The "Spending Summit" & Tuesday is Election Day!
On Tuesday, October 27 the Republican Leadership in the New Hampshire House and Senate sponsored a SUMMIT ON SPENDING in Concord.
There were three excellent presentations from Steve Norton of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, Charlie Arlinghaus of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy and John Stephen, former Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Norton outlined historical trends in State Spending, placed NH in the context of national trends, and described large sources of NH expenditures consisting of Education Funding, Medicaid, Corrections, and the Retirement System.
Mr. Arlinghaus detailed State Spending over the last 20 years. But more importantly he predicted a budget shortfall in the current budget of $208 million and in the next budget a staggering $627 million deficit.
Commissioner Stephen not only depicted several excellent ideas for NH to slow spending, but also showed NH’s Medicaid spending to be significantly above the national average. Some of his recommendations included: specific authorizations for department heads to propose a 5% reduction in their budgets as well as the already required program maintenance budget; a line item veto for the Governor; and moving toward a “managed care” model for delivering Medicaid health care services for eligible New Hampshire residents. Several Legislators including myself will be working with Commissioner Stephen to incorporate these spending reduction ideas into legislation for the 2010 session. I will blog more on this subject as the draft legislation is finalized.
All three presentations are available at: http://www.nhhousegop.com .
Meanwhile on Tuesday November 3rd there will be several elections that are important to New Hampshire’s future. I urge consideration of the following three candidates.
Lynne Blankenbeker is running for State Representative in a special election in Concord. Lynne is a naval officer, attorney, nurse and Desert Storm Veteran. She has been going door to door throughout the election asking Concord residents to send her to the Statehouse so that she can work to lower spending and cut taxes.
Ken Smith is a successful small business owner in Portsmouth who has served on the Portsmouth City Council and is running for mayor in Portsmouth. Ken has been very involved in Portsmouth for years and wants to work for economic development, fiscal discipline and lower property taxes in the city.
Senator and Manchester Alderman Ted Gatsas is running for Mayor of Manchester. Ted is a Manchester native who has long been heralded for his civic and charitable work, and is an extremely successful business person. I have worked with Ted for a number of years as a member of the Legislature. Ted is respected for his hard work, attention to detail and problem solving abilities. He too will be a strong voice for job growth, spending restraint and lower taxes in New Hampshire’s largest city.
Lastly, after the TAX SUMMIT, that organizers hoped would lay the groundwork for an income tax, I debated the SUMMIT with one of the organizers, Representative Susan Almy on “The Exchange” -- the always thought provoking program hosted by Laura Knoy. Here is the link to the audio version: http://www.nhpr.org/archive/2009/10/23/term/15001.
Please listen and I think you will agree with me that Tuesday’s elections are critical for New Hampshire.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE ON TUESDAY!!
- Jeb Bradley