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NH Voter’s Prove That NH Is Not Ready For Voter ID

Since the 2010 election, there has been an emergence of the Voter ID laws throughout the nation.  Many of these laws were popping up in many Republican controlled legislatures and New Hampshire was no exception. This occurred in part due to the model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), that was then (mainly) introduced by conservative legislators across the country.


The Voter ID Law in NH was worked by both the House and Senate over the past session, before being vetoed – twice – by Governor Lynch.  With more than a three to one majority in the NH Legislature, this year’s veto was overridden and the new Voter ID became law.


The most important part of NH’s Voter ID law is that no voter can be turned away – this year.   This means even if you do not have an ID you can still vote and your vote will count.  In order for this to happen you must sign an affidavit that states you are who you say you are.


The news about the Voter ID’s Primary Day trial run failure is coming in so fast that it may be hard to keep track.  First there was a report from America Votes, that voters were being turned away.  “New Photo ID Law Wreaks Havoc During State Primary


The majority of the problems surrounding the Primary Day debacle was that voters were being turned away.  According to America Votes,  “a Manchester voter had been turned away without a ballot because they didn’t have their ID with them”.  This is exactly what legislators said would not happen in NH.


America Votes quickly blamed the state for rushing the implementation of this new law saying: “New Hampshire clearly isn’t prepared to implement this law without further disenfranchising Granite State voters.”


Remember this was only the Primary.  New Hampshire had approximately 190,000 people vote in the primary election.  That is a fraction of the 1.3 million who current live here.  I can only image what will happen on November 6th. In 2008 New Hampshire cast over 700,000 votes in the Presidential Election.  If this election is anything like last year there will be massive lines just to vote.  Now add in the confusion of the people who do not have ID’s and still want to vote. Or worse are told to ‘go get your ID then get back in line’.  Many people would not come back.


To add insult to injury many voters were given misinformation about the new Voter ID law.  Telling people that if they did not have an ID they could not vote in November.


Why is this happening?  Why are election workers telling people the wrong information?  My guess is that because they do not know the truth, and they have not been properly trained on how to implement this new law.  It is important to note that New Hampshire has NO funding designated to train election workers on the proper way to administer the new laws.


Since there is no money to train workers, you can be darn sure there is no money to explain to the people of New Hampshire how these new laws work.  But isn’t that what they want?  They want people who do not have ID’s to stay home and not vote.  These people could be college students who are living in New Hampshire and attending one our outstanding Universities, or an elderly person who no longer drives and has no need for a state drivers license.


The story does not end there.  The League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union are going after the state for changes to the law the specifically target students.  “There’s been a number of attempts over the last few years to keep certain qualified citizens from voting in New Hampshire, and students have been the particular topics of most of those attempts,” said Joan Ashwell, a voting law expert with the League.[1]


These are the same voters that NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien famously said ‘kids are coming out of the school….foolish voting as a liberal(s)’.


New Hampshire is clearly not ready to institute these new voting laws.  If they continue with this plan countless numbers of Granite Stater’s will more than likely be turned away from the polls and therefore refused their Constitutional Right to vote.  I though this was the ‘Live Free or Die’ state not the ‘I make the rules and you don’t get a vote anymore’.

[1] http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/354537/nhclu-suit-challenges-election-law?SESSc0c2960ca57638755588b9471ee79d0f=google&page=full

NH Labor News Highlights 6/21/12: Firefighters Bike for MDA, Lynch Vetos Contract Bill and Voter ID, More Layoffs For Public Employees

Via Google Images

Acton Firefighter Bikes for a Good Cause – Acton, MA Patch: “Acton Firefighter, Brent Carter, 42, of Townsend, is no stranger to hard work, dedication, motivation and determination; and I’m not talking about his full time gig as a firefighter.

For the past 12-years, Carter has participated in a three-day, 250 mile bike ride from the New Hampshire/Canada border to Portsmouth, NH – all to help benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Approximately 60 firefighters will be participating in the Trans-NH Bike Ride and another 60 or so riders will join. The ride will start on Friday, June 22, and finish on Sunday, June 24.

