NH Insurance Department to Hold Nov. 4 Annual Public Hearing on Health Insurance Premiums

Hearing Will Focus on Pharmaceuticals as a Cost Driver in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department will host its annual public hearing on health care costs and payment systems from 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m. on Friday, November 4, 2016, at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord.  

According to state law, the Insurance Commissioner “shall hold an annual public hearing concerning premium rates in the health insurance market and the factors, including health care costs and cost trends, that have contributed to rate increases during the prior year.”

This year’s public hearing is based on data and information available in 2015. The hearing will focus on prescription drugs as a cost-driver.  

“The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s annual hearing is an important tool to increase transparency and foster dialogue on health care costs in New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Each year, we convene health insurance companies, health care providers, members of state government, and New Hampshire residents to examine what’s behind higher health care costs in the state and what can be done about it. I encourage anyone who is interested to attend, either in person or remotely.”  

The health insurance consulting firm Gorman Actuarial will discuss the major findings from the 2015 data submitted by health insurance companies in New Hampshire in preparation for the hearing.  

Three separate panel discussions will focus on pharmaceuticals:

  • Drug Pricing, Clinical Effectiveness, and the Need for Transparency: The panel will feature an independent physician and a representative from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.
  • Pharmaceuticals, Payments, and Benefit Management: The panel will feature representatives from MedImpact, Cigna, and PhRMA.
  • Insurance Carriers: Representatives from Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim will discuss pharmacy benefit management, product design, and treatment alternatives. 

The Department also will present updates to its NHHealthCost.org website, a health care transparency tool developed to help consumers understand their actual costs for health care services throughout the state.  

The hearing is open to the public, although seating is limited. Live streaming of the event is planned. Reserve a seat to attend the event in person, or register for the livestream option. 

More information on the event can be found on the Insurance Department website: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/events/2016-annual-hearing.htm  

About the New Hampshire Insurance Department

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Wall Street Investment Firm Drives Ayotte’s Position on Northern Pass

Blackstone Group, competitor to Northern Pass, contributes more than $44,000 to Ayotte’s Campaign

Barrington – Recent political contribution reports show that the Blackstone Group, a Wall Street financial firm that is funding a competitive energy project to Northern Pass, has given upwards of $44,000 to Ayotte’s re-election campaign.  According to Open Secrets, the contributions from Blackstone’s executives and Blackstone’s political action committee make the Wall Street firm the largest energy sector contributor to Ayotte’s reelection campaign.

The Blackstone Group is described as the “lead investor” in Transmission Developers, Inc. (TDI), which has proposed several transmission projects in New England and New York.  Similar to Northern Pass, TDI has proposed a transmission project in Vermont that seeks to bring hydroelectric power from Canada, but to date has not announced an energy source for the project.

“Senator Ayotte portrays herself as protecting New Hampshire by trying to creating hurdles for energy projects in our state, but in reality she is working to tip the scales to gain an advantage for one of her largest political contributors,” said Tiler Eaton of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.  “Since she has begun advocating to place costly mandates on Northern Pass, Ayotte has raked in tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the Wall Street investment firm that stands to gain the most from her position.”

In addition to the Blackstone Group, Eaton said Ayotte has taken thousands in political contributions from other energy companies and power plant owners who have fought to stop any new energy supplies from entering the New England region.  Eaton said these energy companies and power plant owners benefit from the extremely high prices in the New England energy market, and work to prevent new energy supplies from entering New England that might lower prices.

Eaton said the biggest losers from Ayotte’s effort to promote the Wall Street firm’s energy projects are New Hampshire businesses, homeowners and workers. 

“At the end of the day, by letting her political contributors determine her position on energy projects, Senator Ayotte is standing in the way of lower cost electricity for New Hampshire and New England”, said Eaton. “By standing in the way of new energy supplies entering New Hampshire, Ayotte keeps electricity costs high and protects massive profits for her Wall Street political contributors.  All at the expense of New Hampshire electric consumers, our state’s economy and good jobs in the state.”

