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Entries in Legislation (135)

Friday
Mar212014

NH House Republicans Comment on Passage of Paint Tax Bill 

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and member of the House Environment & Agriculture Committee, John O’Connor (R-Derry), offered the following comments relative to House action today on HB1570, a bill that would impose a tax on paint sellers that would fund a new government program for paint disposal. The bill passed by a vote of 161-142.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This bill proposes a new tax, is anti-free-market, and anti-small business. This bill would impose a new tax on paint, borne by the retailers. Some proponents may say that sellers could absorb the tax - currently 75 cents per gallon in the three states where the program is in effect. Maybe large box stores, with deep pockets can, but those small town mom-and-pop hardware stores cannot. This new tax will no doubt get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. If this tax bill becomes law, New Hampshire consumers can look forward to higher home improvement costs.”

Rep. John O’Connor (R-Derry) House Environment & Agriculture Committee member

“Any paint manufacturer not willing to sign on with this program will not be allowed to sell their products in NH. This will essentially eliminate the ability for new, small paint companies to enter the New Hampshire market and reduce competition and stifles innovation.”


“The bill as proposed is far from ready for prime time and has too many weaknesses to name. There are major legal questions that have yet to be vetted by the Attorney General’s office, including antitrust concerns. This tax bill picks favorites and hits small retailers and consumers without effectively addressing the full scope of the problem it’s trying to resolve.”

Wednesday
Mar192014

NH Charter School Association - Attempt to undermine vote on charter school funding 

CONCORD, NH - 3/18/14

A document claiming to be from the Department of Education and circulated to legislators this week appears to be an attempt to undermine a vote on public charter school funding tomorrow.

Click here to read more about how the document in question, distorts costs associated with HB435. 

Efforts are being made to contact the Department and request that the Department confirm or deny the authenticity of the document and provide NH State Legislators with accurate corrections. 

For official cost analysis of HB 435 as amended click on the links below.


About Us
The NH Center for Innovative Schools is a NH registered non-profit whose members are committed to quality public options for all children. We offer assistance to all New Hampshire charter schools and groups wanting to learn more about these innovative programs. Our services are free, we do not charge or accept payment for our assistance.
Monday
Mar102014

NH Charter School Legislative Update 

In this issue

Examining the Need for HB 435


In 2009-10 the state legislature overhauled the education funding formula (SB539) for New Hampshire public schools, including public charter schools. The legislative intent of SB539 was to provide public charters with permanent sustainable funding. Public charters were woven into the fabric of public education funding receiving $3,450 per pupil in state adequacy aid plus $2,000 per pupil in disparity aid because charters do not receive local tax dollars.

 

Since that time charter school funding has remained flat however their costs have not. HB435 as amended would restore the legislative intent of SB539 by bringing public charter funding back to the percentage of the state average as originally intended.

 

How is HB435 Funded? 

There is currently a surplus sufficient to pay for HB435 in the current charter school line item of the state budget. No new money is needed. Future monies will come from the decline in adequacy needed due to the decline in total public student enrollment. State adequacy will not increase from existing levels according to figures prepared for Representative Weyler by the LBO. Adequacy costs will actually decrease in the future with surpluses projected at $6m and $11.8m in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Public Education Funding & Context


When discussing funding context is important. As you can see by the chart above, public charter school students represent only about 2% of total state adequacy aid. The vast majority of funding (about 98% or $936 million) goes directly to our traditional public schools. District schools do the incredibly difficult work of addressing the needs of the vast majority of students. Children are not widgets however and even in the best schools there will be some students whose needs are not met. Public charter schools complement our district system by providing a public education option for students who require a unique learning environment, curriculum, or instructional method.

Dispelling Common Myths & Misconceptions

The New Hampshire Public Charter School Association has put together a helpful document that addresses many of the common myths and misconceptions about public charter schools in New Hampshire. You can read the document by clicking here.

Charter school bills moving through the House
HB1128 would create a committee to study issues related to special education in public charter schools. In testimony before the House Education Committee, some supporters of the bill asserted that public charter schools or the state should be responsible for special education costs and not the resident district. These same supporters consistently oppose any suggestion that public charter schools should receive local tax dollars or that the money should follow the child. This position would seem irrational and more likely designed to either bankrupt public charter schools or disenfranchise students with special needs.

     

HB1392 would remove the restriction (10% rule) on the number of students that can transfer to a public charter school from each grade in a single year. In practice the 10% rule only serves to discourage small population centers from opening charters in the North and has little or no impact on the more densely populated areas in the South.

