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NH Labor News 6/22/12: MHT Schools Funding, Vetos, SB 372, and much more

Governors & Contracts Legislators don’t get a veto | New Hampshire OPINION01: “The bill stated that “every collective bargaining agreement entered into by the state shall be approved by the fiscal committee of the general court before each takes effect.” That would not simply give legislators a small role to play in contract approvals. It would give the fiscal committee a veto over contracts negotiated by the governor. 

Not only is that an intrusion into the authority of the executive branch, but it would needlessly and enormously complicate labor negotiations.”

Manchester superintendent outlines his plans for $2.3m | New Hampshire NEWS04: “Brennan’s list of staffing proposals presented during Wednesday’s special school board meeting put most restored positions in the elementary and middle schools. The district could bring back at least 70 positions, according to Brennan’s projections, about 50 of which would be teachers.

Brennan said he would restore nine special education positions; 17 elementary school teachers; 12 language arts teachers at the middle schools; 10 elementary physical education, art and music teachers; one carpentry teacher at the Manchester School of Technology; two interpreters/tutors; one high school guidance counselor; five part-time and four full-time assistant principal positions; two certified instructors in special reading and math intervention programs; six paraprofessionals; one support staff job, and one full-time and one part-time administrator.”

Lynch breaks out veto pen to shoot down medical marijuana, voter ID bills – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Meanwhile, the fate of the voter ID mandate – a top priority of GOP legislative leaders – is an unknown in the Senate because local election officials warn that the ID process for November’s presidential election could lead to long lines at the polls.

Those without an ID could still vote, but they would have to sign papers under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and residence in the state.
The final bill makes those without an ID sign a qualified voter affidavit that Lynch said has been reserved in the past for voters who could not document that they were U.S. citizens.
“It is completely inappropriate for use by a registered voter on Election Day in order to establish the voter’s identity to vote,” Lynch wrote. “The use of this inappropriate affidavit will cause confusion, slow the voting process and may result in the inability of eligible voters to cast their vote.””

N.H. legislators should not harm public schools | SeacoastOnline.com:
The Republican attack on public education in New Hampshire continues. The GOP-proposed and supported Senate Bill 372 and its companion piece House Bill 1607 is an attempt to circumvent the prohibition in the New Hampshire Constitution against the use of public tax funds to support religious institutions. To do this, something like a baseball double-play was used.

New Hampshire businessmen toss donations to “scholarship organizations” who throw the money to private school students. Oh, and a hidden ball trick is used, too. Eighty-five percent of the money given by the businessmen winds up back in their pockets via tax deductions. Baseball plays result in outs. Who’s out? Tax payers are out the public tax money given to private schools.

This bill will increase your local property taxes to make up for the state money lost to private schools. The Legislature cut funding to our public university, the University of New Hampshire, by 45 percent. Nonetheless, Republican legislators now propose increasing the budget by $16 million over three years to cover the cost of school vouchers to private schools.

Susan the Bruce: Rabid Ideologues Will Destry Us: “The state of NH is looking into privatizing its entire prison system. Four companies have submitted bids. If Governor Lynch and the Executive Council accept one of those bids, NH would become the first state in the nation to hand over the entire prison system to a private company. The four venders are: 
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Management & Training Corporation (MTC), The Geo Group Inc. and the Hunt Companies. “

National News about AFSCME and Labor

Union, on Heels of Wisconsin Recall Vote, Selects a New President – NYTimes.com: ““I think a lot of the general public doesn’t realize that firefighters, teachers, police officers, who provide services, clean drinking water — that they’re union members,” she said. “We have to do a better job educating people about what we do every day, that we’re your brothers, sisters and cousins.

Afscme, long one of the nation’s most influential unions, is on the defensive as never before. It is still reeling from Wisconsin’s year-old law, championed by Gov. Scott Walker, that curbs public employees’ ability to bargain collectively. It is losing members because government employment has fallen by 700,000 over three years. And many voters, including some private sector union members, have turned against public workers, convinced that their pensions were too generous.”

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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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