Press Releases

 

Entries in Discrimination (6)

Tuesday
Nov052013

NHDP - Action Alert: Tell Kelly Ayotte to End Workplace Discrimination

Dear Friend,
 

This week, possibly today, the US Senate is going to vote on ENDA - the Employment Non-Discrimination Act - and Kelly Ayotte will be the deciding vote.  

 
 
There is bipartisan support in the US Senate for the passage of ENDA - a law that will finally prohibit LGBT Americans from being fired because of their sexual orientation - but its passage will only be assured with one more vote.  Kelly Ayotte's support of ENDA can make a difference for thousdands of LGBT Americans.
 
Add your voice to our petition right now telling Kelly Ayotte to support ENDA.

Spread the word.  Just one vote could make the difference for thousands of hardworking American citizens who everyday have to fear they might lose their jobs just because of who they love.
 
After you sign our petition, share it via email, on Facebook, and on Twitter with the hashtag #NH4ENDA.  Tell Kelly Ayotte loud and clear - workplace discrimination isn’t okay in New Hampshire and Granite Staters won’t stand fora US Senator who endorses it.

Too much is at stake to sit on the sidelines.  

Best,
Raymond Buckley

 

Wednesday
May222013

CEI Today: Towering Federal Register, IRS scandal & gov't unions, and EPA discrimination

REGULATIONS - WAYNE CREWS & RYAN YOUNG

Daily Caller: The towering Federal Register


This week marks the publication of the 20th anniversary edition of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual survey of the federal regulatory state, Ten Thousand Commandments. The report takes a big-picture look at the cost and scope of federal regulations. Among other eye-popping numbers, this year’s edition estimates the total federal regulatory burden at $1.8 trillion per year and growing — the first time ever that the cost of regulation has exceeded half the size of the federal budget.

cei.org/10kc


See also: Wall Street Journal editorial, Red Tape Record Breakers


> Interview Wayne Crews

IRS SCANDAL & GOV'T UNIONS - MATT PATTERSON

Workplacechoice.org: IRS-Gate: Time to End Government Unions

 

In the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord has been tracking what he considers may be a smoking gun:  A meeting between National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley and Obama at the White House on Wednesday, March 31st of 2010. 


Time will tell if this is mere coincidence, or some nefarious plot emanating from the Oval Office to intimidate the President’s political adversaries into silence.

As frightening as it is, the I.R.S. scandal is but one example of the sinister cycle that plays out year after year at all levels of government:  A union representing government workers helps elect politicians who promise to increase the power and wealth of those government workers.  > Read more


> Interview Matt Patterson

EPA DISCRIMINATES

National Review: The EPA’s Conservative Problem

 

The EPA has an IRS problem.

The agency has rubber-stamped fee-waiver requests from environmentalist groups seeking information, but it denied similar requests from conservative groups, an extensive examination of EPA correspondence suggests. It’s the latest instance in which federal agencies have used their executive authority against perceived political opponents.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute obtained 1,200 pages of EPA correspondence between January 1, 2012, and April 26, 2013, in circumstances that appear to indicate the process is handled unfairly.
> Read more


> Interview Christopher Horner

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 


cei.org/ceidinner

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

APPLY TODAY!

Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship

CEI offers a one-year fellowship for journalists seeking to improve their knowledge of the principles of free markets and limited government. 

cei.org/warrenbrookes


Contact: chall@cei.org

 




 

   

Friday
Jan182013

Coalition of NH Municipalities File Motion to Intervene on LGC Supreme Court Appeal

Towns of Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem NH

 

Coalition of Municipalities File Motion to Intervene with NH Supreme Court on Appeal of the Local Government Center, Inc. (LGC) CASE No. 2012-0729

Allege LGC Discriminatory Business Practices in Return of Ordered Surplus Funds

1/17/13

The Towns of Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem, NH, on behalf of a coalition of fourteen municipalities (Auburn, Bennington, Canaan, Durham, Greenfield, Henniker, Lyndeborough, Meredith, Northfield, Peterborough, Plainfield, Raymond, Salem and Temple), today have filed a motion to intervene in the Appeal of the Local Government Center, Inc. v. NH Bureau of Securities Regulation case presently before the NH Supreme Court. 

The action marks an unfortunate turn of events in which municipal taxpayer funds are now being diverted to litigate the very organization charged with representing the interests of towns and cities across NH, as well as the public agency charged with regulating it.

