• Advertisement

About NH Labor News

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.

Leo W Gerard: Workers Want A Green Economy, Not A Black Environment

The BlueGreen Alliance

To justify withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord, President Trump said during his press conference yesterday, “I was elected to represent the city of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

From terrible experience, Pittsburghers know about pollution.

Before Pittsburgh’s renaissance, the streetlights Downtown frequently glowed at noon to illuminate sidewalks through the darkness of smoke and soot belched from mills. White collar office workers changed grimy shirts midday. To the west 130 miles, the polluted Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned – several times.

Pollution sickened and killed. It triggered asthma and aggravated emphysema. In Donora, just south of Pittsburgh, an air inversion in 1948 trapped smog in the Monongahela River valley.  Poisonous steel mill and zinc plant emissions mixed with fog and formed a yellow earth-bound cloud so dense that driving was impossible. Within days, 20 people were dead. Within a month, another 50 of the town’s 14,000 residents succumbed.

Some viewed pollution as a blessing, a harbinger of jobs. Air that tasted of sulfur signified paychecks. For most, though, pollution was a curse. It meant scrubbing the grime off stoops daily. It meant children wheezing and gasping for air. It meant early death.

The preventable deaths are why my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), has fought against pollution for decades, long before scientists conclusively linked it to global climate change. That connection made combatting pollution even more urgent. It crystalized our obligation to save the planet for posterity. Signing the Paris Climate Accord last year committed the United States to preserving what we all share, the water and the air, for our children and their children. Donald Trump’s withdrawal from that agreement moves the United States, and the world, back in time to rivers so toxic they burn and air so noxious it poisons. Trump’s retreat makes America deadly again.

Don’t get me wrong. The USW supports job creation. But the union believes clean air pays; clear water provides work. Engineers design smokestack scrubbers, skilled mechanics construct them and still other workers install them. Additional workers install insulation and solar panels. Untold thousands labor to make the steel and other parts for wind turbine blades, towers and nacelles, fabricate the structures and erect them. Withdrawing from the Paris Accord diminishes these jobs and dispatches the innovators and manufacturers of clean technologies overseas where countries that continue to participate in the climate change agreement will nurture and grow them.

Eleven years ago, the USW joined with the Sierra Cub to form the BlueGreen Alliance because USW members believe Americans deserve both a clean environment and good jobs. The USW believes Americans must have both. Or, in the end, they will have neither.

The Alliance, which now includes more than a dozen unions and environmental groups, has collaborated with industry leaders to find solutions to climate change in ways that create high -quality jobs.

It’s an easy sell to many corporate leaders. Shortly after the election last fall, hundreds of companies and investors, including the likes of Nike and Starbucks, signed a letter asking Trump to abandon his campaign rhetoric about withdrawing from the Paris Accord.

In April, more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including giants Google, BP and Shell, also wrote Trump urging against reneging on nation’s climate commitment. They said that because the agreement requires action by all countries, it reduces the risk of competitive imbalances for U.S. companies that comply with environmental regulations.

More recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Trump that disavowing the accord would injure U.S. business, the economy and the environment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Trump that if he turned his back on the accord, Musk would resign from two White House advisory boards.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, also urged Trump to keep the United States’ commitments under the 195-nation pact, rather than joining Syria as an outlier. Syria and Nicaragua are the only non-signatory countries, but Nicaragua declined to sign because its leaders felt the accord was not strong enough.

The streetlights never switch on at noon in Pittsburgh anymore. The Cuyahoga River now supports fish that live only in clean water. Donora’s sole reminder of those dark days in October of 1948 is a Smog Museum.

But the United States remains the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas polluter. It has an obligation to lead the world in combating climate change. Great leaders don’t shirk responsibility.

Make Ear Acupuncture A Tool For Addiction Recovery

Image by Lars Plougmann Flickr

By Elizabeth Ropp

Living in Manchester, I enjoy walking to work and around town.  A few years ago, I started finding drug needles laying in the gutter.  I even found a syringe on the sidewalk in front of my house.  The opioid epidemic is staring me in the face and I feel compelled to contribute to the solution.  I have volunteered my time at a sober living house and at a respite care facility in Manchester. Now I’m advocating at the New Hampshire State House to change the laws of my profession, and I can use your help.

