From The Office of Governor John Lynch
CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today signed legislation placing $50 million from the state surplus in the Rainy Day Fund.
In his State of the State Address in January, Gov. Lynch called on the Legislature to pass a bill placing a significant portion of the surplus in the Rainy Day Fund.
"New Hampshire state government's financial position has improved tremendously in the past 16 months. When we began work on the two-year state budget last winter, we faced a major deficit. But we came together, Democrats and Republicans, to balance the budget while looking out for the needs of our citizens,"Gov. Lynch said.
"We joined together to put our state back on a sound financial footing, turning a deficit into a surplus, without new taxes,"Gov. Lynch said.
The State's Rainy Day Fund was badly depleted in 2003-2004. This legislation will bring the fund from $17.3 million to approximately $69 million.
"Placing a significant portion of the surplus is the Rainy Day Fund is the fiscally responsible thing to do,"Gov. Lynch said.
"This year, the federal government cut its budget by passing more of its costs onto the states. We are already hearing talk that Washington may consider additional budget cuts in critical areas, such as Health and Human Services. Those proposed cuts could hurt our most vulnerable citizens and increase state costs even higher. In addition, New Hampshire is now seeing an increased need and for health and human services, "Gov. Lynch said.
"Increasing the Rainy Day Fund - which was badly depleted in 2003 and 2004 - will ensure that we have the ability in the future to respond to likely federal funding cuts, increased needs, and to any future emergencies,"Gov. Lynch said.
Gov. Lynch pointed out that the state is able to increase the Rainy Day Fund while meeting immediate needs this year, such as helping communities and families affected by the October floods and providing additional fuel assistance to families and community service providers.
The legislation, House Bill 1370, was sponsored by Representatives Norm Major, Mike O'Neil, Fred King, Mike Whalley, Neal Kurk, and Senators Charles Morse, Robert Clegg, Lou D'Allesandro, Jack Barnes and Tom Eaton.