State Splurges On $72,000 In Extravagant Upgrades To Speaker And Senate President’s Bathroom As Democrats Call For Tax Hikes
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Union Leader reports today that the Democrat controlled Legislature earmarked $72,000 dollars for pricey renovations to the State House bathroom used by Senate President Sylvia Larsen (D-Concord) and Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth). The decision to fund the extravagant upgrades comes at a time when the Democrat leadership is refusing to make further cuts to state spending and trying to implement a 5% income tax on capital gains, an 8% death tax and a nearly 10% hike in the rooms and meals tax.
The recently completed bathroom, located on the third floor of the New Hampshire State House near the Democrat leadership offices, is adorned with “fancy new sinks, sconces and marble wall and counter top,” according to the Union Leader. Funding for the project was personally inserted into the 2008-2009 capital budget by Senator Margaret Wood Hassan (D-Exeter) - a member of the Democrat leadership who also occupies a third floor office near the luxurious lavatory. Senator Hassan downplayed the extent of the major overhaul when she initially proposed the renovations in 2007, calling them “repairs.”
On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent public records requests to Speaker Norelli, Senate President Larsen, Senator Hassan, Representative Daniel Eaton (D-Stoddard) and Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon regarding the questionable redecoration.
“The extravagant renovation of the Speaker and Senate President’s bathroom seems like a gross misuse of public funds – especially at a time when the Democrats are claiming that we can’t cut spending and we must raise taxes,” said NHGOP Communications Director Ryan Williams, “We expect the Democrat leadership to fully comply with our requests for records regarding this excessive project because the taxpayers have a right to know how their government spends their money.”
The Union Leader Reports Today That The Speaker And Senate President’s State House Bathroom Received An Extravagant $72,000 Taxpayer Funded Renovation:
Union Leader: “Wendelboe and state GOP spokesman Ryan Williams say the $72,000 item was contained in a much larger appropriation approved late in the 2007 session.” (4/9/08)
The Bathroom Includes Excessive Decorations:
Union Leader: “With the restroom recently re-opened, Wendelboe sent us a photo of its fancy new sinks, sconces and marble wall and counter top.” (4/9/08)
Senator Maggie Wood Hassan Added The Questionable Project To The 2008-2009 Capital Budget:
Senator Margaret Wood Hassan: “I offer Floor Amendment 2062s, and I’d like to speak to it if I could....[the amendment] also directs Administrative Services to make certain repairs to the women’s restroom on the third floor of the State House” (New Hampshire Senate Journal, 6/6/07)