CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today offered the following comments in response to the Governor’s office releasing figures showing that the last fiscal year will achieve a $26 million surplus.
House Speaker William O’Brien
“The unexpected good news that the state will have a surplus of $26 million is a tremendous shift from just last May, when state agencies told our Ways and Means Committee that New Hampshire was facing a $50 million deficit for the past fiscal year and Governor Lynch himself was proposing raiding numerous dedicated funds to balance the budget. Obviously, we need put some better financial controls in place so that the legislature gets better information of the state’s fiscal picture in the future.”
“The House will move quickly to introduce new legislation for next year to take this surplus and place it in the Rainy Day Fund to help stabilize the state’s shaky bond rating. Currently, the Fund stands at just $9 million after the Governor and prior legislatures raided it from a strong $89 million in 2008. We need to give the state the cushion in case we experience another economic downturn, not look for more ways to increase spending. We should target a Rainy Day Fund of at least 5% of our general fund expenditure, and this would be a strong first step.”