Concord In Chaos As Lynch And Democrat Leadership Refuse To Address – Or Even Acknowledge – Budget Crisis


CONCORD – Six days after a Superior Court ruling blocked the attempted theft of $110 million from the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), Governor John Lynch, Senate President Sylvia Larsen (D-Concord), and House Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth) are refusing to address, or even acknowledge, the state’s critical budget crisis. According to published reports, Lynch and the Democrats are rejecting calls to develop a “Plan B,” and are pinning their hopes on the unlikely scenario that the state will somehow be allowed to steal the private funds to balance the state budget.


“No one is talking about how to fix a problem, because none of them acknowledge one exists,” reports the Union Leader (8/2).


“John Lynch and the Democrat Majorities are failing the people of New Hampshire by refusing to acknowledge – much less address – the serious budget crisis facing the state,” said NHGOP Communications Director Ryan Williams. “It’s time for the Democrats in power to swallow their pride, admit that they made a serious error in proposing this irresponsible and unconstitutional revenue scheme, and work with Republicans to fix this problem immediately.”


Republican leaders in the House and Senate repeatedly warned Governor Lynch that his attempt to steal private money to balance the state budget was unconstitutional and would likely be overturned by the courts. After the Superior Court initially froze the JUA money on June 29, 2009, Republican senate minority leader Peter Bragdon immediately called on the Governor to veto the budget and work on a new plan that excluded the disputed funds. Lynch ignored Bragdon’s warning and signed the Democrats’ irresponsible budget on June 30 – knowing full well that it would be out of balance on day one. Senate President Larsen has also brushed off calls for a special session to address the crisis, saying that she sees “no immediate need,” for it (Larsen Statement, 7/31).


Lynch has “deflected repeated questions from reporters about contingency plans,” (AP, 6/30) in the event that the court would halt his irresponsible revenue scheme. Despite obvious indications that the state wouldn’t be able to claim the surplus funds, Lynch has “repeatedly declined to detail alternatives and instead emphasized his belief in the rightfulness of the state's claim to the money.” (Concord Monitor, 7/30) Since the decision was announced, Lynch has continued to dodge questions about how he plans to address the staggering deficit and has merely stated that he hopes the State Supreme Court would overturn the Superior Court’s decision.


“John Lynch needs to realize that while ‘hope’ may be a successful Democrat campaign slogan, it’s not an effective or responsible governing strategy,” said Williams. “The State of New Hampshire cannot afford for this Governor to sit on his hands and avoid developing a contingency plan while the court reviews his risky revenue gambit. That’s the same failed approach that got us into this budget mess in the first place.”