May 20, 2020 Council Meeting
Our last Governor and Council Meeting was held on May 20, 2020; Meeting Notes are below.
I hope you are all feeling well and staying safe. As always, please feel free to contact me with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions.
Executive Councilor, New Hampshire District 5
Here are notes of items I think of interest to Council District 5. Items may have a link to documents with more information.
The Warrant article, with the CARES money to be distributed, ended up passing. The Governor sent us Councilors about 300 pages of explanation on the Monday night before our Wednesday meeting. I did my best to get through the document and, although I did not agree with some of the decisions, I did not want to hold up the money getting to the people and businesses needing it most. Neither did my fellow Councilors. If the Governor had been up front with an explanation three weeks ago, at the prior meeting, the money would have been approved sooner.
I will continue to ask questions and express my disapproval when we are not provided the information we need to vote intelligently on all contracts. I hope I have your support on this.
#8 Authorized to amend an existing contract with Achievement Therapy Services LLC, Laconia, NH (originally approved by G&C on 4-11-18, item #12), to provide physical therapy services to clients admitted to NH Hospital, by exercising a contract renewal option by increasing the price by $190,000 from $202,500 to $392,500, and by extending the completion date from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2022. 34% General, 66% Other Funds.
#22 Authorized the Bureau of Highway Design to amend a contract with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., (originally approved by G&C on 2-1-17, item #26), for preliminary design of improvements to US 202 at its intersection with NH 124 and NH 137 in the Town of Jaffrey, by retroactively extending the completion date from April 30, 2020 to August 31, 2020. No Additional Funding.
#28 Authorized the State Conservation Committee to enter into a grant with the Town of Rindge, in the amount of $10,000 for the Conservation Project in the Town of Rindge, Cheshire County. Effective upon G&C approval through April 30, 2022. 100% Other Funds.
#32 Authorized the State Conservation Committee to enter into a grant with Five Rivers Conservation Trust, in the amount of $20,000 for Koerber Family Forest Conservation Easement in the Town of Dunbarton, Merrimack County. Effective upon G&C approval through December 1, 2021. 100% Other Funds.
#51 Authorized to award a Local Source Water Protection grant to the Town of Francestown, in the amount of $10,000 to complete a project to protect public drinking water supplies. Effective upon G&C approval through May 31, 2021. 100% Federal Funds.
#56 Authorize to award an Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund grant to the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, New Boston, in the amount of $400,000 for the purpose of acquiring a 267-acre parcel of land located on Abbott Hill Road in the Town of Mason owned by Barbara B. DeVore Revocable Trust. Effective upon G&C approval through December 31, 2020. 100% ARM Funds.
#61 Authorized expenditures from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund with the public schools as detailed in letter dated April 30, 2020. Effective upon G&C approval. 100% Drinking Water Trust Fund.
#62 Authorized the Bureau of Student Support to enter into an amendment to a contract with Creative Educational Consulting LLC, Hollis, NH (originally approved by G&C on 10-17-18, item #34), for training and support, by increasing the price by $25,000 from $160,000 to $185,000 and by extending the completion date from June 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020. 100% Federal Funds.
#70 Authorized consideration of whether the petition of Nicole Kasinskas (age 32) requesting a commuted sentence hearing for the offense of Attempted Second Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder should be granted. The petitioner is not eligible for an annulment. I did not support this request. Some of you may remember the brutal premeditated murder of Ms. Kasinskas’ mother. I can see that, at some future time, I might be willing to grant a commutation hearing but, for me, that time is not now. The consideration for a hearing was tabled and will be taken up at our next meeting on June 10th. One of our Councilors needed more time to consider this request. That was the reason for the tabling. I agreed to grant the tabling motion. This is something we do for our fellow Councilors when requested and when there is no harm done by putting off a vote for a couple of weeks.
#76 Authorized the Division of Risk and Benefits to exercise the option to extend the contract with Anthem Health Plans of NH Inc., d/b/a Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Manchester, NH (originally approved by G&C on 11-8-17, item #84), for the administration of the medical benefit provided to state employees and retirees, by increasing the total amount by $11,337,025 from $44,596,000 to $55,933,025. Effective upon G&C approval through December 31, 2022. 42% General, 17% Federal, 4% Enterprise, 14% Highway, 1% Turnpike, 22% Other Funds. VOTE: 4-0-1( Pignatelli abstained). My husband’s law firm, Rath, Young and Pignatelli has a lobbying group and one of their clients is Anthem. My husband has nothing to do with lobbying. Because it would cause a perception of a conflict, I did not vote on this contract.
#77 Authorized the Division of Public Works Design and Construction to enter into a contract amendment with Turnstone Corporation, Milford, NH (originally approved by G&C on 3-21-18, item #75), to increase the allowance for Steam Conversion at the State House, State House Annex, and State Library, in Concord, NH, in the amount of $750,000 from $8,149,000 to $8,889,000. Effective upon G&C approval through March 15, 2021. 100% General Funds. VOTE: 5-0
#79 Authorized a Working Capital Warrant in the amount of $1,440,291,542 to cover the payment of expenditures for the month of June 2020.
The Governor nominated the following individual from District 5 to serve on State Boards and Commissions
Ryan Terrell, Nashua, NH, State Board of Education
The Council confirmed the following individual from District 5
Nicole Plante, Peterborough, NH to the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women Warden
These communities are in District 5:
Amherst, Antrim, Bennington, Brookline, Deering, Dunbarton, Fitzwilliam, Francestown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hillsborough, Hollis, Hudson, Jaffrey, Litchfield, Lyndeborough, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Boston, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Richmond, Rindge, Sharon, Swanzey, Temple, Troy, Weare, Wilton, Windsor and the City of Nashua