Urgent Action – No to the Proposed House Budget
We made it into April, which in New Hampshire means 3 things: mud season is in full swing, the Red Sox are playing baseball and every other year the wrangling over the state budget kicks into high gear. Next week the NH House will vote on the budget of the next two years. While this budget does not contain many of the non-budget related policy items we saw two years ago, it still fails the needs of most Granite Staters in many areas. One key area is public education. This budget begins to fully bring Frank Edelblut’s vision of education as a commodity rather than a public good for the community to life. It makes major cuts to public education, puts the current school voucher program on steroids, and changes the public education funding formula to hurt towns that need help the most. These cuts to public education are combined with tax cuts for ultra-millionaires at our expense, as local property taxpayers are left to pick up even more of the burden when the state provides almost no aid to property-poor towns.
This budget would also kick new community college employees out of the NH State Retirement Plan, something that all full-time town, city, state, police, fire, school district, and university employees have. Stopping new groups of state employees from entering the plan is not only not fair to the employees, it also threatens the stability of our already struggling state pension plan, and the retirement security of our seniors who depend on it. And it will drive great people away from teaching in our state community college system.
While the budget does do some good including long overdue raises to our state employees, if the House is not able to pass a budget, the Senate will start on its own process and those raises will still be included. Now is the time to stand up and tell our Representatives to vote NO on this budget to ensure that we protect public education for all students in New Hampshire, whether they come from a town with a struggling property tax base or one with loads of valuable vacation homes. The state of NH needs to pay its fair share to educate every single public school student.
We ask all of you to please click the following link to tell your state representatives to vote NO on the proposed House budget. VOTE NO ON THE BUDGET.
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You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.