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Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage, Helps To Close The Gender Wage Gap And Boost Economy

( Image by John Bastoen FLICKR CC)

( Image by John Bastoen FLICKR CC)

Research shows that eliminating the tipped minimum wage will generate billions to the national economy.

On Tuesday January 19th the New Hampshire House of Representative will be holding public commentary on HB 1346, a bill to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. If passed New Hampshire would join the seven other states including California, Montana and Minnesota who have already eliminated the tipped minimum wage in an effort to raise the wages of workers, mostly women, who are struggling to support their families.

As if the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in most states is not bad enough, 43 states have a special, sub-minimum wage for restaurant and tipped workers. The majority of these states have kept their tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour. New Hampshire is slightly better at $3.27 an hour or 45% of the minimum wage.

The sub-minimum wage was created to allow employers to pay newly freed slaves a lower wage than white workers, creating an instant racial-economic gap.

Working for tips is not the lucrative career some might imply. Opponents of raising the tipped minimum wage, especially the “Other NRA,” the National Restaurant Association, like to highlight servers who work in high-dollar restaurants making over a thousand dollars a week in tips.

The truth is the overwhelming majority of tipped workers work in places like Applebee’s and IHOP, where sales and tips are low, not high dollar establishments.

Nationally the average income for a tipped restaurant workers is $14,596, just below what a full time minimum wage worker would earn annually.   In New Hampshire it is even worse. The average tipped restaurant worker in New Hampshire earns $13,012 a year.

Here are just of few of the facts about tipped restaurant workers here in New Hampshire (US averages in parenthesizes):

  • 51% of tipped restaurant workers are older than 25 (66% nationally and 25% are above 45 years of age).
  • 81% of tipped restaurant workers are women (66% nationally).
  • 25% of the tipped restaurant workers are working moms (31% nationally).
  • 7% of tipped restaurant workers use food stamps, costing taxpayers $8,731,954 in public assistance [Food Stamps and Medicare].

Another myth about eliminating the tipped minimum wage, perpetuated by “the Other NRA,” is that eliminating the tipped minimum wage will destroy the local restaurant industry. The fact is that the seven states that eliminated the tipped minimum wage and raised their state’s minimum wage are now doing better those states with a sub-minimum wage.

States that have eliminated the minimum wage are growing at a rate of 10.5% annually. This is a full 1.5% higher than the average of the other 43 states at 9%.

Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder of the ROC United and Director of Food Labor Research at Berkley recently opined why we should completely move away from tipping.

“It (tipping) has created a two-tiered wage system with deep social and economic consequences for millions.”

Because workers in the restaurant industry are forced to rely on tips to survive the industry is rife with sexual harassment.

“Women restaurant workers living off tips in states where the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour are twice as likely to experience sexual harassment as women in states that pay the same minimum wage to all workers,” stated ROC United.

The wage gap between men and women has become one of the hot button issues of the year and one of the easiest ways to help reduce the gender wage gap is to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. Not only will it help women close the gender wage gap it will boost sales and generate billions to the economy.

Eliminating the tipped minimum wage and raising the minimum wage to $12 would result in an economic stimulus of an estimated $19.4 billion that would go right back into our local economy.   ROC United is working to eliminate the tipped minimum wage nationally and making this economic boost a reality.

The public hearing on this bill is Tusday. For more information on this or to get involved in the campaign to end the tipped minimum wage contact Sheila Vargas at sheila@granitestateprogress.org. 

Just in case you need one more reason why we should eliminate the tipped minimum wage listen to Adam from College Humor explain why tipping should be banned.

 

Prevailing Wage Law Would Boost NH Jobs, the State Economy, and In-State Contractors

By Denali National Park and Preserve (Construction Worker  Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0

By Denali National Park and Preserve (Construction Worker Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0

New Study Shows A Multi-Million Dollar Boost To The NH Economy.

Concord – A new study released today by leading national researchers on the construction industry finds that a proposed New Hampshire prevailing wage law would boost the state economy by at least $300 million, create several thousand jobs, and increase state and local tax revenue by up to $17 million.