I am an acupuncturist.  I stick tiny needles in people to help them feel better.  That might sound strange, but it works.  Ear Acupuncture can be a safe, cheap, and effective tool to help people in all stages of addiction recovery.  It can help soothe the symptoms of withdrawal, reduce cravings, and ease anxiety or trauma that can lead people to use drugs in the first place.

While acupuncture can be a great tool to fight the state’s opioid crisis, the problem is much larger than the pool of acupuncturists inclined to work in the recovery setting.  So I’m calling for change in New Hampshire’s acupuncture laws.  I want to put the tools of my trade into the hands of people working in addiction recovery and mental health. That is why I support House Bill 575 – Relative to the Certification of Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.

Recovery and mental health workers need every tool at their disposal. We can make Ear Acupuncture one of those tools, but current laws don’t allow them to learn and practice this simple protocol without an acupuncture license, which requires lengthy and costly schooling.  HB 575 would allow these health professionals to train and certify as Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.

Some 28 day rehab programs in New Hampshire already use Ear Acupuncture, but maybe only once a week.  For Ear Acupuncture to be most effective, a person in early recovery should get the treatment every day until they test drug-free for 7-10 days. A person, thereafter, should continue treatment as needed to prevent relapse.

This treatment is cost effective, but only in the hands of people who are already working in recovery settings. Take for example California and Oregon – states that once had successful Ear Acupuncture programs at drug treatment facilities. Those programs got cut because of shrinking budgets and the high cost to employ acupuncturists – a problem easily solved if other employees in the facility could  learn and practice Ear Acupuncture.

The specific Ear Acupuncture treatment in HB 575 is called the NADA Ear Acupuncture Protocol.  The protocol is a simple procedure that involves placing five tiny needles in specific points around the outer ear.  NADA, or the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has trained more than 10,000 health professionals across the country in this practice.  Twenty-three other states already have laws that allow this.  New Hampshire is long overdue for this legislation.

The NADA protocol dates back to the 1970’s when heroin addiction ravaged the South Bronx and people wanted a non-addictive alternative to methadone. In New York after 9-11, and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, volunteers trained by NADA gave ear acupuncture to first responders and disaster relief workers to help cope with the devastation that surrounded them.

Here, in New Hampshire, we should make the practice of Ear Acupuncture available to those who work in addiction recovery and mental health.  The best people to treat those in early stages of recovery are people who have been through recovery themselves.  They know first hand what it’s like to get clean and they are trained in trauma informed care – things they don’t teach you at expensive acupuncture schools.

HB 575 passed the House of Representatives on a voice vote and it was supported 5-0 by the Senate Committee.  Senator Sharon Carson, (R) Londonderry, introduced an amendment on the Senate floor that effectively cripples the bill.  If you are personally affected by the opioid crisis or if you can speak to the benefits of acupuncture, then I need your help.  Please contact Senator Carson and ask her to drop the amendment for HB575. She will be reconciling the bill in a Committee of Conference with House Legislators.  The date is still to be determined. She needs to know that her amendment was a mistake.   New Hampshire is First-in-the-Nation for death by fentanyl overdose.  This is a problem that touches all of us.  We need to open up as many pathways to recovery as possible.  We are all in this together and together we can get through this.

Elizabeth Ropp is an “acupunk” at the Manchester Acupuncture Studio and a member of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture.

NH Building and Construction Trades Council Endorses Kevin Cavanaugh

Concord, NH – Today, the New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council endorsed Kevin Cavanaugh in the Democratic primary for the upcoming District 16 special election. District 16 includes Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett, and Manchester Wards 1, 2, and 12.

“We’re excited to support Kevin Cavanaugh in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. He knows how to get things done and has always looked out for every day people who are working to earn a living and raise their family here in New Hampshire. He has a proven record of common sense solutions that would be an asset in the Senate,” said Steve Burke, President of the NH Building and Construction Trades Council.

“It’s an honor to have the support of the Building and Construction Trades Council. I’ve spent years advocating for families who are one injury or sickness away from financial devastation and I want to make sure we have protections in place that support hard working Granite Staters,” said Kevin Cavanaugh.

The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council Represents more than 2,500 New Hampshire workers.

Kevin Cavanaugh has also been endorsed by six other organizations representing local educators, fire fighters, and law enforcement, as well 34 area leaders (full list). The primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 6th.

