Thursday, October 3, 2013
In the News Today
Thursday, October 3, 2013
In the News Today
A Victory for Wisconsin Taxpayers and Worker Freedom of Choice
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 12, 2013 – Today, teachers in Kenosha, Wis., voted to decertify their union, the Kenosha Education Association, by a margin of nearly two to one. Only 37 percent of the teachers opted to retain the union in an election made possible by the labor reforms enacted under Gov. Scott Walker (R). The result goes to show that when workers have a choice on whether to join a union instead of being forced into one by law, they often choose to vote down the union.
Competitive Enterprise Institute labor policy analyst Matt Patterson said regarding the vote in Kenosha:
“Gov. Walker’s bold and effective reforms have loosened the grip of unions on Wisconsin's public purse, to the benefit of taxpayers and to the detriment of Big Labor bosses. The news today proves what unions have long feared - that when workers are actually given a free and fair choice, they will often choose opt out of union membership altogether.
“The public at large—and an increasing number of union members—have become wise to the fact labor unions stifle innovation and burden governments and businesses with unsustainable costs and regulations."
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.
Shaheen Fails Struggling Students on Loans,
Chooses Politics Over Solutions
Schumer-Shaheen Agenda: Failing to enact permanent fix is “a messaging winner for democrats”
Washington, D.C. - In less than two weeks, loan rates for New Hampshire students will double from 3.4% to 6.8%, yet Jeanne Shaheen is doing nothing to help them. Shaheen would rather toe the party line than rally behind a solution to help New Hampshire college students who are already struggling to stay above water.
Two weeks ago, Shaheen insisted “The last thing we should do at a time when Americans owe more on student loans than credit cards is to let interest rates on student loans double.”
Yet, when Shaheen had the chance to vote for a long-term solution...
Shaheen voted against a permanent fix to student loan rates which would have prevented the rates from doubling on July 1st. (S. 1003, CQ Vote #142: Motion rejected 40-57: R 39-5; D 1-50; I 0-2, 6/6/13, Shaheen Voted Nay)
Why did Jeanne Shaheen turn her back on struggling college students? Because New York Senator Chuck Schumer told her to. According to Roll Call, Schumer said the student loan issue was “a messaging winner for democrats.” Meanwhile, college students are left without a sound solution to prevent loan rates from doubling and time is running out.
"Students are already struggling to pay the bills and face a tough job market, yet Jeanne Shaheen voted against a permanent solution that would have prevented their loan rates from doubling. Preventing student loan rates from crushing struggling students should be an area of bipartisan agreement in Washington, but Jeanne Shaheen would rather politicize the issue than help working families and students get ahead. New Hampshire needs a serious Senator who works across the partisan divide to fix problems, not someone who instead takes pleasure in inflaming the division," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.
Will Republicans turn taxpayer money over to a radical, out of state organization?
Concord - When the New Hampshire State Senate takes up repeal of a misguided education voucher passed by the Jeb Bradley and Bill O'Brien led Tea Party legislature today, all eyes will be on Senators Bob Odell and Nancy Stiles. With re-election contests just a few months away both Stiles and Odell voted against this irresponsible attack on public schools in 2012. But today, Majority Leader Jeb Bradley is counting on them to flip flop, table HB370, and refuse to vote for repeal of his reckless education voucher.
"The question on the minds of parents, students, and educators across the state today is will Stiles and Odell stand with them? Or will they turn their backs on New Hampshire's public education system and vote to support Jeb Bradley and Bill O'Brien's Tea Party agenda?" asked New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director Harrell Kirstein. "Voting for anything than 'ought to pass' is clear sign Odell and Stiles no longer can be counted on to defend New Hampshire public school students."
The education voucher program could cost New Hampshire public schools 90 million dollars over ten years, divert that funding to private and religious schools, and downshift costs to local communities and property tax payers. It would be administered by a fiscally irresponsible out of state organization, the Network for Educational Opportunity whose president is dedicated to showing "how and why government schooling is so harmful to children." He compares American public schools to opposition to Hilter's "takeover of German's schools." And concludes that public schools foster "dependency." [schoolandstate.org]
"This is radical right wing organization intent on destroying public education in New Hampshire and across the country. They should not be involved in allocating New Hampshire citizens hard-earned tax dollars," said Kirstein. "The choice for Odell and Stiles is simple. Do you stand with New Hampshire students or Jeb Bradley and this radical out of state anti-education organization?"
Rep. William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) announced today that he is filing a friend-of–the-court brief as local counsel for the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of seven present and former legislators in the Stafford County case of Duncan, et al v. the State of New Hampshire.
In order to protect union-dominated public education, in the Duncan case plaintiffs seek to deny children from low and moderate-income families the opportunity to receive private scholarships funded by education tax credits. Those scholarships would be paid by businesses to go to elementary and high schools chosen by the students and their parents.
Included among the legislators named on the brief are Senators Jim Forsythe, Fenton Groen and Andy Sanborn, and Representatives Mike Balboni, Greg Hill, William O’Brien and Pam Tucker. These legislators comprise the prime legislators who supported, drafted and debated the Education Tax Credit Program last term. The Pacific Legal Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful non-profit, pro-liberty legal organizations. Joshua Thompson, an attorney with Pacific Legal, explained that the group represents the legislators without charge.
Rep. O’Brien was quoted as saying, “It is our intent as present and former legislators who worked so hard for this law to make clear for the court that part of the plaintiffs’ argument against the law – that we supported the law to support religious schools – is simply not true. It has no more relevancy or validity than if that argument had been brought against Congress 65 years ago to oppose another education scholarship opportunity program, the GI Bill, just because some funds might go to religiously founded schools. Our educational system is too often failing our children. Giving families of limited means the choice to find the best education for their children, directly benefits them and through competition, will improve public education in New Hampshire.”
It is anticipated that the Duncan case will reach the New Hampshire Supreme Court and these legislators will continue their efforts in the case to promote freedom of educational choices for New Hampshire families.
William O’Brien is a state representative from Mont Vernon, serving his fourth term in the New Hampshire House, and a licensed attorney in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
Pacific Legal Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt legal foundation organized to provide a voice in the courts for mainstream Americans who believe in limited government, private property rights, individual freedom and free enterprise. It has offices in four states and is headquartered at 930 G Street, Sacramento, California 95814; website http://www.pacificlegal.org/home ; blog:http://blog.pacificlegal.org/ .