The report, published by the Keystone Research Center (KRC), an independent non-partisan economic policy group, was released in advance of hearings in Concord next week on the proposed prevailing wage law. New Hampshire is the only state in New England and the Northeast that does not have such a law.

The study uses a growing body of peer reviewed research, data from the Economic Census of Construction, and industry-standard IMPLAN software to analyze the impact of prevailing wage standards for skilled construction industry trades on the New Hampshire economy as a whole and on construction workers’ wages, benefits and reliance on taxpayer-funded public benefit programs.

“Comparing data from prevailing wage and non-prevailing wage states shows that a prevailing wage law would be a great bargain for New Hampshire taxpayers,” said report co-author Kevin Duncan, a Professor of Economics at Colorado State University. “A prevailing wage law would boost productivity, the efficiency of materials use, and worker skills, while enabling more New Hampshire contractors to recapture business from low-wage out-of-state contractors. Every sector of the economy and every part of the state would benefit as the gains for local contractors and construction workers ripple through New Hampshire.”

Using conservative assumptions grounded in national and regional data, the study authors find that a prevailing wage law would result in:

· A net gain of 1,710 to nearly 4,000 jobs across all industries, the precise number depending on how much market share is recaptured by in-state contractors once out-of-state contractors can no longer win state business by undercutting local standards;

· An increase in economic activity across all industries of $298 million to $681 million;

· An increase in state and local tax revenues in the range of $7.3 million to $17 million;

· 2,515 more New Hampshire construction workers receiving health benefits through their jobs and 1,422 more receiving pension benefits; and,

· About 600 fewer construction workers needing public food assistance and another 600 fewer receiving the Earn Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Report co-author Frank Manzo IV of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute noted that, “More economic activity and fewer people working for lower wages translates into less reliance on public assistance programs. Taxpayer savings and additional tax revenue free up resources for tax cuts or more state funding of education and vital public services.”

The new study also surveys a growing body of rigorous academic research which finds that these laws do not increase construction costs but do increase productivity, investment in training, safety, and worker experience, as well as wages and benefits.

The report highlights that it is critical to enact a prevailing wage law now because, after shrinking by a quarter from 2006 to 2010, the industry is now poised for significant hiring and faces potential skill shortages. “Will construction contractors expand by rebooting apprenticeship training and taking the high-skill, efficient high road,” said report co-author Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of KRC. “Or will they seek out low-wage, low-skill labor, leading to more loss of market share to out-of-state firms that specialize in tapping vulnerable workers? A prevailing wage law can help ensure that more of the industry takes the high road with benefits for the New Hampshire economy, taxpayers, in-state contractors and construction workers.”

“Prevailing wage laws are proven, evidence-based policies that have stood the test of time and the scrutiny of the best economic research,” concluded Professor Duncan. “New Hampshire should enact a prevailing wage law to strengthen its economy and its middle class.”

We Need A New Hampshire Senate That Puts People Above Big Business

Cutting Taxes 3-dThis week the Republican controlled State Senate chose to put business profits ahead of working families, by voting to cut taxes for big business.

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute reported, “SB 1, which would lower the business profits tax (BPT) rate, and SB 2, which would lower the business enterprise tax (BET) rate, together likely would reduce state revenue by nearly $80 million on a biennial basis once fully phased in.”

That’s right boys and girls, the GOP wants to slash $80 million dollars from our budget and give that all to big business. $80 million dollars is a lot of money. That would build a lot of bridges, pave a lot of roads, repair a lot of schools, and employee a lot of people.

“These business tax cuts will not create jobs or boost the economy, but instead will drain millions of dollars out of the state budget each year,” said Jeff McLynch, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.

The Union Leader reported, “(Democrats) noted only 1 percent of the businesses in the state pay 76 percent of the business profits tax, meaning large out-of-state corporations produce the bulk of the revenue. ‘This is a giveaway to large, out-of-state corporations,’ said Sen. David Pierce, D-Hanover. ‘It puts the interests of large, out-of-state corporations ahead of the needs of the people of New Hampshire and ahead of the needs of the state’s small businesses.’”