About Kevin Cavanaugh

Kevin was born and raised in Manchester and has spent the past 32 years as a blue collar worker. He has coached High School Football at Memorial and West as well as multiple youth hockey, soccer, baseball, and softball teams. Kevin was first elected to the Board of Alderman in 2015. He lives in Manchester Ward 1 with his wife and three children who are all in the New Hampshire public school system.

At Coos County Nursing Hospital, Senator Hassan Highlights Importance of Protecting Medicaid For Seniors


Senator Hassan greeted Granite Staters at Coos County Nursing Hospital.

WEST STEWARTSTOWN – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan visited the Coos County Nursing Hospital, touring the facility and highlighting the importance of preventing the devastating cuts to Medicaid included in Trumpcare and the President’s budget proposal. Medicaid is the primary payer of long-term services and supports, which includes nursing home services. Thousands of Granite Staters in nursing homes rely on Medicaid for nursing home services.

“Nursing homes like Coos County Nursing Hospital help ensure that our seniors have the care and support they need, and the majority of funding for such nursing homes comes from Medicaid,” Senator Hassan said.

“Unfortunately, through Trumpcare and a senseless budget proposal, the Trump Administration is focused on slashing Medicaid in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy while threatening the health and well-being of thousands of seniors in the Granite State and across the nation,” added Senator Hassan. “I will continue standing up against these dangerous cuts to Medicaid that would pull us backward, and fight to ensure that all of our older citizens have the support necessary to remain active in our society.”

​Trumpcare would cut more than $800 million in 10 years and the Trump budget would make another $610 million in cuts. These cuts would force states to make dramatic reductions in who they serve and what services they cover, threatening health care for millions, including the care our nation’s seniors receive in nursing homes.

In New Hampshire, close to 64% of nursing home patients rely on Medicaid for their care. The American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, cuts and caps Medicaid, slashing $834 billion from the program over the next decade. On top of that, President Trump’s budget proposal includes cutting an additional $610 billion in Medicaid funding.

As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on strengthening the health and well-being of older citizens in New Hampshire, including cosponsoring legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.

Mine Workers and Graduate Workers Win Big Victories

(Washington, D.C., June 2, 2017) Graduate workers who earn low pay but do the same work as tenured professors are leading the charge to achieve equal pay and benefits on college campuses. These workers are not deterred by aggressive university administrators or archaic labor law—they are forging ahead. And they are just one of many groups of working people who understand that there’s power in numbers when working people come together. Here are some highlights of victories won:

Yale Graduate Students on Hunger Strike for Union Recognition

Yale University graduate teachers have been fasting since April 27 to bring the administration to the bargaining table with Local 33 UNITE HERE. The teaching assistants voted in February to join UNITE HERE, becoming the latest group of graduate students at private universities to unionize. The administration has failed to acknowledge the union and begin contract negotiations

UPenn Graduate Workers Vote to Join AFT

Graduate student workers at the University of Pennsylvania filed a petition May 30 to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers. The unit could include as many as 2,300 teaching and research assistants. The organizing drive began in March, and students hope to negotiate together to address funding insecurity, health care benefits, family leave and inadequate mental health resources.

Northwestern University Nontenure-Faculty Union Vote Certified

Nontenure-track faculty members at Northwestern University are finally free to negotiate together after the National Labor Relations Board certified a July 2016 union election. The unit, organized under SEIU as Local 73, will include both full-time and part-time faculty.

Mine Workers Win Health Care Battle in Congress

Mine workers won the fight to secure health care for 22,600 retired coal miners, their dependents and widows in the 2017 congressional budget. This hard-fought victory was made possible by the thousands of United Mine Workers of America members and supporters who marched, rallied, made phone calls and wrote letters to their representatives.

Disney/ABC, AT&T, Cooling and Heating Workers Win Contract Fights
Communications Workers of America recently ratified several contracts that improved working conditions for its members. A deal was reached at Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford, N.Y., ending a 15-week strike. The 700 IUE-CWA members successfully fought back against management demands for drastic wage cuts and cuts to retiree benefits. At AT&T Southwest, 20,000 CWA telecom workers won an agreement that calls for AT&T to bring 3,000 new jobs, the majority of which now are offshore, to the five-state region. Also, 3,000 broadcast employees and technicians at Disney/ABC ratified a new contract, along with 3,000 technicians, customer service representatives and warehouse/administrative workers at DIRECTV, and 570 workers at New Flyer in St. Cloud, Minn., the country’s biggest bus manufacturer.

