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Senator Marco Rubio Can’t Do The Job He Already Has, Wants A New One

Marco Rublo  (Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

Marco Rublo (Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

This week Senator Marco Rubio is roaming around the Granite State interviewing for a new job, President of the United States. Why would we the people, want to hire him for a new job when he can’t even do the one he already has?

While Rubio is off gallivanting across the U.S. begging for money and meeting with potential donors voters, the Senate keeps trudging along. Even though the Senate moves at a snails pace, the job of a Senator is to be in Washington to represent the people who elected him and to vote on proposed legislation to make their lives better.

Being a Senator has its privileges. If you don’t feel well, you don’t have to go into work, but you still get paid. If your children are sick and you need to stay home to take care of them, you don’t have to go into work, but you still get paid. If your off campaigning in New Hampshire, you don’t have to go into work, but you still get paid.

“Unlike Marco Rubio, most working people can’t simply skip work because we quote “hate” our jobs. We don’t get to fly around the country, asking for a promotion, instead of clocking in and putting in an eight to ten hour workday. And if we did any of those things, we almost certainly wouldn’t get paid,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley.

It is hard for anyone to relate to Senator Rubio who fails to even make 70% of the 150 Senate workdays. That’s about 100 days less a year than the average full time worker. Add to that the fact that Senator Rubio makes a little more than six-times the U.S. median wage of $30,000 per year.

When Senator Rubio does show up to work he continues to tow the party line and keep his wealthy funders happy while hard working Americans, and aspiring Americans, continue to suffer.

“When he does show up, he acts against his constituents’ interests and the interests of middle class families here in New Hampshire nearly every time. He is simply pushing the same failed Republican playbook we’ve seen over and over again,” said NH State Representative Cindy Rosenwald of Nashua.

When Rubio was the new up-and-coming Latino Senator from Florida, Rubio was pushing a comprehensive immigration bill that would have helped the 11 million aspiring Americans finally get the pathway to citizenship they have been searching for. But when Rubio began to get his Presidential delusions of grandeur, he quickly reversed course and pulled his support of the bill he created.

Rubio also refuses to discuss increasing the minimum wage. “When it comes to raising the minimum wage – a common sense proposal that would help close the wage gap and help over 100,000 Granite Staters get ahead – Marco Rubio calls it “a waste of time,” said Rosenwald.

When it comes to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, Rubio says, ‘repeal it.’ Planned Parenthood, an organization that has provided healthcare to over 1-in-5 women, Rubio says ‘de-fund it.’

“Rubio joined Kelly Ayotte in voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act – legislation that would help make equal pay for women a reality,” added Rosenwald.

When it comes to Medicare, Rubio “claims that he would never do anything that hurt his mother. But he supports major cuts to Medicare that would leave seniors with fewer benefits,” stated Rosenwald.

The list goes on and on.

As a voter, you are the employment interviewer in this primary process.

Would you hire an employee: Who can barely make it to work 105 times a year. Who votes to take all of your hard earned money and gives tax breaks to those who already have so much. Who says raising the minimum wage is a “waste of time.” Who wants to gut Medicare and force millions of people off of their current healthcare to once again risk financial ruin by being uninsured. Who wants to take away a women’s Constitutional right to choose.

If you would hire someone with those qualifications, then Rubio just might be your man. The rest of us are going to keep looking.

Senator Kelly Ayotte Is An Abysmal Failure On Women’s Health

Dont Take Away My Breast Exams - Image by Charlotte Cooper FLIKR CC

Dont Take Away My Breast Exams – Image by Charlotte Cooper FLIKR CC

Sen Kelly Ayotte Tries To Fool Us Into Believing She Supports Women’s Health

Today Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) tried to whitewash her dismal record on women’s health issues in an op-ed in the Concord Monitor, “My Turn: In breast cancer fight, early detection is crucial.”

Yes, we can all agree that women should regularly see a doctor for routine breast exams, pap smears, and other reproductive health issues, however this editorial focuses specifically on the need for women to get breast exams and mammograms for early detection of breast cancer.

