Hudson - Litchfield News April 29, 2011 - 5
In My Opinion...
by Andrew Hemingway, Chairman, Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire The Democrats want you to believe that last week’s rally at the State House reflects the majority opinion in New Hampshire. But now that the busloads of public union members have returned to our spendthrift neighboring states and the hundreds of in-state protesters have hopefully returned to their public service jobs,
it’s time for a dose of reality. During the last four years, New Hampshire Democrats not only spent all of your tax dollars; they also borrowed from your children and grandchildren to pay for regular operating expenses, and they relied on more than $700 million in federal taxpayer dollars through the so-called “stimulus package” to cushion public sector employees from the effects of the economy. Even with all of their borrowing and use of one-time funding, the Democrats still left a $47 million deficit in the current budget for the next Legislature to clean up. Contrary to the idea that such spending might have actually “stimulated” some job growth, the private sector in New Hampshire lost thousands of jobs while Democrats were in office. Now, the Democratic faithful have the audacity to complain about some moderate reductions in public sector staffing and pay packages like it’s the end of the world? New Hampshire already employs more public sector employees per capita than the average U.S. state, according to the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies. Would Democrats prefer we employ the most of any state? In November, voters rejected the Democratic position that the state has a “revenue problem” and agreed with the Republican position that the state has a “spending problem.” They also agreed with a large group of new Republicans, who reminded voters that the best way to create jobs is to cut taxes and fees and lift burdensome regulations so New Hampshire businesses can flourish on their own without government getting in the way. Unlike past campaigns when politicians said one thing to voters, and then went another direction in office, the Republicans currently serving in the Legislature have historically done exactly what they said they were going to do. These House Republicans have given voters a balanced $10.3 billion budget for the next two years and they have balanced the current budget without raising taxes or fees, without any new borrowing, and without passing any new burden down to the cities and towns of the state. I have no doubt that the silent majority of New Hampshire voters are quite pleased. Most New Hampshire voters know that the House budget is a moderate and reasonable plan that finally asks public sector employees to live within the same reality as the people they serve. If you still have doubt, ask yourselves: How many private-sector employees do you know who have a pension program through their companies? It’s amazing the noise public-sector employees are
by Andrew Hemingway
The 2011 House Republicans Did Exactly What They Promised
making because the Legislature has asked them to commit another two percent of their pay toward this generous system. And if you still have doubt, ask yourselves: How many private-sector employees do you know who aren’t workers at-will? It’s amazing the noise public- sector employees are making because the Legislature has asked them to negotiate new contracts without the unusual protection of their old contracts carrying on for years after they have expired. Contrary to the rhetoric of the Democratic misinformation campaign, the House Republicans’ budget simply restores the balance of power to the people of New Hampshire and stands up to all of the self-serving special interest groups that have opposed such positive change in the past. I truly hope Senate Republicans can be as strong.
While House Republicans truly made some tough choices by cutting $742 million in their budget, it’s important to note that they also restored $150 million worth of spending that the Governor had cut out from school building aid, catastrophic aid, special education, and state contributions to local employees’ retirements. Perhaps local educators and other public employees should consider this generosity before they run out and shout slogans prepared for them by their union bosses?
New Hampshire should not be a state that shelters a few classes of citizens from the burden facing the rest of us. It’s time for the Democrats to stop complaining about the mess they created so Republicans can use the opportunity voters gave them to clean it up. It’s time for taxpayers to get a break so they can take some time to recover and rebuild the New Hampshire Advantage that the Democrats squandered. It’s also time for the silent majority to express a little appreciation to House Republicans for doing what they were sent to do. While they’re at it, I hope they send a little pressure toward Senate Republicans, who had better learn from their responsive counterparts in the House if they want to return to Concord in 2012. Voters are watching, but I, for one, am confident that they like what is coming out of the House.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire (RLCNH) is
a state chapter of a national organization, the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC). The RLC was founded in 1991 to promote and advance traditional Republican Party values within the GOP at state, national, and local levels. The RLCNH (rlcnh.org
), formed in December 2004 at a meeting that brought together statewide political activists in Concord, exists to advance the values of the Republican Liberty Caucus in the New Hampshire Republican Party and in political campaigns for positions at the local, state, and national levels in the state.
In My Opinion is strictly an OP-ED column that stands on the opinion of one writer, Andrew Hemingway, as opposed to a news- paper reporter who does not provide an opinion, but reports the facts. This column, in many instances, is a counterpoint to published stories and does not reflect the unbiased reporting policy of the Hudson~Litchfield News or the opinion of the management, advertis- ers, and ownership of Area News Group.
In-School Suspensions Working Well at Teaching Students and Keeping Them in School
by Doug Robinson The Hudson School District has adopted and initiated a program where those students who need to be disciplined at a higher level are now disciplined within a special classroom instead of the traditional method of suspending the child off school premises. At Memorial Middle School, Positive Alternative to School Suspension (PASS) has replaced the traditional method to discipline a student for serious behavioral offense, which was to suspend the student off school property for a specific period of time. At the April 18 Hudson School Board Meeting, facilitators of the PASS program were invited to discuss their results. “One and done,” commented Hudson Superintendent Randy Bell. “In past years, these kids would have been kicked out of school for at least one day, but this program allows the kids to continue to study, continue to learn, and not lose a day of school. Over 111 kids who would have been suspended off school grounds for offenses such as tardiness, skipping, etc. spent only one day in the program and have not returned. That is a great success.”
Addressing the PASS program at Hudson’s Memorial School, data reflects that 91 students
(out of 900+ students) were considered to be “repeating.” Repeating refers to a student having been sent to the In-School Suspension Program more than once. The sixth grade had five students with two visits and one student with more than two visits. The seventh grade had nine students with two visits and seven students with more than two visits. The eighth grade had 10 students with two visits and 17 students with more than two visits.
“Our schools need to do everything we can to keep kids in school,” stated Superintendent Bell. “The suspension program of years ago was not working. Our job is to do everything we can to teach and develop kids. What message are we sending to the children and to their parents when we kick them out of school?”
Continued to page 7 - In-School Suspensions PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
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Life Jackets: Just the Facts
Knowing the facts about the different types of life jackets (also referred to as PFDs – Personal Flotation Devices) can help you decide which are appropriate for you. All boaters should wear life jackets, whether or not the law requires it. • While riding a personal watercraft. • While water-skiing or being towed on a similar device. • For children less than 10 years of age on any vessel less than 18 feet in length.
It is particularly important to wear a life jacket in the following situations: • When the boater cannot swim or is a weak swimmer • When boating alone • When the water is dangerously cold (the months of October through May)
• During rough water/waves and severe weather conditions • When boating at night • In emergency situations • In swift and fast current situations Life jackets fall into five different categories—each with different features that serve a variety of needs. Regardless of type, all life jackets must meet these U.S. Coast Guard requirements. No matter what the type of life jacket, the most significant fact about life jackets is that they save lives. It is important for recreational boaters to take the time to choose a life jacket that they will wear, that meets the need of the activity they are participating in, and that will work for the environment to which they are exposed.
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© FDL 2003
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