State Senate Candidate Joe Duarte Questioned Whether a Female Applicant for a Town Committee Could Fulfill Responsibilities Because She is a Mother

In 2007, Duarte participated in a discussion about whether a woman – who was the only candidate for a Zoning Board of Adjustments alternate position – could dedicate the necessary time because she is a mother

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

Concord, NH – During a Candia Selectman meeting on April 23, 2007, several selectmen – including Senate District 16 candidate Joe Duarte – debated whether an applicant for a vacant zoning board of adjustments alternate position could dedicate the necessary time to the position because she was the mother of a young child.

The applicant, Amanda Soares, was the only person to apply for the position. While some public officials in the room stated that the applicant’s personal family commitments weren’t up to the board to comment on – and that the question would likely not come up for a male applicant – Duarte persisted:

“Selectman Lazott stated he did not want to stretch her too thin. Selectman Duarte stated he was not on with the ZBA appointment because she was just appointed to the Planning Board as an alternate. Selectman Brennan stated he did not think the appointment was a big deal pointing out that he holds a full-time job and serves on many Boards and Committees. One Selectman noted that Selectman Brennan did not have a family and this requestor does.

Selectman Giffen reiterated that Mrs. Soares was extremely capable and that the ZBA meetings were typically short. Selectman Giffen advised he would not want to turn any volunteers down. Tax Collector Sanders mentioned she was aware that Mrs. Soares no longer had a daily commute to Massachusetts. Road Agent Lewis stated some months the ZBA does not meet. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Amanda Soares to the Zoning Board as an alternate member. Seconded by Selectman Brennan. Chairman Kelley stated he was still deciding because he was not sure about her time considering she has a small child. Selectman Brennan said the Board should let her make her own decisions regarding her time. Selectman Duarte stated attendance for two alternates for the Planning Board last year was poor and both had families. Ingrid Byrd of Depot Road wondered if the Board would be having the family discussion if the applicant was a man … Selectman Giffen mentioned that Mrs. Soares had perfect attendance when she was on the Solid Waste Committee and Conservation Commission. (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

The vote was postponed, but during the same meeting Duarte seconded a motion to approve two men for a town committee with no discussion of whether they have domestic responsibilities at home.

“Selectman Giffen to make recommendations on members for a Town of Candia Website Committee: Selectman Giffen advised public notice was placed in the paper for Public Meeting held on 4/19/07 for the purpose of establishing a website Committee. Selectman Giffen stated only two individuals showed up to volunteer. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Joe Miele and Larry Twitchell as members of the Town’s website committee with one-year terms, term to expire 4/23/08 effective today’s date. Seconded by Selectman Duarte. All in favor. Motion carried.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

In a follow-up meeting about the appointment, Duarte directly questioned the female applicant about her “full agenda” including other time commitments. Soares responded by saying her husband could be home to run the household in the evenings.

Selectman Duarte noted Mrs. Soares had a full agenda and asked her if she had enough time to devote to another Board. Mrs. Soares stated most of the meetings were held in the evenings when her husband is home and able to maintain the household … ZBA Chair Boyd Chivers pointed out that Mrs. Soares was the only person who expressed interest and did not know how the Board could turn her down. Secretary Chabot verified an advertisement was run for the position and Mrs. Soares was the only interested party. Selectman Giffen moved to accept the recommendation of the ZBA for the appointment of Amanda Soares as an alternate member with a term to expire on 10/28/08. Selectmen Lazott and Duarte indicated they were opposed. ZBA Chair Chivers noted the ZBA unanimously recommended her appointment.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, May 14, 2007)

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“It appears Joe Duarte judges women based on his own personal opinion of what her domestic roles and responsibilities should be, rather than letting a woman decide for herself. While other public officials pushed back, Duarte persisted in making this an issue of a woman’s assumed role in a household and at no time raised concerns about the sexist nature of the conversation. In fact, he asserted that it was relevant despite the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to other town committees and the fact that she was the only applicant for the position. Duarte, himself, was serving on multiple committees at the time.”

This is not the only time Duarte has stood in the way of women. In 2014 Duarte voted against the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, an act to ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day’s work; and in 2012 he voted to allow any employer to deny coverage for contraception based on the employer’s own personal beliefs. (SB207, Roll Call #235, 5/14/2014; HB1546, Roll Call #117, 3/7/2012) Duarte also endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Note: Soares later went on to successfully complete 5 years of service on the Candia Board of Selectmen. She resigned in early 2015 when her family moved out of the area. (Candia Selectman, Candia’s Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, 1.12.15)

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

Information for NH Residents on 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace and Open Enrollment

CONCORD, NH — Open enrollment through the state’s federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace (www.Healthcare.gov) will run from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. In advance of open enrollment on and off the Marketplace, the New Hampshire Insurance Department offers information and resources to state residents who plan to purchase health insurance in the individual market for 2017 coverage.

