Well, the New Hampshire General Court convened for the second year of the term yesterday. The first order of business for Democrats in the House was, as promised, attaching the expansion of Medicaid to an existing bill and ramming it through without any public input or hearing. It passed one eighty two to one fifty four. Saying “(P)rocess is vital to the integrity of what we do,” House Republican Leader Gene Chandler of Bartlett issued a statement faulting Democrats for passing quote “such an expansive piece of legislation to an unrelated bill.” He said House members had less than two days to read through and analyze the proposal which, he claimed, differed significantly from what the House Democrats passed in November. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley issued a statement saying the decision by House Democrats to fast track the matter without a public hearing undermines the opportunity for a bi-partisan solution to what he called a very complex and costly issue, noting that if Senators could come up with deal, it will follow the regular legislative process, have a public hearing and adequate time for debate. We’ve posted the statements from Chandler and Bradley with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
The House also passed H B 4 3 5 which increases funding for pubic charter schools to fifty percent of the most recent statewide average on a per pupil basis. In a statement issued by the House Republican Alliance, State Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry called passage a win win for charter school students who have been grossly underfunded for years. State Rep. Ralph Bohem, of Litchfield, expressed hope that increased funding would encourage more schools to open, noting that four closed last year for lack of funds.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
More, now, from Tuesday night’s meeting of the Hooksett School Board. The board approved a motion by Vice Chairman David “The Pariah” Pearl to ask Pinkerton Academy to drop the tuition contract requirement that seventy five students attend the school in the coming school year. Pearl said that parents were feeling the pressure of having to make a decision about where to send their kids to school in such a short period of time because of the board’s delays. Board Elf John Lyscars criticized the high school selection form presented by Superintendent Charles “Chucky the Super” Littlefield saying it misleads parents into checking off Pinkerton as their choice and doesn’t provide the opportunity for parents to have a first choice and then subsequent ones in the case their first choice isn’t available. Lyscars countered Littlefield’s claim that such a form was too confusing with one he created and posted to his Web site a long time ago. It even had instructions. As we reported yesterday, the board shot down Lyscars motion to adopt rules very similar to the ones used by the Hooksett Town Council and the Manchester Board of School Committee governing the conduct of speakers at public hearings, which caused them to be harangued by public speakers. What we didn’t report was during that discussion, Board Chair Trisha “The Gavel” Korkosz said it should be sent to board’s Policy Committee for review if it didn’t pass. That got Lyscars asking why he couldn’t find any record of the Policy Committee’s meetings. After Korkosz said they hadn’t met since late August, Pearl chimed in to say he’d been looking into the matter and couldn’t find ANY meeting postings, agendas or minutes. THAT, my friends, is a total violation of state law as any sub committee of an elected body is considered a public body that must post and record its meetings under the state’s Right to Know Law. Pearl has asked the matter to be put at the top of the board’s next agenda. But, before they get to that meeting, there may be a special meeting as Pearl and Lyscars have requested a non-public one to discuss statements made by Littlefield that he was in fear and that something had to stop. As you know from our report yesterday, those statements were made during yet another attempt by the board to keep Lyscars from sending email. Pearl believes that because Littlefield publicly made the board aware of what might be a hostile work environment, it is obligated to act immediately or run the risk of being sued for failing to act. He wants legal council with expertise in employment law present at the meeting. We, of course, would object to the non-public session given the nature of what’s already been said publicly and the likelihood that Chucky’s complaint has to do with elected board members. We’ve posted links to the videos, documents and sites, be sure to check it all out.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!