Carter is looking to raise $2500.00 — Donate Here”

Trans NH Bike Ride » Trans NH Bike Ride: “This ride is a partnership between MDA, the firefighters of New Hampshire and all of the riders and staff who come together to make this the premier cycling fundraiser in New England.  We’re not the biggest by any means but we endeavor to make this the ride that you can’t stop coming back for. Held on the weekend after Father’s Day each year, the dates of this year’s ride are June 22, 23 and 24.”

New Hampshire Labor News: Governor Lynch Vetos HB1666 A Bill To Change Contract Negotiations.: “Citing that “HB 1666 would dramatically change the process of collective bargaining in New Hampshire by requiring the fiscal committee to approve all collective bargaining agreements. This runs counter to established law and procedure in New Hampshire, and would, in effect, turn the fiscal committee into its own state negotiating team, potentially requiring dozens of fiscal committee meetings.

We must work to uphold the Governors Veto of HB 1666 and perserve our Collective Bargaining Process.  We need to keep the extremist in our current legislature from taking control of negotiations for State Contracts.   The last vote on HB 1666 was 232 to 120.  We need contact our State Reps and Senators to ensure that they UPHOLD THE VETO!”

State worker bargaining bill vetoed | New Hampshire NEWS06: ” House Bill 1666 would require the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee to approve any contract negotiated with state employees. Lynch said the bill would hamper the executive branch’s ability to negotiate contracts and dramatically change the process. The bill was the one of only a few dealing with labor agreements and collective bargaining to be approved by lawmakers this year. House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, said lawmakers deserve to have a voice on state employee contracts. The bill creates greater accountability, he argued. O’Brien this session, continued to push for right-to-work legislation that would have prohibited unions from charging non-members for the cost of negotiating and administering contracts.”

Another Article on Governors Veto of HB1666

Governor Lynch also vetos SB 372 the Voter ID Bill
NH Gov. Lynch vetoes a handful of bills, override attempts likely: “One was aimed at making sure people registering to vote live in the state. The bill would require people registering to vote to sign a statement saying that they declare New Hampshire as their domicile and are subject to state laws, including laws requiring drivers to register their vehicles.
Lynch said that’s confusing because it uses the terms “domicile” and “resident” interchangeably even though they have different legal meanings, and that the motor vehicle provision is overly broad and would require retirees and young people who attend college in the state to register a car and apply for a license in order to vote.

“We need to encourage all New Hampshire citizens to vote and to participate fully in our democracy,” he said. “We also need to ensure that our election laws do not unfairly burden those voters that have recently established a domicile in New Hampshire and are qualified to vote in this state.””

Additional Sources on Veto of SB 372Gov. Lynch vetoes a handful of bills 
Lynch vetoes ‘early offer’ proposal 
Voter rules prove a hot topic with gubernatorial vetoes | New Hampshire NEWS06:

NH ranked in top 10 for manufacturing health | New Hampshire NEWS02: “MANCHESTER — New Hampshire posted a score of B+, putting it in the second tier of states with the best Manufacturing Industry Health, but still in the top 10, according to a report from Ball State University and Conexus Indiana. The 2012 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card ranked all 50 states on logistics, human capital, worker benefit costs and other factors affecting business. Only five got an A for Manufacturing Industry Health. New Hampshire scored highest on Human Capital — A.”

(National) Public Workers Face Continued Layoffs, and Recovery Is Hurt – NYTimes.com: “Companies have been slowly adding workers for more than two years. But pink slips are still going out in a crucial area: government.”

(National) 3 Labor Movement Victories You Didn’t Hear Anything About « Main Street: “Since June 5th, we’ve lost count of the number of Very Serious opinion pieces about the demise of the labor movement. Outside the DC bubble, however, it’s a different story. Using new tactics and old-fashioned gumption, workers are standing up all over the country, putting their jobs on the line, and advocating for a better life.

Here are three such instances that you didn’t hear anything about:”

American Airlines, Communications Workers of America Locked In Unionization Battle: “In December, Capasso signed a union petition with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), hoping a union would give her and the other roughly 10,000 passenger service agents at the airline giant more leverage in contract negotiations with the company.

“Many of us want a union because we want a voice in our future,” Capasso said. “As non-union [workers], we have no say in our future. American Airlines does to us whatever it sees fit.”

But the union election, which usually takes place a month after enough employees sign a petition, has been wrought with controversy and repeatedly delayed. On Thursday, a federal judge in Fort Worth will decide whether to issue an injunction to block the election, marking the latest chapter in a bitter seven-month battle between CWA and American Airlines.”

Are you a part of Working America?
As a result, the most important political initiative in America this year will not be any quickly thrown-together GOTV effort or additional political canvassing funded by liberal donors; it will be the organizing campaign that most faithfully and successfully builds on the traditional, grass-roots trade union model.

The organization that is most clearly following this approach is Working America—the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. As a result, it is, in the long-run, the most potentially game-changing progressive project in America.


On Thursday I Ran Into Someone Special……..

Between the Labor Committee sessions in the LOB and Capitol Building, I ran into a group of Firefighters.  After I stopped to say thank you to them for showing up today.  As I walked around shaking hands with some of them.  I was quickly discarded because someone much better started to approach.  Governor John Lynch stepped down from the Capitol and walked up to us.  The Governor actually thanked US for being here!  He also wanted to tell us something.  He said “You know that I have your back on this right?”  Then the Governor walked around and shook the hands of every person there.

As he walked away it made me think, what would New Hampshire be like if we did not have Governor Lunch there to protect us.  We know we would be a Right To Work state, but what else?  Would we even have collective bargaining at all? Would we be just as bad as OHIO or Wisconsin?

Every time I meet the Governor, I am proud that he has been there all along to watch over all of New Hampshire Residents! I knew there was a reason I voted for him.

A repost of AFL-CIO blog: N.H. Workers Buoyed by Today’s Victory

A re-post from the AFL-CIO Now Blog

N.H. Workers Buoyed by Today’s VictoryAFL-CIO communications staffer Nora Frederickson sends us this report.

Workers and union leaders in New Hampshire were ecstatic that months of hard work in New Hampshire paid off today when the state House failed to override Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto of a so-called right to work bill. Nearly 100 teachers, firefighters, postal workers and others showed up to ask their legislators to support the veto during the high-stakes session day and urged lawmakers to withstand pressure from Republican presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry as well as a rowdy group of Americans for Prosperity volunteers bused into New Hampshire for the day.
“I was confident that the reps on our side would be there, but it was still really nerve-wracking in the House,” said Felicia Augevich, a Fairpoint employee and member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 who helped monitor the session at the Legislature today.
I’m really proud of how everyone came together—Democrats and Republicans, private-sector and public-sector workers. We’re hoping that the victory today will send a positive message to the public, to the middle class, and to all of New Hampshire that collective bargaining really is what guarantees good wages and benefits for Americans. We’ve had one victory, but we still have a lot ahead of us.
Working family allies in the Legislature stood up before the vote to argue passionately against the “right to work” for less bill. When the vote was finally called at 11:55 a.m., working people greeted the results with jubilation.
After the House floor cleared, teachers, firefighters and ironworkers gathered on the steps of the Statehouse to celebrate the results of months of collaboration.
“Make no mistake, we triumped because we stood together as a united labor movement,”New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie told the crowd.
Harriet Spencer of AFSCME’s Council 93 agreed.
Today’s vote proved that solidarity is more than a word.

New Hampshire Labor News for 10/22/11

Governor Lynch Calls For Education Funding Amendment: “Governor John Lynch surprised top Republican lawmakers today when he released an education funding constitutional amendment.
The amendment would give the state more discretion to target financial aid to schools than it has today.
Critics are concerned about how the governor’s proposal would affect court oversight of education funding.
Governor John Lynch and Republican leaders all want to see the state adopt a constitutional amendment.
Lynch, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President share the belief the state should target money to the neediest communities… even if that means other cities and towns get nothing.
The three men have been meeting to hammer out a deal since December.
The governor says his proposal is the only way he knows to give all children in the state a good education.
“It affirms the state’s responsibility for public education. But at the same time it allows the state to send more money to the communities and children who need it more than others.”

Governor’s proposal on education amendment criticized by House, Senate leaders – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““It is my strongly held belief that the state has a responsibility to ensure that every child in New Hampshire has the opportunity for a quality education,” Lynch said. “But to accomplish that goal, we need an amendment that allows the state to target aid to communities with the greatest needs, and that is what this amendment will do.”
House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, and Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, reacted with surprise, O’Brien with condemnation, after reading the latest wording through a press release.
“It is disappointing we have to read about this for the first time in the press and not hear from the governor himself,” O’Brien said in a statement. “As such, this appears to be more of a publicity stunt than an actual concrete proposal to resolve the education funding problem created by the courts.”

Media-Newswire.com: “MANCHESTER – Governor John Lynch today went to Manchester Community College where he met with several New Hampshire workers enrolled in the WorkReady NH program, a new job skills training program administered through the Community College System. WorkReady NH is the third and final component of New Hampshire Working, Governor Lynch’s innovative jobs initiative.

Governor Lynch saw firsthand how WorkReady NH is addressing gaps in worker readiness in the areas of math, reading and problem solving. It is also addressing so-called “soft skills” such as workplace behaviors, teamwork and communications.

“The stories I heard today were quite compelling. These people were eager to get back in the workplace and WorkReady is helping them by highlighting their strengths and identifying which areas they need to improve upon,” Governor Lynch said. “By earning certification through WorkReady these workers will able to demonstrate to potential employers they have the skills needed in the workplace.”

$1M for LGC lawyers ‘obscene,’ says state official | SeacoastOnline.com: “CONCORD — The Local Government Center will spend $1 million “or better” on lawyers to defend itself against claims alleging it skimmed and mismanaged $100 million of insurance money, predicts Bureau of Securities Regulation attorney Earle Wingate III.

Wingate filed a 4-count complaint against the LGC alleging breaches of corporate law, financial impropriety and his demand that $100 million be returned to funding entities, which include taxpayers, public employees and retirees. The LGC was formed as an insurance pool for cities and towns to achieve favorable rates for employees’ health coverage and property liability claims.

Wingate said his office will seek detailed financial information regarding legal costs for the LGC’s defense.”

Guinta’ propaganda:(Letter to the Editor)
 “Did anyone else receive congressman’s Guinta’s “Special Report” on taxes, energy prices and unemployment in the mail? I, for one, am disturbed that this piece of campaign propaganda was paid for with taxpayer dollars. Our congressman is spreading misinformation and distorting the truth on my dime, and I am not happy about it.
The large four-page color flyer is titled, “What’s affecting your family budget?” I can tell you one thing: Mr. Guinta’s refusal to tax the top 0.5 percent of the wealthiest Americans in order to help balance the budget is a huge problem for you, me, and our children and grandchildren.
Education funding is just one example. Guinta’s flyer boasts of his many visits to local schools to speak with elementary school children. How nice. Under the “Improving Education” section of his flyer, he states that he wants “to see how individual schools, students and teachers are facing the challenges they face.” How many visits will it take for him to realize his visits alone will not improve education for our students?”

New Hampshire Labor News: What Are You Doing Today??: “If you are looking for something to do today here are two ideas. The first is an open town hall with New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien and other state reps. He is asking for real workers to attend and talk about Jobs in New Hampshire. Do not miss this opportunity to meet with the Speaker and ask him why is he attacking the same workers he says he is trying to help.

The Second event today is Occupy NH. They will be hosting another General Assembly at Veterans Park today. The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked many local Occupy events. The people from OccupyNH are looking for a big turnout to show that we are all part of the 99%. If you can, go and show your support for the Occupy movement. Be a part of the social revolution that is sweeping the nation.”

“NH Seeks to Privatize Prisons”, is that really a good idea???

This is a new article on New Hampshire seeking to Privatize the Prison System in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire to seek bids for private prisons – BusinessWeek: “This month, New Hampshire will seek bids from private businesses to build and possibly operate a 3,000-bed men’s prison and a 300-bed women’s prison.
The bids will explore having private companies build and operate the prisons as well as the possibility of such companies building them and leasing them back to the state to operate, Corrections Commissioner William Wrenn told The Associated Press. The state also will ask the companies for other ways that privately building the prisons would save money.
The state issued bid requests this month for privately operating nursing, pharmacy and sex offender treatment operations. Wrenn said the hope is that a private contractor would hire the state workers performing those functions now.”

I wrote this post the other day about why privatization is bad for New Hampshire and this seems like the perfect time to post it.

“Shouldn’t some services like our toll roads be turned over to the private sector which understands business and how to make a profit?”

The privatization of Government services sound like a great idea in principle.  It would lower the financial burden on the state budget by allowing someone else to operate the contract or company.  This question raises the issue of Toll Roads and allowing business to operate them.  My short answer is no, and here is why.  Toll roads have been a thorn in the sides of many New Hampshire residents for many many years.  It is almost like clockwork that someone in the State Legislature will draft a bill to remove the tolls on New Hampshire roads.  Many people say the tolls are too high! I am sure you do not hear them complaining about how clean the roads are after a snow storm.  The same money they pay in tolls helps to plow the roads in the winter time and re-surface them in the summer.   So we really do not want to get rid of the tolls.  So lets go with the idea of having a “for profit” company operate the tolls.  What do you think will happen to those tolls if a company is looking to make a profit on their services? Do you think they cost of tolls will go down?  I don’t think so.  The State however uses the money brought in from toll roads to help offset the budget cost for State DOT projects.  When someone else is profiting from the tolls then we as New Hampshire residents would have to come up with that lost revenue somewhere else.

The other reason many lawmakers are pushing for “privatization” is to legally break any collective bargaining agreements it has with the workers.  By changing the Employer the Labor Unions would have to re-negotiate their contracts or even worse have to re-certify the union.  In most cases this means cut in pay, higher health costs, and less time off.  In some cases these workers will end up going from full time State Employee’s with health coverage and retirement benefits, to “part time”. By making them part time they can avoid paying for things like health, retirement, and time off.  In our current economic situation why would we want to create a situation where workers with secure jobs are forced to take pay cuts and loose work hours?  Are we trying to push more people out of work, or make them get second jobs to make ends meet?

NH Labor News for 10/5/11 including info on LGC, NHRS, NH Jobs

Official promises unbiased hearing for Local Government Center case: “Donald Mitchell said prior to his retirement last year he opined for and against the views of public unions and employers as executive director of the Public Employee Labor Relations board.
“I’ve ruled on decisions for and against public entities and their unions,” said Mitchell at a prehearing conference.”
“Your client deserves a fully attentive, impartial hearing officer, and I suggest that is what you will receive,” Mitchell said in response.
Mitchell announced he’ll preside at the next meeting Oct. 18 when he’s expected to rule on whether other parties can intervene in this case including unions for local firefighters and police officers.

Panel proposes supplanting state’s retirement system: “A special legislative committee studying the current public pension system is pushing to start shifting workers out of the plan by the end of 2012.
“My goal is to have something in place by the end of 2012,” Sen. Warren Groen, R-Rochester, said Tuesday after a committee meeting.”

“It’s an awfully messy thing they’re talking about doing, but they’ve presented no figures, no facts whatsoever to support the position they have,” said Diana Lacey, president of the State Employees Association.

Shipyard may be at risk in budget war, U.S. senators sayU.S. senators from New Hampshire and Maine said this week they hope the specter of automatic federal budget cuts is so unnerving to Congress that members will agree to abide by the outcome of a “supercommittee” currently working to make reductions.

The stakes, they said, couldn’t be higher, with ramifications that would be felt right down to the local level, including at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Gov. Lynch launches third phase of jobs program in Portsmouth: “In an effort to continue lowering New Hampshire’s unemployment rate, Gov. John Lynch officially announced on Tuesday morning his third and final phase of a jobs initiative called New Hampshire Working.

The third phase, titled Work Ready N.H., is a program that works with the Community College System of New Hampshire to perform assessments of individuals looking to improve their problem-solving and soft skills for the job market. So far, four of the community colleges in the state have joined the initiative, with the other three hoping to become involved in the near future. “

NH primary could be held in December : “Secretary of State Bill Gardner said holding the first-in-the-nation primary in December remains a “real possibility” as two other states leapfrogged in front of Florida’s defiant decision to hold its own primary next Jan. 31.
“I had said for some months that given how many states were talking about moving up, the chances were increasing that we would move into January,” Gardner said during an interview. “Now that Florida has acted and some other states have responded, the question becomes will we move from January back into December? I don’t know what those odds would be right now but it remains a real possibility.”

Teledyne Oil & Gas’ Florida expansion won’t affect New Hampshire jobs : “Reports that New Hampshire might lose a high-tech business opportunity to Florida were premature, according to state officials.
The state supposedly was competing with Florida to land a new global and research headquarters for Teledyne Oil & Gas – a technology company that specializes in deep-sea engineering solutions – but one company executive said New Hampshire was never in the running.”

New Hampshire Labor News for 9/27/11….

Rallies support bill to aid postal service

A pair of rallies have been scheduled in Manchester and Concord next week, coinciding with hundreds across the country, to generate support for a bill designed to help the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems.
Supporters will gather from 12:30-2 p.m. at City Hall Plaza in Concord and from 4:30-6 p.m. at City Hall Plaza in Manchester to rally with postal workers, according to organizers.
The Postal Service is studying a number of measures – including shrinking the number of its 250 processing facilities around the country, one of which is in Nashua – to save $3 billion annually.

Former mayor Donchess gets police union backing in run for alderman

He received the backing of the Nashua Police Patrolman’s Association, representing 116 officers below the rank of sergeant, and the Nashua Police Supervisors Association, which represents 36 officers under the rank of captain.

NH gov orders wage freeze for nonunion workers

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch issued an executive order on Monday freezing wage increases for executive branch workers not covered by union contracts.

The State Employees’ Association, which represents most of the state’s workers, has already agreed to a one-year freeze in step increases in its latest contract with the state. The state continues to negotiate with the New Hampshire Troopers Association and New England Police Benevolent Association.

Salary freeze: Lynch makes it official

High-level state officials and political appointees will get no raises for the next year under an executive order Gov. John Lynch signed Monday.

Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said that the administration has frozen executive branch salaries for close to four years, but the new order is a more formal step. The order covers several hundred employees, Manning said.

Community college grant to support manufacturing training

New Hampshire’s community college system was awarded a $19.9 million federal grant Monday, money that will be used to develop training programs to support the state’s advanced manufacturing industry.
The money will be dispersed among the state’s seven community colleges, including Nashua Community College, to develop programs aimed at giving students the skills they will need in advanced manufacturing jobs.
The money will focus on those who are out of work and will be specific to the needs of the region.

$20m for community colleges and retraining

The programs will be designed to help the unemployed, returning veterans, workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign competition, and adult and part-time students. In addition to programs at the colleges, training may also be offered online and on-site at manufacturing plants.

“Making it possible for unemployed Americans to return to work is a top priority of President Obama’s. This initiative is about providing access to training that leads to real jobs,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a statement.

Virginia Governor McDonnell blasts Obama in New Hampshire speech

McDonnell spoke of the many similarities between the two states, including low unemployment and love of NASCAR. He received the loudest applause when he mentioned the need to tap the nation’s natural resources as part of a complete energy plan and to turn New Hampshire into a right-to-work state.

NH Democrats want Guinta fundraising answers

The state Democratic Party has asked federal election officials to look into fundraising efforts by Congressman Frank Guinta, an outgrowth of the dispute over Republican Party leadership this summer.

Democrats on Monday asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate a news report about Guinta’s fundraising published last month.

The report in the New Hampshire Union Leader said 1st District Rep. Guinta tried to get the Republican Governors Association to donate $100,000 to the state Republican Party, but was rebuffed over concerns about former GOP chair Jack Kimball’s management of party affairs.

NH Labor New for 9/21/11

North Hampton Firefighters allege labor violation:

An unfair labor practice complaint filed by the North Hampton Professional Firefighters’ union could stall the re-establishment of the town’s paramedic program and puts thousands of dollars in federal grant money at risk, town and union officials said.

The union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the New Hampshire Public Employees Labor Relations Board on July 28, over what it said was an attempt by town officials to deal directly with union members over an expansion of health care plan options. On Sept. 13, the union sought to amend this charge indicating that the town continued to violate the existing contract by directly offering firefighters the opportunity to become paramedics and establishing a 5 percent pay increase for those who complete the training program without union approval.

“We feel that the way the plan was announced is an attempt to circumvent the union,” said North Hampton firefighter Mike Tully. “They have to do it the right way.

Bass and Guinta make watchdog group’s “Most corrupt” list

New Hampshire’s federal representatives have earned a dubious distinction by landing on a watchdog group’s list of “Most corrupt members of Congress.”
The nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on Tuesday said Republican U.S. Reps. Charles Bass and Frank Guinta are on their list of 14 “corrupt” lawmakers.

Group backs national ambulance service to serve Nashua

A city advisory committee has recommended hiring a national ambulance company to replace Rockingham Ambulance at the end of the month.
The Ambulance Advisory Committee, which includes Fire Chief Brian Morrissey and Police Chief Donald Conley, chose American Medical Response over two local companies that bid on the contract.

Personable Lynch tough act to follow

What do you say about a politician who served our state with competence, grace and dignity for what will be a record eight years now that he has decided to step down and the end of his term?
You say, “Thank you, governor,” and pray his successor is up to task of meeting the high standard he set for the corner office.

“For me, being governor of the state of New Hampshire is the best job in the world,” he said last Thursday. “Serving in this role is the highest privilege of my life. I remain humbled and honored by the trust the people of this great state have placed in me. I thank all the citizens of our state from the bottom of my heart.”

Manchester Primary elections
Low turnout, few surprises in Manchester primary elections

There were few surprises in Tuesday’s municipal primary, except perhaps for the near-record low voter turnout.

Four men are moving on in the Alderman At-Large race. Current Alderman Dan O’Neil was the top vote-getter with 2,143 votes; local business owner Joe Kelly Levasseur came in second with 1,894; current Alderman At-Large Mike Lopez was third with 1,796; and state Rep. Will Infantine secured the last spot with 1,312.

$10m grantto aid NH’smentally ill

After state funding cuts that left a number of social service agencies in the state reeling, one sector of the industry received a significant boost this week.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded the state a multiyear, multimillion dollar grant to improve the general health of people with severe mental illness. The $10 million over five years will expand a program created at a local mental health center to community centers throughout the state.

Litchfield voters will decide Wednesday how to spend unexpected state money

LITCHFIELD – It’s still six months until Town Meeting season, but voters will be asked to show up at Campbell High School on Wednesday night to decide how the School District should spend an estimated $2 million in extra state funding.
The special meeting vote will happen immediately after a Deliberative Session, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Results will be announced Wednesday night.
The process is different than the spring Town Meeting schedule, when a Deliberative Session is followed several weeks later by a ballot vote.

Sources: Lynch Will Not Seek Re-Election

If these rumors are true we will be fighting for a new Governor in the next election. We are very grateful for all that Governor Lynch has done for New Hampshire over the last seven years……

Sources: Lynch Will Not Seek Re-Election » WMUR Political Scoop: “The longest serving and most popular New Hampshire Governor in the modern era will announce tomorrow that he will not seek re-election next year, leaving a wide open scrum of a contest among those wishing to be his replacement.

Sources with direct knowledge of Lynch’s decision said he will announce his decision at a press conference tomorrow morning in Manchester.

Last year, Lynch became the first in hundreds of years to win a fourth two-year term as governor. He won despite being targeted with millions of dollars from Republican interest groups. He won despite facing a Republican wave so big that he was the only major Democrat left standing.

The Republican victories were so large that he was basically rendered irrelevant, as essentially the second weakest governor in America. Republicans in the House and Senate didn’t have to work with him to craft policy. They could override his vetoes if he didn’t like what they offered. He even needed to convince a majority of the all-Republican Executive Council to approve his commissioners or judges.”

From other sources,
Rumors circulate about Gov. Lynch’s political future | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — Will he or won’t he? The state’s only governor to serve four consecutive terms, Gov. John Lynch, will discuss his future plans Thursday at Manchester’s Northwest Elementary School.

There has been much speculation in Concord this summer about whether Lynch would seek a fifth term as governor, or if he would step down after his fourth term as most observers expected after he won his last election in 2010.

WKXL’s Chris Ryan tweeted Wednesday evening that the radio station had learned the governor will not run again. Several other media sources also reported Wednesday that Lynch would announce he would not run.”

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