Thrillist Staff Joins Writers Guild of America, East
Ninety-five percent of Thrillist’s staff can negotiate together for more transparent communication from management, greater workplace diversity and better entry-level pay after voting to join the Writers Guild of America, East union. The 65 staff members include editorial, video and distribution workers.

IBEW Helps Rail-Car Construction Return to Chicago’s South Side
Electrical Workers members will account for the majority of full-time manufacturing employees when a new rail-car manufacturing facility opens on Chicago’s South Side in 2020. IBEW will represent about 110 of the plant’s 170 full-time manufacturing employees. Construction could provide work for another 150 members. The plant will construct up to 846 of the new 7000 series subway cars for the Chicago light-rail system.

NFLPA Welcomes New Players and Partnership
More than 250 new players guaranteed their right to negotiate together after joining the National Football League Players Association during the weekend of the NFL draft, April 27-29. At the NFLPA Debut event, the union hosted 50 of the top prospects to educate them about its mission and resources. NFLPA also announced a partnership with wearable device company WHOOP on April 24. Each player will receive a device so they can track and own their biometric data, including sleep, recovery and training, as a way to advance their safety and athletic performance.

BRS Welcomes Denver Transit Operators
Fifty-three workers from the Denver Transit Operators exercised their freedom to join together with the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. The maintenance of way and dispatching department employees voted, by an overwhelming majority, to join the union. BRS will start working right away on an agreement that addresses many of the issues it learned of through the organizing meetings. A new local will be chartered for the DTO members. DTO is a private company with a 29-year contract to operate and maintain the new commuter rail system in and around Denver for Colorado’s Regional Transportation District.

New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Announces $2.9 Million in AmeriCorps Funding for New Hampshire

 

New grants will support 233 AmeriCorps members in the Granite State

 President Trump’s budget would eliminate the AmeriCorps program

(Washington DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation in announcing that New Hampshire has received $2.9 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. Senator Maggie Hassan and Representatives Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter joined Shaheen in today’s announcement. The grants will support 233 AmeriCorps members in the state and create additional funding for Volunteer NH, the Granite State nonprofit organization that administers AmeriCorps programs in New Hampshire. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $2.5 million in local support.

“AmeriCorps members are an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities, and the individuals they serve,” said Senator Shaheen. “Citizen service is an essential part of the solutions to many of the challenges New Hampshire faces, which makes President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the AmeriCorps program all the more concerning. I am incredibly glad to have AmeriCorps members and Volunteer NH working hard in the Granite State to make a difference in our communities. I’ll continue to work in the Senate to make sure that President Trump’s misguided budget, and the elimination of the AmeriCorps program, is not enacted. Today, I congratulate the organizations receiving grants, and thank all AmeriCorps volunteers for their commitment to serving our country.”

“I’m glad to join my colleagues in announcing that four outstanding New Hampshire organizations – City Year New Hampshire, Campus Compact for New Hampshire, New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Student Conservation Association – will receive AmeriCorps grants to support their critical work,” said Senator Hassan. “Not only do AmeriCorps programs help support New Hampshire communities, but they also teach volunteers valuable skills that will help them compete in the workforce – which is why it is so concerning that President Trump’s budget proposal would completely eliminate the Corporation for National Community Service and in turn put these important programs and many others in New Hampshire at risk. I look forward to continuing to support their work.”

“I want to thank the Corporation for National and Community Service for awarding these AmeriCorps grants to City Year, Campus Compact for New Hampshire, NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the Student Conservation Association,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “These organizations embody the spirit of public service and community that help make the Granite State a wonderful place to live. I am deeply grateful to them and all the men and women of AmeriCorps for their important work, and I look forward to seeing what they do next for our great state.”

“As a Red Cross volunteer in Louisiana after Katrina hit, I witnessed the great work AmeriCorps members performed. Their attitudes and their work ethic made a terrible situation more bearable for the victims, and the volunteers made a huge difference. At home in New Hampshire, I’ve seen the dedication and energy AmeriCorps volunteers bring to serving our K-12 students, seniors, and veterans. I am pleased this grant will allow AmeriCorps to continue harnessing the energy and the compassion of our state’s most valuable resource – our citizens – to perform valuable public service in New Hampshire communities,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.