“Senate Republicans are so obsessed with implementing the Koch Brothers agenda of more tax giveaways for big businesses that they’re willing to blow a $78 million hole in the budget and make middle class families and small businesses pay the price,” said Raymond Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party.

Cutting taxes is the mantra of the Republican Party. Cut taxes for businesses and voila` economic prosperity and budgets overflowing with tax revenues. It is the cure all for everything! Cut taxes and more businesses will move here then with the additional revenue we can build whatever we need. We need new bridges, cut taxes. We cannot pay our bills this year, then cut taxes!

This trickle down theory of economics has failed so many times I have lost count. President Reagan, hero to the current Republican Party, drove our nation into debt with tax giveaways like this. The President George W. Bush doubled down on Reagan’s policies and cut taxes during wartime, leading to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

 (Image Gage Skidmore Flikr CC)

(Image Gage Skidmore Flikr CC)

More recently, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas put this theory into action when he signed “one of the largest tax cut bills in Kansas history.”

“Since the tax cuts took effect at the beginning of 2013, Kansas has added jobs at a pace modestly slower than the country as a whole. The earnings and incomes of Kansans have performed slightly worse than the U.S. as a whole as well.” (Read more here.)

It worked so well that Kansas has had their credit rating downgraded. Standard and Poor’s lowered the state’s credit rating, because of theses tax cuts.

“The downgrades reflect our view of a structurally unbalanced budget, following state income tax cuts that have not been matched with offsetting ongoing expenditure cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst David Hitchcock in a release.

Yet even after the downgrade, Gov. Brownback believes that cutting taxes is the way to grow your economy. “We need jobs and we have proven the way to that is through lower taxes,” Brownback told the press.

However others have outright rejected the idea that lowering business taxes and keeping the minimum wage low will attract new business to the state.

Minnesota took a very different approach. They raised taxes on the wealthy and raised their minimum wage.

“Every Minnesotan will pay more under this tax bill, and unfortunately it’s going to harm Minnesota’s economy and hurt job growth in the state,” said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.

The thing is that Minority Leader Kurt was absolutely wrong! This week it was reported that due to the progressive agenda of the Governor and the Legislature, Minnesota is expecting to have a $2 billion dollar surplus!

Minnesota’s State Economist Laura Kalambokidis said rising wages and lower gas prices mean more money for consumers and thus more taxes for the state. Meanwhile, the state will save more than $100 million over the next two years because there will be fewer than expected students in poverty and with special needs, as well as fewer students overall.”

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton plans to use the additional money by investing in schools, implementing a fully funded Pre-K program, and to conduct some much needed infrastructure repairs.

I guess we need to ask ourselves, what type of New Hampshire do we want? Do we want a state that gets downgraded, has sluggish job growth, and stagnant wages? If so, then we should definitely cut taxes for these large corporations.

Or, do we want a state that is rebuilding our failing roads and bridges, investing and expanding public education, and building a strong and thriving economy? That’s the New Hampshire I want, and cutting taxes is the wrong approach.

Cutting taxes is not the magic solution to every problem. Someone once said, you can tell me what you value, however, me your budget and I will tell you what you truly value.

If we enact these tax cut for large corporations, who are we really helping? Big Business or real Granite Staters.

Senate Vote for Business Tax Cuts Limits State’s Ability to Invest in Economic Growth

CONCORD, NH – The Senate today voted in favor of providing tax breaks for businesses that will reduce the state’s ability to make vital investments in education, infrastructure, and other services essential to supporting a strong workforce and fostering a vibrant economy.

“These business tax cuts will not create jobs or boost the economy, but instead will drain millions of dollars out of the state budget each year,” said Jeff McLynch, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. “The revenue loss in the upcoming biennium is about the size of the annual General Fund budget for the Department of Resources and Economic Development or more than one and half times that of the Department of Justice. That is before the cost of the tax cuts begins to balloon in future years. Back-loaded tax cuts like the ones the Senate approved today are fiscally irresponsible and not in New Hampshire’s best interest today or in the future.”