“New Hampshire residents have options for 2017: four health insurance companies to choose from, many plans and health care provider networks, and a range of price points,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Even if people already have a plan, they should go to HealthCare.gov and shop around – they may find a plan that’s more affordable or that has a health care provider network that they like better.”

Federal Assistance Based on Income Levels:

You can buy a plan outside of the federal Marketplace – through an insurance agent or directly from an insurance company – and it will cover the same essential services as a Marketplace plan.  However, if you want to receive federal financial assistance to pay for the plan, you will need to enroll through the Marketplace. Depending on your income level, you may qualify for cost assistance for paying premiums and/or out-of-pocket costs for a health insurance plan bought through the Marketplace, or for no-cost or low-cost coverage under the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.  

When you complete an application on www.Healthcare.gov, you will be prompted to enter your tax household size and financial information. After completing the application, you will be notified if you qualify for financial assistance for a Marketplace plan or for coverage through the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

If you are enrolled in Marketplace coverage for 2016, you will receive renewal information from your insurance company and the Marketplace itself. 

If you are already enrolled in the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, you will receive information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services about how to pick a plan for 2017.

Health insurance plans:

In 2017, four insurance companies will offer individual plans on the New Hampshire Marketplace: Anthem, Ambetter from NH Healthy Families, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Minuteman Health.

Community Health Options will not be offering coverage in New Hampshire in 2017. Current Community Health Options members are encouraged to shop and select a new plan for 2017. Those who do not select a new plan will be automatically assigned to one by the Marketplace.

For your coverage to begin on January 1, 2017, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2016 (NH residents who have CHO coverage will have until December 31, 2016 to select a new plan). You will need to pay your premium for your 2017 coverage to take effect. 

New Hampshire Health Protection Program members with Community Health Options coverage will receive information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services about moving to a new plan. New Hampshire small businesses can also purchase group plans through the Marketplace under the SHOP program (go to HealthCare.gov).

What to Consider:

There are five categories, or “metal levels,” of coverage in the individual and small group market, including plans sold on the Marketplace. Plans in each category will pay for different portions of an average person’s care, with the rest being paid by the covered person as out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Bronze: Your plan pays 60% of your health costs, on average. You pay 40%.
  • Silver: Your plan pays 70% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 30%.
    • If you buy through the Marketplace and qualify for cost-sharing assistance, you will pay less than 30%, but only if you choose a Silver plan. Your cost-sharing could be as low as 6%, depending on your income.
  • Gold: Your plan pays 80% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 20%.
  • Platinum: Your plan pays 90% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 10%.
  • Catastrophic: Your plan pays less than 60% of the total cost of care on average. These plans are only available to people who are under 30 years old or who have a hardship exemption.

The actual percentage you pay, in total or per service, will depend on the plan design (different plans feature different deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums) and the services you use throughout the year. When choosing a plan category, think about your health care needs as well as your budget. Bronze and Silver plans have lower monthly premiums, but they also pay less of your costs when you need care.  Gold and platinum plans have lower cost-sharing – meaning the plan pays more and you pay less—but have higher monthly premiums. 

Consider whether your doctors are included in the insurance plan’s network of providers. You can check the insurance company’s provider directory to see if they are included. If you are taking prescription drugs, check the insurance company’s drug formulary to see if they will be covered.

More information on 2017 plans:

New Hampshire HealthCost – a free tool developed by the NH Insurance Department:

The website www.NHHealthCost.org gives cost estimates for health procedures at medical facilities in the state. The estimates are based on actual, anonymous, paid claims data collected from the state’s health insurers. The website allows people to see the total costs of different procedures, including physician fees, lab fees, and facility fees, based on their insurance type, deductible, and coinsurance.

