Legislative leaders in the New Hampshire General Court announced they were preparing a continuing resolution that would extend funding from the current fiscal year for, get this, six months should Her Highness The Governess Margaret Wood Hassan veto the budget, which they don’t expect they can override and probably won’t even try. Anyway, in a statement released yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, said the resolution should be ready for final approval later this week. The resolution would also allow emergency funds to be sought through regular meetings of the Joint Fiscal Committee and Governor’s Executive Council. So, now that G O P leadership has given Her Highness everything she’s demanded to pave the way for her veto, expect the veto. Oh My HEAD! We’ll be sure to ask Senator Bradley about this during our interview this morning.
Speaking of Her Highness Hassan, the Women’s Defense League has launched a petition drive to collect signatures asking her to end discrimination against women by signing Senate Bill One Sixteen, the so called Constitutional Carry bill, which will eliminate the requirement that people obtain a license from their local police chiefs to covertly carry a pistol.
Supporters of the bill point to the historic facts surrounding the adoption of the law requiring permits as a primary reason why it must be overturned. It was passed specifically to discriminate against people who those in power didn’t want to have guns, and that included women. The Women’s Defense League says if Hassan vetoes the bill, as she’s threatened to do, she’ll be only the second governor in New Hampshire history to allow state sanctioned discrimination. The first, they say, was Governor Fred Herbert Brown, the governor who signed the current law in nineteen twenty three. Like Hassan, he was a Democrat. We’ve linked to the petition for your convenience from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
The Bedford Police Department will host their 3rd Annual Open House on the evening of Tuesday, June 30th from five to eight at their headquarters in the Bedford Safety Complex. Police personnel will be on hand to provide guided tours of the department. Visitors will get to see the department’s motorcycle, mountain bikes, and the Incident Command Vehicle. They can also take a ride in a cruiser or experience the “Seat Belt Convincer” courtesy of the Merrimack Police Department. McGruff the Crime Dog will be on hand along with Community Policing officers. New Hampshire Drive to Zero will also be there to answer all questions regarding the new hands free law that takes effect on July First. Even the Bedford Fire Department will be there to assist parents with the proper installation of their child car seat. Oh, yeah, there will be free pizza and drinks and two donated bicycles will be raffled off to attendees. Bedford’s finest are looking forward to seeing the townsfolk there!
News from our own backyard continues after this.
At the special meeting of the Derry Town Council last night, councilors unanimously voted to refer all petitions gathered by Derry Residents United, an organization formed amongst the protests against the council’s budget cuts, to the law firm of Devine, Millimet and Branch. The purpose of the referral is to check their wording, determine whether or not the actions contemplated by them are proper under Derry’s charter and state law and verify the signatures are valid.
In Manchester last night, the Board of School Committee on a voice vote, unanimously approved the tentative agreement negotiated with the Manchester Education Association. While that’s no surprise, they did so without any discussion, questions or even a presentation to the public about the terms. Mayor Ted Gatsas abstained on the vote, which followed protracted, and at times testy, debates over the budget recommendations of Superintendent Debra Livingston, whether or not the administration was following the board’s policies and the teachers’ contract with respect to teacher evaluations and reversing the administration’s decision to eliminate the grandfathering of students who exercised their rights to choose a different school under the No Child Left Behind Act.
The board beat back an attempt by Ward Three Committeeman Christopher Stewart, who is resigning from the board in July because he’s moving to Ward One, to spend the surplus dollars allocated to the district by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to one time expenses instead of salaries, as proposed by the administration. They decided to roll the dice and see what happens with the budget next year, putting seventeen new hires…hey wait, I thought they were cutting stuff…at risk of layoff next year.
The board also narrowly defeated an attempt by Ward Nine Committeeman Arthur Beaudry to order Livingston to reinstate all non-renewed teachers whose evaluations were not done in conformity with the board’s policies. That got ugly. The motion died on a tie vote, with Mayor Ted Gatsas abstaining.
Equally contested was a move by Ward Ten Committeeman John Avard to reverse the district’s rescinding of school choice. After gut wrenching testimony from parents, which accused principals of threatening gag orders or the exceptions granted their children to stay in their school would be pulled, the motion was defeated by arguments that redistricting has to happen, the board told the superintendent to reverse the choice and let’s move on.
The board also authorized Livingston to hire an attorney to sit with her during meetings with Hooksett Superintendent Charles P. Littlefiled to negotiate a new tuition contract. She’d canceled a scheduled meeting with Littlefield after he advised her he would have the district’s lawyer alongside. She thought if he was going to have one, she probably should. The board agreed, with Gatsas and Beaudry opposed
There was ooohhh sooo much more. We’ve linked to it in our Live Blog Forum and will be discussing today and tomorrow.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour __ is next!