Kuster Helps Introduce Bill in Response to Hobby Lobby Decision

Ann kuster head shot LG

Legislation would protect Granite State women’s right to make their own health care decisions

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision to restrict women’s access to employer-covered contraceptive health coverage, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today helped introduce the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014. This legislation would explicitly prohibit for-profit employers from using religious beliefs to deny employees coverage of contraception or any other vital health services required by federal law.

“Women’s personal health care choices can and should only be decided by each individual woman for herself, not dictated by her employer,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I was very disappointed by the Hobby Lobby decision, which strips away the right of working Granite State women to access comprehensive health care coverage. I’m proud to help introduce legislation that will take medical decisions out of the hands of the Supreme Court, politicians, and corporate bosses, and put them back where they belong – in the hands of the patient and her doctor.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014 would protect employees’ rights to all federally mandated health services, including contraception. The bill exempts federally mandated health services from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, while keeping in place the existing exemption for religious employers (e.g. houses of worship) and accommodation of religious non-profits who do not wish to provide contraceptives. A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Patty Murray (WA), and Mark Udall (CO).

UPDATED: Senator Shaheen Backs Legislation To Protect Women’s Health After Hobby Lobby Decision, Gov. Hassan Applauds Senators

Senator Shaheen on the Senate Floor 4-29-14  (Screen Shot)

Legislation would keep health care options between women and their doctors, not women and their employers

(Washington, DC) – In response to last week’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will be joining a coalition of Senators today to introduce legislation that would protect women’s health care from employer interference. The legislation, the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, would help ensure that no employer who provides group health insurance coverage to its employees can deny any specific health benefits, including contraception coverage, to employees or their dependents.

“Women, not their employers, should be in charge of decisions about their own health care,” Shaheen said. “We need to act now to make sure employers aren’t selectively denying health care to their employees. Women must have the access to the health coverage and benefits, including contraception coverage, they have been guaranteed under federal law.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, introduced by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) and co-sponsored by Shaheen, would amend the Public Health Service Act to prevent employers from denying their employees or their employees’ dependents health coverage that is guaranteed to them under existing law. Under the legislation, employers, regardless of religious affiliation would not be allowed to deny their employees contraceptive coverage or any other specific health care item or service. The law also maintains the existing exemption for houses of worship and religious non-profits.

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UPDATED 11:30

Governor Hassan Statement on the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan today issued the following statement on the introduction of the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act in the United States Senate by Senators Patty Murray and Mark Udall and cosponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen:

“When women and their families can make their own health care and family planning choices, they do better economically, and the economy of our entire state and nation does better. With its Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court allowed businesses, based on the religious beliefs of their officers, to discriminate against female employees.

“Company-provided health insurance is part of a worker’s compensation, not a gift. When women are denied health insurance coverage that covers their basic health care needs, but their male colleagues receive full coverage for their basic health care, then women are – unfairly – being compensated less than their co-workers. Contraception costs are one of the biggest health care expenses for women and their families. Affordable access to this basic health care coverage is critical to the economic security of women and families.

“The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act ensures that women are free from interference when they make decisions about contraception and other health care and it ensures that they are free from discrimination in employment because they will receive equal compensation for equal work. This bill protects women’s access to critical health services while also protecting women’s religious freedom. I applaud Senator Shaheen and Senator Murray for their leadership on this issue, and I urge Congress to pass the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act as quickly as possible in order to reinforce our commitment to building an even stronger country in which women are treated as true equals.”

Senator Shaheen Introduces Bill To Support And Expand Afterschool STEM Education Programs

Senator Shaheen on the Senate Floor 4-29-14  (Screen Shot)

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced legislation to strengthen and expand afterschool programs that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and help encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. The Supporting Afterschool STEM Act would provide resources to support afterschool STEM programing and strengthen state, local and community partnerships that research has demonstrated is critical in building STEM-relevant skills and interest among students.

“Encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM fields will help meet future economic demand for skilled, high-tech workers in the 21st century,” Shaheen said. “Giving young people the opportunity to get involved in STEM after school and develop STEM-related skills at a young age will help foster our economic competitiveness in the future and ultimately help grow New Hampshire’s economy.”