“I’ve heard from many women in New Hampshire between ages 40 and 49 whose lives were saved because a mammogram successfully detected the presence of breast cancer before it was too late.

…I’m also supporting bipartisan legislation to make sure women and breast cancer patients have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care,” wrote Ayotte.

That all sounds great except Senator Ayotte does not have a leg to stand on when it comes to supporting women’s health.  She has voted three times to defund Planned Parenthood, who provided over 3,500 breast cancer screening in 2013 and provided thousands of Granite State women.

We stand united with our allies at Planned Parenthood, champions of quality healthcare and a cornerstone of vital services to millions of Americans for decades. One in five women will rely on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime,” Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The outrageous attacks on Planned Parenthood are nothing more than extremists’ attempts to advance their political agenda with complete disregard for the potential impacts on the health and well-being of the 2.7 million women, men and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood for basic preventive care,” added Henry.

Without quality healthcare routine preventative exams, like breast cancer screenings, are routinely pushed aside to save money.The good thing is that now, in part to the Affordable Care Act, many preventative exams are fully covered by your insurance. That must be why Sen. Kelly Ayotte is so supportive of the Affordable Care Act, which provides healthcare to 50,000 Granite Staters through Medicaid Expansion. Oh wait that’s right she wants to repeal the ACA leaving thousands of women without any healthcare at all!

Limiting access to healthcare, limits preventative care for all women.

It’s clear that when Ayotte talks about making ‘women’s health a priority’ she only means “some” women,” said Jenifer Frizzell, Vice President of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund.  

Kelly Ayotte seems to forget that access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings and mammography go hand in hand with access to health insurance. This is clear in her unapologetic crusade against the Affordable Care Act —  which has allowed thousands of New Hampshire women the ability to afford health care for the first time — and her efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides thousands of breast exams in our state,” added Frizzell.  

The added irony is that Kelly Ayotte introduced “legislation that would mint commemorative coins to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts to fight breast cancer.”   The Republicans in Congress have forced deep cuts to the federal budget which mandated cuts to hundreds of research programs. How much money was cut from the very program Senator Ayotte is now trying to fund with commemorative coins?

Protecting women’s health takes more than a commemorative coin. If Kelly Ayotte were serious about saving lives and making women’s health a priority, she would stop insulting New Hampshire women by pink-washing her record and support meaningful policies to improve health care in the Granite State,” said Frizzell.

No matter what Kelly Ayotte says, her record on women’s health issues is crystal clear. A abysmal failure.


See also: VIDEO: Planned Parenthood Wants New Hampshire  to #AskAyotte About Her Record on Women’s Health


New Petition To Uphold The Governor’s Veto Of This Reckless Budget

Sign the Petition (1)

Governor Hassan vetoed the Republican budget saying;

“I have vetoed the budget passed by the legislature because it is unbalanced, makes false promises about what it funds, and gives unpaid-for tax giveaways to big corporations, many based out-of-state, at the expense of critical economic priorities, including higher education, health care, public safety and transportation. The long-term impact of these unpaid-for corporate tax cuts will create a more than $90 million hole in future budgets, further eroding our ability to encourage economic growth.”

We must uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and end the unfunded tax giveaways written into this unbalanced budget.

We are calling on all of our elected representatives to vote and uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and force the leadership to work together and find a compromise that will keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction.

The Petition reads:

We believe that New Hampshire is moving in the right direction and this reckless budget will only take us backwards. We must end these unfunded tax giveaways to big business that will blow a $90 million dollar hole in our state budget.

We call on you, our elected representatives, to uphold Governor Hassan’s veto and work together to properly fund the needs and priorities of our great state. Priorities like rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, investing in our public schools, and providing the needed funds to combat the growing heroin epidemic.

Please sign the petition below or click here to sign.


  When you are done signing the petition, please send a letter to you state reps asking them not to fall victim to the “Kansas Tax Cut Trap” that will blow a $90 million dollar hole in our state budget. Click here to send your letter or fill out the form below.



