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Entries in Legislation (148)

Saturday
Mar292014

Josiah Bartlett Center - Dickens, Budgets, and Charter Schools 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire
Two issues this week. Charter Schools and Charles Dickens. I enjoyed writing the piece which uses my favorite Charles Dickens quote to pass on the advice of Mr. Micawber to today’s lawmakers (though, of course, you and I could benefit by reminding ourselves of this truism now and then). You don’t have to be the greatest Dickens fan to believe that Micawber’s insight is as profound as it is simple.
 
The second issues unfolded last week. Distressingly, charter schools are sometimes used as a political football and otherwise sensible, seemingly non-controversial proposals get caught in the political vortex. That happened with a bill related to a modest charter funding change. Problematically, I made a mistake and needed to correct it in a column two days later. Both columns are reproduced here. Everything I said in the first column about misleading information was true with the exception of authorship. Charter schools were being attacked with incorrect information designed to confuse the issue. That information was contradicted by the official fiscal note produced by the department of education. I assume that the department wasn’t the author of the contradictory and incorrect information. I was wrong. In fact, the department authored and stands by both the right information and its incorrect rebuttal. If one is right the other is wrong but they have the same author. No wonder legislators were confused and changed their mind. It is very sad but the attack on charter schools continues despite their amazing success and is at least somewhat more muted here than in places like New York City.
 

The great economic principle of our time comes not from an economist or a banker but from the great Mr. Micawber, a somewhat comic character created by Charles Dickens.  Wilkins Micawber had figured out the central organizing fact of modern life when he suggested to young David Copperfield, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the weary scene, and  – and in short you are for ever floored.”...Click here to keep reading

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In Wednesday’s column about a misleading attack on charter school funding, I made a big mistake. I want to correct my mistake about the source of the very misleading information that was circulated and explain to you how I made the mistake and the problem with the information. It’s important that you feel free to agree or disagree with my conclusions but not have cause to doubt my information....Click here to keep reading

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A modest normalization of charter school funding, although long overdue, has become a political football and subject of misinformed and purposely misleading arguments to try and kill it. The truth, easily discovered, is that the proposal covers fewer than 2% of students and involves less than 2% of state education funding and continues to ask charter schools to prosper with less than half the funding of traditional schools....Click here to keep reading

Saturday
Mar222014

NH Sen. Boutin Defends NH Equestrians 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Manchester, NH – State Senator David Boutin defended New Hampshire’s equestrian community at a Manchester Water Works public hearing on new rules to restrict horseback riding throughout the Lake Massabesic watershed. Boutin (R-Manchester) joined nearly 300 concerned citizens to testify against the proposed rules, citing a lack of any scientific evidence that restrictions on equestrians would do anything to improve or protect the region’s water quality.

“New Hampshire’s equestrians are among the best stewards of our public lands, and have been using and protecting Lake Massabesic for centuries,” Boutin said. “The Manchester Water Works Committee may have the best of intentions to protect water quality, but these proposed rules are not supported by any scientific evidence, and would do nothing but restrict the ability of horseback riders to enjoy one of our state’s greatest multi-use resources.”

Horse owners and riders packed the Manchester Public Library for last night’s public hearing on the proposed rules. Boutin has already convinced the State Department of Environmental Services to withdraw similar restrictions on horseback riding. Boutin was also instrumental in blocking last year’s proposal to ban horseback riding in state parks. His efforts drew praise from the crowd and from the state’s equestrian community.

“He was amazing. The amount of work that Sen. Boutin put into getting the details to the Water Works Committee was amazing,” said Doug Whitfield of Manchester. “He did a great job for his constituents, and for anyone who uses the lake.”

Attachment- Caption- Senator David Boutin (R-Manchester) testifies before Manchester Water Works Committee on effect of proposed restrictions on NH equestrians.

Friday
Mar212014

NH House Republican Alliance: Statement on HB1570 Paint Tax

The House Republican Alliance comments on  HB1570 - A, a bill to establish a new fee on household paint.


"This bill adds a new fee to every can of paint purchased in New Hampshire, making our consumer goods more expensive. Anyone who wants to paint a room in their house, fence, or their doghouse will now pay more. Any new building and home construction will be more expensive, making our affordable housing, less affordable," stated Rep. Russ Ober- Hudson.  "Further, the amendment to HB1570 never received a public hearing before Ways and Means to discuss these new fees.  All tax and fee bills are to go to Ways and Means per house rules."

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.