Research shows that most students who go on to pursue STEM fields in college and beyond are exposed to and engaged in STEM activities by the 8th grade; by bringing STEM education and activites to students in afterschool programs, Shaheen’s bill will help grow our increasingly important STEM workforce.

“The STEM Education Coalition is proud to stand behind Senator Shaheen’s Supporting Afterschool STEM Act,” said James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition. “One of our Coalition’s top goals is to ensure that we are using every opportunity possible to improve student success in the critical STEM fields, and this bill will help advance the notion that afterschool and informal learning programs have a powerful role to play in addressing our national challenges in STEM education. We need to leverage federal programs in this area, along with private-sector and non-profit efforts to ensure that we are improving student access to high quality afterschool STEM experiences – and this bill will help do that.”

“We commend Senator Shaheen for her ongoing commitment to afterschool programs and their role in STEM education,” said Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance. “In New Hampshire and across the country, afterschool providers have enthusiastically embraced STEM as an important component of their offerings for children. Many providers want and need support and technical assistance to grow and scale their STEM programs. Senator Shaheen’s bill recognizes this need and will help them get those resources, leveraging existing support systems like the New Hampshire Afterschool Network and other such statewide afterschool networks.”

 “The New Hampshire Afterschool Network is pleased to endorse this bill,” said Lynn Stanley, NH Afterschool Network Lead and Afterschool Master Professional. “Afterschool and summer programs provide children and youth hands-on, experiential activities that encourage an interest in STEM learning. Younger children exposed to fun and engaging STEM activities outside the school day are more likely to take upper level science and math classes in high school. This sets them on an educational pathway leading to STEM fields and careers.”

Shaheen has made promoting STEM education one of her top priorities in the Senate and is a recognized leader by STEM Connector in their 100 Women in STEM publication. Shaheen helped launch and co-chairs the Senate STEM Caucus and has been a longtime supporter of efforts that promote programs like FIRST Robotics since her days as New Hampshire’s governor. She has met with students across New Hampshire to promote STEM programs and promote policies like the Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program to provide high schools with new incentives to invest in STEM programs.

Senate Passes Shaheen Backed Legislation To Improve On-The-Job Training Programs

Shaheen-021109-18432- 0009

Jobs legislation expands on-the-job training 

(Washington, DC) – The U.S. Senate approved bipartisan legislation today to improve the nation’s workforce development system and prioritize on-the-job training (OJT) programs that have been championed by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). With OJT programs included, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will modernize and improve existing federal workforce development programs, help workers attain the skills necessary for 21st-century jobs, and foster the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete.

“On-the-job training programs are a proven way to help the unemployed find and keep a job while making sure businesses have incentives to hire,” Shaheen said. “The bipartisan jobs plan the Senate passed today is great news for New Hampshire’s economy and job seekers around the country, and I urge the House to pass this common-sense plan so we can help Americans who need jobs find and keep work.”

Shaheen has been a strong advocate for workforce training programs that give American workers the knowledge and skills needed to compete for quality jobs, and has introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MI), the On-the-Job Training Act, to help Americans obtain employment and learn the skills they need to keep it.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act significantly expands opportunities for OJT, supporting access to real-world education and workforce development while encouraging businesses to expand hiring. The legislation requires state workforce investment boards to disseminate information identifying OJT opportunities and boosts incentives for employers to participate in OJT programs. Additionally, the bill focuses on career pathways and prioritizes work-based learning opportunities for out-of-school youth, including OJT, to give them the support they need to build successful careers.

OJT programs connect unemployed workers with jobs and provide employers with training subsidies, and have a proven track record as one of the most effective ways of helping unemployed workers gain new skills to find and retain employment. In New Hampshire, OJT, or “earn while you learn,” has proven particularly beneficial for long-term unemployed workers who might otherwise have not been able to find work and for employers who have been able to bring on additional staff to sustain and grow their businesses. According to a 2014 White House report, OJT agreements have been established with more than 170 New Hampshire companies in numerous industries including the manufacturing, service, information technology, telecommunications, engineering, medical, construction, energy and administration industries. As of the report’s January release, 96 percent of exited New Hampshire OJT participants remained employed six months after exiting the program, 86 percent of whom were still on the payroll of their OJT employer or OJT-related employer, rates significantly above other federal job training programs.