Ahead Of Labor Day, NH AFL-CIO And NH Democrats Blast GOP Candidates Anti-Worker Agenda



Ahead of the holiday weekend dedicated to honoring the sacrifices made by workers, the NH AFL-CIO and the NH Democratic Party, blast Republicans over their failed and out of touch policies that harm working families.

Labor Day is the annual holiday to “celebrate the progress of American workers,” said NH AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett. “American workers are what make our country great.”

Labor Day honors the decades of progress gained through the blood, sweat and tears of American workers who fought for policies like weekends, paid time off, sick days, maternity leave, social security, on the job safety programs like OSHA, and dozens of other policies that would never have been without American workers standing up for them.

Earlier this summer, Jeb Bush told the Union Leader that people just need to “work longer hours” showing just how out of touch he really is.

Americans are still suffering the effects of the Great Recession that stemmed from the failed policies of the George W Bush presidency and the deregulation of Wall Street.

Not to be outdone, Senator Rand Paul recently said, “Income inequality is from people not working hard enough,” and also said, “if you work all day long, you don’t have time to do heroin.”

American workers have pushed their productivity to the highest levels in history, yet all of those gains have gone to the wealthy instead of working families.

Many Americans have been forced to work two or even three jobs just to pay the bills as wages have declined over the last thirty years (adjusted for inflation). I highly doubt Jeb Bush has ever had to take on a second or third job to pay his bills.

NH Democratic Party Chair, Raymond Buckley, said that it is “Democrats who are fighting for working families.” Democrats are pushing for a higher minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, and protecting Social Security to ensure that workers can retire with dignity.

“Jeb Bush wants to “phase out” Medicare and John Kasich wants to change Social Security for those close to retirement age, jeopardizing their future. Not to mention failed Republican policies of the past that favor the wealthiest few and leave the middle class behind,” said Buckley.

In New Hampshire it is Republicans who blocked a minimum wage increase and now are holding the state hostage with their draconian budget that would repeal healthcare for 50,000 hard working Granite Staters, to preserve tax breaks from wealthy corporations.

Brackett highlighted that under President Obama’s leadership “America has had 64 straight months of private sector growth.’

“The GOP economic plan seems to be demanding that middle class workers work even longer, while refusing to do anything to help middle class workers and their families get ahead. If they keep this up, it won’t be difficult for hard-working Granite State families to see that putting the White House back in GOP hands would be a disaster for our middle class,” concluded Brackett.

On Women’s Equality Day Activists Highlight The Continued Need For Planned Parenthood

Patients, Community Health Providers, and Faith Leaders Hold Events on NH Seacoast to Highlight Harm of Defunding Planned Parenthood

On Women’s Equality Day, events reflect widespread support for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the health services PPNNE provides 

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, on National Women’s Equality Day, New Hampshire patients, supporters, and allies of Planned Parenthood held events in Executive Councilor Chris Sununu’s backyard—the Seacoast—to illustrate the harmful impact that defunding Planned Parenthood health centers will have on thousands of New Hampshire women and families. 

The morning started with more than two dozen Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund supporters gathered outside an Executive Council breakfast meeting in Dover to ensure the Councilors understand that New Hampshire voters oppose their decision to end state funding for Planned Parenthood health centers. Later, PPNHAF hosted a press conference and rally that drew dozens of supporters at a Planned Parenthood health center in Exeter that is currently only able to see patients 3 days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Pictures of each event are available HERE.

“For 50 years, thousands of Granite Staters have chosen Planned Parenthood of Northern New England as their health care provider. Planned Parenthood health centers deliver birth control, family planning counseling, cancer screenings, STI screenings and treatment to more than 12,000 New Hampshire residents each year,” said Jennifer Frizzell of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “We are not giving up the fight to restore funding for the health care that was rejected by Councilors Chris Sununu, David Wheeler and Joe Kenney and we will always stand by Planned Parenthood patients, and the women of New Hampshire in their fight for access to reproductive health services and, ultimately, the ability to lead a successful, equal life.”