 

HB1393 would address a situation that occurs when a resident district does not operate
a full time elementary or secondary school. In these cases the district tuitions out resident pupils to a nearby district. HB1393 would require that "should" a resident pupil elect to attend a charter school operating within the district, that the district pay to the charter school the tuition which would have been paid to another district for the pupil, minus the amount of funds received by the charter school from the state ($5,498). 

Example
"District-A" does not operate an elementary school of its own. District-A signs an agreement with "District-B" to provide services for District-A's students at a rate of $12,000 per pupil. HB1393 would require that if a student elects to attend a public charter school operating in the district instead, that District-A pay the difference of ($12,000 - $5,498) or $6,502 to the charter school. This would result in a savings to the local tax payer of $5,498 for every student that attends the charter school instead of District-B.

Some groups like the NH-NEA and the NH School Boards Association oppose this common sense measure. The NHSBA writes on its website that HB1393 "ignores local control". This begs the question, local control to do what? Force local taxpayers to pay potentially thousands of dollars more per pupil than they would if the child attended a public charter school in the district?

HB1449 would change the charter school approval process by requiring that "the educational mission statement shall count for not less than 50 percent in the criteria for evaluating a chartered public school application". HB1449 would thus devalue much more important factors including: Budget and Financial Management, Curriculum, Academic Goals and Serving Students with Special Needs. While a mission statement is indeed important, it is much more important to properly evaluate the many factors which would result in the creation of a high-quality public school.

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Friday
Feb212014

MPP - Medical Marijuana Access Bill Moves Forward 

Bill Allowing Patients Legal Access to Medical Marijuana Passes New Hampshire House Committee

HB 1622 would allow qualifying patients to cultivate up to two mature plants until an alternative treatment center opens near their residence

CONCORD — A bill that would allow qualifying patients to cultivate a limited amount of medical marijuana in New Hampshire was approved this morning in a 13-3 vote by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. The bill will be considered by the full House sometime in March.

Sponsored by Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright (R-Tuftonboro), HB 1622 was designed to provide safe, legal access for patients who can’t afford to continue waiting for the four alternative treatment centers that were authorized by New Hampshire’s “therapeutic use of cannabis” law. The bill would allow qualifying patients or their designated caregivers to possess up to two mature plants and twelve seedlings. The cultivation location would have to be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, and patients would lose their ability to cultivate when an alternative treatment center opens within 30 miles of their residence.

“Patients and caregivers in Vermont and Maine have been cultivating their own marijuana legally for years with little controversy," said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which supports the bill. "The House has consistently supported patients who urgently need medical marijuana to treat their conditions, and in light of this excellent committee vote, we fully expect a strong House vote in favor of HB 1622.”

HB 573, the bill that created New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law, was signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan on July 23, 2013. However, a home cultivation provision included in the House-approved version was removed by the Senate following a veto threat. The Department of Health and Human Services is not required to finalize its rules for authorizing alternative treatment centers until January 2015. As a result, unless HB 1622 is enacted, patients do not expect to have legal access to their medicine under HB 573 until the summer of 2015 at the earliest.

Saturday
Feb082014

MPP - House Subcommittee to Review Marijuana Bill Monday 

House Subcommittee Meeting to Consider Details of Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

 

Full House approved legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older in January

 

CONCORD — On Monday, a five-member subcommittee formed by the House Ways and Means Committee will convene to examine the revenue and regulatory aspects of a bill that would make marijuana legal and regulate it like alcohol in the Granite State. HB 492 would make personal possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older. It would also direct the state to license and regulate marijuana retail, cultivation, production, and testing facilities. The subcommittee is expected to consider changes to the bill’s proposed system for taxing and regulating marijuana. The members of the subcommittee are Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry), Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson), Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson), and Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua).

 

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the bill in a 170-162 vote on January 15. It was the first time in history that a legislative chamber in the U.S. has passed legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. After the subcommittee has concluded its work, the House Ways and Means Committee will vote, and the bill will return to the full House of Representatives for a second vote in February or March. If approved a second time by the House, it will then be considered by the state Senate. 

 

“The Ways and Means Committee should be applauded for its diligent work on this much needed legislation," said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the bill. "Voters are clearly ready to scrap New Hampshire’s failed prohibition of marijuana, and this subcommittee now has a great opportunity to make the bill as strong as possible before it moves forward.”

 

Sixty percent of New Hampshire adults support HB 492, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released in October by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Just 36% said they are opposed. The entire poll is available at http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2013_fall_gastaxpot102513.pdf.

 

WHAT: House Ways and Means subcommittee on marijuana legalization bill HB 492 work session

 

WHEN: Monday, February 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET

 

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 202, 33 N. State St., Concord

 

WHO: Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua)

Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham)

Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson)

Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry)

Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson)

Matt Simon, New England Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project