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The Week in Review: Budget battle, teacher tenure and car inspections

The budget battle at the State House intensified this week.

This week the House Finance Committee approved a $10.1 billion budget for 2012-13. That figure is $519 million less than Gov. John Lynch's proposal.

"The budget includes no new taxes and returns money to cities and towns, which Lynch proposed cutting. At the same time, it makes major cuts to almost all state services, from social services to education to public safety." reports the Concord Monitor.

The budget also includes a controversial amendment that would put an end to collective bargaining by public sector workers.

Here's a sample of reaction from our Facebook page:

Joe Turcotte: It depends what the cuts do. We shouldn't be sacrificing the most vulnerable while giving billions to corporations. If there is a deficit why not find ways to increase revenue as well? Perhaps a surcharge on incomes over a million dollars?

Andrew Smith: HSS should not be cut. its cheaper to the long run to prevent fires so to say than to put them out when they happen. Corrections could easily be cut if you put the people to work. Don't even waste your time saying that putting people to work is cruel and unusual punishment. That would mean that everyone who goes to work every day to support their families and the rest of the country for that matter, is being secepted to cruel and unusual punishment. People shouldn't be sitting on their butts all day in jail twiddling their thumbs. Make them contribute rather than further taking away and draining society.

Chris Lawless: More cuts. How about the court system. legalize marijuana and we could save $$$ in courts, cops and prisons.

The House will vote next week on the budget proposal. We'll keep you posted.

Teacher Tenure
The Senate Education Committee is backing a bill that would require a teacher to work 5 years instead of 3 years before achieving tenure.

Once a teacher has tenure, the process for termination becomes more difficult.

Teachers' unions are opposed and upset they weren't granted a public hearing, reports

Car Inspections
The House has passed legislation (HB 540) that calls for biannual safety inspections of automobiles. Auto repair shop owners are concerned the extra year will result in unsafe vehicles on the road. They are also concerned the extension will hurt their business.

According to the Nashua Telegraph:

In 2010, there were 79,410 instances of New Hampshire vehicles failing inspection for brake problems, 78,425 failures for steering or front-end problems, and 40,630 instances of bad tires causing a car to fail.

Member reaction was mixed:

Cathy Peschke: We don't need no stinking inspection law! Responsible people take care of their cars, irresponsible people will find a way around the inspection law or will find a shop that will.

Mark DeBruyckere: Great – now in addition to having to deal with younger drivers texting and being distracted I can look forward to them driving on bald tires as well - wonderful idea. And how is this helping the economy? Less revenues for service stations – more money for consumers to waste on something else.

Shawn O'Neil: How about cars after some period of time (say 7 years) have to have yearly inspection. New cars do not need an inspection for the first 3 years. So for a new car it would be 3 yrs, 5th, 7th, 8, 9, 10,....

HB 540 is now in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Presidential Primary
If you like to keep a close eye on the prospective presidential candidates who make through New Hampshire, be sure to check out our 2012 Presidential Primary page. We are tracking all the news, issues and events.

Have a great weekend!

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