The site’s goal is to give people knowledge about the real cost of their care so they can make informed choices about how and where to spend their health care dollars. The website also includes hospital quality data and a guide to help consumers understand how to use their health insurance.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department Can Help:

“I want the people of this state to know that the Insurance Department is here as a resource: Our Consumer Services staff is available to assist with issues that arise after people are enrolled in coverage,” said Commissioner Sevigny.

Contact the Insurance Department with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance coverage at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

About the New Hampshire Insurance Department

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Union Built PC and Bargaining Power Announce Strategic Alliance to Empower Labor Unions

Agreement will empower Labor Unions with Digital Tools for Projecting Costs at Collective Bargaining & Real Time Grievance & Arbitration Tracking

union built logo 2006 hi resNEW YORK, NY  – Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. have entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with a goal of providing the Labor Industry the necessary tools to effectively represent their membership by Projecting Costs at Collective Bargaining and enabling Real-Time Grievance and Arbitration Tracking. 

Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. are the leading experts in Projecting Costs at collective bargaining and Grievance and Arbitration Tracking Labor Software.  In combining the skillsets of their respective teams and product offerings, we will enhance Labor’s ability at the bargaining table. 

This partnership also provides an opportunity for Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. to work collaboratively on product development, marketing and software sales. 

“We at Union Built PC Inc. are constantly searching for software that will help Labor Excel.  Bargaining Power Software is an extremely powerful Tool that will aid unions in analyzing costs and effectively representing their membership,” says Pete Marchese Director of Operations of Union Built PC Inc.

Bargaining Power Inc. has developed Bargaining Power® Software, which saves Labor Unions time and money as they conduct all of their cost analyses, whether for collective bargaining or arbitrations. First developed by a Labor Negotiator over 20 years ago, the software is continually enhanced by the experience and expertise of hundreds of customers, including the UFCW International and IBT, IAFF, IUOE and UFCW locals.

Bargaining Power is a unique product that gives labor a software solution that provides enhanced insight and is faster and easier to use than any spreadsheet model.  It instantly allows unlimited proposals to change compensation, benefit, time off-allowances and work rules.  Also, it automatically takes into account turnover rates and changing lengths of service. 

“With Bargaining Power, unions can be confident they’re capturing the true costs of potential settlements.  They can instantly compare all scenarios under consideration assuring they’re making the best possible decisions at the table,” says Betsy Cagan, President and founder of Bargaining Power Inc.

Union Built PC Inc. developed their Grievance Manager® Software in 2006, enabling the Labor Industry to track their Grievances, Arbitrations and related documents in Real Time. 

As an immediate result of this alliance, Union Built PC will resell Bargaining Power and integrate it into our present suite of Software to automate Labor’s everyday tasks.  

For more information about how Bargaining Power can help Labor Unions and International Organizations bargain and represent their membership more effectively, contact Pete Marchese at 877-728-6466 or pete.marchese@unionbuiltpc.com.

Former Congresswoman Giffords’ “Vocal Majority” Bus Tour Makes Stop In Portsmouth

Giffords’ Calls on Granite Staters to Vote to Stop Gun Violence in November

Portsmouth Event Is 18th Stop in Giffords’ 14-State, 42-Day National Bus Tour Urging Americans to Be Gun Violence Prevention Voters This Election

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Granite State leaders joined former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords today in Portsmouth as her 42-state, 14-day national “Vocal Majority” bus tour stopped in New Hampshire. The tour was in town to urge Granite Staters to vote to help stop gun violence this election by supporting Governor Maggie Hassan for the United States Senate and Hillary Clinton for President; the two candidates who have a record of standing up to the gun lobby and a commitment to taking responsible steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.

Congresswoman Giffords’ stop in New Hampshire coincided with the release of a new ARS-commissioned Public Policy Polling survey showing that nine out of ten Granite Staters say that making it harder for criminals to get guns is an important issue – comparable to the level of support by New Hampshire voters who say other top priority issues like creating jobs (96%) or improving education (95%) are important. Results also show that a plurality of undecided voters (42%) would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports strengthening gun laws. Undecided voters overwhelmingly (85%) say that it’s important to make it harder for criminals to get guns, while a clear majority (71%) support background checks on all gun sales and prohibiting individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List from buying guns (77%).