“As Volunteer NH prepares to launch these programs, we welcome hundreds of bright, talented individuals into service across the Granite state,” said Gretchen Berger, Executive Director of Volunteer NH. “AmeriCorps members have made an immeasurable impact in our communities, they will continue to improve lives and address our states most difficult problems through service; including domestic violence, environmental education, land stewardship and education. AmeriCorps service transforms individuals, accelerates their pathway toward meaningful employment and offers them the opportunity to grow as civilly engaged citizens.”

The federal investment includes four grants totaling $1.3 million. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in New Hampshire including improving educational outcomes for young students, assisting domestic violence victims, and providing conservation and environmental education to residents and visitors in New Hampshire. CNCS will also provide up to $937,015 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.

The federal investment announced today also includes $645,344 for Volunteer NH!, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, Volunteer NH! will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.

Below is a listing of 2017 AmeriCorps competitive grants in New Hampshire:

  • City Year New Hampshire: AmeriCorps members will provide academic and youth development services to students in six public schools in Manchester (50 AmeriCorps members)
  • CCNH Success Corps: AmeriCorps members will increase access to college for 293 economically disadvantaged and special needs youth (127 AmeriCorps members)
  • AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program: AmeriCorps members will provide direct assistance to victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking. (26 AmeriCorps members)
  • Student Conservation Association New Hampshire Corps: AmeriCorps members will provide conservation stewardship to public lands and environmental education to residents and visitors. (30 AmeriCorps members)

AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 members in intensive service annually to serve nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,600 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 1 million men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.3 billion in scholarships to pay for college, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student loan debt.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov .

Coalition And Activists Call On Governor Sununu To Veto Voter Suppression Bill SB3

Legislators Fail to Stand Up for Voting Rights, Local Control of Elections

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights urges New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu to veto SB3 following its passage in the state House today. Passing narrowly on a 191-162 vote, SB3 will create an unfunded mandate for cities and towns and long lines for same-day registration.

Sununu’s veto would be a show of support for the constitutional right of all eligible residents in New Hampshire to participate in our elections.

SB3 severely tightens qualifications for voting in New Hampshire and potentially criminalizes legitimate same-day registration voters who know they cannot provide proof that they have performed a so-called “verifiable act,” such as buying a home or entering a formal lease — thereby effectively disenfranchising elderly, low income, and other vulnerable citizens, especially those who move in the months before an election and are unable to obtain sufficient proof. Under SB3, a voter who knowingly fails to provide evidence of domicile within 10 days faces a fine up to $5,000.

Hundreds of activists worked around the clock after a record number of 40 bills pertaining to voting rights, were filed this legislative session. Next Wave organizations such as Indivisible and Kent Street Coalition went to work and joined over 10 permanent advocacy organizations in an effort that powered a grassroots movement. The campaign included 22 nights of phone banks hosted across the state filling 274 volunteer shifts powered by 134 volunteers. Patch through phone calls generated 478 calls to state Senators and 855 calls to state House members. Meanwhile 246 postcards reached 22 Senators and 795 postcards reached 258 House members. Approximately 500 voters attended SB 3’s two marathon hearings, the House hearing becoming one of the longest voting rights hearings in recent history. Finally, volunteers called every Town Clerk, Moderator and Supervisors of the Checklist, over 600 across the state, to educate them on how SB 3 would unfairly impact towns and cities.

“Hundreds of ordinary people, not previously politically involved, worked to defeat SB3, as they saw the bill for what it was, a serious attempt to make voting in New Hampshire more difficult for many eligible voters,” said Linda Rhodes, Co-Chair of Indivisible New Hampshire. “It’s a sad day when the New Hampshire Legislature, instead of modernizing voting and making it more accessible and transparent, makes voting harder for citizens. Our volunteers will now turn our attention to making sure that our voter registration drives get into high gear, and you can be sure we will be trying to replace the New Hampshire Representatives who voted in favor of SB3.”

“SB 3 got many of us to the State House for the first time, said Louise Spencer, leader of Kent Street Coalition.” “Voting is the most fundamental of our democratic rights and we weren’t willing to see this right legislated away.  So we began showing up – attending hearings, talking to representatives in the hallways, testifying before committees. We are paying more attention than ever to what is happening here in Concord and we intend to hold our legislators accountable on voting rights.”

