Sen. Stiles announces new strategy on Ed Funding Const Amd

Bi-partisan working group will craft language for introduction early next year

Concord, NH – After a series of meetings with Governor Hassan and a bi-partisan group of House and Senate members, Senator Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, has chosen to withdraw her legislative service request (LSR) for an educational funding constitutional amendment.  Instead, Stiles will work with the governor and interested parties agree upon consensus language over the coming months with the goal of introducing a proposed amendment early in the second year of the biennial session.

“Amending our constitution to allow the legislature to target aid to communities and students who need it most must continue to be a top priority of the legislature,” said Stiles.  “However, with difficult decisions ahead concerning the state budget, expanded gaming, and expanded Medicaid, issues that require our immediate attention, I have decided to delay introducing a Constitutional Amendment until the legislature’s second session in 2014.”

Since her re-election, Sen. Stiles has been meeting with legislators of both parties to craft tightly worded language allowing the legislature to target aid to poorer communities in an effort to create a level playing field for educational opportunities.  While close to achieving consensus language, lawmakers and Governor Hassan believed more time was necessary to do so than remained before Thursday’s LSR sign-off deadline.

“We have made significant progress in agreeing on new language for an amendment,” Stiles continued, “but given other pressing needs we were not able to finalize the wording ahead of today’s deadline.  I have received personal assurances from Governor Hassan that this amendment will be a priority of hers upon the completion of the budget and I look forward to working with her, members of her staff, and legislators from both parties to introduce an amendment early next year.  This timeline will give us enough time to get the language right and the legislature and the public opportunity to focus on and debate this important policy.”