Senators Introduce Legislation To Protect Motorcycle Riders Rights

Motorcycle rider (image Philo Nordlund)

Motorcycle rider (image Philo Nordlund)Bipartisan amendment would prohibit
motorcycle-only checkpoints for one year
 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that would prohibit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from issuing grants to states for motorcycle-only checkpoints for one year. The amendment is similar to legislation introduced by the Senators earlier this year. The NHTSA initiated the Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration Program in 2009, which provides states with funds to conduct discriminatory, motorcycle-only checkpoints where riders are specifically targeted by police to check that their vehicles meet state standards for noise, handlebar length, tire condition and a range of other legal requirements.

The bipartisan effort would block federal resources for one year from being used to fund these types of discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints. Currently, motorcycle riders are already subject to state registration, inspection, licensing and helmet laws and must stop at sobriety check points like all other motorists.

“Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire is a perfect reminder of how important motorcycles are to our state’s identity and economy,” Shaheen said. “These checkpoints unfairly discriminate against motorcyclists who already must comply with registration and inspection requirements like all motorists.”

“I often hear Wisconsin motorcyclists refer to their passion for the ‘freedom of the road,’” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, those freedoms would be severally, and I would argue unconstitutionally, hindered by the presence of federally funded motorcycle-only checkpoints. Bikers should not be stopped, searched and inspected by law enforcement solely because they’re on two wheels and not four.”

“Requiring bikers to drive through motorcycle-only checkpoints is not only an ineffective use of taxpayer dollars, but it also raises legitimate questions about discrimination against motorcyclists,” Manchin said. “In West Virginia, bikers travel near and far to drive on our winding roads and enjoy the beautiful scenery, which attracts tourism and helps boost both our local and state economies. As a Harley owner myself, I am pleased to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation that simply would prohibit yet another senseless and unreasonable federal regulation which could harm states’ economies.”

“With motorcyclists from across the region in New Hampshire this week for Laconia Motorcycle Week, we renew our opposition to the use of federal funds to pay for discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints,” Ayotte said. “Motorcyclists shouldn’t be unfairly targeted just because they’re driving a motorcycle and not a car, and our amendment would protect their rights to abide by the same laws as other motor vehicles.”

Evidence suggests that motorcycle-only checkpoints do not effectively reduce motorcycle injuries or fatalities and do not address the factors that are the main contributors to motorcycle accidents. Accordingly, NHTSA does not list the practice in its own 2013 Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Offices, which details policies and activities that the agency considers effective at reducing crash injuries and fatalities.

6-16-14 AFT-NH Legislative Update: The Session Comes To A Close, A Look Back At What We Have Done

AFT NH Legislative Update

AFT NH Legislative Update

We succeeded in defeating, once again, the so called “’right to work—for less” bill. Over the past two years hundreds of NH citizens voiced opposition to this bill with only a handful of people speaking in support. This attack on working people like you is led by out of state interests such as the National Right to Work Committee and ALEC.

We succeeded in defeating a bill that would have permitted audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of performing his or her official duties. All employees, both public and private, should have a reasonable understanding that when they are performing their jobs that they are not intimidated or harassed and should have a safe working environment.

We succeeded in passing a bill relative to the filing with a registry of deeds of a fraudulent document purporting to create a lien or claim against real property. As public employees just wanting to do our jobs we should not have to worry that someone unhappy with us could go the county’s Register of Deeds and file a million dollar false claim against your property.

