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Entries in Public Employees (39)


NHDP - Legislative ethics panel rejects Bragdon's claim of 'overbroad' restrictions

Key Point: "[Ethics committee chairman] Gross wrote that the conditions were purposely broadly worded 'to assure that as long as Sen. Bragdon remains in the Senate, his position cannot in any way be used to benefit his employer.'... Gross wrote that Bragdon must accept or reject the committee’s restrictions by 12 noon on Friday."

Union Leader: Legislative ethics panel rejects Bragdon's claim of 'overbroad' restrictions
John DiStaso

CONCORD — The Legislative Ethics Committee has rejected state Sen. Peter Bragdon’s assertion that the panel imposed “overbroad and unnecessary” restrictions on him to avoid potential conflict between his role as an elected official and his job as executive director of the HealthTrust public employees benefits pool.
“The conditions were not offered as a starting point for further negotiations,” ethics committee chairman Martin L. Gross wrote to Bragdon’s attorney, Russell Hilliard, in a letter on Monday that was obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader on Tuesday, “but rather to afford Senator Bragdon the opportunity to avoid a formal proceeding to consider the two allegations that the Committee’s Preliminary Investigation indicated would be supported by clear and convincing evidence.”
Bragdon’s reaction to the sharply-worded letter was, “No comment at this time. I will be discussing this matter with attorney Hilliard and trying to figure out why I am being treated differently than other legislators who are employed.”
The committee, after clearing Bragdon of any intentional behavior that violated legislative ethics guidelines, told Bragdon that he must agree to “not take part in any official activity that concerns, involves or would have any effect on your employer.”
Bragdon, a Milford Republican, accepted the $180,000-a-year post last summer and then stepped down as state Senate President, but stayed on as a rank-and-file senator.
The committee also told Bragdon that he should not participate in any HealthTrust consideration or decision-making process” on any matter that involves legislative consideration, and he should not participate in any HealthTrust “consideration, decision-making or communications with the state’s regulatory officials who deal with the risk pool.”
Hilliard wrote to the panel last week that the conditions are “overbroad and unnecessary” and asked for clarifications. He wrote, for instance, that some legislation “applies generally to employers and nonprofits such as HealthTrust and not in any particular fashion to HealthTrust.”
But Gross wrote back on Monday, “If Senator Bragdon believes the conditions are unacceptable, and if chooses to remain a member of the Senate, the Committee will go forward by issuing written formal charges and scheduling a hearing to determine the merits of the allegations.”
Gross wrote that the conditions were purposely broadly worded “to assure that as long as Sen. Bragdon remains in the Senate, his position cannot in any way be used to benefit his employer.”
He wrote that the restrictions “are intended to isolate Senator Bragdon from his employer’s relations with the state.”
Gross noted that Bragdon recently filed an “incomplete” declaration under the ethics guidelines, “in which he identified the Medicaid bills as involving a conflict with his employment, but then participated in voting on them. He did this notwithstanding previous assurance to the Committee that he would not participate in any matter involving his employer.”
Gross wrote that Bragdon is allowed to perform “purely ministerial activities” in assisting HealthTrust to comply with proposed legislation or regulations, but may not become involved in meaningful, “prudential decisions concerning its relations with the state.”
Gross wrote that Bragdon must accept or reject the committee’s restrictions by 12 noon on Friday.


Bill Sponsors Comment on Passage of HB325 Public Employee Rewards

CONCORD – Today Rep. Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) and Rep. Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) offered the following comments on the passage of HB 325, a bill that provides a one-time award equal to 10 percent of the savings achieved during the first year that a public employee’s cost-saving or revenue-producing suggestion is implemented. The bill passed the House 199-162.

Rep. Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline), Prime Sponsor

“Our hard working State Employees deserve credit when they save tax payers money. Awards are nice, but when warranted, giving them a piece of the savings, we believe is a great way to encourage this type of activity. We need to incentivize the practice of suggesting and implementing efficiencies. Ten percent of the first year of savings is a small price to pay when we could save thousands or even millions of dollars moving forward.”

House Republican Whip Rep. Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson), Co-Sponsor

"The legislature should always be good stewards of tax payer dollars and this bill enables our government to promote similar efforts by our State employees. We have experienced, knowledgeable employees in each department and office. They will now know that their contributions to efficiency will be recognized and rewarded. This will be central to identifying new and innovating ways we can save money, modernize and squeeze more value out of every dollar."


ALG's Daily Grind - Will state and local governments add 220,000 jobs in 2013?

Jan. 10, 2013

Will state and local governments add 220,000 jobs in 2013?

Not if past performance is any indication. State and local governments shed 26,000 jobs in 2012 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Obama's Blunders: EPA, marijuana and Zeppelin!

The EPA has new rules on smoke, some states have other rules on other forms of smoke. Meanwhile, our President has a lot of knowledge about Led Zeppelin.

Government of, by and for activists

Lisa Jackson's resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has focused attention on the "unfinished agenda" she leaves for this agenda-driven agency's next director.

Kupelian: The giant, gaping hole in Sandy Hook reporting

The role psychiatric medication has played historically in school massacres and other shootings.


Six Medals Given to NH Department of Corrections Staff

(Goffstown, N.H.) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn presented special medals to five Corrections Officers and one nurse in recognition of their teamwork to prevent a potentially tragic situation last year. They were honored for working together to prevent a suicide attempt by hanging at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown, which occurred on June 28, 2011.

Corrections Sergeant Scott Marshall, Corrections Corporal Eric Stone, and Corrections Officers Valerie Deshaies, Wanda Dionne, and Christopher Ward and Nurse Becky Crawford received the Department’s Team Commendation medal for working together to resolve the incident while displaying the highest professional conduct as a result of their devotion to duty and service to the public.

Commissioner Wrenn said, “These employees used their Corrections training and remained focused on resolving a crisis at the women’s prison that could have ended tragically had it not been for their timely intervention. Their actions are highly creditable and I am honored to recognize them for their accomplishments.”

The Team Commendation medal is one of five medals that can be awarded to Department of Corrections employees for outstanding acts that occur in the line of duty.

Jan232012 - 2,000-plus turn out to ‘Celebrate Gov. Walker’ in Wisconsin 

Wisconsin Reporter

WAUWATOSA — In spite of the bite of a cold Wisconsin January afternoon, supporters of Gov.Scott Walker turned out en masse at Hart Park here to rally the Republican troops in the shadow of a massive campaign targeting the embattled governor, his lieutenant and four GOP senators.

Some of the biggest names among Wisconsin Republicans showed up to offer their support at the“Celebrate Walker” rally, including former Gov. Tommy Thompson and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, his opponent in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race. The bitter rivals seemed to put aside their differences Saturday long enough for the Republican cause.

Some pro-recall demonstrators turned out, too, leading to a few verbal clashes but “few problems” and no arrests, according to Wauwatosa police.

A crowd estimated at more than 2,000, according to police, attended the event, virtually held in the governor’s backyard in the city he and his family call home.

The event, which brought out Walker supporters from around the state, took place five days after the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and liberal political action committee United Wisconsin turned in about 1.9 million recall signatures, by the party’s count — including more than 1 million in the effort against the governor.

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Click here to see video of rally