Two Cheers for John Lynch!

Governor Lynch has vetoed SB 372, the “tax credit” bill that would funnel education dollars away from public schools and into private and religous schools. in his veto message, the Governor said,

This bill shifts limited state funds away from public school districts, it will downshift the cost of reduced adequacy payments to local communities and property tax payers, it allows private organizations to determine the use of public education funds, and does not fully target scholarship funds to students most in need of help with tuition and other educational expenses. For all of these reasons, I have decided to veto this legislation.

Proponents of this bill believe that school districts may save up to $500 per student in operating costs due to students switching to private schools. But the vast majority of costs incurred in operating schools are fixed costs that are incurred even if some students switch to private school. The loss of students from the public schools as a result of these scholarships will not meaningfully reduce school operating costs. Even accounting for the state stabilization grants that would be paid to schools that lose state adequacy grants and the reduction of some variable costs from the loss of scholarship students, the Department of Education has calculated that bill will collectively cost school districts $3,687,861 in year one, $5,472,119 in year two and $6,330,646 in year three. Struggling school districts and local taxpayers cannot afford that loss.

SB 372 will also allow private, non-profit corporations to determine where public education dollars are spent. This bill does not identify those organizations beyond requiring that they be non-profits, register with the state’s Charitable Trust Division and comply with applicable state and federal anti-discrimination laws. But I believe that the executive and legislative branches should determine where public school money is spent, not a private corporation.

Lastly, while the intent of the bill, in part, is to provide financial assistance to less fortunate students in helping them switch to a private school, a substantial portion of scholarships are available with no income restrictions and to students already attending private school.

7 Responses to Two Cheers for John Lynch!

  1. Kathy Sullivan 2 June 19, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    Bill O’Brien has responded by demanding that candidates support an override vote. Maggie Hassan squashed that one with the following:  

    “I applaud Gov. Lynch’s veto of legislation that would have diverted millions of dollars in taxpayer money from our public schools to private schools, including religious schools. This legislature has said the state can’t afford to support public education. It has cut in half funding for higher education and reduced aid to local public schools, shifting costs to property taxpayers.  Now the legislature, and the Republican candidates for governor, want to send millions in taxpayer money to private schools. Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and this legislature have the wrong priorities for New Hampshire’s middle-class families and economy. Our educational system, including our public colleges and universities, are crucial to ensuring we have the best-trained workforce in the country, ready to tackle the jobs of an innovative and growing economy. We should be focusing our state resources on our public schools, colleges and universities.”  

  2. JonnyBBad June 20, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    for not mailing it in

  3. FrankLloydMike June 20, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    for renewing his call for commuter rail and restoring education funding, and calling out the Executive Council and Legislature on their failure to do either of those things. How’s that for a lame duck governor?

  4. xteeth June 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Now, instead of designing and implementing our own New Hampshire version for Obama-Cares, we will get whatever one size fits all solution comes down from the feds.

    • FrankLloydMike June 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      and it has me puzzled, but the UL explains this at least:

      The compromise bill that passed the House and Senate in late May “does not prevent the state from participating in a federal health exchange,” which is why Democrat Lynch signed the bill, said his spokesman, Colin Manning.

      There’s no way New Hampshire was going to be able to set up its own exchange by 2014 since the Republicans refused to accept the planning grant money. The House had tried to prevent the state from cooperating with the federal government in setting up an exchange for the state, and this bill was a “compromise” preventing the state from setting up its own exchange, but allowing the Insurance Department to cooperate and assist the federal government in setting one up for the state.

      It’s a crappy and unnecessary situation, in which the Republicans ironically have forced NH to accept a federally designed and administered exchange rather than a local one, but this bill at least allows the state Insurance Department to work with the federal government on implementing it. It’s crappy for sure, but better than nothing.

      I still think Lynch should have let it become law without his signature, but it is what is. And to use the old Yankee saying when things are crappy, coulda been worse.

      • TakeDownGuinta June 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

        …about the claim that the right is making that the provision Lynch cites in his veto statement,

        “Lastly, while the intent of the bill, in part, is to provide financial assistance to less fortunate students in helping them switch to a private school, a substantial portion of scholarships are available with no income restrictions and to students already attending private school.”

        …they say that statement is profoundly untrue. I may have been listening to too much Paul Westcott (to get my daily dose of right-wing nuttery) Was that part in the bill or not?  

        • Kathy Sullivan 2 June 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

          The bill states that only in the first two years of the program an organization giving scholarships must award a minimum of 70% of scholarships to “eligible students”. The percentage is reduced by 5% each year until in the 16th year, there is no eligibility requirment. An “eligible studen” is one who currently attends a public school, and whose annual household income is 300% or less of federal poverty guidelines.
          So, either they lie when they say the veto message is not true, or they have not read the whole bill.
          As for listening to Paul Westcott, that means you are listneing to stations that carry Rush Limbaugh. Not to be judgmental, but why do you do that?
          LINK TO BILL: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.u… The section contianing the reduction in scholarships going to poor students is 77-G: 2:
          In each of the first and
          16 second program years, a scholarship organization shall award a minimum of 70 percent of all
          17 scholarships issued to eligible students as defined in RSA 77-G:1, VIII(a)(1) and (2) and,
          18 notwithstanding RSA 193-E:5, shall notify the department of education of the unique pupil identifier
          19 and date of birth for each of these students granted a scholarship by July 15. The required minimum
          20 percentage of all scholarships issued by a scholarship organization to eligible students as defined in
          21 RSA 77-G:1, VIII(a)(1) and (2) shall be reduced by 5 percent each program year for years 3 through
          22 15 of the program, and, at the beginning of the sixteenth program year and every program year
          23 thereafter, there shall be no required minimum percentage of scholarships.

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