NH House Leaders Comment on Rebuilding the Rainy Day Fund, Expanding Services to Developmentally Disabled

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1652, which would transfer $16.2 million of state surplus money to the Rainy Day Fund while also providing $1.5 million, which would be matched by an additional $1.5 million, to eliminate the developmental disability wait list. The bill passed with bipartisan support 267 to 12. 

House Speaker William O’Brien

“As a practical matter, having a strong debt-to-equity ratio is critical to having a strong credit rating.  Bond agencies set interest rates by formulas which look at a government’s management, stability, and financial practices.  High ratings result in lower interest rates, which save millions in borrowing costs. Among the best ways for any state to do this is to have a viable Rainy Day Fund in case of a spending or revenue emergency.  This is particularly true for our state, which has a two-year budget, because, as we have often seen, there can be wide variance in revenues during the second year of the budget. Credit downgrades have the impact of driving up the cost to borrow money.

“We came to Concord to be fiscally responsible so there can be a stronger state economy and more jobs. That was our promise. Replenishing New Hampshire’s Rainy Day Fund is the clear fiscally responsible use of surplus revenues.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“The actions of this bill will help to ensure that our depleted rainy day fund will begin to be restored. It is vitally important that we as a legislature plan for the future and protect our state in the event of any unforeseen circumstances or disaster. By rebuilding our rainy day fund we will also be helping to improve our future bond ranting and show by example to the citizens of this state that we believe that Government should act as responsibly with taxpayer money as they do themselves.”