The 2014 legislative session has started and they are on a short time schedule. The House must act on all bills that have a fiscal note by February 16th; the Senate has till March 6th. All other bills must be acted on by March 27th (crossover day). Currently we are monitoring:
13 retirement bills
44 education bills
9 labor bills
I am sure as time goes there will be more bills added to this list. The past two weeks the House has met twice and is working their way through bills retained from the last session. We asked the following of them:
That they vote in support of the committee recommendation on the following bills—which they did:
HB 299-FN, relative to tuition payments for chartered public school pupils.
The funding has been addressed in HB 2 that passed last session and this was unnecessary.
HB 494, relative to the administration of glucagon injections for pupils.
Both the New Hampshire board of nursing and New Hampshire School Nurses Association collaborated on changes to existing rules to more clearly provide the needed flexibility to delegate administering emergency medications.
However, on HB 435-FN, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils, the House overturned the committee’s recommendation to defeat this bill and passed it by a vote of 168 to 134. AFT-NH is disappointed in this vote. This bill now moves to the House Finance committee where they will need to find the money to fund this bill.
We will be sending a letter to the representatives that voted in favor of this bill informing them that we are very disappointed.
We are still waiting on the full House to vote on the following:
HB 627-FN, requiring unused vacation and sick leave be converted to service time for purposes of calculating retirement system benefits. AFT-NH is in support of the committee recommendation of ITL (inexpedient to legislate) and asked Representatives to support this recommendation. If this bill was to pass it would lead to further litigation.
HB 341-FN, relative to the cost of fiscal analysis of legislation relating to the retirement system. AFT-NH asked the representatives to overturn the committee recommendation of ITL and support a recommendation of OTP (ought to pass) as amended for the following reasons:
- Currently those expenses are paid for out of the retirement system’s assets. These funds are in fact the source for retiree pension payments.
- Over the course of the last five years these costs have come close to $500,000, which is equivalent to over 26 average pensions.
- We do not believe that half a million dollars is an insignificant sum, nor are the 26 pensions.
- If a legislator puts in a bill then the funds to cost this should come out of their budget not from ours.
- Passing this bill is the first step towards correcting a very bad practice of passing costs onto the backs of property taxpayers. Defeating it is just continuing a practice that cannot be justified in this economy.
THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE HELD HEARINGS ON:
HB 1105: relative to aid to school districts for costs of special education. AFT-NH supports this bill because it lifts the current cap of 72% on catastrophic special education funds and fully funds it. With this cap of 72% the state has downshifted roughly $8 million to communities. Catastrophic aid is a state fund that helps local district with exorbitant special education cost for our severely disabled children.
HB 1114: which establishes a minimum state expenditure for school building aid of $50,000,000 per fiscal year. AFT-NH is in support of this bill. It puts a floor to building aid not a cap. For the past six years many district have not been able to afford to complete upgrades, repairs or build new building because of the cost. Keep in mind 50% of our school buildings are over 60 years old and many need infrastructure upgrades necessary for a 21st century learning environment.
RED ISSUE ALERT – ITS TIME TO TAKE ACTION
YES, THAT IS CORRECT, RIGHT TO WORK “FOR LESS” IS BACK!
It hasn’t even been a year!
The Senate Finance committee will be hearing Right to Work “for less” (SB 217) on Thursday January 23, 2014 at 1 pm in the State House room 103. Please contact the committee members and ask that they defeat this 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. Don’t let the voice of NH residents to be silenced.
Please pass the word to friends and family members. These Senators need to hear from you. Simply put this is a union-busting bill and an attack on our public employees and middle class families.
Please share this with colleagues so they know the seriousness of these attacks. So let’s GET ACTIVE and let these state Senators hear our voices.
UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
TUESDAY, JANUARY 21
Senate COMMERCE, Room 101, LOB
2:00 p.m. SB 302, relative to public or private criticism of employers by employees.
Senate FINANCE, Room 103, SH
1:00 p.m. SB 339-FN, authorizing the department of administrative services to contract for a credit card affinity program in which fees received are directed to offset the retire¬ment system’s unfunded liability.
Senate HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 103, LOB
9:50 a.m. SB 350, relative to the transfer of average daily membership information from the Department of Education to the Department of Revenue Administration.
10:10 a.m. SB 343, establishing a commission to study the common core standards.
CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB 1624-FN, modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.
COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302, LOB
1:15 p.m. HB 1589-FN, requiring background checks for all firearm sales. Please note that location is Representatives Hall, State House.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB
10:30 a.m. HB 1306-FN, prohibiting a law enforcement officer from soliciting another person to participate in criminal activity.
11:00 a.m. HB 1435, requiring law enforcement officials to disclose specific information relating to a police checkpoint.
1:00 p.m. HB 1550, permitting the audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of his or her official duties.
EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:30 a.m. HB 1187, relative to an appeal of a change of school assignment decision by a superintendent.
11:00 a.m. HB 1113, requiring school districts to distribute a concussion and head injury information sheet to student-athletes.
11:30 a.m. HB 1180-FN-L, relative to days of school.
1:15 p.m. HB 1147, permitting school districts to advertise.