“The 2017 Legislative Session was a wakeup call for community members around the state,” said Paula Hodges, America Votes NH State Director. “SB3 is only the beginning of a resistance movement that is powering actions in living rooms and town halls across the Granite State. New Hampshire has a proud tradition of inclusive civic engagement and SB3 flies in the face of that tradition. We are sad to see that the New Hampshire Secretary of State did not listen to the concerns of our cities and towns and the election volunteers who do the real work on Election Day. We didn’t send politicians to Concord to mess with voting rights and they will be hearing from their constituents on this vote all Summer.”

“Senate Bill 3 accomplishes one thing: the disenfranchisement and intimidation of thousands of young voters across New Hampshire. Our state’s real problem isn’t voter fraud, it is attracting and retaining young people to live, study, work, and raise families here,” said University of New Hampshire student Eli Tyrrel-Walker. “Despite hours of powerful testimony from countless young voters who see this bill as an assault on their, and their peers, ability to vote and take part in the democratic process Republican leadership decided to ignore our voices. Any measure that works to disenfranchise young people from participating in our vibrant civic culture is counterproductive and will only hurt our state.”

No local election officials supported the bill after hours of testimony in both the House and Senate and were not engaged in the drafting of the legislation. SB3 will jam lines at the polls, as some voters will have to fill out pages of additional paperwork.

“The reforms proposed in SB3 are not reforms that local election officials were looking for.  I find it interesting that the majority party that is always touting local control, doesn’t trust locally elected and sworn election officials to carry out this sacred duty? Every election official from Town and City Clerks to Ballot Clerk take this duty very seriously,” said Jim Tetreault, Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Town of Winchester.

“People shouldn’t be fined for exercising their right to vote and doing nothing wrong other than not returning to a government agency with certain paperwork—paperwork that these legitimate voters may not have,” said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director of the ACLU of NH. “SB 3 is also a violation of voters’ privacy by sending government agents to voters’ homes to check their documents. Requiring people to accept this government intrusion as a condition of voting will chill the right to vote.”

Aside from the Coalition, many others spoke out against the passage of SB3.

University of New Hampshire student Eli Tyrrel-Walker:

“Senate Bill 3 will accomplish one thing: the disenfranchisement and intimidation of thousands of young voters across New Hampshire. Our state’s real problem isn’t voter fraud, it is attracting and retaining young people to live, study, work, and raise families here. Despite hours of powerful testimony from countless young voters who see this bill as an assault on their ability to vote and take part in the democratic process, Republican leadership decided to ignore our voices. Any measure that works to disenfranchise young people from participating in our vibrant civic culture is counterproductive and will only hurt our state.”

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook):

“Today’s vote in support of SB 3 was a partisan sabotage of the election process that will do nothing but confuse and intimidate new voters.  This legislation adds over 350 words to the registration form that new voters will be required to read, and swear to understand, with the pressure of a growing line behind them at the polls on Election Day.”

“Requiring voters to read and comprehend an entire essay at the polls is unnecessary, intimidating, and only complicates work of election officials who will be tasked with helping voters understand the registration requirements.”

“No local election officials testified in support of this bill because the current process works well.  SB 3 is an illogical solution in search of a problem that will increase bureaucracy and expenses on local taxpayers.”

“This legislation was clearly designed to placate those who buy into President Trump’s discredited assertion that fraud cost him the popular vote in New Hampshire.  Leaders from both parties denounced those assertions, and as we know from the reports released following every single New Hampshire election, voter fraud is not an issue in our state.”

“Our election officials deserve support for the hard work they do preserving the integrity of our elections.  Advancing the myth of ‘voter fraud’ is not only disrespectful to those who enforce our laws, it also threatens the confidence in our First in the Nation Presidential Primary.”

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“Today, Governor Sununu and President Trump’s voter fraud lies definitively shaped New Hampshire law. Our voting system is already secure with no credible voter fraud, and Republican attempts to say otherwise are based in conspiracy theory. Voter suppression laws like SB3 are designed to drive down turnout and slow down lines. These voting roadblocks change the outcomes of our elections. Anytime we disenfranchise a single eligible voter, we are damaging the integrity of our elections. Governor Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for propagating lies and legislation that undermine the integrity of our democratic process.”

