Unstoppable Together for the week of March 27

In this edition …

This week at the State House

The Senate had an abbreviated session last week in the wake of the tragic death of Sen. Scott McGilvray. As a result, the Senate will meet in session on both Wednesday (1 p.m.) and Thursday (10 a.m.) of this week. Meanwhile, the House will not meet in session this week.

Each chamber is coming up on crossover deadlines. The Senate’s deadline is this Thursday, which explains their double session. The House crossover deadline is April 6. As you might have guessed, House members are being asked to prepare for a double session ahead of that deadline (next Wednesday and Thursday).

Here are the full calendars for each chamber:

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McGilvray had a great impact on NH

Senator, NEA-NH president died last week at age 51

When Sen. Scott McGilvray passed away last week at age 51, the news sent shockwaves through the state. In addition to serving in the Senate, McGilvray also led the state’s largest teachers’ union, NEA-NH. Before that, he led the teachers’ union in Manchester while working as a teacher and coach at Memorial High School.

McGilvray’s impact shone through in the recollections of colleagues, former students and community members. The Concord Monitor did a nice job encapsulating his impact. There are even more stories shared on his memorial page online.

Scott dedicated his life not just to education but to helping others. New Hampshire was lucky to have him. He will be missed.

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House committee set to vote on budget

Amendment lessens impact on older retired state employees

The House budget process continues on this week, with the Finance Committee set to vote on both the budget (HB 1) and the so-called trailer bill (HB 2). An area of concern in Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget was his proposal to jack up health care costs for Medicare-eligible retirees, some of whom have been retired for decades.

The Finance Committee last week made a change that would grandfather anyone born before Jan. 1, 1949 from having to pay a premium. The change isn’t all good, though. Any state retiree born on or after that date would have to pay at least a 10 percent premium on their health care; worse, those under 65 would see their premium increase from 17.5 percent to 20 percent.

We’re pleased the House has taken a step in the right direction, but we have to do better and the hope is that with better revenue projections to work from, we can further negate the impact of these changes. Thank you to all of the retirees and active employees who have called and email representatives. Your efforts have made a difference. 

We’ll continue to keep you updated as the process continues.

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Call your senator about CCSNH bill

Legislation would allow system to re-enter state health plan

As we alerted you last week, SB 215, the bill that would give CCSNH the ability to re-enter the state health plan, was approved by the Senate but had to go back to the Finance Committee for review before again going up for a full Senate vote. Two weeks ago, Finance voted 4-2 against the bill (officially “inexpedient to legislate”). That doesn’t mean that the bill is dead, but it does mean we now have a bigger hill to climb. The Senate would first need to overturn the inexpedient to legislate recommendation before then getting the approval of the full Senate.

The vote on the bill was moved to this Thursday, which means there’s still time to take action. We need you to call your senator today. You can find his or her contact information here.

This bill 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. Please call your senator today.

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