Nov. 7 th Elections and Referenda
Congratulations to newly elected Keene City Councilor Maggie Rice, and re-elected Councilors Manwarring, Greenwald, Clark, Jones, Hansel, Filiault, Lamoureux, Chadbourne and Sapeta. Congratulations to Mayor Lane on his fourth victory and to Manchester’s newly elected Mayor Joyce Craig. To all those who ran, thank you for putting yourself on the line. And thank you for defeating Keno in Keene, 1,450 to 817. Concord and Dover also voted down Keno. My certainty of your preference helps me oppose attempts to link kindergarten funding with expanded gambling, its not necessary to link these two issues.
Securing $1.1 million for SAU 93’s After School Programs
SAU 93 (Swanzey, Richmond, Troy) received great news for its All Children Educated Safely
(ACES) after-school program. After being denied continuation funds last May, Department of
Education Commissioner Edelblut and I asked for further review of the application and available
21st Century Grant funds. In October, the Department of Education staff informed
Superintendent Lisa Witte that SAU 93 will be awarded $270,209, the full amount requested.
The $170,500 grant for Mt. Caesar and Cutler School programs is for five years. The $93,709
grant for Troy School is renewal for three more years. I appreciate the Commissioner and
Department of Education staff accepting my requests for further review. This is an example of
doing the right thing, not simply doing things right.
SB 170 - Broadband Municipal Financing legislation moves forward
I introduced SB 170 - Broadband Municipal Financing legislation last January. The bill was
referred by the Senate for further review by the Public and Municipal Finance Committee. Over
the past six-months, broadband provider representatives and I have been meeting to develop
more thorough legislation than had been previously proposed. Changes incorporated into the
amendment were vetted by industry representatives and Monadnock area town representatives.
The amendment was considered by the Senate Public and Municipal Services Committee in
early November and passed 5-0. If ultimately adopted by the legislature and signed by the
Governor, this would be the first significant change to the municipal finance and broadband
statutes in the past twelve years.
In short, SB 170-amended envisions that municipal financing would be a catalyst for public-
private partnerships and leverage investment that otherwise hasn’t happened across rural New
Hampshire. The procurement process envisions towns identifying locations unserved in their
communities, bundle them together, and seek competitive proposals for broadband services from
current providers—both wired and wireless. Unserved locations are defined as those unable to
purchase service meeting FCC broadband standards, currently 25 megabytes download and 3
The Monadnock Broadband Interest Group will continue meeting quarterly to coordinate our
advocacy efforts and share information on town studies and requests for proposals.
Committee to Study Mental Health and Social Service Business Process Alignment and Information System Interoperability
This study, which I proposed in SB 147 and was signed into law by the Governor, has been
underway for the past couple months. The legislation called for an Interim Report to be filed on
November 1, 2017. I now chair the Study Committee that includes 4 other legislators. The
Committee’s vision is New Hampshire residents will access integrated behavioral health and
human services through a client-centered approach, resulting in unduplicated effort and lower
costs. The goal is to break down barriers to services. Consolidation and integration of siloed
systems, automation of manual tasks, digital workflow management, and enhancedcommunication across stakeholders through information technology will improve outcomes and
The Committee will continue working towards A System of Care which successfully on-boards
people into comprehensive mental health care and human services needed to transition
successfully to independence. This System will measure success or reoccurrence through the
client’s experience. The Study Committee will use existing information and expert testimony to
determine priorities and targets of opportunity that are achievable and move the needle in terms
of access, efficiency, and cost.
Electric Pricing Study
SB 125 called for a Legislative Committee to Study Transmission, Distribution, Generation,
and Other Costs in the State’s Electricity System. I was among 2 Senators and 3
Representatives serving on the Study. “The following recommendations were approved by the
1. Advocate for competition in the development and construction of transmission projects to
meet reliability needs.
2. Reduce transmission costs and other costs allocated to NH by increasing spending on
rigorously validated, cost effective distributed generation, distributed resources, and
energy efficiency programs that lower coincident peak demands.
Below are individual recommendations offered by each member of the Committee:
1. Investments in energy efficiency and behind the meter energy production need to be
2. Stabilizing availability and certainty of solar technology investment incentives is needed
to avoid waitlists and continue strong demand.
3. PUC needs to do an analysis of benefits/costs of avoided transmission and distribution
cost from solar and hydro electricity generation.
4. Use RGGI funds fully to provide a stable funding source for energy efficiency and
renewable fuel investment incentive programs.”
School Vouchers for Private Schools Using State and Local Property Taxes – SB 193
This is a very bad bill that undermines support for public education. Under the name of
Education Savings Accounts, parents of students could use public funds to support attendance in
nonpublic schools and for home schooling. This is a school voucher bill that will add to the
overall cost of educating children in NH, will direct public funds to private and religious-based
schools, and will reduce funds for public schools. I’ve heard people most object to “my property
taxes being used to fund your private school choice.” I’ve also heard people question “why is
this necessary;” NH has the best K-12 education rating in the country according to a composite
index developed by the McKinsey Corporation for US News and World Report. Monadnock
United 2018, Reaching Higher NH, and a number of informed Cheshire County citizens and I
have consistently contacted legislators to inform them of the ways this bill is bad for NH. The
legislature is very split and largely on party lines, with Governor Sununu and Republicans
supporting school vouchers. The bill, SB 193, has a big vote coming in January before the full
NH House of Representatives. Expressing opposition to Republican Representatives is the best
means of effecting the outcome. And asking constituents in districts of Republican
Representatives to express opposition is even more effective. If passed, the bill requires another
review by legislative finance committees because of expected costs the state would need to
2018 Legislation Filed
In January the 2018 legislative session begins. Over the past few weeks I’ve filed a dozen bills
and signed-on to co-sponsor another 20 to 30 bills. The legislation I’ve authored covers
education, healthcare workforce licensure, municipal affairs, safety and criminal history
background checks. I think in total there will be around 1,000 new bills filed. Legislation
undergoes final review and co-sponsor endorsement concluding by the end of November. My
next few newsletters will discuss highlights of what’s coming up.
I’ve held mid-term updates in Keene, Winchester, Gilsum, Westmoreland, and Swanzey. Thank
you for hosting, attending, and keeping in touch.
I hope your Thanksgiving holiday provides you time to enjoy family and friends and the beauty
of our Monadnock Region. Best wishes to you and yours.
Thank you for continuing to contribute to the health and vibrancy of our region. Keep in touch.
Senator, District 10