- This week at the State House
- Public budget hearings start tonight
- House Finance continues work on the budget
- Call Senators on CCSNH health care proposal
The House is set to meet in session twice this week, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. The Senate will meet in session on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Next week is the deadline for the House and Senate to act on all bills that are not going to a second committee (in other words, bills without a fiscal impact). That explains why the House is meeting twice this week. After this, deadlines start to come fast and furious. The budget crossover deadline (from the House to the Senate) is one month from today, on April 6.
Here are the full calendars for each chamber:
Members asked to testify on impact of proposed retiree health insurance changes
The next major steps in the House budget process are coming up in the next few weeks, with public hearings set today and next Monday. The House Finance Committee has been meeting with agencies over the past few weeks to prepare its own version of the budget. The public hearings are the next step in the process. There will be two “remote” public hearings tonight, March 6, and a hearing at the State House a week later. We apologize for the late notice of these meetings, which were just announced late last week.
Monday, March 6
- Derry: 4:30 p.m. at Derry Town Hall
- Plymouth: 5:30 p.m. at Plymouth State University’s Silver Center
Monday, March 13
- Concord: 3 p.m. at Representatives Hall in the State House
Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget largely funded many priorities – although it included language that would increase health care costs for retired state employees – but his proposal was built on an early set of revenue projections. This week, the House Ways and Means Committee set new revenue estimates nearly $60 million lower, and the Finance Committee’s budget will need to reflect that. You can read more about this in the House calendar linked above under the header “HOUSE RESOLUTION 9.”
The most concerning part of the budget proposed by Gov. Sununu is the language that would jack up health insurance costs for Medicare-eligible retirees. The budget language on health insurance is nearly identical to that in HB 653. It’s especially troubling because it only sets a floor of a 10 percent premium, meaning that’s the least it could be.
We need all retirees who would be affected by this proposal (this would include current state employees planning to retire soon) to go to these hearings and let the representatives know how this change would harm you.
In addition to the hearings above, the House Finance Committee will be busy this week as it continues to meet with agencies and work on its version of the budget. You can find their schedule for this week here.
Plan would allow community colleges to re-enter state health care plan
The bill (SB 215) that would allow CCSNH to participate in the state health care plan is up for a vote in the full Senate this week, after receiving a favorable vote in the Senate ED&A Committee two weeks ago. We’re asking you to call your senator to ask for support of SB 215. You can find your senator’s contact information here.
This bill is enabling legislation – CCSNH would still have to decide to join the health plan – but it is a good first step to lowering health care costs for CCSNH employees and potentially saving the College millions of dollars. For many CCSNH employees, health care costs are soaring because of untenable deductibles and prescription drug prices. Having the state health plan as an option would be a win-win for employees and the State.