CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien and Senate President Peter Bragdon today released the following statement on the legislative branch returning over $1.6 million back to New Hampshire’s general fund. Included in the latest budget passed by the Legislature, the Legislative Branch added a provision for the first time in history to lapse unspent funds. While budget planners had projected a lapse of about $530,000, lapsed funds came in at more than $100,000 over projections at almost $640,000. Another provision of the budget required an initial $1 million of the Legislative Branch budget to also be given back to the general fund each year of the 2011-2012 state budget.
House Speaker William O’Brien
“When we began the budgeting process we knew we would be asking other departments to find efficiencies and make concessions in their budgets and wanted to lead such reforms by example. We simply must be good stewards of taxpayer money and that is the principle we used in crafting the budget, committing to sending $1 million back each year to the general fund and lapsing any unspent funds. Good government is one that serves the people and is limited and fiscally prudent. Republicans heard that message when we got elected as the majority.”
Senate President Peter Bragdon
“From the very start of our current biennium, the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House made it clear state government would live within its means. We crafted a balanced budget reflecting that philosophy which included sending back unused legislative funds to the General Fund. This was absolutely the right thing to do with taxpayer dollars, especially since we required other departments to operate under reduced budgets. I want to thank our employees because their sacrifices made the difference here. We have a smaller staff than we did two years ago and our current employees accepted salary freezes. They’ve also made do with less. However, they still bring a great work ethic to the state house every day to help us carry out the people’s business.”