The event in Portsmouth was the 18th stop in the 42-day Vocal Majority Tour, which Congresswoman Giffords and her husband, the Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly Captain Kelly, kicked off on September 27th in Orlando, Florida, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history, the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead.

The Vocal Majority Tour is being organized and hosted by Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly in 2013, just weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School.

 “Stopping gun violence takes courage – the courage to do what’s right, and the courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said Congresswoman Giffords in her speech at today’s event. “Now is the time to come together – to be responsible! Democrats, Republicans – everyone.”

“Today, here in New Hampshire – as in most states around our country – a domestic abuser or felon fresh out of federal prison has the option of buying a gun without a background check and with no questions asked. It’s a dangerous system,” said Police Commissioner Joe Plaia. “One of those minority of senators who has stood with the Washington gun lobby and repeatedly voted to PROTECT those loopholes in our laws is our own United States Senator, Kelly Ayotte. The reality is that Senator Kelly Ayotte and the Washington gun lobby have failed us. So along with so many of my fellow Granite Staters who want to make our communities safer, I’m committed to holding Kelly Ayotte accountable and committed to electing Maggie Hassan and Hillary Clinton in November.”

The new Public Policy Research release today showed a seven point drop among New Hampshire voters 59% to 52%) who believe Sen. Kelly Ayotte is a stronger advocate for gun safety than her record shows. Along those same lines, the results demonstrated that candidates who actively support gun safety measures are ahead in New Hampshire. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has made gun safety a foundational part of her campaign, leads Republican Donald Trump by eleven points (48/37) while ARS-endorsed Democratic Maggie Hassan remains ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte by one point (44/43). Similarly, New Hampshire voters said they are more likely to support a candidate for U.S. Senate who seeks to strengthen gun laws by a two-to-one margin (53/26). To read the full survey results, click here.

Following the event today, the Vocal Majority Tour will travel to Boston, Mass. and Newtown, Conn.

The Vocal Majority Tour is part of ARS PAC’s “Vocal Majority” campaign this fall to mobilize millions of Americans to make the 2016 election a referendum on gun violence prevention and to support leaders up and down the ballot who are committed to taking responsible steps that reduce gun violence.

Along with its joint “Granite State Majority” grassroots campaign with Granite State Progress to hold Kelly Ayotte accountable for her record of standing with the gun lobby, by protecting the background check loopholes in federal law, ARS PAC has made significant investments in New Hampshire’s Senate race. ARS PAC-endorsed candidate Governor Maggie Hassan has voiced her support for closing those gun show and internet loopholes in federal law.

About Gun Violence in the United States

  • Americans are nearly 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other peer countries. [Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 2011]
  • Each year, 33,000 Americans die from gun violence. [WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010]
  • Over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate has remained largely unchanged – even as violent crime has dropped. While America’s rate of violent crime has generally decreased over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate in the U.S. has remained relatively constant. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]
  • The number of shootings is on the rise. While the number of gun murders in the U.S. has remained constant, the number of shootings has been increasing. The number of non-fatal gunshot wounds rose more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2013. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]

About The 2016 Vocal Majority Tour & Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

The Vocal Majority Tour is just one component of ARS PAC’s 2016 Vocal Majority Campaign to make 2016 a referendum on gun violence prevention. Along with the nationwide bus tour, the campaign also includes making significant investments in races and ballot initiatives across the country to support pro-gun violence prevention candidates and responsible ballot initiatives.

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) w orks to elect candidates at every level of public office who show the political courage to stand up to the gun lobby, are passionate about reducing gun violence in our communities, and who commit to taking action once elected. Since 2013, ARS PAC has supported Champions for Common Sense in key federal, gubernatorial, and state races – and supported the passage of ballot initiatives – in states around the country.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire back Corriveau for County Attorney

MANCHESTER – Today the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire announce their endorsement of Garth Corriveau (D – Manchester) for Hillsborough County Attorney. Corriveau previously served as an Alderman for the City of Manchester, and is challenging Dennis Hogan on the November ballot.

“Garth Corriveau is a proven leader when it comes to strengthening public safety in Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of Manchester’s IAFF Local 856. “Had Dennis Hogan done his job as County Attorney effectively, Manchester would have had a drug court over a year ago. Instead, our firefighters continue to respond to far too many repeat heroin and opioid overdoses. We can count on Garth Corriveau to be a vocal advocate for strong public safety as our new County Attorney.”