SB 1, which would lower the business profits tax (BPT) rate, and SB 2, which would lower the business enterprise tax (BET) rate, together likely would reduce state revenue by nearly $80 million on a biennial basis once fully phased in.

“Contrary to proponents’ claims, these business tax cuts will not pay for themselves, but they will likely lead to significant cuts in the public structures and services vital to sustained and widely-shared economic prosperity,” added McLynch. “To ensure the state remains attractive to residents, workers, and entrepreneurs, New Hampshire must invest in quality schools, in affordable higher education, in safe roads and bridges, and in healthy, vibrant communities.”

“Time and time again, we have seen that business tax cuts don’t pay for themselves,” said Senator Woodburn. “The question I still have for my Republican colleagues is: Who’s going to pay? These tax giveaways will have an enormous cost for our people, businesses and economy—almost $200 million in lost revenue through the year 2020.”

“Our businesses need workers and reductions in electric rates before they need a 30th tax reduction in 8 years,” said Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, Vice Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “New Hampshire is a great place to do business already and these tax cuts do nothing to address the real problems facing our businesses.”

“No evidence was offered that this expands opportunity for anyone,” said Sen. Feltes, member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “Businesses need a modern and safe infrastructure, high-quality schools, and healthy, safe and livable communities. These irresponsible tax cuts will hurt our ability to provide these critical economic priorities.”

New Hampshire’s revenue system has yet to fully recover from the national recession of 2007 through 2009. At the close of FY 2014, General and Education Fund revenue amounted to $2.17 billion. After adjusting for inflation, that sum is approximately 12 percent or roughly $290 million less than what the state collected from the same sources in FY 2008. Between FY 2008 and FY 2014, the combination of the BPT and BET, after adjusting for inflation, has dropped almost 20 percent or just over $136 million, due in part to numerous tax cuts put in place in recent years.

Jeff McLynch provided testimony outlining the shortcomings of proposed business tax cuts at the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s January 20 public hearing. The testimony is available online.

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Learn more at www.nhfpi.org.

Veteran’s Praise Senator Shaheen In Her Debut Campaign Ad Of The Season

Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 10.41.15 AM

Dwight Clark and Senator Shaheen
(Screen-shot of ad)

Concord, NH – The Shaheen campaign is releasing its first television ad today, highlighting Jeanne Shaheen’s work to make a difference for New Hampshire’s veterans.  The first spot will air between 6 and 7PM eastern time.

“From a family with a strong tradition of military service, Jeanne Shaheen puts Granite State veterans first,” said Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich.  “Veterans in the Keene area were promised for years that they’d get a veterans center.  Jeanne Shaheen took the lead, cut through the red tape, brought the right people together, and helped make it happen.

“In the U.S. Senate Jeanne Shaheen has worked to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans and led efforts to expand care for returning vets,” continued Vlacich.  “Jeanne Shaheen is a tireless advocate for keeping our commitment to our veterans and their families.”

The new 30-second television spot features New Hampshire veteran Dwight Clark of Keene.  Clark is a Vietnam Veteran and the former Commander of American Legion Post 4 in Keene. He worked with Senator Shaheen to bring the Veterans Clinic and Outpatient Center to Keene.

“Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire first, and her work for our veterans is just one example of how she makes a difference for New Hampshire,” added Vlacich.

40,262 Granite Stater Have Signed Up For Healthcare Through The Affordable Care Act Exchange

MANCHESTER, NH – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) issued the following statement regarding news that 40,262 Granite Staters and more than 8 million Americans in total have enrolled in private health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act:

“The Affordable Care Act has turned a corner in New Hampshire. The rollout was rocky, and I made my frustration well known, but it’s great news that 40,262 Granite Staters and over 8 million people nationwide have signed up for private health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplaces.

“Today’s announcement, combined with recent passage of a bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid to 50,000 Granite State citizens and news that two additional insurers plan to offer coverage on New Hampshire’s Marketplace next year, demonstrate the progress our state has made so far.

