FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Molly Cowan
P: 603 271-3077
F: 603 271-3027
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
CONCORD, NH - Citing 200 years of Constitutional protectionfor New Hampshire's public schools, New Hampshire's Democratic Senators applaud the bipartisan defeat of a majority sponsored measure, CACR 43, aimed at removing judicial review from the education funding process.
Democratic Senators today argued that an amendment stripping the Constitution of the Legislature's obligation to fund public education is unwise and unnecessary.
"It would return us to the days when little or no state funding is provided to our communities," warned Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen.
"With no opportunity for thoughtful deliberation and careful debate, the Senate Republican Leadership attempted to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would do away with the state's obligation to fund a quality education in New Hampshire, "stated Deputy Democratic Leader Lou D'Allesandro, District 20. "Senate Democrats are opposed to passing such a sweeping change with little public input on 72 hours notice."
Senator Gatsas introduced the amendment after his education funding plan was ruled unconstitutional recently by the Hillsborough SuperiorCourt. Senator Foster noted that the ruling should have come as no surprise as the attorney general had advised the legislature on a nearly identical plan that the bill had serious constitutional infirmities.
Senator Foster noted, however that an alternative was available. “The New Hampshire Senate passed Governor Lynch's constitutional education funding plan last year, which also did away with the wildly unpopular statewide property tax,” stated Sen. Joe Foster, D-District 13. “However, the Senate then passed an education plan, offered at the last minute by the Majority party, with no public input or time for thorough scrutiny.” This education plan was just ruled unconstitutional by the New Hampshire Superior Court