The Women’s Equality Day events on the Seacoast came after Councilor Sununu spearheaded the Executive Council vote to reject a long-standing state contract that had previously helped ensure Planned Parenthood provide basic preventive health services to low-income New Hampshire residents for the past four deacdes.

“The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood are really attacks on all of us who believe that women should have access to comprehensive reproductive care, including safe, legal abortion,” said Linda Griebsch, the Executive Director of the Joan G. Lovering Health Center in Greenland. “These actions are part of a broader agenda orchestrated by an extreme group to restrict women’s access to health care. Here on the Seacoast and across Rockingham County we proudly partner with Planned Parenthood, with Families First, and with other community health organizations to meet the diverse needs of women in our communities. It is essential that all of our organizations continue to receive public funding and public support to help keep our community healthy.” 

The unusually political vote by the Executive Council has been followed by an outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood by New Hampshire residents of all stripes, with people speaking out to highlight the critical role that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England plays in providing nearly 13,000 women, men, and young people in New Hampshire with basic health care every year. Polling released last week shows that 66 percent of New Hampshire residents continue to support Planned Parenthood and women’s access to reproductive health services. 

“As a young woman living with endometriosis, I personally know exactly why it is essential for women to have access to affordable birth control, which comprises over 50 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services and will take a hard hit because of the Executive Council’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood,” said Ilyssa Sherman of Exeter, a 25 year old volunteer for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “If I couldn’t afford birth control to control the debilitating pain caused by my endometriosis, I would not be standing here today.”

“As a long-term psychologist I have listened to many women and men talk about the stress of providing for their families, and especially getting affordable access to healthcare,” said Doctor Judith Rowan, a psychologist in Exeter. “The services of Planned Parenthood are essential to peace of mind to these families and I always know when I refer someone to the local Planned Parenthood that they will receive high-quality, non-judgmental health care at a cost they can afford.”

The Executive Council first attacked Planned Parenthood funding in 2011 in a deeply unpopular vote that became a cornerstone of the election, resulting in a shift in leadership of the Council.

“As a person of faith and a minister, I have been deeply disappointed in recent weeks to hear some of our elected officials in New Hampshire casting doubt on our trusted local health care provider, Planned Parenthood,” said Reverend Larry Brickner-Wood, the Chaplain and Executive Director of the Waysmeet Center in Durham. “In my time as a community official and spiritual leader, Planned Parenthood has been one of the most important health care providers for our most vulnerable and marginalized communities.” 

Sununu’s pretense for this latest vote was largely focused on ongoing investigations into Planned Parenthood in many states, but his excuse rings hollow as mounting evidence in state after state confirms that these politically motivated investigations are baseless. Just last night, Colorado officials announced they would not investigate Planned Parenthood’s practices.

“Voting to end our longstanding contract with New Hampshire, Councilor Sununu claimed that the state should not be funding  Planned Parenthood’s preventive care during ongoing investigations – but this flimsy excuse rings more hollow as state after state, including Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. We’ve said all along that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has high medical standards, and that’s what every one of these investigations has found,” concluded Frizzell.

Kuster Announces Support for Legislation to Increase Access to Childcare During Roundtable Discussion with Salem Parents and Early Childhood Education Stakeholders

2015-07-17 Annie KusterSalem, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders and staff at Salem Family Resources to discuss their work, and to announce her support for federal legislation to increase access to childcare and early childhood education. The discussion also provided Kuster with a chance to hear from parents, childcare providers, and advocates about how Congress can help support working families with young children, so their thoughts can be included in the Congresswoman’s forthcoming “Working Families Agenda.”

“All across the state, parents are hard at work earning a living for their families. But rising childcare costs are pushing many families over budget,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “We must ensure that we’re supporting working families, and increasing access both to childcare, and to early childhood education – which we all know is so important for developmental growth. During today’s roundtable, I got a chance to hear firsthand from Salem parents, educators, and other stakeholders about how Congress can best support our working families, and I was proud to announce my support for two bills that will help ease the burden on families with young children.”

