AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-13

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Urgent Action Requested - Stop HB 1393

April 9, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

We now have less than a month until all the bills need to be voted on by the full House and Senate and less than 2 months until the last day of the legislative session which is scheduled for May 26th. As the work ramps up on the House and Senate, we continue our focus on the 4 major bills remaining.

Parental Bill of Rights   This week we heard testimony on the so-called “Parental Bill of Rights”, (HB 1431), which is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. As we continue to say in this space, schools work best when parents and teachers work together as a team to support students, but this bill has many flaws that will do nothing but sow confusion in the classroom and potentially pit parents against each other. Worse yet, the sweeping assertion of absolute parent rights in this bill would remove community protections for vulnerable children – those extra sets of eyes who notice and report when something seems to be going wrong in a child’s life before it reaches a tragic point. We heard these concerns from the Office of the Child Advocate and from Waypoint Child and Family Services on the dangers to children if this bill passed. The testimony was emotional and a real look into what could become a more common reality if this bill passes. We continue to urge the committee to defeat this bill.

Stop HB 1393   Next week we have the school district budget cap bill HB 1393 which has the potential to permanently destroy school budgets and weaken our children’s education. If you have read our Legislative Bulletins this past month, you have been following the story of the town of Croydon where a small group of voters imposed a rigid per-pupil spending cap on the school district budget. That cut the budget far below what was needed to provide the existing level of school services. Parents in the Town of Croydon are mostly appalled by this action. They want to keep their public school and are organizing a revote on the budget. It has been inspiring to see the parents in Croydon stand up and demand that the town fund their children’s education. The tremendous push back against the minority of voters in Croydon has received should be a warning sign for all those who might support HB 1393—we will not be silent, and we will fight back to protect our kids’ futures.  HB 1393 would allow any town to adopt a rigid per pupil spending cap with a 3/5ths vote. It would not have to be high enough to cover current costs. Once in place, the budget cap could only be adjusted annually for inflation. A budget cap, once adopted, could only be removed by a 3/5ths vote of the town meeting. Needless to say, any place that adopts such a cap will see programs and services that students and families rely on suffer as budgets are cut – possibly even dismantled.

Urgent Action Needed

HB 1393 will be heard before the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee on Monday at 2:15 pm and we urge you to CONTACT YOUR SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HB 1393  to your Senator beforehand and oppose this bill.

We are nearing the finish line of this legislative session. We have had a lot of successes this year—none of which were possible without all of your work. Please stay engaged over these next two months so we can finish out the year strong for our schools and students.

Thanks as always for everything you do.

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Please continue to check our website at  http://nh.aft.org/ for updates on how we can protect public education, public services, the NH Retirement System, and advance initiatives as we work to continually improve it.

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You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.

NH Retirement Security Coalition The NHRSC will be tracking all bills related to the NH Retirement System and continuing advocacy for our members.  You can find the legislation tracker following retirement bills by clicking on the following link  NHRSC UPDATES.  AFT-NH is a member of the NH Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC).

 

Legislative Hearing Schedule

Time Bill Description Sponsors Location
Mon 4/11 1:00 PM HB 1070 Relative to The Default Budget In Official Ballot Jurisdictions. Rep. Ralph Boehm SH 100 (Election Law and Municipal Affairs/S)
Hearing
Mon 4/11 1:20 PM HB 1194 Relative to The Procedure For Overriding A Local Tax Cap. Rep. Diane Pauer SH 100 (Election Law and Municipal Affairs/S)
Hearing
Mon 4/11 2:15 PM HB 1393 Relative to The Adoption Of School District Budget Caps. Rep. Diane Pauer SH 100 (Election Law and Municipal Affairs/S)
Hearing
Tue 4/12 9:30 AM HB 1627 (new Title) Establishing An Education Freedom Account Program Administrator In The Department Of Education and Making An Appropriation Therefor, and Relative to The School Meals Direct Certification with Medicaid Program. Rep. Gregory Hill LOB 101 (Education/S)
Hearing
Tue 4/12 9:45 AM HB 1135 Requiring A Performance Audit Of The Department Of Education, Education Freedom Account Program. Rep. Sallie Fellows LOB 101 (Education/S)
Hearing
Thu 4/14 9:00 AM SB 296 Relative to Complaint Procedures In Cases Before The Commission For Human Rights. Sen. Harold French LOB 206-208 (Judiciary/H)
Executive Session
Thu 4/14 1:00 PM HB 1036 Relative to Nonpublic Meetings Concerning Public Employees. Rep. Kurt Wuelper SH 100 (Judiciary/S)
Hearing