STATE BUDGET UPDATE
The Senate Finance committee has finished their work and with a vote of 4 to 2 recommended passage of their proposed budget. As with any budget there are good and bad provisions within it. The Senate Finance committee put together a budget with no revenue increase. They defeated the House-passed increase of $0.20 tobacco tax and the increase of $0.12 gas tax. On a side note the House killed HB 152 the casino-gaming bill. With no revenue increase and with the claim that the House had overstated future revenues, the Senate is arguing it needed to cut $300 million from the House budget.
Health and Human service was hit the hardest with $40 million cut by the Senate from their already reduced budget. This means cuts to the developmentally disabled waitlist, Children in Need of Services, and many of the services that are very much needed.
It looks like the Senate Finance committee kept the same amount for adequate education funding as the House did in their budget, but the Senate Finance committee did increase the amount allocated for charter schools by $3.49 million –this would fund current charter schools plus four new charter schools.
To read and compare the House budget to the Senate proposed budget click here.
HOUSE VOTE ON MAY 29TH
The House defeated overwhelming by a vote of 235 to 93 SB 100: AN ACT authorizing electronic payment of payroll. This bill will affect all public employees in New Hampshire. This bill would have done the following:
- Delete the requirement that an employer who pays wages by electronic fund transfer offer employees the option of being paid by check.
- Permits an employer to pay wages with a payroll card after offering employees the option of being paid by direct deposit.
AFT-NH was in opposition to this bill and we thank the 235 representative that voted to defeat it.
THE FULL SENATE WILL BE VOTING THIS WEEK ON THE FOLLOWING:
The Senate Finance committee made the recommendation to retain HB 124: relative to the determination of gainful occupation for a group II member receiving an accidental disability retirement allowance from the retirement system. This bill:
I. Reinserts a provision which removes the application of the gainful occupation reductions to retirement allowances of group II accidental disability beneficiaries who have years of service plus years of accidental disability retirement which total at least 20 and who have attained the age of 45.
II. Allows the director of homeland security and emergency management in the department of safety the option to rejoin the retirement system as a member and to continue group II retirement status based on prior service and group II membership, and allows the assistant director of homeland security and emergency management to continue group II retirement status based on prior service and group II membership.
III. Provides for the appointment of the director of the division of homeland security and emergency management for terms of 3 years.
AFT-NH is opposed to this recommendation and asks that they overture the recommendation of retaining and vote to pass this bill.
COMMITTEES OF CONFERENCE
We are waiting for HB 142, relative to teacher evaluation systems, to be scheduled with a Committee of Conference. The House has appointed Representative Grassie, Myler, Gorman and Ladd, but the Senate has yet to appoint members.
Keep in mind that on HB 142: relative to teacher evaluation systems, Senator Kelly brought forward an amendment to reinsert the following language: Nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A. However this failed on a 12 to 12 vote and the following passed:
1 New Paragraph; School Boards; Duty to Provide Education. Amend RSA 189:1-a by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:
III. School boards shall adopt a teacher performance evaluation policy, with the involvement of teachers and principals, for use in the school district. A school board may consider any resources it deems reasonable and appropriate, including any resources that may be provided by the state department of education. In this paragraph, “teacher” shall have the same meaning as in RSA 189:14-a, V.
AFT-NH is opposed to this bill as amended. It does include the involvement of teachers but it left out “Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A”.
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at email@example.com.
UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Note the ones in red are priority bills for AFT-NH
MONDAY, JUNE 3
TASK FORCE ON WORK AND FAMILY (RSA 276-B:1), Room 207, LOB
1:15 p.m. Regular meeting.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
10:00 a.m. Full committee organizational work session on retained
HB 627-FN, requiring unused vacation and sick leave to be converted to service time for purposes of calculating retirement system benefits,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5
10:00 a.m. HOUSE IN SESSION
THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2013
10:00 a.m. SENATE IN SESSION
TUESDAY, JUNE 11
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on retained HB 422, relative to the adoption, revision, and amendment of municipal charters.