Thursday, March 24, 2005
Three more co-sponsors (U.S. Representatives Butterfield,Dingell, and Berry) have signed on to Rush Holt's H.R.550.The bill, entitled "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005" is the "gold standard" for federal verified voting legislation and now has a total of 120 co-sponsors! Take the action for the Holt and Ensign/Gibbons VVPB bills, please do so at http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=9626476&url_num=3&url=http://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=5582andhttp://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=5581
The New Hampshire House Finance Committee is now considering devastating and irresponsible cuts to the Governor’s budget - cuts that could prevent children from getting health insurance; make it possible for our most vulnerable citizens to get basic health care; raise college tuition costs; and undercut our efforts to protect the environment.
You have an opportunity to stand with a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans to resist these cuts and stand for a budget that reflects New Hampshire’s priorities.
Gov. Lynch proposed a lean and balanced budget. But the House has yet to accept his reasonable and responsible revenue estimates, or to pass the 28-cent increase in the tobacco tax that he requested.
Gov. Lynch’s revenue estimates reflect the fact that our economy is finally rebounding for the recession, and reflect actual results, as well as historical averages. The House is using revenue estimates that implicitly predict that revenues are going to be worse this year than last.
The House Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget and cuts (House Bill 1) on Tuesday March 29th from 1-5 pm and 7-9 pm in Representative’s Hall.
Any citizen has the right to come and be heard about their concerns for these cuts. However, if you are unable to attend - please contact Representatives on the House Finance Committee by phone, mail, or e-mail. Ask them to support the Governor's budget, revenue estimates and a modest increase in the tobacco tax. Please click here for their contact info http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/billstatus/commmail.asp?commcode=H34.
- New Hampshire Democratic Party
For over twenty years, offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration have been prohibited in sensitive areas off our nation's coasts. This bipartisan congressional ban on offshore oil and gas activities currently protects America's East and West coasts, as well as the eastern Gulf off the coast of Florida.
This federal moratorium protects our fragile oceans and coasts, as well as the abundant natural resources found there, including beaches, wetlands, barrier islands, fish and wildlife.
SB 1054 directs the Virginia Congressional Liaison Office to aggressively pursue an exemption to the federal moratorium for natural gas exploration off of Virginia's coast. The state's valuable coastline would be seriously threatened by the direct and indirect impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration, drilling and production.
This bill, if allowed to pass, would set a dangerous precedent for other states currently protected by the federal moratorium. Our nation's coastal areas are the most vulnerable to ecological damage from oil and gas exploration and production, and the harmful impacts to our oceans would be felt for generations to come.
Please take a moment to urge Governor Warner to protect Virginia's coast and veto SB 1054.
To take action, click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:
- New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group [http://www.nhpirg.org/]
Ask Budget Conferees To Support Public Schools, Children and the Elderly Now that the Senate and the House of Representatives have adopted their individual budget resolutions, we must ask the Senate and House conferees who will work out the differences between the two spending plans to retain Senate provisions that help shield children, the elderly, the poor and public schools from drastic cuts in vital services. The Budget Committee members will begin their work shortly after Congress returns April 4 from its spring recess.
Act now. Send an e-mail to your Representative and Senators, asking them to support a joint budget resolution that stands up for the most vulnerable, reflects the right priorities and does not shift billions of dollars in costs to already financially strapped states and communities.
At stake in the budget drafting process are three amendments adopted in the Senate:
The first, by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), restores $14 billion in funding for Medicaid, the nation's largest health care program for children and the poor.
The second, by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), restores TRIO, GEAR UP and LEAP, college prep programs that have helped millions of low-income students enter and complete their college education. In addition, the $5.4 billion amendment raises the maximum Pell Grant to $4,500 per year and provides up to $23,000 in student loan forgiveness to new math, science, and special education teachers in high need schools.
The third, sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), increases education funding by $500 million.
Jeb Bradley (NH-1st) [house] and Judd Gregg (NH) [senate] sit on the budget committee.
Send them a message. You're going to be urging them to support a budget resolution that retains the amendments by Senators Smith, Kennedy and Specter
- National Education Association
The GOP Leadership in the Senate could go "nuclear" -- with nearly half a billion acres of public lands hanging in the balance. The nomination of former mining lobbyist and anti-environment extremist William Myers to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will not only have an impact on the vast wilderness areas in the West, but it could trigger a change in Senate rules -- what some are calling the "nuclear option" -- that would make it easier for President Bush to push through his most controversial nominees for lifetime appointments. The Myers nomination is expected to be a priority when the Senate reconvenes in early April.
Take Action Now! Write your Senators -- tell them to oppose the Myers nomination.http://capwiz.com/lcv/issues/alert/?alertid=7253116&type=CO
- League of Conservation Voters
On Sunday, Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, the Republican congressional leaders, convened an emergency meeting of Congress to pass a bill that that interferes with the Terri Schiavo tragedy. And although in five years no other issue has prompted President Bush to return to Washington during a vacation—including the tsunami—Bush flew back from his ranch in Texas to sign it.
Bush, Frist, and DeLay claim that they're acting out of concern for Ms. Schiavo. But a memo intended only for Republican Senators—uncovered by ABC News—reveals Republicans' true concern: "The pro-life base will be excited...this is a great political issue...this is a tough issue for Democrats."
 This story also takes the heat off Tom DeLay, who is facing a number of serious ethics charges and legal scandals.
Americans can have different personal opinions about what should happen to Terri Schiavo—life is precious, and this case raises some important ethical questions. But we can all agree that that's what the courts are for: to make the call in difficult circumstances. That's why Congress' interference is such an ugly and shameful incident of political grandstanding. There's no legislative purpose here, just a blatant attempt to play politics with someone's life.
We need to tell the Republican leaders in Congress that this kind of pandering and demagoguery will not stand. Will you sign our urgent petition to Congress to tell them they must stop using one person's tragedy for their own political gain, and move on to the important business facing our country?
Sign now at:http://www.moveonpac.org/grandstanding/?id=5254-5306048-D4nTlTC4KtLqVChimXUDzQ
Senator Barbara Boxer and others are organizing a consumer boycott of any oil company that drills in the Arctic Refuge. If by using our pocketbooks we can convince these companies to do the right thing, we can protect the Arctic Refuge from destruction. If you want to inform BP, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell that you will boycott their gas stations unless they pledge not to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. click this link:
- True Majority
Congress is considering proposals that would privatize the Social Security system. Social Security is one of the most successful social programs of the 20th Century. The system's financing problems are manageable and can be addressed by reasonable adjustments over time. Rushing into private accounts does not solve the so-called Social Security crisis, but rather would add to the cost of the program.
Now is the time to tell Congress not to put those who will depend upon this safety net at risk! Click here to take action now!
- League of Woman Voters
The Supreme Court is where a woman's right to choose could be saved or lost. We're on the front lines with our strategic four-year plan to defend women's lives from nominees who would trample their rights to privacy and choice.
Click here to contact your senators to oppose the "nuclear" option, or call the capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
- NARAL Pro-Choice America