NH House Republican Leaders Respond to Legislation to Move $26 Million into Rainy Day Fund

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following statements in response to the House Rules Committee voting to allow Rep. Keith Murphy (R-Bedford) to introduce legislation to move any surplus from the last fiscal year into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Currently, the Fund balance stands at just $9 million.

 House Speaker William O’Brien

 “Our Rainy Day Fund has been depleted to less than one-half of 1% of our annual state expenditures.  The fiscally responsible decision is to take the unexpected surplus funds that we learned about last week and use them to shore up the Rainy Day Fund to an appropriate amount, so that our Treasurer can go to New York and push for a AAA bond rating, which would save us millions.  Ideally, we’d like to see about 5% of annual state spending, or roughly $110 million, in the Rainy Day Fund, to stabilize and improve our bond rating and leave us well prepared for any future economic downturn.”

 House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

 “One of the top priority for House Republicans next session will be to improve upon  New Hampshire’s bond rating.  The Democrats cleaned out our Rainy Day Fund to support their spending excesses.  Republicans intend to rebuild our reserves, because we know that’s how responsible government should operate.  We are still amazed at how Governor Lynch can go from coming 'hat-in-hand,' begging the legislature to help in fill his budget deficit by raiding dedicated funds, to having a $26 million surplus.  While we will move forward on legislation to put any surplus into the Rainy Day Fund, we will wait until the state audit is complete to see if this $26 million is real or an illusion.  Our philosphy is, 'Trust but verify.'