“Nashua firefighters serve our communities tirelessly in the midst of the heroin/opioid epidemic,” said John McAllister, President of Nashua Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 789. “Garth’s strong record on public safety issues proves he will work actively with us and all subject matter experts to meet this huge challenge. It is time for new leadership in this fight and we are proud to endorse Garth Corriveau for Hillsborough County Attorney.”

The opioid epidemic is a critical issue facing New Hampshire families of all stripes, and has garnered significant attention from candidates for office from presidential and federal races on down, as state and local officials maintain a focus on saving lives.

Corriveau remarked, “It is an honor and privilege to receive the endorsements of our Manchester, Nashua and state fire fighters at a time when we need their bravery most. Our first responders and public safety professionals are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and they deserve new, decisive leadership that supports their life saving efforts. As the new Hillsborough County Attorney, I will stand proudly with them every day as we work together to tackle this devastating epidemic.”

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 in the Granite State, which represents approximately 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

Dan Weeks Convenes Local Leaders to Press for Commuter Rail

Executive Council Candidate brings together policy experts and legislative leaders to promote NH Capitol Corridor Rail Project in 2017 

Nashua, NH —Democrat Dan Weeks today will lead a discussion with local political leaders and policy experts at Nashua City Hall at 12pm to outline next steps for bringing commuter rail to southern New Hampshire starting in 2017. The Weeks campaign also released a video highlighting the candidate’s support for commuter rail.

“After years of study, the evidence is in that commuter rail is New Hampshire’s biggest economic development opportunity in a generation. For a modest up-front investment, we can unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in outside investment for the good of our entire state and create thousands of middle-class jobs to grow our economy and keep our young people from leaving,” Weeks said. 

Weeks, the Democratic candidate for Executive Council in District 5, will lead a discussion with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, State Sen. Bette Lasky, former State Sen. Peggy Gilmour, rail engineering expert Michael Izbicki and developer Dan Kelly of the NH Rail Transit Authority, as well as nearly 20 state legislators and legislative candidates, at the Nashua City Hall Auditorium today from 12-2pm. 

“It is time for the state legislature and Executive Council to look to the future by beginning the financial planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental permitting that will allow New Hampshire to leverage federal funds and invest in commuter rail,” said Weeks. 

Weeks called on the New Hampshire state legislature and Executive Council to reinsert over $3 million in available federal funding for the Capitol Corridor rail project back into the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, and develop public private partnerships to assist with financing the proposed extension of the Lowell line to Nashua, Manchester Airport, and downtown Manchester. The funding was removed by Republican leaders in 2016, against the recommendation of the NH Department of Transportation and contrary to public demand.

“My great-grandfather Sinclair Weeks helped build the Interstate Highway System half a century ago,” Weeks said. “He was a conservative businessman and Eisenhower’s Secretary of Commerce, yet he recognized that public investments in infrastructure and education breed private-sector growth. We need to bring together private enterprise and public investment once again, to strengthen our New Hampshire economy through commuter rail.”

“Studies show that while the Capital Corridor rail project would cost between $5 to $10 million per year, it would serve nearly 700,000 passengers per year, bring $174 million in federal tax dollars back to New Hampshire, create 5,600 permanent jobs, spur approximately $750 million worth of new real estate development and add nearly 2 million square feet in new commercial space by 2030,” said Weeks. “That’s why 74 percent of Granite Staters support commuter rail. That’s why our Chambers of Commerce and businesses large and small support commuter rail—to help spur economic growth and keep talented young workers in New Hampshire.” 

“The single biggest economic development opportunity in a generation is staring us in the face,” Weeks said in a video released by his campaign. “If I’m your Executive Councilor, I will take the right votes to move our state forward on commuter rail.”

Dan Weeks and his plan to fight for commuter rail was endorsed by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and Hon. Peggy Gilmour, candidate for State Senate District 12.

