It’s time for all public workers to take action – and that means you!
Just when you think things can’t get worse with the N.H. state budget proposals, they do. The cuts we faced under Bill O’Brien’s regime pale in comparison with what our present day House Finance Committee is proposing.
The budget, as proposed, will be a sucker punch to every SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member, as well as every person residing in or visiting our state. No group is spared – from public workers to state retirees; to individuals receiving health services to NH veterans; to our state’s towns and municipalities. Not only will hundreds of state employees lose their jobs, their property taxes will also soar as towns and municipalities respond to the state downshifting costs to them.
It is urgent that you reach out to your state representative now. This budget will go before the full House of Representatives for a vote April 1. So, the clock is ticking. Let your representative know that this “budget” is irresponsible, reckless and jeopardizes the New Hampshire way. All that you work for every day is at risk. Let them know they cannot, in good conscience, vote for this budget. You can find your representative’s information here.
Just Some of the Details
Department of Transportation
Earlier today the full House Finance Committee approved HB 357, which previously called for an additional $40 million cut to the NH Department of Transportation’s budget. On Wednesday, some of our elected lawmakers upped the ante by amending the amount to take $86 million from just the Highway Fund. No one has yet mentioned the amount of Federal funds the state will now lose. This was approved by a straight party vote – 15 to 11. There was no discussion.
This absurd move will result in the loss of approximately 700 DOT jobs. It will also impact our state’s public safety and economy. All current and future construction projects would halt. Two-thirds of all DOT maintenance facilities would close and the state would stop maintaining all but the most highly traveled roads, leaving the rest to cities and towns.
Department of Health & Human Services
The NH House Finance Committee is proposing to carve $213 million from the NH DHHS budget. Here are some highlights:
- cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services
- cut deeply into funding for Servicelink, which aligns elderly residents with service providers
- cut $20 million to nursing homes
- cut the Meals on Wheels program
- cut $6.8 million more at the Sununu Youth Services Center, which could mean privatizing the food service, maintenance and education
- eliminate the NH Health Protection Program resulting in 60 state workers losing their jobs and as many as 50,000 NH residents losing access to quality health care
- cut the Visiting Nurses Association
The Remaining Executive Branch Employees – No Raise
If this proposed budget passes, the raises included in the new Executive Branch Collective Bargaining Agreement will be unfunded.
Executive Branch Retirees
If this budget passes, you will be required to pay 20 percent more for your monthly premium and you can look for co-pays and prescription costs to increase in the near future.