HEAT OF THE CONTRACT FIGHT FELT AT GOVERNOR’S “STATE OF THE STATE”
Nearly 100 members, allies and legislators gathered on the state house steps Thursday prior to Gov. Chris Sununu’s State of the State address for a rally in support of an executive branch contract. On his way into giving his address before the joint convention of the House and Senate, Governor Sununu had to pass through a gauntlet of state employees holding signs calling for a fair contract now. Union Leader coverage, with photo of SEA members here
THIS WEEK AT THE STATE HOUSE
State offices will be closed on Monday February 17 in observance of Presidents’ Day. The House will meet in session on Wednesday, February 19 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, February 20, at 10 a.m. The Senate will not meet again in session until Thursday March 5 at 10 a.m.
Retirement bills head to house floor
Several of SEA’s priority retirement bills received favorable votes in committee recently and will head to a vote on the house floor. They include:
HB 1205-FN, a bill moving the social security offset from age 65 to the full age of social security Status: House ED & A committee voted OTP 11-8.
HB 1235-FN, a bill to study the retirement system which can include exploration of funding sources for COLA funding. Status: House ED & A committee voted OTP/A 12-7.
HB 1326-FN, the “Sunshine Bill” to require NHRS to provide quarterly report of investment fees (must include to whom the fee was paid, the amount paid, and must include fees for trades and investment). Status: House ED & A committee voted OTP 20-0.
HB 1434-FN, the bill to eliminate over 65 health premium for retirees. Status: House ED & A committee voted voted OTP 14-5.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING FOR
HEARING TUESDAY ON BILL TO PROHIBIT PRIVATIZATION
We invite members to testify on HB1272 http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2020&id=1852&txtFormat=html, prohibiting prison privatization, on Feb 18 in House Criminal Justice and Public Safety at 11:00 AM in LOB Room 204. We believe that corrections should remain a function of the state, in order to protect the financial interests of the state, to protect staffing levels, and to preserve accountability and oversight. For-profit motivations often result in cutting corners which can contribute to high turnover and a lack of experienced staff, putting both staff and the incarcerated population at risk.
Here are other bills we’re tracking this week
Public Employee OSHA bill: Senate Bill 639 HB 1171-FN, a bill to expand OSHA standards to the public sector, had a hearing earlier this month with several parties testifying in favor. The bill had a full committee work session and will be voted on in committee.
Peer support program: Senate Bill 634 a bill to establish a peer support program for crisis intervention and stress management for staff exposed to traumatic experience on the job, passed the senate and now heads to the house. NHPR covered the story recently here https://www.nhpr.org/post/bill-would-create-peer-support-group-nh-dcyf-employees-who-investigate-abuse#stream/0
NH PRIMARY ROUNDUP
A record-breaking 297,000 Democratic ballots were cast in Tuesday’s Presidential primary, surpassing the approximately 251,000 cast in 2016. Democratic candidates were required to reach a 15% threshold of the vote in order to receive any of the 24 delegates. NH’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention were allocated to the top vote-getting candidates as follows:
Sanders (25.9%) 9 delegates
Buttigieg (24.4%) 9 delegates
Klobuchar (19.8%) 6 delegates
There was notable turnout In the Republican Primary as well, with incumbent Trump receiving nearly 130,000 votes – more than double the number of primary votes cast for incumbent President Obama in the 2012 Democratic primary.