11-22-2013 News

The state government’s attempt to adopt Obamacare by drastically expanding the Medicaid program is dead, at least for now.  Seems that the scuttlebutt about the failure of Governor Margaret Wood Hassan, Democrat from Exeter and Senate President Chuck Morse, Republican from Salem, to reach a compromise was true.  While the House did pass the governor’s bill on a vote of one ninety eight to one forty six, the Senate killed it on a straight thirteen to eleven party line vote.  The drama came on  Morse’s bill in the Senate where Republican senators Russell Prescott of Exeter and Sharon Carson of Londonderry joined with fellow Republican Andy Sanborn of Bedford to block passage.  While they did not vote to kill the bill outright, they joined the Democrats in voting to table it, which is effectively the same thing.  Somehow I doubt we’ve heard the last of this, though as G O P leaders in both chambers referenced the failure of their their common sense amendments to improve the legislation with Morse saying they would form the basis of future legislation to somehow have  the state subsidize the purchase of private health insurance for low income individuals.

We have an update to the story brought to our attention by Doris Hohensee, Chair of New Hampshire Families for Education, whom we interviewed on Monday.  Seems their efforts to persuade the State Board of Education to restore parental consent rights before children are subjected to psychological evaluation and or treatment by school psychologists have succeeded.  At their meeting yesterday in EAST SWANZEY (nothing like going to where the people live, right?) the board adopted an additional provision to their proposed rules changes that says “employing school districts shall insure that parental consent and student information is protected as required under applicable state and federal law.”  Frankly, I’m don’t know if I should be concerned about the grammar in the sentence or the fact that they used INsure versus ENsure, but it seems a victory nonetheless.  We again thank Hohensee for bringing the matter to our attention in her more than interesting interview on Monday.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Alderman at Large Joe Kelly Levasseur may have dug his ethical investigation hole deeper yesterday.  Either that or he’s filling in the hole he’s dug while standing in it.  According to several witnesses, including a caller into my Must See TV show last night, Levasseur stated he would not meet with Mayor Ted Gatsas, who under the charter, is responsible to investigate the now multiple charges levied by Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo that Levasseur has violated various charter provisions and should be brought before the Conduct Committee.  According to an email we saw this morning, Levasseur apparently has told staff in the mayor’s office he would be unavailable to meet with the mayor until some time in January.  That lead Greazzo to inform  mayor’s office staff that he either lied to the mayor’s office or to the public, which he says violates the provision in the charter that requires all elected officials to ensure enforcement of and compliance with the charter.  Therefore, he asked them to add this latest infraction to his list of complaints the mayor is now investigating.  Greazzo, of course, stands ready to meet with the mayor at his convenience.  We’ll have something to say about this this morning.

The Memorandums of Understanding currently under consideration by the Hooksett School Board were released to the public on Tuesday night and we’ve posted them here with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com for your convenience.  Proposed agreements with the school districts governing Bow High School, Pembroke Academy and Londonderry High are  pending approval and expected to be acted on at the board’s next meeting.  Londonderry’s school board has approved their agreement.  Aspects of those agreements were cited by Pinkerton Academy as deal breakers, sinking a hoped for tuition contract with the school.  Expect school board members John Lyscars and David Pearl to want changes.  Pearl, especially, has indicated he has issues with what he sees as inconsistencies with existing board policies and processes.  Hooksett Bow MOU 111213 final pdf (C1101161) HOOKSETT LONDONDERRY MOU 111213 pdf (C1101162) MOU Pembroke 110413 (C1098099)

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!