3:15 p.m. Executive session on
HB 1243, relative to the confidentiality of criminal background checks of school employees and volunteers,
HB 1255, making students whose name appears on the voter checklist eligible for in-state tuition rates at schools in the University System of New Hampshire,
HB 1415-FN, establishing a robotics education fund in the Department of Education,
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
1:30 p.m. Executive session on,
HB 1148-FN, relative to the reduction in the calculation of state retirement system annui¬ties at age 65,
HB 1494-FN, relative to administration of the New Hampshire retirement system and authority of the board of trustees,
HB 1563-FN, granting group II retirement system status to certain positions in the Department of Corrections.
FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Room 209, LOB
11:00 a.m. Work session on
HB 1146, establishing a committee to study the feasibility of funding a kin¬dergarten to college/career ready program and a universal college savings account.
2:00 p.m. Work session on
HB 1394-FN-A, relative to funds for chartered public school facilities and making an appropriation for them.
JUDICIARY, Room 208, LOB
2:00 p.m. HB 1143, relative to the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination.
2:30 p.m. HB 1214, relative to grounds for termination of tenancy.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:15 a.m. HB 1334, relative to contributions to charities by employees.
10:30 a.m. HB 1188, relative to paycheck equity.
11:15 a.m. HB 1405, prohibiting an employer from using credit history in employment decisions.
1:15 p.m. HB 1228, establishing a commission to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining.
1:45 p.m. HB 1174, establishing a commission to study the payment of subminimum wages to persons with disabilities.
2:15 p.m. Executive session on
HB 1169, relative to enforcement of labor laws by the Department of Labor,
HB 1368-FN, relative to inquiries into criminal records on employment applications.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
1:00 p.m. Executive session on
HB 1234, relative to municipal contracts for police chief,
HB 1235-FN, establishing a procedure to recall selectmen and school board members,
HB 1375, permitting a municipal law enforcement agency to collect unwanted or illegal firearms.
PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, Room 201, LOB
11:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 1222, prohibiting commer¬cial use of the law enforcement and fallen firefighters memorials.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22
10 am House in session
Senate PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, Room 102, LOB
9:45 a.m. SB 236, relative to delivery of the final budget and recommendation of the municipal budget committee to the governing body.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 23
Senate FINANCE, Room 100, SH
1:00 p.m. SB 217-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.
EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB 1132-FN, relative to school building inventory reports.
10:30 a.m. HB 1200, relative to student social media policies by educational institutions.
11:00 a.m. HB 1208, relative to the number of first-year college students from New Hampshire high schools required to take remedial classes.
11:30 a.m. HB 1212, relative to social media privacy in higher education.
1:15 p.m. HB 1141, requiring chartered public schools to share enrollment information with school districts.
1:45 p.m. HB 1298, relative to additional criteria for review of chartered public school applications.
2:15 p.m. HB 1449, relative to the requirements for filing a charter school application.
ELECTION LAW, Room 308, LOB
10:30 a.m. HB 1364-FN, relative to political expenditure and contribution reporting requirements and relative to political expenditure limitations for state representative and county office candidates.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB 1101-FN, relative to the recovery of overpayments by the retirement system and estab¬lishing a committee to study the policies and procedures of the retirement system for benefits wrongfully paid.
10:30 a.m. HB 1126, establishing a committee to study alternative public employee retirement plans.
11:00 a.m. HB 1152-FN, terminating the benefit program for call, substitute or volunteer firemen admin¬istered by the New Hampshire retirement system.
11:30 a.m. HB 1398-FN, allowing the retirement system to make payments in lieu of payments to estates in certain instances.
1:00 p.m. HB 1399-FN, relative to the application for a vested deferred retirement allowance in the re¬tirement system.
1:30 p.m. HB 1617-FN, permitting the retirement system to access death, marriage, and divorce records of the Division of Vital Records Administration for the administration of RSA 100-A.
2:00 p.m. HB 1493-FN-L, relative to members of the retirement system working after retirement, and relative to membership of political subdivision officials appointed for fixed terms.
FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211
10:00 a.m. Work session on HB 525-FN, raising the age of minority for juvenile delinquency proceedings from 17 to 18 years of age.
LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION, Room 104, LOB
2:30 p.m. HB 1440-FN, including 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.
3:00 p.m. HB 1481-FN, relative to information submitted to a committee of the General Court.
WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
1:00 p.m. Executive session on CACR10, relating to revenue classes. Providing that all monies
received by the state shall belong to a defined revenue class, and CACR11, relating to the definitions of “tax” and “fee.” Providing that a tax is imposed to raise state revenue and a fee is imposed to recover costs to the state for providing a service to the payer,
Noon to 1:00 PM in the House Finance Committee room (LOB 210-211).
The New Hampshire Kids Count and the New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network (NH CAN) cordially invite all legislators for lunch and a brief program. The program will unveil NH CAN’s 16th annual Priorities for New Hampshire’s Children. NH CAN is comprised of numerous Advocacy Partners and Legislative Advisors. NH CAN seeks to ensure that New Hampshire continues to be one of the best places to raise children.