We succeeded in defeating retirement legislation that would hurt public employees even more that the bad legislation passed by the Republicans in the 2010-2011 sessions. AFT-NH believes that:

  • Security in retirement is something every worker deserves after a long, successful career in public service. These workers, after dedicating their working life to educating children, enforcing the law, fighting fires and helping our communities run every day, have earned a benefit that must allow them to retire with dignity.
  • The benefit should ensure a predictable cost for the employers and employees, and it should create, and sustain, a high-quality workforce that is attractive to younger workers to invest a lifetime in public service, in turn adding value to the state’s economy.
  • In exchange for a lifetime of service, workers need to rely on defined and predictable retirement security that is protected against inflationary pressures. Their benefit should ensure sound investment options and strategies that will result in post-retirement stability, even against the economic concerns of today.
  • Public sector workers need to be able to look forward to long productive service. Retirement security should be defined through investments and contributions made over a long-term investment horizon.
  • Instead of encouraging the idea that working for the public sector is less valuable than working for the private sector, New Hampshire’s retirement system benefit for public workers should set a standard, and be something larger employers in New Hampshire should emulate.
  • Public service should be viewed as a respectful vocation; a commitment by workers of service and dedication to their home state. It is service that adds value to the quality of life for NH citizens and visitors. Public service is an investment in New Hampshire and retirement security creates a financial cornerstone of the NH economy.

We were not totally successful with the following but will be advocating for comparable bills to pass in the upcoming session.

AFT-NH supported bills that would have increased transparency within charter schools. We need laws and regulations requiring full transparency in how charter schools operate and making them directly and openly accountable to the public for student performance and their admissions and enrollment policies.  We need stronger policies mandating respect and support for teacher and staff voices in school policies and programs, identification of potential conflicts of interest via disclosure requirements, and the use of public funds by charter schools in the same rigorous manner required in our public schools.

AFT-NH supported a bill that would make sure we have the necessary resources, staff development and support in moving forward with Common Core and Smarter Balance. If these Standards are to succeed, we need to ensure that in each district the following are in place when implementing the Standards:

  • There needs to be planning time for understanding the Standards and time to put them into practice,
  • We need opportunities to observe colleagues implementing Standards in class.
  • We need to provide teachers with model lesson plans aligned to Standards.
  • We must ensure textbooks/other curricula materials align with Standards.
  • We must communicate with parents on the Standards and the expectations of students.
  • We need to develop best practices and strategies along with providing coaching to help teachers teach content more deeply.
  • We need to ensure all districts have the equipment and bandwidth to administer computer-based assessments.
  • We must make sure we have fully developed curricula aligned to Standards and available to teachers.
  • We must be work to align Assessments to Standards indicating mastery of concepts.
  • We must insist that professional development and training in the Standards be offered.
  • We need to develop tools to track individual student progress on key Standards.

To read AFT-NH full statement click here.

AFT-NH supported the passage of SB 322: relative to the renomination of teachers. It is time we move back to supporting our teachers in New Hampshire. Three years is long enough to deny teachers their due process when non-renewed. When decisions with such high stakes are being made, all staff should be given reasons why, and should be given time to improve through an improvement plan.

AFT-NH supported bills that would have increased School Building Aid from the state for local districts. Keep in mind that 50% of our school buildings are over 60 years old and many need infrastructure upgrades necessary for a 21st century learning environment. We also supported a bill that would lift the current cap of 72% on catastrophic special education funds and fully fund it.

We were not successful in passing our real pension reform bill, SB 364: relative to group II service retirement allowances and relative to establishing a supplemental savings plan in the retirement system. If nothing is done, New Hampshire will be in a situation where 30 years down the road, we are going to have public employees – at the end of a career – eligible to apply for food stamps, and other social services. This puts a strain on working families by forcing our public employees into social services. This is financially irresponsible for New Hampshire and undignified for our public employees.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

Thank you!

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

Please visit AFT-NH.org and AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”?
Late breaking news appears on our web site and on Facebook!

