SENATE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR AUDIT OF COUNTY FINANCES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Senate President Ted Gatsas

(603) 271 – 2111

May 22, 2006

Concord , NH – Senate President Ted Gatsas (R- Manchester) today called on the Chairman of the Legislature’s Audit Committee to conduct a review of the State’s 10 counties and their finances. A new State law (HB 1189) allows for audits of political subdivisions, such as counties. Senator Gatsas’ request comes after legislation to provide financial support to the counties (HB 683) and simplify the funding relationship between State and county, died at the urging of the counties.

“After watching the counties walk away from $4.6 million in property tax relief for their citizens, I feel we need to examine their finances to have a complete picture of their books. This audit will help us understand exactly where we all stand. If we are going to be partners in providing care to our citizens, everyone needs to know what the real numbers are,” said Senate President Ted Gatsas.

Currently, the state and county split the costs of nursing home services, home and community care for seniors who use Medicaid, hospital and skilled nursing payments for poor seniors, and juvenile services. HB 638 would have had the State take responsibility for several senior services, while the counties would have taken an increased share of the nursing home and community services. Under HB 638 the State would have had reduced monthly payments from the counties for services for poor seniors and the disabled.

Senate President Gatsas sent a letter to Deputy Speaker Ken Weyler, Chairman of the Legislative Audit and Oversight Committee, requesting the audit of the counties.