March 2019
In This Issue
Senate Priority Bills Moving Forward
Senator David Watters
District 4, Strafford County

Over the past two months, the New Hampshire Senate has held hearings on hundreds of bills and passed many of its priority bills to provide property taxpayer relief, help working families and the economy, fund education, and address essential needs for healthcare.  We are also moving forward important legislation on energy and on climate adaptation. The Senate will act on all bills by the end of March and send them to the House, and then we will start work on House bills.  In the Senate, bipartisan cooperation and collegiality prevail on almost all issues, but surely there will be spirited debate and tough decisions ahead, especially on budget priorities. 

Priority bills represent the Granite State Opportunity Plan unveiled last fall. It includes crafting a state budget that works for everyone, job opportunities and education, lowering electric rates and creating jobs through renewable energy and efficiency, providing paid family and medical leave insurance, and healthcare. We delivered on the plan by passing several bills in the past few weeks. SB 1, paid family and medical leave, enables people to have paid time to deal with a personal or family illness, or care for family members. SB 2 funds job training, with a special provision for people in recovery. SB 6 finally fully funds the disability wait list, SB 5 raises behavioral health rates to provide crucial funding to our caregivers, and SB 6 raises staffing levels for the Division of Children, Youth, and Families to address the crisis in care for vulnerable children. Read More...
Is a Minimum Wage Hike in the State's Future?
By: Bob Sanders
NH Business Review
Originally Published: Feb. 28, 2019

Take your pick: $10, $12, $15 an hour. That's what the House Labor Committee will have to do after hearing hours of testimony that overwhelmingly was in favor of raising New Hampshire's minimum wage.  It appears certain that they will recommend a minimum wage of some sort - the state abandoned its own in 2011 and defaulted to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour - if only to keep up with neighboring states, which all are at $10 an hour and going up. 

The question is how much and how fast to raise it, whether it will be tied to the Consumer Price Index in the future and what to do about tipped workers, and perhaps a training wage for youth workers.  Read More...
2019 State of the City~Save the Date

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
7:30-9:30 a.m.
McConnell Center Cafe
61 Locust Street, Dover

Come hear Dover's city leaders' outlook and priorities for the upcoming year at this annual breakfast event. Please bring your questions and engage in a lively discussion with Dover's leadership. 

Registration fee is $15.00. Event is open to the public.

The 2019 State of the City is sponsored by Eversource

State Budget Proposal Under Review

Lawmakers are now reviewing Gov. Sununu's two-year, $13.1 billion budget proposal, which was unveiled February 14.    Anna Brown, Director of Research and Analysis for Citizens Count, breaks down what's in the budget, such as $61 million to end the waitlist for developmental disabilities services and $40 million for a new state forensic hospital, and what's not in the budget    (hint: no hike in overall per-pupil education funding). Click here to read her full analysis.
Proposed Budget Before City Council
City Manager, Michael Joyal

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, I will present the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget to the City Council. The adoption of the City of Dover's fiscal year budget is the single-most important policy decision before the City Council, and among the most significant interests before the community.

The presentation follows months of work to prepare a proposed budget, beginning with the Capital Improvements Program (CIP), adopted by the City Council in December, and subsequent meetings with city staff to review and refine budget requests.   A proposed school department budget was presented to the School Board in December 2018. After several budget meetings and workshops, the School Board approved its proposed budget on Feb. 12, 2019. That budget is incorporated into the full FY2020 proposed budget.          Read More...
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