To read the full listing of EDUCATION BILLS click here

To read the full listing of LABOR BILLS click here

To read the full listing of RETIREMENT BILLS click here

To read the full listing of MISCELLANY BILLS click here

5-12-14 AFT-NH Legislative Update: Legislative Session Is Finishing Up, Still A Few Bills To Watch

AFT NH Legislative Update

Both legislative chambers are finishing up on their work for this session. They have till May 15th to act on all remaining bills. Any bill amended by the Senate or House will need a recommendation of concur, non-concur, or non-concur with a request for a Committee of Conference from the committee the bill originated in. As of right now the only bill that AFT-NH has been monitoring that might go to a Committee of Conference is SB 343: relative to the areas of assessment in the statewide education improvement and assessment program. To see where AFT-NH stands on SB 343 click here. If there are any more bills that will be sent to a Committee of Conference an update will be sent out.

The full senate will be voting on HB 1449, relative to the requirements for filing a charter school application. The committee recommended that this bill be defeated. AFT-NH is asking that this recommendation not be accepted and a recommendation of passage be voted on. We believe that this bill enhances both transparency and accountability to charter schools

What we need are laws and regulations requiring full transparency in how charter schools operate and making them directly and openly accountable to the public for student performance and their admissions and enrollment policies.  We need stronger policies mandating respect and support for teacher and staff voice in school policy and program, identification of potential conflicts of interest via disclosure requirements, and the use of public funds in the same rigorous manner required in our public schools.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

Thank you!

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

Please visit www.aft-nh.org and AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”?
Late breaking news appears on our web site and on Facebook!

UPCOMING COMMITTEE HEARINGS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 14

10:00a.m. House in session

THURSDAY, MAY 15

10:00a.m. possible House session

10:00a.m. Senate in session

Massachusetts Nurses Association Highlight MA Hospitals That Are Offshoring Profits From Taxpayer Money

Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act

EXPOSED!  Hospitals Stash Millions in Offshore Accounts!

“Fat Cat” CEO Mascot Delivers Beach Towels to Legislators to Highlight Money Hidden in Cayman Islands

Advocates Urge Legislators to pass
“Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act”

Mass Nurses Association
BOSTON, MA — At a State House press conference today, advocates presented lists of over 40 Massachusetts hospitals with money stored in offshore accounts (see list below) and urged legislators to demand greater transparency in hospital finances by passing The Hospital Profit Transparency & Fairness Act (H3844). The initiative petition will require hospitals to report all investments, including the unreported millions stashed in the Cayman Islands.

Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness ActFollowing the press conference, a Hospital CEO mascot dressed in a ‘Fat Cat’ costume delivered Cayman Island beach towels to legislators to highlight the millions hospitals are hiding in the Cayman Islands.

Karen Higgins, critical care nurse at Boston Medical Center, past president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Co-President of National Nurses United explained: “Hospitals in Massachusetts receive half their revenues from tax dollars including Medicare, Medicaid, public employee and retiree health insurance, taxpayer funded grants, loans, subsidies and waivers on local, state and federal taxes. This week legislators debate the state budget and decide how many of our tax dollars they will provide to hospital administrators. Yet legislators have NO idea how much money hospitals store in offshore accounts or why hospitals don’t keep their excess reserves in Massachusetts’ banks.”

Higgins continued, “Hospital CEOs in Massachusetts are paid excessive compensation packages that bear no relationship to the quality of care or to patient outcomes like readmission rates, where Massachusetts ranks among the worst in the nation. Legislators and the public have the right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, especially when profitable hospitals are cutting needed services.”

Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington) Chair of the Committee on Revenue stated: “The data we’re hearing today is new and also disturbing. We’ve been struggling mightily – and investing millions of taxpayer dollars – to keep healthcare costs in check. Why are our hospitals keeping accounts in the Caymans where they’re hidden from our oversight? Why are these funds not in Massachusetts banks? How much is there? We – taxpayers and legislators – have a right to know about what our hospitals are doing with our tax dollars. More than that, we have a responsibility to know, and the hospitals have a responsibility to tell.”

Rep. Josh Cutler (D – Duxbury) said: “I am deeply troubled to learn that some Massachusetts hospitals are storing funds offshore in the Cayman Islands and not disclosing it. Before we provide these hospitals with public money for reimbursements we should be demanding greater transparency and accountability.”