  • Mayor Jim Donchess: “We need strong allies at the highest levels of state government to succeed – people with sound judgment and a stake in Nashua’s success. That’s why I’m proud to stand with my friend and fellow Nashuan, Dan Weeks, in his campaign for Executive Council against Dave Wheeler. Dan has already fought hard to support the Capitol Rail Corridor by lobbying the state legislature, educating the public, and recruiting fellow citizens to do the same.”
  • Hon. Peggy Gilmour: “Dan Weeks has the vision, integrity, and tenacity that New Hampshire needs on the Executive Council. Dan is entering public service for the right reasons. He cares about people and making our democratic system work for everyone. He listens, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I trust him to put the public’s interest above political party or special interests. Dan supports common sense solutions to bring new jobs to New Hampshire: investing in commuter rail and renewable energy.”

Three NH Labor Organizations Endorse Executive Council District 3 Candidate Beth Roth

 Salem, NH – New Hampshire Executive Council candidate Beth Roth announced today she has received endorsements from the American Federation of Teachers-NH, the State Employees Association/SEIU 1984, and the New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council.

“I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of these three prominent labor organizations,” said Roth. “Together, these organizations represent nearly 20,000 Granite State workers. As Executive Councilor I will always stand up for New Hampshire’s workers and their families.”

Douglas Ley, AFT-NH President said, “Beth Roth will bring valuable experience as a nurse and mental health counselor to the Executive Council, particularly as it deals with the ravages of the opioid crisis here in New Hampshire.  She will be a strong voice for New Hampshire women and working families and will put common sense ahead of partisan ideology.” 

“Few people would be as prepared as Beth Roth is to take on this role, with her background as a nurse, mental health counselor and attorney,” said Joan Hamblet, a member of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 who works for the Department of Health and Human Services as a child support officer. “Her deep involvement in her community shows her commitment to improving the lives of the people around her. We’re confident that on the Executive Council, she’ll work to do just that across District 3, and help promote an economy that works for everyone.”    

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to endorse Beth Roth in her race for Executive Council,” said President Steve Burk. “Beth is a tireless advocate for working men and women, and NH’s working families will be better off with Beth on the Executive Council. Beth supports raising wages for New Hampshire workers, ensuring all workers have access to health insurance and pensions, and making sure NH taxpayer dollars stay in the local economy and in the pockets of local workers. As a former union member herself and as a member of a union family, Beth truly understands the struggle working men and women go through every day. As a former nurse, a mental health counselor, attorney and small business owner, Beth has the experience to move NH forward on the Executive Council. We look forward to working with Beth to ensure that NH’s purchasing power is a tool for growing our economy and raising wages.”

Beth Roth is an attorney from Salem and is a Democratic candidate for Executive Council in District 3. For more information about the campaign, visit www.bethroth4nh.net.

Women Leaders Announce the Expansion of the New Hampshire “She Wins We Win”

she-winPress Conference To Be Held At Campaign Legislative Office Building (LOB) Concord 11AM Oct 6, 2016

Women leaders announce the expansion of the Feminist Majority’s She Wins We Win campaign in New Hampshire at a News Conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord on Thursday, October 6, at 11:00 AM. Participants include Representative Marjorie Smith (D- Durham), Representative Jackie Cilley (D-Barrington), Former State Senate President Sylvia Larsen of Concord, and She Wins We Win national director Eleanor LeCain who will speak with reporters in the LOB Lobby at 11AM and talk about the campaign’s efforts in New Hampshire.

Women leaders understand that families depend on paid family leave and medical leave, a higher minimum wage and passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. They know that college has to be made debt-free and available to all and that all Americans deserve to live their lives free from discrimination and that America has to be the world’s leader by passing the Clean Energy Challenge and cut carbon emissions. And lastly, our women leaders will continue to fight for women’s health and reproductive rights; defend access to contraception and abortion; and repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments to make abortion accessible for more low-income women.

The Feminist Majority has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, Maggie Hassan for US Senate, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster for US House. The She Wins We Win campaign is highlighting their records of achievement and their vision for the future.

In particular the campaign is committed to making sure people know about Hillary’s stellar record over the decades on women’s rights—both domestically and globally—as well as civil rights, human rights, children’s rights, and economic justice.

The campaign is organizing volunteers and mobilizing feminists on the ground to remind citizens of New Hampshire that they can register to vote on election day and educating them about how to do so.

The She Wins We Win campaign is active in several other presidential battleground states where Democratic women are running for the US Senate including North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.

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