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The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Jay Kahn for State Senate

Jay KahnCONCORD, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Jay Kahn (D – Keene) to represent State Senate District 10 in Concord, in an open race to represent the city of Keene and the towns of Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.

“Jay will bring a much-needed perspective to Concord,” stated David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Jay is committed to producing an effective and efficient government just as he did at Keene State College for many years. We believe that Jay is the right choice in this election to bring coordinated leadership to the opioid epidemic. We believe that Jay is the best choice for District 10 to make Concord work again.

“We have been proud to work with Jay in the City of Keene,” said Ron Clace, President of IAFF Local 3265. “Working families must continue to have a voice in Concord, and Jay Kahn is the right choice for this November.”

“Firefighters, public safety officers and emergency responders put their lives on the line to protect New Hampshire’s residents every day,” said Kahn, Keene City Councilor and retired Keene State administrator. “I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the PFFNH. I look forward to working with them to ensure we have the resources to preserve the safety of all our residents.”

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The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

Van Ostern Releases New Education Plan While Sununu Wants To “Gut The Board of Education”

Van Ostern Unveils Plan To Make New Hampshire Higher Education More Affordable And Strengthen State Workforce

Colin Van Ostern for Governor campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.  Copyright 2016 Rob Strong

Colin Van Ostern for Governor campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Copyright 2016 Rob Strong

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Today, Colin Van Ostern, Democratic nominee for Governor, unveiled his plan to lower college costs, cut student debt and strengthen New Hampshire’s workforce. New Hampshire has one of the highest levels of in-state tuition and student debt in the nation and Colin has been a leader working to make higher education more affordable in New Hampshire. Colin helped launch College for America, a non-profit, fully-accredited college at Southern New Hampshire University that has now partnered with over 100 employers to enroll thousands of working adult students in certificate, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree programs, most completely debt-free.

“In order to take the next step forward for New Hampshire’s economy, our next Governor must make it a top state priority to lower college costs, cut student debt, and strengthen our workforce,” said Colin Van Ostern, Democratic nominee for Governor.

“We will bring and keep more young people, young families, new businesses, and startups in New Hampshire and will unlock for the potential for strong growth at some of our best employers.  Innovating in higher education isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but I know from my own work helping build a nonprofit college where thousands are earning a respected degree, most debt-free, that we can make real gains: we can bring more accountability, lower costs, and more workforce relevance to higher education and take the next step forward for our state’s economy.”

Colin’s plan will cut costs, cut student debt, and boost our New Hampshire workforce:

  1. Tie increased state support for public higher education funding to clear accountability goals for the first time – including reductions in student debt, in-state enrollment levels, and graduation numbers into sectors of key workforce demand.
  2. Better connect higher education pathways across all academic levels to ensure lower-cost completion – from career and technical education in New Hampshire high schools to dual-credit, dual-admission, community college, and state universities.
  3. Bring employers closer into higher education to boost workforce relevance – building on successful individual internship and job placement partnerships today, expanding employer engagement in program development, and moving forward with job-training programs like Gateway to Work.

READ Colin’s full higher education plan here.

Van Ostern is running against Chris Sununu who has failed to release an education plan for the Granite State. While speaking to voters, Sununu talked about fixing our state’s education system by threatening to “gut the board of education!” 

“With his famous last name and governor father, Chris Sununu never had to worry about paying his way through school,” said NHDP Press Secretary Evan Lukaske. “His approach to dealing with student debt and the crushing cost of higher education consists of nothing more than Republican talking points and promises to gut the board of education. New Hampshire families cannot afford a governor like Chris Sununu who would take our state backwards.”

In 2013, Colin helped launch College for America at Southern New Hampshire University (“CfA”), a non‐profit, fully accredited institution that partners with employers to provide an affordable, competency‐based education for working adults. Colin joined the CfA team after its initial pilot project and shortly before the school’s operational launch, ultimately helping grow the school from from 0 to over 5,000 paying students, and from roughly 15 to almost 400 employees. As Chief Marketing Officer, Colin’s primary responsibility was building the school’s go‐to‐market business strategy and coordinating student recruitment with corporate partnerships and workforce strategy teams; business/enrollment measurement and forecasting; overseeing all new degree launch teams; pricing; and all marketing & communications functions. He was part of the college’s six‐person executive team and part of the SNHU university‐wide management team.  College for America has been recognized for its work helping employers ‘upskill’ employees by national groups including the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the White House, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.  