Alan Sager, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Health Reform Program at Boston University’s School of Public Health commented on this issue: “Some of the people running hospitals have lost touch with the financial circumstances of ordinary citizens of our state – and with the struggle many people face in affording both high health insurance premiums and soaring co-insurance and deductibles. High CEO salaries are one reason they have lost touch. Another reason is that Massachusetts’ hospital costs are the highest in the world. “The accounts held in the Cayman Islands and other places raise questions. How much money is involved? Why do hospitals park money overseas?  What do they hope to gain? Is it freedom from regulatory oversight or greater flexibility in spending?  If so, why do hospitals want those things?

Joe DiMauro from the Coalition for Social Justice said “This is an outrage! Everyone assumes that non-profit hospitals exist to care for their patients, not to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers via hidden accounts stored in foreign countries where no one can monitor how they are used! Why are hospitals storing money in offshore accounts where neither regulators nor policymakers can evaluate how much excess revenue they have or if they are spending that excess revenue on CEO perks or patient care?”

Nathan Proctor, State Director of Massachusetts Fair Share said: “While it’s unclear why hospitals move money overseas to offshore accounts, the effects are simple enough: We don’t really know how much money they have. Given that taxpayers provide a huge portion of the revenue streams of these hospitals, I think we have a right to know. Given that costs keep going up and up and up, we have a right to know where that money ends up. It’s fair, it’s common-sense. We can’t address rising costs if our biggest medical centers are hiding behind offshore accounts in places like the Cayman Islands.”

The Hospital Profit Transparency & Fairness Act (H3844) will guarantee taxpayers the right to know exactly how their health care dollars are spent by hospital administrators. The transparency act requires that hospitals receiving tax subsidies, disclose in a timely and fully transparent manner how large their profit margins are, how much money they hold in offshore accounts, and how much compensation they pay their CEOs. To ensure access to needed services by all patients, the act also provides for enhanced funding options for hospitals serving poorer populations.

For more information visit:  www.HospitalTransparencyAct.com.


A complete list of Massachusetts hospitals with offshore accounts follows.

Hospitals with Offshore Holdings

MA Hospitals Offshore Tax Haven
Addison Gilbert Hospital (Lahey/Northeast) Cayman Islands
Baystate Medical Center Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Ireland
Baystate Franklin Medical Center Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Ireland
Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Ireland
Berkshire Medical Center Cayman Islands
Beth Israel Medical Center – Boston Cayman Islands
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital- Milton Cayman Islands
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital- Needham Cayman Islands
Beverly Hospital (Lahey/Northeast) Cayman Islands
Boston Children’s Hospital Cayman Islands
Boston Medical Center Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Canada, Lesotho
Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital Cayman Islands
Brigham & Women’s Hospital Cayman Islands
Cambridge Health Alliance Cayman Islands
Clinton Hospital Cayman Islands
Charlton Memorial Hospital (Southcoast Health) Cayman Islands
Cooley Dickinson Hospital Cayman Islands
Dana Farber Cancer Institute Cayman Islands
Fairview Hospital Cayman Islands
Hallmark Health Cayman Islands
HealthAlliance Hospital Cayman Islands
Jordan Hospital (BID-Plymouth) Cayman Islands
Lahey Clinic Bermuda
Marlborough Hospital Cayman Islands
Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Cayman Islands
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary Cayman Islands
Massachusetts General Hospital Cayman Islands
Mount Auburn Hospital Cayman Islands
Nantucket Cottage Hospital Cayman Islands
New England Baptist Hospital Cayman Islands
Newton Wellesley Hospital Cayman Islands
North Shore Medical Center Cayman Islands
Northeast Hospital Cayman Islands, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands
Southcoast Health Cayman Islands
St. Luke’s Hospital (Southcoast Health) Cayman Islands
Tobey Hospital (Southcoast Health) Cayman Islands
Tufts Medical Center Cayman Islands
UMass Memorial Medical Center Cayman Islands
Winchester Hospital Cayman Islands
Wing Memorial Hospital Cayman Islands

HospitalTransparencyAct.com

4-28-14 AFT-NH Legislative Update: NH Retirement System, Charter Schools, and More

AFT NH Legislative Update

The following bill passed the full House last week and now returns to the Senate, who will decide whether to accept the House’s changes or send it to a Committee of Conference.