The Bureau of Securities Regulation (BSR) found wrongdoing in the management of the Local Government Center’s risk pools. It ordered millions of dollars held by the Local Government Center (LGC) to be returned to current members of the pools.

Durham Administrator Todd Selig states, “The BSR, however, did not distinguish among members. Some joined the risk pools early or late, some left early or late, and some joined, left, and later rejoined. By ordering the money returned to current members, it created windfalls for some, but inadequate recompense for others. That is, some members will receive an arbitrarily larger share than their contribution, and some an arbitrarily smaller share.”

To fix this, the four towns have petitioned the NH Supreme Court to allow them to intervene, and to address the hearings officer’s failure to fashion a remedy that will allow refunds in proportion to members’ contributions. Due to the dates they joined and left, these four – Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem – believe they represent all members whose share of the refund will be inadequate compared to the share of the money they contributed.

LGC Case Background & Details on Coalition of Communities' Petition to NH Supreme Court

In the Order dated August 16, 2012, State of NH hearings officer Donald Mitchell found that the Local Government Center (LGC) had engaged in actions or inactions that resulted in multiple violations of RSA 5-B. 

These statutory violations, which commenced in 2003 and continued through 2010, were attributable to, amongst other things, a failure by LGC to distribute to Trust members on an annual basis excess earnings and surplus, improper transfers of monies from the Health Care Trust and Property Liability Trust to the Workers Compensation Trust, and a transfer of the Health Care Trust’s and Property Liability Trust’s respective interests in real estate to the Local Government Center Real Estate Inc. without consideration.

Salem Town Manager Keith Hickey states, “In sum, the Order found that but for these illegal actions, there would have been additional excess earning and surplus that would be available to return to LCG members on an annual basis – members such as Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem.”

The Order: What The LGC Has To Pay Back

$33.2 million from HealthTrust

$17.1 million the Property-Liability pool siphoned from HealthTrust

$3.1 million from Property-Liability for communities that joined after June 14, 2010

Total: $53.4 million

 

As no agreement was presented to the hearings officer within 30 days of the Order as required, the LGC proposes to issue refunds to those who were members of its Health and Property Liability Trusts as of 8/16/12, the date of the Order. 

Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem contend that such a refund would not meet the standard articulated in the Order that refunds shall be “in proportion to each member’s contributions to that standing amount of earnings and surplus.” 

Durham Administrator Todd Selig states, “The return of tens of millions of dollars by the LGC to its members of the Health Trust and Property-Liability Trust programs is mandated by the hearing officer’s order to be in proportion to each member’s contributions.  Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, Salem and other political subdivisions contributed to the surplus with taxpayer funds.  Those funds should therefore be returned.  It is an issue of basic fairness and equity -- no more, no less.”

Durham, Peterborough, Salem and many other political subdivisions would have been able to recoup a refund had its operative date been June 14, 2010 – the date set by the Order if the BSR and LGC reached an agreement.

Northfield and many other political subdivisions who left the LGC prior to June 14, 2010 would have been able to recoup a refund had the remedy required a re-calculation of surplus on an annual basis, with the surplus distributed annually, based on annual membership rolls and the premiums paid by members and former members each year.

The NH Supreme Court has equity jurisdiction to fashion a refund remedy that is in proportion to each member’s contributions to that standing amount of earnings and surplus.

Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem and scores of other political subdivisions across NH contributed to the creation of the illegal LGC surplus, but per the terms of the Order and the position taken by the LGC, they are not eligible to participate in the distribution of surplus because they terminated their Trust membership prior to 8/16/12. 

Northfield Town Administrator Glenn Smith states, “The municipalities have requested the NH Supreme Court to determine an equitable approach to distributing the surplus generally requiring the LGC to calculate the amount of surplus that accrued each year from the year that the LGC first unlawfully retained excess surplus, and to allocate the surplus proportionally amongst the members of the Trusts by year.” 

“Such an annual, proportional remedy calculation could be applied and would be equitable,” states Town Manager Hickey.

Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner states, “The information provided by the LGC in response to Durham, Peterborough, and Salem’s RSA 91-A request reveals that in any given year, the membership of the Trusts changed.  Awarding the refund based on the August 16, 2012 Order date does not capture accurately the amounts that Trust members contributed to the Trusts over the time that the surplus accrued.”