New Hampshire Legislature Becomes 34th State to Allow Electronic Poll Books

Trial Poll Book Devices are Step toward Modernizing, Securing, and Streamlining Elections 

CONCORD – New Hampshire voting rights advocates praise the passage of electronic poll books, which will modernize, secure and streamline elections in the state. The New Hampshire Legislature passed Senate Bill 113 today with strong bipartisan support.

SB 113 will authorize a trial of electronic poll book devices for voter registration and check-in at future municipal and statewide elections and was part of a modernization package that ACLU, America Votes, League of Women Voters NH, and Open Democracy advocated for to relieve congested polling locations and help towns and cities’ Election Day burden.

Having a closed, electronic database available on election day makes it easier for officials to maintain accurate lists of eligible voters and make sure that only eligible American citizens are able to participate in our elections.

“I’m thrilled that the legislature has taken this pragmatic step forward in modernizing our election process,” said bill sponsor and longtime champion Senator Bette Lasky, Nashua. “New Hampshire prides itself on a tradition of strong citizen participation in elections. But we also know that high voter turnout can create long lines at the polls. We must do everything we can to ensure that voting is accessible and efficient for everyone.”

“This pilot is a commonsense solution that gives communities the opportunity to test the system and help election workers process voters more quickly and ensure that busy Granite Staters have every opportunity to participate,” said Olivia Zink, Open Democracy Executive Director. “The program also provides enhanced features that will ensure less errors on the voter rolls and increased efficiency that helps free up more local resources post-election.”

All towns and cities participating in the trial program must have adequate back-up systems and cover all costs associated with electronic poll books. The programs covered in SB 113 must also meet certification standards established by the Secretary of State.

Kevin Cavanaugh Earns Endorsement of Four Major Law Enforcement Organizations

Manchester, NH – Today, Kevin Cavanaugh’s campaign announced the endorsement of the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association, the Hooksett Police Employees Union, Manchester Police Supervisors Association, and the New England Police Benevolent Association.

“The police in our communities are critical partners in fighting the opioid crisis and keeping our communities safe. I have a great deal of appreciation and admiration for their service to all Granite Staters and am honored to have their support,” said Kevin Cavanaugh. “We must come together as a community to solve this problem and as our Senator, I will work closely with law enforcement to ensure they have the resources and training they need to put an end to the opioid epidemic.”

“We are proud to stand with Kevin Cavanaugh because he has always stood with us. As an Alderman, he has clearly valued public safety and has been a leader on ensuring law enforcement has the resources we need to keep Manchester safe. Kevin works to bring people together and find common sense solutions, and that’s why we hope to see him in the Senate,” said Kenneth Chamberlain, President of the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association.

“Our officers put themselves in harms way each day and Kevin is committed to having our backs. While we are working to protect the community, he has made it a priority to make sure officers have what we need to stay safe on the job. Kevin will be a strong advocate for law enforcement in the Senate and that’s why we’re proud to endorse him,” said Brian Williams, President of the Hooksett Police Employees Union.

“Supporting Kevin was an easy decision because he has always stood up for us,” said Rich Brennan, President of the Manchester Association of Police Supervisors. “We need reasonable people in the State House and Kevin is as reasonable as they come. He’s someone who listens and understands what solutions will work well for our community.”

Kevin Cavanaugh is also supported by the National Education Association of New Hampshire, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, and 34 area leaders (full list). The primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 6th.

Interfaith Groups To Hold Prayer Vigil To Show Support For Immigrants

Interfaith prayer vigil at federal building June 6 to show support for immigrant families facing threat of deportation

 

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE —New Hampshire faith leaders will host an interfaith prayer vigil outside the offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Tuesday, June 6, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM to show support for immigrant families who are facing the threat of detention and deportation.

The peaceful vigil outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut Street in Manchester, will call upon ICE to “Let them stay,” and to “Keep families together.”

More than 70 immigrants are scheduled for appointments with ICE on that day.  “Each time they report, they fear ICE will take them into custody for deportation,” said Rev. Eric Jackson, pastor of Brookside Congregational Church and president of the Greater Manchester NAACP.

“In many cases, these are people who have lived and worked as our New Hampshire neighbors for more than a decade,” he continued.  “We are praying for ICE to let them remain in New Hampshire with their families.”

Leaders of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations are expected to participate.

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 218 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement