|Something to thing about.
This is the power that labor has!
PolitiFact: Wishful thinking, but O’Brien gets it wrong on jobs claim – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““There’s 400 more people working in health care today in New Hampshire than when we passed the budget.”
– Rep. William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Monday, May 7, in an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.
The health care industry was a bright spot during the recession, but job estimates show that it didn’t rebound from the state budget cuts the way O’Brien reported. The most recent state estimates show that jobs in the health care industry, combined with social assistance, have remained flat or even decreased – not gained – since April 2011, when the House initially passed the budget. And since the state budget took effect in June 2011, the industry has lost about 700 jobs. There is one measure that shows some growth, but it was only a snapshot and doesn’t cover the time period O’Brien was talking about. Based on the most authoritative numbers that include the most recent data, we rate this claim False.”
Failed teachers deal opens state review | New Hampshire NEWS06
: “MANCHESTER — A provision in a tentative agreement turned down by members of the Manchester Education Association may affect city contracts with other unions and how they fund the New Hampshire Retirement System.
Although the MEA provision is basically moot because the teachers voted down the tentative agreement, it did lead to a legal ruling from the state Retirement System noting retirees are not permitted to cover their own contribution to the state retirement fund as well as the employers’ share. “
Focus on extremes hurts common good – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Rather than valuing the incredible contribution of our public school teachers and continuing the hard work of fixing what might be failing in our schools, conversations now tend toward scapegoating teachers for our growing frustration as we lose job security, retirement security and employer-paid benefits. If we can no longer find an employer to pay our health coverage, why should public servants have these benefits?
Rather than insisting that we all have the security of health care and retirement benefits after a lifetime of work, we cede our future to those who desire greater instability.
Those who attack our public servants under a “liberty agenda” forget America’s greatness rests in its dedication to the “common good.””
Great Work by the members of the IAFF from Maine and New Hampshire for risking their live to save us all!
Firefighters on submarine hit intense heat, smoke | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME
: “KITTERY — Firefighters who confronted a blaze inside the nuclear submarine USS Miami encountered a dark, hellish atmosphere of intense heat and heavy smoke, two firefighters at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard said Thursday.
Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Whitehouse and firefighter Dan Tice said each crew sent into the 360-foot ship had only a few minutes to deal with the fire before they had to pull out and be replaced by others with fresh oxygen tanks.
They said it took time and effort just to navigate the narrow maze of submarine hallways in order to reach the forward section of the ship, where the fire was burning. The hallways were so narrow it was difficult for firefighters to pass each other. Then the heat and the dwindling oxygen supply in their air packs forced them to leave and be replaced by another crew.
“That’s why the guys were taking a beating,” Tice said. “We went through probably 75 shifts like that.””
NH education, business leaders aim to work more closely, better prepare students for jobs – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Local business leaders and education officials gathered at Nashua Community College to identify problems and talk about possible solutions to fixing the gap between education and manufacturing in New Hampshire – the state’s largest job sector.
Representatives came from the state Department of Education, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the state Business and Industry Association and the New Hampshire High Technology Council, as well as many employees and owners of small businesses.
Gov. John Lynch said state businesses need skilled workers, especially in manufacturing, and that the way to guarantee that is through education.”
GOP has pro-business agenda | SeacoastOnline.com
: As for the cutting of higher educational funding, none of us wanted to cut our university system’s budget, but there was no choice. Democrats joined Republicans in not proposing any new taxes or any increases in existing taxes to avoid these or any other cuts. Dartmouth College, a private institution, when faced with financial problems during the same period, chose to cut some 30 non-core classes which were favorites of professors but not popular with students, and thus financial losers. That was a rational action on their part. Why is it when Dartmouth cuts $100 million from its budget over two years it is considered good management, but when UNH does similar cuts, those encouraging streamlining are branded as anti-education? Fiduciary responsibility is fiduciary responsibility, whether in the private sector or the public sector. There is no evidence that the quality of education at either Dartmouth or UNH has been diminished by the streamlining that has occurred. It should be pointed out that UNH President Huddleston is doing the best he can faced with an intransigent faculty union. Most states are faced with having to make cuts in their state university systems. N.H. is no different.
Insurers cite 3-year-old claim, refuse to pay LGC legal costs | SeacoastOnline.com
:CONCORD — Insurers for the Local Government Center are refusing to pay more than $1 million in LGC legal bills because, they allege, the costs to defend ongoing allegations by the state mirror a lawsuit filed by the state firefighters union three years ago.
The disputed legal costs are for the LGC to defend against a Secretary of State complaint alleging the LGC failed to return $100 million in surplus funds to member municipalities and formed illegal shell companies in Delaware. The state also alleges the LGC improperly invested member money in risky investments and skimmed money from insurance pools to create a workers’ compensation program, from which only some members can benefit.
The LGC, which provides municipal health and liability insurance, filed suit against its insurance providers on Feb. 24 for refusing to pay legal bills associated with the state allegations and stated the cost will exceed $1 million. In spite of that, the LGC released a subsequent statement to its municipal members announcing that “like all responsible nonprofit organizations,” it “carries liability insurance.”
Risk Pool Measure Now in Hands of Negotiators | New Hampshire Public Radio
: “Lawmakers will look to come to terms on how to regulate groups that sell insurance to New Hampshire cities and towns.
Some are concerned the House-passed plan could be hard on taxpayers.
This legislation comes on the heels of a Secretary of State investigation into the practices of New Hampshire’s largest public risk pool the Local Government Center.”
House, Senate school funding plans to be scrutinized | New Hampshire NEWS06
: “CONCORD — Constitutional lawyers will parse every word in House- and Senate-proposed constitutional amendments on education funding over the long holiday weekend.
Key lawmakers hope the work may lead to a compromise between House and Senate leaders and the governor’s office before Thursday’s deadline.
If a compromise is reached, the House and Senate will have to approve it by 60 percent majorities to place the question on the general election ballot in November, where it will need two-thirds of the voters to be approved.
“This issue is bigger than any one of us,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro. “That is why I continue to feel optimistic we will get this done.””
Education funding amendment panel: We’re not done yet | Concord Monitor: “House and Senate lawmakers working on a compromise over a constitutional amendment on education funding find themselves trying to balance the legalese desired by each side without creating a text that looks like gobbledygook to voters on the ballot in November.
The committee of conference tasked with negotiating the amendment reconvened for less than five minutes yesterday to tell those in attendance they haven’t quite figured it out and need to spend more time talking with attorneys. On Tuesday, the committee met for about a half hour to make brief opening statements. They have until next Thursday to sign a deal to take back to their respective chambers.”
Senate panel votes against new round of base closures – Fosters
: “WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Senate panel on Thursday rejected the Pentagon’s call for another round of domestic military base closings as it completed a far-reaching, $631 billion defense budget for next year.
Members of the Armed Services Committee unanimously backed the budget, including New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, Republican, and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another GOP member.
Speaking before Congress in February, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta made the case for two new rounds of military base closures, beginning 2013 to 2015.
In order to close or consolidate military bases in the United States legislation from Congress is required to create a bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which then studies the problem and makes recommendations to the president and the defense secretary.”
Campaign disclosure: Locally, nationally – Fosters
: “The problem with Citizens United is not that it allows endless money to flow into Super PACs. It is that it does not hold donors accountable for that money.
Should the New Hampshire Legislature fail to do that on a local basis, it will have left a gaping hole in the law.
The voting public has a right and a need to know who is lobbying for whom or what. Allowing donors to anonymously hide behind a Super PAC or local advocacy group’s moniker should be a political sin, one not allowed by law.”
Now in Penn. they are going straight for the collective bargaining rights of the teachers.
After Cutting School Funding, Pennsylvania Republicans Are Going After Teachers Themselves « Main Street: “The Senate Education Committee in Pennsylvania is planning to fast-track a bill that could end collective bargaining rights for school employees.
Here’s how they’re doing it. First, in his first two budgets, Governor Tom Corbett and his allies cut almost a billion dollars from public education in Pennsylvania. Like his corporate-backed brethren Scott Walker and John Kasich, Corbett repeated the lie that the cuts were necessary because the state was broke, while ignoring the millions in lost revenue from corporate tax loopholes.
The second step is to use the funding “crisis” – the crisis that they created with their deep and unnecessary cuts – to attack the rights of teachers and other school employees. The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Republican Senator Jeffrey Piccola, is planning to amend House Bill 1307 to allow the state to cancel current collective bargaining agreements in “financially distressed” school districts.”