During the roundtable, Congresswoman Kuster was joined by a number of participants from the early childhood education community to hear about the state of childcare across the district. Parents also shared challenges facing working families, and Kuster will take their feedback back to Washington and incorporate their thoughts into her Working Families Agenda. She also announced her support for two bills to help families better afford the cost of childcare: the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act of 2015 would adjust the Internal Revenue Code to give more families access to the Child Tax Credit and provide inflation adjustments to the $1,000 credit for calendar years after 2013, and the Child Care Access and Refundability Expansion Act of 2015, which would help ensure that middle class families qualify for a larger portion of the Child Tax Credit.

As many New Hampshire families make sacrifices and parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, Congresswoman Kuster is committed to supporting these families and has long advocated for efforts to strengthen early childhood education. Later this year, she will release a Working Families Agenda, a blueprint that outlines steps Congress should take to support working families across the country. Kuster was proud to host this event, which continued an important dialogue with families in New Hampshire and gave parents a chance to share ideas on policies that could benefit children and their families for years to come.


Jeb Bush Shows He Is Complete Out Of Touch With Real Working Families

Image by Gage Skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

I am sure you have already seen this but I feel that I cannot let Jeb Bush’s comments go by without taking a few minutes to talk about them.

In a recent interview with the Union Leader, Jeb said, “people should work longer hours.”

Are you kidding me? This is a asinine statement from an out of touch wealthy 1%-er, who does not understand what us little people have to do just to pay our bills. When you are a wealthy career politician who won the genetic lottery to be born into an ultra-wealthy family it is easy to see why it is so easy for Jeb to say people need to work more hours.

ABC US News | World News

Jeb Bush is currently worth an estimated $12,000,000 dollars, which is up over $10 million since he left office as Governor of Florida in 2007.   During the past few years Jeb enjoyed a very lucrative speaking career earning over $50,000 per speech.

It must be hard to make ends meet when you earn more in one speech than 50% of American’s earn in a year.

His full statement only adds to the fact that he has no idea what American workers are going through.

“…we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in,” said Bush.

Let me break this down for you Jeb, because it is clear to me you need some serious help.

People are already working more and more hours per week. A Gallop poll released in 2014 show that the average weekly hours worked is 47, and nearly 40% report working in excess of 50 hours per week.

Hours Worked GalluP


For those who are paid a flat salary work even more with at whopping 25% reporting working over 60 hours a week.

Have you met Dawn? She was a full time salaried employee from Dollar General. She enjoys a reasonable $34,000 a year salary and for working over 70 hours a week.

Dawn’s story in nothing new and show exactly why we have to fix our broken overtime policies. Under the new overtime directive from President Obama, workers who makes a salary less than $50,000 a year would be paid overtime for every hour worked over 40.

The biggest problem I have with Jeb Bush’s statement is that we as Americans need to work more hours and be more productive which will result in higher wages.

It has been proven over and over that American’s are working more hours and are more productive than we have ever been. Between 1973 and 2013 workers pay rose a meager 9% while productive rose a whopping 73%.

Our collective rise in productive has lead to massive gains by those at the top. The average CEO pay is now over 290 times higher than the average worker. That is an increase of 937% since 1978.

The idea that we need to work longer hours and we will see continued growth in our incomes is a great idea, however facts prove otherwise.

The idea that Americans need to work longer is truly frightening when you add to the fact that Jeb Bush is advocating for “entitlement reforms” that would force people to work until they are 70.

“I think we need to raise the retirement age, not for people that are already nearing, receiving Social Security, or already on it, but raise it gradually, over a long period of time for people that are just entering the system,” Bush said. “And I think we need to do that in relatively short order.”

Imagine being 69 years old, working 5 days a week for 10 hours a day or more. Is the kind of future we really want?

This entire statement by Jeb Bush just shows how out of touch with regular American’s he really is. People do not need to work longer hours and be more productive, we need our employers to actually raise the wages to compensate us for the productivity gains we have made in the past.

