today some use legislation to ban discussion on topics they find controversial. Those who love freedom are not afraid to have an honest and open discussion on all matters that impact society.

state college

Public Safety

Gun Safety

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Heller vs. the District of Columbia reaffirmed the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.  However, the conservative majority also ruled that guns and gun ownership would continue to be regulated.

Just as individuals have the right to bear arms for self-defense, I believe the public has the right to defend itself from individuals who should not possess firearms. Criminal background checks and waiting periods have the potential to save lives. They are at best, an inconvenience to gun owners, but not a violation of their rights.

Responsible gun owners support measures to limit the misuse of the 2nd Amendment. I too support common sense gun safety measures.

Veterans Affairs

I have long been a supporter of veterans’ interests and honored to be a member of the House Veterans’ Interest Caucus. We can never do enough in appreciation for our veterans’ loyal service to our country.

thank you, veterans

Speaking before the Second Battle of Fallujah Reunion in Merrimack.

Recognizing our Veteans

Recognizing Milford’s Veterans during the Labor Day Parade.

Social Justice

Milford Pride

There is nothing more basic to the American way of life than the principle of “liberty and justice for all.”  I have strongly stood up in defense of equal rights for ALL.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Eden Ahbez

I support an individual’s right to love and marry who they choose.

Reproductive Rights


Economic Justice

Paid Family Medical Leave

minimum wage

The minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25 an hour. While few workers earn that rate, even with a few extra dollars more, New Hampshire workers fall short compared to every other New England state. There is no “advantage” in New Hampshire for workers. Low wages is a contributing factor as to why so many of our residents commute to jobs out of state. I support a gradual increase in the minimum wage and making it comparable to other states in our region.

Children and Families in Need


Among the nation’s lowest funded child protective services and some of  the highest workload cases, we were able to secure strong bipartisan legislation to support New Hampshire’s most vulnerable children. A significant number of caseworkers were added to DCYF along with nine mobile crisis units around the state.

The Future Begins Today

New Hampshire already ranks at the very top of most measures of livability. The key is to build on our success and expand opportunities for all of our citizens.

Peter Petrigno State Representative