In Party Line Vote, Senate Sustains Veto Of SB 336, The Repeal Of Licensing For Concealed Carry

Granite State Progress Applauds NH State Senate for Sustaining Governor’s Veto of SB 336, Which Would Have Allowed Dangerous People to Legally Carry Hidden, Loaded Guns

In party-line vote, Democrats stand with NH Association of Chiefs of Police, public safety advocates to keep 93 year old New Hampshire law in place

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire State Senate voted on party lines today to sustain Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of SB 336, which sought to repeal a 93 year old concealed carry licensing law that requires an individual to be a suitable person to carry a hidden, loaded handgun in New Hampshire. Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“SB 336 was another attempt by the gun lobby to allow anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a hidden, loaded handgun. Requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for more than 90 years. These licenses are very easy and quick to obtain and do not place an unreasonable burden on law abiding citizens. SB 336 was a radical piece of legislation that would have jeopardized public safety. New Hampshire does not require people to have a specific reason to conceal carry but it does require that the applicant be a suitable person. This common sense law allows local police departments to deny a license when there is reason to believe a person is a danger to themselves or others. For example, if an individual in a community is a known domestic abuser but has yet to be indicted, or has a hot temper and a habit of getting into bar fights, New Hampshire thankfully provides our local police departments with the ability to reject their concealed carry application. New Hampshire is one of more than 40 states that currently require a license to carry concealed weapons and we should not weaken our public safety laws now.”

After the vote, Governor Maggie Hassan released the following:

“New Hampshire’s current concealed carry law – which former Republican Governor Mel Thomson called a ‘sensible handgun law’ – has worked well for nearly a century, safeguarding the Second Amendment rights of our citizens while helping to keep the Granite State one of the safest states in the nation. I shared the same public safety concerns that law enforcement, public safety officials and citizens had about Senate Bill 336, which would have undermined our efforts to maintain public safety by removing the protections that the permitting process offers to help ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry hidden weapons. As I always have, I continue to support the Second Amendment and the right of Americans to responsibly own guns for personal safety, hunting, and recreation, and I will continue working with law enforcement, public safety officials and citizens across New Hampshire to ensure that we continue balancing the rights of gun owners with the rights of all New Hampshire citizens to be safe in their communities.”

After the vote, Sen. David Watters (D-Dover) released the following comments: 

“New Hampshire is continually rated one of the safest states in the nation and there is no overriding reason to make changes to our concealed carry law that has served us well for close to a century. As a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights, I know that our current permitting process provides an important oversight role to our local law enforcement, an appeal process, and a common sense way to ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry hidden weapons.” 

“I am proud that the Senate sustained the Governor’s veto and I am proud to stand with our law enforcement, public safety officials, and citizens across New Hampshire who are concerned with any adverse effects this legislation may have caused and maintained our common sense concealed carry law so that we can ensure that New Hampshire remains one of the safest states in the nation.”

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police testified against SB 336, and in 2004 Senate President Chuck Morse and several Republicans voted against a similar repeal bill. This is the third time the Governor has vetoed this legislation.  A copy of Granite State Progress testimony in opposition to SB 336 is available by request, along with more information about how concealed carry laws work.

New Grants To Fight Opioid Crisis Coming For First Responders

Governor Hassan, State Public Safety Officials Announce State Grants to Support Local Law Enforcement in Combating Heroin and Opioid Crisis 

CONCORD – As part of her comprehensive strategy to combat the heroin and opioid crisis and help save lives, Governor Maggie Hassan today joined state public safety officials to announce state grants to support local law enforcement across New Hampshire, funded by the bipartisan legislation expanding Operation Granite Hammer statewide that the Governor signed when it was sent to her in June. 

“While we focus on strengthening prevention, treatment and recovery, we must also do everything that we can to support law enforcement and other first responders on the front lines combating the heroin and opioid epidemic in New Hampshire, including the increased prevalence of fentanyl in this crisis,” Governor Hassan said. “Building on our success with a pilot through Manchester’s Operation Granite Hammer, we are announcing today $1.5 million in grants to support local law enforcement in seizing illicit drugs and arresting dealers, as well to continue supporting the State Police Forensic Laboratory’s efforts to reduce case backlog and the New Hampshire State Police partnerships with communities statewide. 

