The state’s largest teacher’s union, the National Educators Association of New Hampshire, has come out in favor Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget, including its use of casino gambling as a source of funding.
Union President Scott McGilvray told reporters today that the NEA’s executive board prefers Governor Hassan’s budget to the budget put forward by the House of Representatives last week. He says especially if the options are the status quo and the changes that Governor Hassan has proposed, the choice is clear. "The choice is not between governor’s budget and a better plan," McGilvray said, "The choice is between Governor Hassan’s budget and one that slashes funding to our university system and shifts costs to already overburdened taxpayers."
This marks the first time that the NEA has backed a budget that includes casino revenue. The last time they weighed in on the question was over ten years ago. But at that time, proposals tied gambling revenue as the single source for state adequacy dollars given to local schools. "Since that time the world is a lot different. And this is very specific, going to roads and bridges, Higher Education and redevelopment of our North Country," explained McGilvray.
The House’s budget reduced the governor’s proposed spending on the university system by $12 million dollars, which the NEA also opposed.