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New priorities: What will Concord's be?
How quickly will New Hampshire Democrats try to repay the public employee unions that helped them win the House and the Corner Office? They campaigned this fall on bringing new priorities to Concord. Now we'll get to see whose priorities those are.
In the last legislative session, Republicans passed two important reforms that public employee unions hated. One was an overhaul of the state's public pension system to put it on a more stable financial footing; the other was a tax credit for educational scholarships for lower-income children.
Pension reforms included reducing state contributions, increasing employee contributions, raising employee retirement ages, limiting the types of work that would be used to calculate pensions (overtime would be excluded, for example), and preventing employees from "spiking" their pensions by padding their pay in their final three years.
The education scholarship law allows businesses to take a tax deduction for contributing to funds that make scholarships available to lower-income children. Teachers unions perceive it as a threat to their public school monopoly.
Public employee unions are eager to repeal these reforms and get back the fat old days.
How quickly Democrats take up these issues could give us an indication of whom they really believe they were elected to represent.
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