Selig states, “Public employees paid a significant portion of the health care premiums, and presumptively they will receive from their employers a corresponding portion of any health care surplus refund payment.  The existence of such public employee health care premium contributions underscores the importance of achieving an accurate and equitable distribution of any Trust surplus.  Only the NH Supreme Court can remedy the inherently inequitable situation at this juncture.”

Durham, Northfield, Peterborough, and Salem, as Intervenors, have requested of the NH Supreme Court that their Motion be granted, and that they be allowed to brief before the NH Supreme Court two issues:

1.  Whether the hearings officer erred in failing to fashion a remedy that will allow that refunds shall be in proportion to each member’s and former member’s contributions to that standing surplus amount and earnings?

2.  Whether the NH Supreme Court should exercise its equitable powers to fashion a remedy that the calculation and refund of any surplus shall be in proportion to each member’s or former member’s annual contribution to said illegal surplus, or such other equitable remedy as the Court shall see fit?

In December 2012, the towns of Auburn, Bennington, Canaan, Durham, Greenfield, Henniker, Lyndeborough, Meredith, Northfield, Peterborough, Plainfield, Raymond, Salem and Temple filed a formal complaint regarding LGC discriminatory business practices with the NH Bureau of Securities Regulation.

Subsequent to the filing with the BSR, the Bureau of Securities Regulation’s outside counsel, Andru Volinsky told Annmarie Timmins of the Concord Monitor, “The bureau will need to look at this…There is nothing in the law that says you have to be a member to get your surplus back.”

Town Administrator Pam Brenner states, “To date, the Towns have received no formal response from the BSR.”

The motion to intervene filed by Concord Appeals Attorney Joshua L. Gordon may be found on line at http://appealslawyer.net/do/briefs/Petition_to_Intervene_w_appx.pdf

Monday
Dec102012

Twelve Municipalities File Formal Complaint with NH Bureau of Securities Regulation Citing Discriminatory Local Government Center (LGC) Business Practices 

Towns of Durham and Peterborough, NH

PRESS RELEASES

Twelve Municipalities File Formal Complaint with NH Bureau of Securities Regulation Citing

Discriminatory Local Government Center (LGC) Business Practices

12/10/12

 

Dissatisfaction with the New Hampshire Local Government Center’s proposal to “refund” more than $52 million in surplus funds that the NH Bureau of Securities Regulations hearings officer has ordered to be returned to NH municipalities and school districts has prompted a dozen municipalities to file a formal complaint with the NH Bureau of Securities Regulation.

The towns of Peterborough and Durham, along with ten other municipalities (Auburn, Bennington, Canaan, Greenfield, Henniker, Lyndeborough, Northfield, Plainfield, Raymond and Temple), have written a December 7, 2012 letter to Director Glennon of the NH Bureau of Securities pointing out that the LGC’s proposed refund through the issuance of future insurance premium “holidays” to current LGC members will not include those municipalities and school districts that contributed to the creation of the surplus funds, but that have recently left the LGC and taken their insurance business elsewhere.

Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner and Durham Administrator Todd Selig state that the letter to the Bureau of Securities Regulation calls attention to the discriminatory effect of the LGC’s proposed refund that fails to return cash to the former LGC members.  Ms. Brenner and Mr. Selig indicate that there are at least 20 NH municipalities and school districts that are in the same position as Peterborough and Durham: they were members of the LGC when the illegal surpluses were allowed to accumulate, but the reimbursement of a pro rata share of the surplus funds to these former LGC members is not being proposed by the LGC.  This is patently unfair to local taxpayers from these communities whose annual insurance premiums to the LGC were utilized to amass significant illegal reserves by the organization, one of the largest public risk pools in the nation.

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office, through the Bureau of Securities Regulation, argued LGC practices were illegal.  They contended that the LGC was amassing money by overcharging cities, towns, and school districts for health insurance and not returning enough surplus to member communities. Hearing officer Donald Mitchell agreed.  In August 2012, he ordered the LGC to return more than $52 million to communities

The Order: What The LGC Has To Pay Back

$33.2 million from HealthTrust

$17.1 million the Property-Liability pool siphoned from HealthTrust

$3.1 million from Property-Liability for communities that joined after June 14, 2010

Total: $53.4 million

 

Selig, Brenner, and the other municipalities find the notion that communities, and more specifically local taxpayers, cannot receive a refund in cash and that entities have to be a continuing customer of the LGC organization to participate in the surplus refund to be an incredible and outrageous position.  It is patently unfair to local taxpayers.