“I thank our dedicated law enforcement officers, first responders and public safety officials for their efforts day in and day out to combat this crisis,” Governor Hassan said. “I know that you will continue to help lead the way in this fight, and we will continue to look for additional creative ways we can make more resources available to support your efforts.” 

Each local law enforcement agency that applied for a grant is receiving funding, which will be distributed to communities across the state. Local law enforcement agencies receiving funding include: the police departments in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth, Keene, Laconia, Franklin, Lebanon, Canaan and Berlin; and the Sheriff’s offices in Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Rockingham and Strafford counties – as well as one final pending application for Sullivan County. Additional funding through the initiative will be used to continue supporting the State Police Forensic Laboratory’s efforts to reduce case backlog and the New Hampshire State Police partnerships with communities statewide.

The New Hampshire Department of Safety worked in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to identify and develop law enforcement initiatives for the grant funding during the application process, including increasing and supporting mobile enforcement sweeps in targeted zones of known trafficking, covert buy/bust operations, targeted street enforcement, execution of opioid-specific search and arrest warrants, surveillance of targeted drug activity, incident locations and associated subjects, and intelligence and data reporting to the New Hampshire Information Analysis Center at the New Hampshire Department of Safety. 

Last fall, Governor Hassan announced two state grants to support local law enforcement in seizing illicit drugs and arresting and prosecuting drug dealers, including the State’s partnership with the Manchester Police Department’s Operation Granite Hammer. In November, she proposed a comprehensive legislative strategy for combatting the opioid epidemic that included additional funding for law enforcement.  In June, Governor Hassan signed House Bill 1000, a bipartisan measure expanding Operation Granite Hammer statewide to support state and local law enforcement in combating the heroin and opioid crisis. To support law enforcement in combating this epidemic, the Governor has also worked to increase the safe and effective use of Narcan, crack down on fentanyl and to train law enforcement officers to treat overdoses as criminal cases.

For the full amount of funds distributed to local law enforcement agencies in communities across the state, please see the table below: image003

The more than $230,000 in remaining funds from the $1.5 million appropriated in House Bill 1000 will go to the State Police Forensic Laboratory and the New Hampshire State Police.

 

National COSH Hosts Webinar On Chemicals In Food Manufacturing Facilities

Join National COSH on Thursday, October 13 at 12 Noon ET for a free webinar on flavoring chemical hazards for workers in manufacturing facilities. 

webinar-graphic1-1Attorneys Anne McGinness Kearse and Scott Hall of Motley Rice are helping workers learn more about these potential dangers. They also represent workers who may have developed diseases as a result of harmful exposure. They will discuss how workers who work in facilities that process coffee, candy, microwave popcorn, and other products can be exposed to flavoring chemicals linked to dangerous lung diseases. 

Robert Harrison, MD, MPH, director of the University of California, San Francisco Occupational Health Services and director of the worker tracking investigation program for the California Department of Public Health will discuss the medical issues involved in flavoring exposures and his involvement in the development of California’s regulations for flavoring chemicals.” 

Mark Nicas, PhD, MPH, CIH, is an adjunct professor and director of the Industrial Hygiene Program in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California Berkeley. He will discuss some of the specific job tasks and conditions that expose workers to flavoring chemicals. 

The flavoring industry has stated that flavoring ingredients have the potential to be respiratory hazards due to their possible volatility and irritant properties. Despite this, workers are exposed to flavoring chemicals on a daily basis with few or no safeguards in place.

To date, there are no federal regulations in place to protect workers who are exposed to these chemicals. This is a unique opportunity to learn the risks and how workers can protect themselves on the job.

More information is available here: bit.ly/FlavoringChemicals

AFL-CIO Report Shows Black Women Voters Are The Key To Electing Hillary Clinton President

AFL-CIO data reveals Black women voters
are pivotal voting bloc in 2016 election

(Washington, DC,) – Yesterday on a press call held in honor of National Voter Registration Day, the AFL-CIO released new data revealing Black women voters as the key to electing Hillary Clinton president in November. The data reveals that Black women turn out to vote in higher numbers than other women and, just as they helped President Obama win in 2008 and 2012, can secure the presidency for Hillary Clinton.