“I’ve heard from constituents, both Republicans and Democrats, about how the Affordable Care Act has helped them and their families. There are still challenges, but today’s news is confirmation that access to affordable healthcare has improved for New Hampshire families.”

Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins released the following statement:

“New Hampshire families across the state are celebrating a health law that has brought new consumer protections and benefits to the table. Because of the Affordable Care Act, some Granite Staters have been able to access quality, affordable health care coverage for the first time in their life, and others have experienced better benefits or cost savings.  The marketplaces are a key component of the Affordable Care Act and the fact that families are successfully finding coverage on them is a testimony to the law. The politicians who oppose the Affordable Care Act are the same ones who would instead leave New Hampshire families and small businesses at the mercy of insurance company abuses. Obamacare is improving the health and financial well-being of families in our state and that’s something to be proud of.”

Senate Passes D’Allesandro Bill to Help Critically Injured First Responders

Bill Adds New Protections for Police, Firefighters, Other First Responders

N.H. Senator Lou D'Allesandro  Image from Canadian Consulate

N.H. Senator Lou D’Allesandro
Image from Canadian Consulate

Concord – Today the Senate passed SB 204, a bill that extends compensation benefits for critically injured first responders for conditions not currently covered by worker’s compensation.

“This is about Officer Doherty and all of the brave men and women like him who put their lives on the line for us every day in our communities,” said Senator D’Allesandro.  “I believe that our police, our firefighters, and all of our first responders deserve to know that these kinds of life-changing injuries will not be ignored, and that we will stand by them to help them if they are critically injured.”

The bill was introduced by Manchester Senator Lou D’Allesandro based on his experience advocating on behalf of Manchester Police Officer Daniel Doherty who was critically injured in the line of duty after being shot 6 times.  During his recovery, Officer Doherty discovered that wounds to limbs can be covered under worker’s compensation, but many internal injuries that can profoundly alter a person’s quality of life and ability to work are not covered.

Senator Andrew Hosmer, a member of the committee that worked on a bipartisan amendment to the bill, added: “This bill helps to close a hole in our worker’s compensation system.  It shouldn’t matter whether an injury is to a limb or an internal organ.  What matters is that when we ask our first responders to do dangerous work to protect our communities, they should know that if they are critically injured they will have the support and help they deserve.  I commend Senator D’Allesandro for leading this effort to take a big step in the right direction for our first responders.”

High Praise For The NH Senate Commerce Committee’s Unanimous Vote For Paycheck Fairness

The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted to recommend the passage of Senate Bill 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act.  After the vote Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen released the following statement:


”This definitive, bipartisan action by the Senate Commerce Committee affirms that both Republicans and Democrats agree we must act to close the wage gap in New Hampshire.”
 

“The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will give the more than 60% of women working in today’s economy, as the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the much needed tools they need to combat the wage gap.”

 

“It’s distressing that, in the year 2014, women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, still earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. National studies have found that a pay gap exists between men and women in nearly every occupation. However, with this bipartisan, unanimous vote, we are sending a crystal clear message that the Legislature is on the side of all workers guaranteeing fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.”



”I look forward to a strong vote of the full Senate and quick House action, so New Hampshire can renew our commitment to the fundamental principle of, an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

Senate Bill 207 has been cited by Senate and House Democrats as a top priority for the 2014 legislative session. All Senate Democrats have sponsored the legislation with House Speaker Terie Norelli serving as the leading House sponsor along with co-sponsors Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

Governor Hassan also showed her support for SB 207 in her statement:

““I applaud the Senate Commerce Committee for their bipartisan recognition of the need to eliminate the pay gap between our working women and men. Well over half of the women working in today’s economy are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families, and it is unacceptable that women in New Hampshire working full-time jobs earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men.” 

“This legislation will improve the financial security of working families and help business grow by putting more money in the pockets of consumers. I encourage the full Senate to continue demonstrating that, unlike Washington, in New Hampshire, we can come together on common-sense solutions by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

Aside from the political leaders in Concord many other groups voiced their praise in the committee unanimously supporting paycheck fairness.

Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO: “Equal pay for equal work is more than a motto – it’s the law. SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, is another step in the right direction. It prohibits employers from barring an employee from disclosing information about his or her wages and it also prohibits employer retaliation against an employee who does disclose the amount of his or her wages.”

Kary Jencks, Executive Director, NH Citizens Alliance for Action: “We thank Senator Larsen for encouraging bi-partisan action today to ensure equal pay for equal work. A woman’s earnings, whether she is married or not, are crucial to family support. Closing the wage gap in New Hampshire is important for the equality and economic security of Granite Staters.”

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress: “Data shows that New Hampshire women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. SB 207 will give employees the tools they need to challenge wage gaps. Coupled with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act already in law, these two acts can help to create a climate where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated.”

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union: “We applaud the Senate Committee for its bipartisan support of this important effort to eliminate unfair gender paycheck inequities in the state of New Hampshire.”

Kimberly Pollard, Regional Organizer for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of New Hampshire: “Today, women are the leading or sole breadwinner in forty percent of households. The pay gap affects whether families can buy food, pay the mortgage, and stay healthy. By moving forward with the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Senate Commerce Committee has taken a positive step toward closing the wage gap and ending gender discrimination in the workplace.”

The Paycheck Fairness bill is about closing the gap between pay disparities between men and women. This bill is another step in the process by allowing women (and men) to openly discuss their wages with others, ensuring that they are being fairly compared to those in the same job.

3-3-14 AFT-NH Legislative Update: Recording Public Officials On Duty, NHRS, Charter Schools, and More

UPCOMING FULL HOUSE VOTES-WEDNESDAY MARCH 5TH & THURSDAY MARCH  6TH

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee recommended passing HB 1550, permitting the audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of his or her official duties.  AFT-NH asks that this recommendation of Ought to Pass be defeated and a motion of Inexpedient to Legislate be brought forward.  AFT-NH asks the Representatives to consider the public employee when voting on this bill. All employees being public or private should have a reasonable understanding that when they are performing their jobs that they are not intimidated or harassed, that they should have a safe working environment.

Representative Geoffrey D Hirsch shares many of our concerns with this bill as he stated in his minority report:

“While recognizing the need for open and accountable records of public officials conducting the duties of their office, this bill as written expands the realm of public officials beyond law enforcement (as in the Glick v. Cunniffe decision) to all public officials. This expansion exceeds what the Constitution requires, creating problems of potential interference with duties as well as potential invasion of privacy. The term “physically interfere” is too broad and can lead to costly court time over interpretation. The terms “public official” and “generally accessible” are also open to varied interpretations. This bill has unintended consequences. If defined as within this bill, public officials (town clerks, school teachers, counselors, for example) could easily be intimidated by the prospect of audio recording and might be reluctant to perform even routine duties. Issues of privacy can arise when the official is recorded interacting with a private citizen getting a ticket, receiving medical treatment, being calmed at an accident or fire, registering to vote, or any activity where public officials are performing their duties. This bill contains no provision to protect the privacy of citizens as the recording must be returned to the owner within 10 days. This bill is too problematic to become law.”
AFT-NH supports the recommendation of ‘Inexpedient to Legislate made by the Executive Departments and Administration Committee on HB 1126, establishing a committee to study alternative public employee retirement plans.  There have been several committee / commissions that have studied this topic and at this time it is not needed.

AFT-NH also supports the recommendation of Inexpedient to Legislate made by the Finance Committee on HB 1394-FN-A, relative to funds for chartered public school facilities and making an appropriation therefor. We ask that the full House support this recommendation and defeat this bill.  Would it be fair to pass this bill when for the past 6 years there has not been any new money given to public schools for building aid? Please see AFT-NH’s statement on charter schools by clicking here.

The Legislative Administration Committee made the recommendation of Inexpedient to Legislate on HB 1207, relative to identification of the source of legislative bill proposals. AFT-NH is in support of the bill and would have like it to pass but will work with the House leadership to make sure this makes it into House rules next session.