The municipalities have called upon Director Glennon and the Bureau to investigate this discriminatory refund proposal.  Ms. Brenner and Mr. Selig state that it is common sense that since the LGC had an obligation to perform an audit and an actuarial analysis of the insurance programs, and then refund any surplus funds on an annual basis, the refund of funds should be calculated on an annual basis and credited to the members of these insurance program on an annual basis.  The refund process must both be fair and transparent.  Municipalities, school districts, and their employees were contributors to these insurance programs on an annual basis.  The premiums were calculated on an annual basis, and the contributions to pay for the premiums were made on an annual basis.  Each year, the identity of those municipalities and school districts that were members of the insurance programs changed. 

These municipalities believe that after all of the problems with LGC programs that have been identified by the BSR, is it asking too much to have a plan to refund the surplus to the taxpayers of members communities, by year of participation, in cash?  Is it asking too much to get the refund right so that taxpayers of communities that contributed to the illegal LGC surplus receive their fair share of the ordered refund?

Peterborough, Durham, and the other affected communities await a prompt response from the Bureau of Securities Regulation and the LGC on this important fairness issue.

Thursday
Jun142012

CEI Today: Obama regulatory onslaught, China vs. EU, and Employment Non-Discrimination Act 

OBAMA REGULATORY ONSLAUGHT - MYRON EBELL

Charleston Daily Mail: Obama’s war on resource industries -Mining companies are being targeted across the board

As much as President Barack Obama claims to be concerned about jobs for Americans, he has a strange way of showing it.


Three recent actions in Alaska, West Virginia, and Arizona reveal the astonishing ways in which the Obama administration is twisting our nation's environmental laws in order to block natural resource production, and destroy jobs in the process. > Read the full commentary on Dailymail.com


>Interview Myron Ebell

> See related:

EPA's phony job numbers

Sen. Inhofe Seeks to Rein in EPA’s All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

 

CHINA VS. EU - FRAN SMITH

Openmarket.org: China Takes Hard Stance on EU’s Airline Emissions Charges

 

It looks like it could begin a trade war — in airplanes. China has announced that it may impound European Union airplanes in retaliation if the EU seizes their planes because China won’t comply with the EU’s draconian carbon emissions data and trading system.


The EU has imposed a carbon tax on emissions including those from foreign airplanes that land or take off from the EU. What’s really astonishing is that the charges would be made on all emissions from the whole trip, that is, is a plane took off from Beijing and landed in Frankfurt, Germany, the airline would pay the tax for the emissions during the 4,863-mile journey.


According to the EU’s mandate, countries had until March 31 of this year to submit data on their carbon emissions. But Chinese airlines said they are not going to collect and hand over the data. > View the full commentary on Openmarket.org


> Interview Fran Smith


> Also by Fran Smith: WSJ: Senate May Vote on Needed Sugar Reform Amendment

 

 

EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT - HANS BADER

Openmarket.org:
Employment Non-Discrimination Act Makes as Little Sense as Chemotherapy for a Cold


American business is quite happy to hire gay and lesbian employees, and needs no federal mandate to do so. Virtually all Fortune 500 companies already ban sexual orientation discrimination in their own hiring and firing, and have done so for years. But on June 12, a Senate Committee held a hearing to promote a bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), that would hold private employers liable for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages and attorneys fees if a judge or jury later decides they committed discrimination based on sexual orientation. > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

> Interview Hans Bader

 


Also featuring...

Senate Deliberates on Vote to Check EPA’s All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

Jamie Dimon and the “Just Fine” Private Sector

Legislators Seek to Create New, Unnecessary Protected Class: Gun Owners

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

CEI Podcast for June 13, 2012: Smarter Transportation Funding

When the federal government gives out transportation funding to the states, it attaches a lot of strings. The solution, according to Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner, is to get the federal government out of the transportation business and devolve it to the states. In the just-released CEI study “Fixing Surface Transportation in Massachusetts: A Path Forward under a Devolved Federal Funding Scenario,” Scribner argues that by following a user-pays, user-benefits principle, states can raise revenue and maintain infrastructure more efficiently than the federal government can.


VIDEO: MAD MEN PITCH APOLOGY AD TO CEI



CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.