Granite Staters Cannot Afford Another Six Years Of Kelly Ayotte

New Kelly Ayotte Campaign Video Tries To Hide Record Of
Putting DC And Wall Street Special Interests Before New Hampshire 

Ayotte Brags About Miserable Record On Issues Including
Working Families & The Economy, Education, And the Environment

Concord, N.H. – Kelly Ayotte is launching her vulnerable campaign stunningly early and it’s no secret why: Republicans know that her record of putting Washington and Wall Street special interests before New Hampshire has put her re-election at risk.

In a new campaign video, Ayotte tried desperately to run from her record of putting special interests first while turning her back on New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy – even bragging about her miserable on issues including working families and the economy, education, and the environment.

But if Ayotte believes she’s going to be able to hide the fact that she’s turned her back on New Hampshire, she’s going to be in for a rude awakening at the ballot box.

See below for some of the key facts missing from Kelly Ayotte’s campaign video:

Kelly Ayotte Claims She’s “Bipartisan” But The Truth Is She:

“New Hampshire is a pro-gun state, but it is also a pro-gun safety state. Senator Ayotte voted against common sense criminal background checks and the 89% of her constituents who support them,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “We will be on the campaign trail to remind voters of Senator Ayotte’s record and to also encourage her to do the right thing now. For two years she’s refused to host a town hall dedicated to how we can reduce gun violence, and in the town halls she has hosted her moderators screened out questions regarding her vote against background checks. Reducing gun violence is a pressing national issue and Kelly Ayotte owes the people of New Hampshire a straight answer on why she continues to side with the NRA lobby over her constituents.”

“Senator Ayotte saw her approval ratings in the state plummet after she voted against background checks in 2013 and she should expect the same ire as she seeks re-election,” Rice-Hawkins said.

Kelly Ayotte Claims She Looks Out For Families’ Economic Interests (Including K-12 Education And Child Care) But The Truth Is She:

Kelly Ayotte has a long history of looking out for her special interest donors and opposing even modest Wall Street reform. Ayotted has voted to roll back the Wall Street reform bill and slash funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has received more than 2,000 consumer complaints from New Hampshire since December 2011.

“It’s no surprise that Wall Street special interests would try to save Kelly Ayotte after she’s consistently proven that she will always put special interests first while making New Hampshire consumers pay the price,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs. “This disgraced Wall Street Super PAC couldn’t buy a senate seat for Scott Brown last cycle, and they won’t be able to rescue Kelly Ayotte’s chances either.”

Kelly Ayotte Claims She’s Protected New Hampshire’s Environment And Natural Resources But The Truth Is She:

It is painfully obvious that Senator Kelly Ayotte is not working for New Hampshire families, and  her record shows she will put Wall Street, Big Oil, the Koch Brothers and corporations ahead of working families.

This election, Granite Staters will be holding her accountable for her voting record, and that will lead to a major disappointment for Kelly in 2016.

Granite State Rumblings: We Must Put NH Families First In The Senate Budget

The NH Senate has passed their state budget. This budget was passed down straight party lines. It is extremely disappointing to see where the priorities of our Republican Senators lie; tax cuts for businesses that will result in a large loss of revenues to the state that could have been put toward vital human services. Many Granite State children and their families continue to struggle with stagnant wages, the high cost of housing and child care, and inadequate nutrition. Putting corporations before people just doesn’t make sense.

A very important program that was not included in the budget was the reauthorization of the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP) formerly known as Medicaid Expansion, which currently covers more than 40,000 low-income Granite Staters. The 2014 law authorizing the NHHPP required it to be reauthorized by April 2016. The reasoning for this was to ensure that the program would work and people would take advantage of it.

The good news is that it is working and it is exceeding expectations! The New Hampshire Hospital Association has reported that emergency room visits by uninsured patients are down by over 20 percent. The hospitals have also reported significant decreases in uncompensated care. On top of that the program is bringing in millions of dollars to the state.

Beginning in 2016, the NHHPP will move those covered into the commercial insurance market, meaning they will get their coverage through private managed care companies. The funds needed to ensure a smooth transition need to be in place.