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

“Black women cannot afford to sit this election out,” said Carmen Berkley, AFL-CIO Director of Civil, Human and Women’s Rights. “A loss for Secretary Clinton is a loss for the Black family, from the White House to the Supreme Court. We need to let our communities know what’s at stake if we let a divisive fear monger like Donald Trump make decisions that affect everything from our families to our jobs.”

The AFL-CIO plans to do large scale outreach to all women union members across the country this election cycle in the key states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Many of these states are where Black women made the difference in the last presidential election.

“Black women are born organizers,” said Petee Talley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO, the first Black woman to hold that position. “We know what our families and communities need to thrive and we vote for candidates who can deliver.”

“Black women do more than vote; they are active in their unions, acting as an engine of organizing and mobilization. A recent survey done by Lake Research Partners (LRP) illustrates that regardless of union affiliation, black people, regardless of gender, are very supportive of unions and collective bargaining,” the report states.

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

The new AFL-CIO data indicates that Black women participate in leadership in America’s unions at a greater percentage than their actual unionization rates. The benefit of this leadership is spread across Black communities, making these women a force and the foundation for political change.

The report continues, “Given the black community’s commitment to unions, it’s no surprise that black women take on leadership roles in their unions. While black women are 7% of all union members, 8% of them are stewards and local leaders.”  On top of taking leadership roles, black women are generally more active in their unions. Over 24% call themselves “very active” in their local unions.

Read the full report here.

Shea-Porter Campaign Releases A Bold, Progressive Plan to Reform Congress

Shea-Porter’s Plan Takes On Campaign Finance Reforms, The Revolving Door Of Members Becoming Lobbyists, More Transparency From Lobbyists and Members, And Eliminating Taxpayer Funded Perks

money-in-politicsRochester, NH — Today, the Shea-Porter campaign is releasing a comprehensive plan to reform how Congress does business.  The plan takes direct aim at our broken campaign finance laws, lobbying disclosure, Congressional disclosure, and Congressional perks.

“I promised never to accept corporate PAC or lobbyist donations. I’ve kept my promises to you, but Congress needs to change the way it does business. We have to shut the revolving door. We need to increase transparency in lobbying and Members’ personal financial disclosure reports.  And we need Congress to live within its means and set an example. That means getting rid of the perks. The abuse of franking privileges needs to stop. I have personally never charged taxpayers for first class, but if Members wish to fly First Class, they should not charge taxpayers for the upgrade. And although Members do not get free health care for life, I propose a law so it can never happen,” said Carol Shea-Porter.

The Shea-Porter plan is a set of proposals to reform campaign finance laws, shut the revolving door, improve lobbying disclosure, get rid of the perks, and require more disclosure from Members of Congress. It requires Super PACs to disclose their donors, expands the cooling off period for lobbyists, and forces them to report more of their activities. It also improves the disclosure forms Members of Congress must file, narrowing the reporting ranges for assets and stock trades and making the data available in electronically usable format.

Shea-Porter is taking on Campaign Financing directly by:

  • Close the Super PAC loophole to make incorporated entities who give money reveal their funding sources so voters know who is trying to influence our elections
  • Match small dollar donations so our representatives spend less time fundraising and more time serving you
  • Most importantly, we need to get rid of the Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited anonymous spending. We need a Constitutional Amendment that states very clearly that corporations are not people and that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in federal elections, so we can re-impose reasonable limits on campaign spending

Shea-Porter proposal also wants to close the revolving door of members becoming lobbyists by:

  • Prohibit all lobbyists from lobbying their Congressional colleagues or former office for at least 2 years. This applies to all former senior Congressional and Administration staff as well
  • Close the so called “senior advisors” loophole employed by lobbyists to get around registration requirements
  • Take away all special privileges, like access to the House Dining Room, for Members that become lobbyists, for as long as they are lobbyists

You can see more details on improving lobbying disclosure, increasing transparency from members, and eliminating taxpayer funded perks in the full plan found here.

NH Climate Advocacy Groups Deliver Petitions In Support Of Energy Saving Programs

petition-drop-off-27sept16

CONCORD, NH — A coalition of New Hampshire groups delivered 992 petitions to the governor’s office on Tuesday, calling on the state to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). As RGGI undergoes a policy review, environmental advocates are calling on the state to double the strength of the program by lowering the cap on carbon emissions by 5% instead of 2.5% every year.

The coalition includes Environment New Hampshire, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Toxics Action Center, Union of Concerned Scientists, and New Hampshire Sierra Club.

“Strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the best way for New Hampshire to do its part in cutting dangerous carbon emissions and investing in a clean energy economy,” said Michelle McCarthy, a campaign organizer for Environment New Hampshire.

“The RGGI program has been very effective in reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and sparking investments in renewable energy sources” said Rob Werner, State Director of the League of Conservation Voters. “New Hampshire should follow the lead of other RGGI states and allow RGGI proceeds to be used more effectively to support a variety of  approaches to continue to move from a high carbon economy to a low carbon economy.”

“People in New Hampshire want to be part of the solution and want more tools to act on climate,” Catherine Corkery, NH Sierra Club. “The RGGI program has been a great first step for the last 8 years. Now New Hampshire needs to go farther and faster with more energy efficiency, more renewables and more financial tools. We need our leaders to hear us and act on climate with us.” 

The coalition will be hosting a People’s Hearing to focus on supporting and strengthening RGGI at UNH School of Law in Concord on Wednesday, September 28th. The coalition plans to deliver testimony from the hearing to the Governor at a later date.

Petition language below.


To: Honorable Governor Hassan, NHDES Commissioner Thomas Burack, and NHPUC Commissioner Bob Scott,

The connection between climate and energy use is critical because power plants are some of the leading contributors to climate disruption and unhealthy air pollution. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is New Hampshire’s program to reduce carbon pollution from those dirty energy sources, helping businesses and families save money on energy bills, improving the local economy, and protecting our climate and health. Currently, there is a review of the regional energy savings program.

For New Hampshire, I support three improvements:

  1. Reducing the amount of carbon pollution power plants are allowed to emit by at least 5% annually from 2020 levels through 2030;
  2. Closing or reforming loopholes in the program including the cost containment reserve and credit banking program; and,
  3. Eliminating the corporate rebate program and instead directing more of the funds to the Energy Efficiency Programs to benefit taxpayers, low income households, and residents.

By improving our climate protections you can make sure New Hampshire is in the driver’s seat when it comes to meeting the goals of the Clean Power Plan, helping consumers save money, reducing pollution, improving the local economy, and protecting our climate and public health.

Sen. Shaheen Urges GOP Leadership To Schedule Hearings For SCOTUS Nominee (VIDEO)

“The American people expect Senators to be faithful to our oath. They also expect us to do our jobs – regardless of whether it is an election year.”
— Senator Jeanne Shaheen

(Washington, DC) —U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) delivered remarks on the Senate floor today urging Republican leaders to consider President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, and set a hearing and a vote on his nomination. Shaheen called out Senate Republicans for breaking with bipartisan tradition and refusing to fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities to hold hearings and a vote on Judge Garland’s nomination. President Obama nominated Judge Garland in March, however, Senate Republicans have not held a hearing on his nomination. Since 1975, the average length of time from nomination to a confirmation vote for the Supreme Court has been 67 days. 

“Every Senator swore to ‘support and defend’ the Constitution – full stop,” said Shaheen. “Our oath does not say: uphold the Constitution ‘most of the time’ or ‘only when it’s not a Presidential election year.’ The American people expect Senators to be faithful to our oath. They also expect us to do our jobs – regardless of whether it is an election year.”

Shaheen continued, “Let’s do the job we were sent her to do by the American people. Let’s follow the Constitution.”

Senator Shaheen met with Judge Garland in April to discuss his nomination.

Watch Here 

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire backs Dr. Tom Sherman for State Senate

pffnh-tom-shermanHAMPTON, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Dr. Tom Sherman (D – Rye) to represent State Senate District 24 in Concord, which includes the towns of Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, Newton, North Hampton, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham.

“Firefighters and paramedics every day evaluate emergency situations to ensure the best outcome for property, lives and livelihoods in New Hampshire,” said David Lang, PFFNH President. “It is time the Seacoast have representation that will consider the issues facing working families and address them in a comprehensive manner. Versed in healthcare administration, emergency management and effective governing, Tom Sherman is the best candidate to bring the right vision and approach to Concord as District 24’s next State Senator.”

“Having started in health care as an EMT in 1974, I have worked alongside firefighters and paramedics throughout my career,” said Sherman, a two-term State Representative from Rye. “I have the deepest respect for these men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line in service to their communities. I am profoundly moved by their endorsement of my candidacy for State Senate.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

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