This bill as written would require disclosure when sponsoring legislation. Too often now, we are seeing national cookie-cutter model legislation coming through the halls of our State House. Not drafted in response to any local interest or community concern, this ‘cookie-cutter’ legislation is instead often intended solely to benefit the bottom line of the special [corporate] interests writing the bill. Often, legislators or constituents don’t even know who was originally behind the bill.  Knowing who is writing our state laws is an important part of having an open and transparent government. That’s why it’s important to know who drafted a bill and why.

This committee has also made the recommendation to engage in further study on HB 1440-FN, which includes the writing, promoting, or distributing of model legislation to elected officials as lobbying and requiring disclosure of scholarship funds, money, or other financial support received from such lobbyists by elected officials.

How legislation is drafted is the most fundamental purpose of lobbying, yet New Hampshire’s lobbying requirements leave a huge, gaping hole for reporting and disclosure of this lobbying activity. Reporting and disclosing lobbying exists to ensure legislators, the public, and press knows who is behind how our public policies are being crafted and introduced in New Hampshire. Transparency and accountability in our legislative process are an important part of ensuring the integrity of how public policies are adopted, and in preventing the corporate corruption of our legislative process.

AFT-NH will work with the subcommittee to address areas of concerns in the language of this bill and are hopeful we can reach an agreement and bring an amendment forward.

Upcoming Labor, Industrial And Rehabilitative Services Committee
Executive Session March 4th

The full Committee will be making a recommendation on HB 1228: establishing a commission to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining.  AFT-NH opposes this bill and asks the Committee to recommend Inexpedient to Legislate on this bill. There have been many committees/commissions that have studied this issue and too often, it only seems to open the door for destructive legislation.  Rather than risk opening a Pandora’s Box with a study commission, AFT-NH urges legislators to consider some suggestions from the past which have been ignored or set aside:

•    Change the start date when negotiation can commence with towns from 120 days to 180 days out from when budgets must be submitted.
•    The NH Public Labor Relation board should offer training for all employers participating in local negotiations on the skills and process of negotiations.
•    If local contracts are not approved on towns’ traditional voting days there should be a way to call for a special meeting to bring forward a new tentative agreement for the community to vote on.

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

Thank you!
In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

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Late breaking news appears on our web site and on Facebook!


UPCOMING COMMITTEE HEARINGS


MONDAY, MARCH 3

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
1:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 492-FN-L, relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

TUESDAY, MARCH 4

Senate HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 103, LOB
9:30 a.m. SB 414-FN,relative to Medicaid-funded services provided as a part of a child’s individualized education program.

House CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 1206, relative to juvenile placement in shelter care facilities and at the youth development center, HB 1236, establishing a committee to study supervised visitation centers, HB 1260-FN-L, relative to communication of the cost of services provided under the children in need of services (CHINS) program to parents.

House EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
9:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1508-FN, terminating state participation in the common core educational standards, HB 1239-FN-L, relative to the implementation of new educational standards.
10:30 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1587-FN-L, relative to the collection and disclosure of pupil data, HB 1586-FN, relative to student and teacher information protection and privacy.
11:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1238, relative to access to assessment materials, HB 1432, delaying implementation of certain statewide assessments and studying the effects of delaying implementation of certain curriculum changes in the public schools.
1:00 p.m. Executive session on:
HB 1432, delaying implementation of certain statewide assessments and studying the effects of delaying implementation of certain curriculum changes in the public schools,
HB 1239-FN-L, relative to the implementation of new educational standards,
HB1587-FN-L, relative to the collection and disclosure of pupil data,
HB 1508-FN, terminating state participation in the common core educational standards,
HB 1262, relative to student assessment data privacy,
HB 1496, relative to the objectivity and validity of student assessment materials,
HB 1238, relative to access to assessment materials,
HB 1586-FN, relative to student and teacher information protection and privacy.

House EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
11:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1101-FN, relative to the recovery of overpayments by the retirement system and establishing a committee to study the policies and procedures of the retirement system for benefits wrongfully paid, HB 1130-FN-L, relative to the Northeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact, HB 1152-FN, terminating the benefit program for call, substitute or volunteer firemen administered by the New Hampshire retirement system,
HB 1493-FN-L, relative to members of the retirement system working after retirement, and relative tomembership of political subdivision officials appointed for fixed terms.

House FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on HB 1624-FN, modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.

House LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:15 a.m. Executive session on HB 1189, relative to temporary worker rights,
HB 1228, establishing a commission to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining.

House MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1285, relative to recommendations by the department of revenue administration regarding municipal fund balance retention, HB 1560-FN-L, prohibiting the use of funds received from a political subdivision of the state to lobby.

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 1633-FN-A-L, relative to expanded gaming in New Hampshire.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5

Senate Executive Departments and Administration, Room 100, SH
9:00 a.m. EXECUTIVE SESSION ON PENDING LEGISLATION

10:00 a.m. House in session

THURSDAY, MARCH 6

10:00 a.m. Senate in session

1:00 p.m. House in session

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:30 a.m. Full committee work session on
HB 1415-FN, establishing a robotics education fund in the department of education

TUESDAY, MARCH 18

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1415-FN, establishing a robotics education fund in the department of education.

5 Bad Bills: A Small Group Of Legislators Push To End High Academic Standards In New Hampshire

This week, the House Education Committee is finishing up hearings on five anti-Common Core bills  – bills that seek in one way or another to end New Hampshire’s use of the Common Core and any future academic standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards.

The push comes mainly from a small number of legislators (here is their recent press conference), established opponents of New Hampshire public education.  In the last Legislature, Lenette Peterson supported bills to abolish DOE, end compulsory school attendance, lower the dropout age and repeal universal kindergarten.  Al Baldasaro and J.R. Hoell were cosponsors or supporters most of those same bills.  As a member of the House Education Committee, Ralf Boehm supported bills to end universal kindergarten and lower the dropout age.  In addition, freshman legislators David Murotake andGlenn Cordelli are sponsors on most of the anti-Common Core bills.

HB 1508-FN (testimony here) is a one sentence bill that seeks to “terminate all plans, programs, activities, and expenditures relative to the implementation of the common core….any assessments and instruction based upon such standards.” Prime sponsor: Lenette Peterson Cosponsors: Alfred Baldasaro, Pamela Tucker, Patrick Bick, Jeffrey Harris, David MurotakeJane Cormier, Donald LeBrun, Jeanine Notter, William Infantine.

House Education Committee Chair Mary Gile recessed last Thursday’s packed public hearing on HB 1508 (here’s the Union Leader report) until next Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 3:00.

HB1432 will be heard by the House Education Committee Tuesday morning at 10:00 in LOB 207.  The bill effectively ends the Common Core by delaying use of the standards and the tests for two years.  It also requires a study of educational impact, privacy and funding issues and hearings in each Executive Council District.  While there is no fiscal note attached, there would clearly result in substantial costs and uncertainties.  Prime sponsor: David Murotake Cosponsors: Ralph BoehmGlenn Cordelli, John Kelley, Andy Sanborn.

HB 1496 would prevent the Smarter Balanced Assessment from being used.  The bill is a collection of blog quotes about what’s wrong with the Smarter Balanced test.  The sponsor is J.R. Hoell

HB 1397 (here is the public testimony) asks the Democratic House to establish a Republican study committee to investigate charges that NHDOE disobeyed the law by promoting the Common Core.  Prime sponsor: Jane Cormier Cosponsors: J.R. HoellGlenn Cordelli, Joseph Pitre, Sam Cataldo

HB1239 -FN-L (here is testimony on the bill) would establish a new process for adopting academic standards in New Hampshire, requiring benchmarking and implementation cost analysis based on extensive new data provided by each of New Hampshire’s 172 school districts.  Like HB 1432, the bill requires the department to hold hearings in each Executive Council District.  Prime sponsor: Glenn Cordelli.  Cosponsors: Ralph BoehmJ.R. Hoell, Jeffrey Harris, David Murotake, John Reagan, Sam Cataldo, Dick Marston.

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