SB193: Expanding Access to Oral Health Care in NH. This bill forms a Study Commission that would examine barriers to oral health care for under-served NH residents. We believe this study will help build the case that addressing the dental workforce must be part of any long-term strategy to bridge the gaps in our system of oral care access.

The following bills passed the full Senate last week and have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  

HB 1494:  relative to administration of the New Hampshire retirement system and authority of the board of trustees. See more at: http://nh.aft.org/legislation/aft-nh-legislative-update-april-21-2014#sthash.NWMn0ODH.dpuf

HB 1624-FN: modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.  AFT-NH is in support of this bill. This bill updates our current juvenile justice system by:

  • Raising the age at which youth are treated as adults in the justice system from 17 years to 18 years,
  • Improving procedures to determine competency of youth,
  • Clarifying a youth’s right to and waiver of legal counsel,
  • Determining the qualifications for legal counsel to defend youth,
  • Defining data to assess the effectiveness of current interventions and proposed changes.

The following bills passed both Chambers and now move to the Governor’s desk.

HB 1398-FN, allowing the retirement system to make payments in lieu of payments to estates in certain circumstances.AFT-NH has no position on this bill but is monitoring.

HB 1392-FN-L, removing the restriction on the number of pupils eligible to transfer to a chartered public school.AFT-NH is not in support of this bill and asks that the Governor veto it. There has been no past problem for any student wishing to attend a charter school. Furthermore, the unintended consequence could negatively impact the public school by depleting a grade level of attendance or curriculum options.

HB 1587-FN-L, relative to the collection and disclosure of student data. We believe that this bill will help protect the privacy of students in New Hampshire.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

Thank you!

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

Please visit www.aft-nh.org and AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”?
Late breaking news appears on our web site and on Facebook!

UPCOMING COMMITTEE HEARINGS

TUESDAY, APRIL 29

Senate FINANCE, Room 103, SH
1:00 p.m. HB 1624-FN, modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.

Senate JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
9:30 a.m. HB 1198, relative to the procedure for filing a child in need of services (CHINS) petition and relative to the definition of sexual abuse under the child protection act.

House CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB
10:30 a.m. SB 207-FN, relative to paycheck equity.

House EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
10:30 a.m. SB 396, relative to child restraint practices.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30

10:00 a.m. House in Session

THURSDAY, MAY 1

10:00 a.m. Senate in Session

House ELECTION LAW, Room 308, LOB
11:00 a.m. Continued executive session on SB 120-FN, relative to political contributions and expenditures and relative to reporting by political committees.

House FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:30 a.m. Executive session on SB 339-FN, (New Title) relative to instituting a credit card affinity program in which fees received are directed to offset the retirement system’s unfunded liability.

House FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
2:00 p.m. Work session on SB 395-FN, relative to the retirement classification of the director of the division of forests and lands.

House STATE FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS, Room 203, LOB
11:00 a.m. Executive session on SB 307, establishing a committee to review Citizens United amendments to the United States Constitution.

THURSDAY, MAY 8

House EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
10:00 a.m. Ad Hoc subcommittee on retirement.

House FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on SB 395- FN, relative to the retirement classification of the director of the division of forests and lands.

Governor Hassan Statement on Bipartisan House Vote to Pass Paycheck Fairness Act

Maggie Hassan

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement today on the House’s bipartisan vote to pass the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act:

“Today, the House of Representatives has passed the most significant piece of legislation for women in New Hampshire’s workforce in over a decade. I commend Republican and Democratic members for supporting this common-sense measure to help all of our workers earn a fair and equal paycheck.

“Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen the financial security of working families and help them make ends meet while boosting our state’s economy. I thank Senator Larsen, Speaker Norelli and legislators from both parties for making this legislation a priority. I look forward to signing the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act into law and reaffirming the basic principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

(Click here to read the statement by Rep. Linda Tanner (D­Georges Mills), member of the House Labor Committee)