Governor Maggie Hassan had this to say about reauthorization of the program, “Reauthorizing this bipartisan program beyond the end of 2016 is critical for the health of our people and our economy, as uncertainty about the continuation of the program could lead to rising rates for all consumers. Uncertainty about the program’s future could also cause insurers to decide not to offer coverage in New Hampshire in 2017. We must work together to find a bipartisan path forward.”

If the NH Senate Republicans want to make New Hampshire a more attractive place for businesses then what could be better than having a health care program in place that will keep their workers healthy and productive? Draining needed revenues out of the state coffers to give to a majority of multi-national corporations is just wrong.

We urge you to call your state legislators and tell them, “Put Granite State children and their families first.”



From our friends at the NH Fiscal Policy Institute:

New Tax Cut Estimates Push Senate Budget Out of Balance

A new analysis from the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) finds that the business tax cuts included in the version of the FY 2016-2017 budget that the Senate will consider today would result in a more sizable and more rapid loss of revenue than previously anticipated.

The analysis also suggests that the lion’s share of the tax reduction would accrue to a relatively small number of corporations operating in New Hampshire.

The version of the budget approved by the Senate Finance Committee last week would reduce the rate of the business profits tax (BPT) from 8.5 percent to 7.9 percent by the end of 2019 and drop the rate of the business enterprise tax (BET) from 0.75 percent to 0.675 percent over the same span. Members of the Committee assumed that these phased-in reductions would not have any impact on state revenue collections in FY 2016, but would lower such collections by $14 million in FY 2017. However, in a letter to Governor Maggie Hassan on June 2, DRA Commissioner John Beardmore notes that, given the proposed effective dates for the rate reductions, there would, in fact, be an impact in FY 2016 – a loss of $3.8 million. This effect, as Commissioner Beardmore observes, “is the result of adjustments that are likely to occur with the first two business tax estimate payments for Tax Year 2016, which are due in FY16.” In the same letter, he estimates a FY17 revenue loss of $19.4 million arising from the reductions to the BPT and BET. In other words, with these latest estimates, the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the budget, in order to maintain balance and still reduce business tax rates, must either reduce spending by an additional $9 million over the course of FY 2016-2017 or carry forward another $9 million in surplus from FY15 into the next biennium, over and above the $34 million surplus on which it already relies.

Finally, data accompanying the Commissioner’s letter indicate that there were fewer than 700 business entities with either a BPT or a BET liability in excess of $1 million in tax year 2012. These entities, in turn, represent approximately 1 percent of all businesses filing tax returns that year. DRA estimates that roughly $13.8 million of the $23.1 million tax cut the Finance Committee’s budget would produce in FY2016-2017 would accrue to these very large taxpayers. In other words, these very large businesses would receive close to three out of every five dollars flowing out of the budget in tax cuts over the next two years.

Leo W Gerard: Trade Enforcement Failure

It’s all the rage now for Republican presidential candidates to spurn the Royal Romney approach and, instead, fawn over workers.

When former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum announced his presidential bid last week, he did it from a factory floor and called for increasing the minimum wage. Former New York Gov. George Pataki, who also launched his candidacy last week, named as his political inspiration Teddy Roosevelt, a corporate trust-buster and working-class hero. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who entered the race in April, said that to win elections, “you’ve got to get the people who work for the people who own businesses.”

That is true – if the businesses are in America. There’s not much point in American candidates soliciting votes from workers at factories that U.S. corporations closed here and moved overseas with the help of free-trade agreements (FTAs). Decade after decade of free trade, presidents promised workers that the deals set the highest standards for labor. And decade after decade, the federal government failed at enforcement, placing Americans in competition with child laborers, underpaid and overburdened foreign workers and victims of human trafficking.

Photo of child working in Guatemala by Antonio Rosa, courtesy of CCOO’s No Es Un Joc on Flickr
On trade, Sen. Paul got it right for working people. He opposed fast-tracking approval of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress. He was on the losing side of that vote, though. So the fast-track plan for Congress to relinquish its responsibility to review and amend trade agreements awaits action this week in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Republicans who believe in supporting American workers, not just pandering to them, should join Sen. Paul in voting “no” on fast track.

From Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, Republican and Democratic presidents have pledged to workers that some new free-trade scheme or another would protect Americans from unfair and immoral foreign competition.

Clinton claimed that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was the first deal ever containing teeth to enforce labor standards. George W. Bush’s U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) contended that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) had the strongest labor provisions ever negotiated. Obama administration officials assured Americans that the Peru, Colombia and Panama agreements, and now the TPP, have the greatest worker protections of all time.

They all swore that the standards would be strictly enforced. But none of it was true. The deals did not protect American workers. And they didn’t protect foreign workers either.

Now American workers overwhelmingly oppose the free-trade brand of globalization. They’ve seen its terrible results for them. They’ve suffered as corporations closed American factories, destroyed American jobs and communities, and shipped that work overseas.

Americans have found themselves competing with children coerced to work in foreign factories, trafficked and forced labor, and foreign workers so mistreated that they jump to their deaths from factory buildings. American consumers find themselves buying products made in unsafe buildings that collapse or burn, killing thousands of foreign workers.

The USTR, who is supposed to enforce the labor provisions of trade agreements, along with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of State, has failed. That’saccording to two reviews by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). After a damning GAO report in 2009, the USTR promised action. A second GAO analysis in 2014 reported little change.

Here’s the bottom line from that report:

Since 2009, USTR and DOL, with State’s assistance, have taken steps intended to strengthen monitoring and enforcement of FTA partners’ compliance with FTA labor provisions, but their monitoring and enforcement remains limited.

In other words, no matter what those agreements say about labor, it’s not being enforced.

For example, five years after Guatemala entered CAFTA, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) named Guatemala the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. That’s because of the large number of union activists murdered, tortured, kidnapped and threatened there.

This was a startling development because Colombia had a lock on the inglorious title of most dangerous for years. Colombia dropped from first place even while murders of trade unionists continued there.

Since Colombia finalized a free-trade agreement with the U.S. in 2011, two dozen Colombians trying to improve the lives and wages of workers through collective bargaining have been murdered every year. And these murders are committed with impunity. There are virtually never arrests or convictions for killing trade unionists in Colombia. Colombia’s trade deal with the U.S. and its “enforcement” by the USTR, DOL and the State Department have done nothing to change that.

And as in Guatemala, trade union activists in Colombia continue to be threatened, tortured and kidnapped. The free-trade agreement is no shield for them. For example, a paramilitary group threatened the daughters of Martha Cecilia Suarez, the president of the Santander public servants association.

In 2013, the paramilitary group Comando Urbano de los Rastrojos sent her two dolls marked with her daughters’ names. They were covered in red paint, one missing a leg, the other an arm.

The 14 free-trade agreements that the United States has signed with 20 countries contain provisions allowing groups or individuals to file complaints about such violations of the labor standards. The 2014 evaluation by the GAO suggests that only a tiny number of complaints have been filed because the Labor Department has failed to inform stakeholders of this process and few within the foreign countries know about it.

The GAO also found that the Labor Department has failed to meet its own deadlines for investigating and resolving the complaints it has accepted. Serious allegations, including human trafficking and child labor, remain unsettled for years.

In addition to the critical 2014 GAO report, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren detailed the failure of the United States to implement FTA labor provisions in a report issued by her office late last month, titled “Broken Promises.” It says that “the United States repeatedly fails to enforce or adopts unenforceable labor standards in free trade agreements.”

Admittedly, this is a titanic challenge. What the United States is trying to do is tell other countries, often ones far less wealthy, how their businesses should treat workers. The United States hardly would take kindly to Guatemala telling it that the U.S. minimum wage is so low that it amounts to forced labor.

But president after president has promised American workers that the United States will compel foreign nations to meet high labor standards established in FTAs.

They haven’t accomplished that. They probably can’t. They should stop saying it. And American workers and politicians should stop buying it. The United States can sign trade agreements with countries after they stop murdering trade unionists and countenancing child labor. Entering agreements with countries that permit these grotesque practices demeans American workers and consumers.

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