NHDP - Devastating Bill O’Brien Budget Cuts Continue to Dominate Media Coverage

Concord, N.H. – Bill O’Brien’s devastating budget cuts are continuing to dominate media coverage as more details emerge about massive cuts to veteran’s programs, state police, the university system, services for mental health and those with developmental disabilities, and road and bridge maintenance.
“With drastic cuts on the table for the state’s veterans home, the university system and critical health services, Bill O’Brien and House Republicans have made clear that they are willing to undermine our most critical priorities in order to serve their Tea Party ideology,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Granite Staters will not stand for these devastating and irresponsible cuts.”
See below for a coverage recap:
WMUR: Veterans, police, university system could face budget cuts
CONCORD, N.H. —As budget writers in the House try to come up with a spending plan everyone can agree on, it appears New Hampshire veterans could be at risk of losing services.
Cuts suggested Tuesday would have a major impact on those services and others, as the battle to balance the budget is getting heated. Other potential targets for cuts include the Department of Transportation, state police and the university system.
In a budget year that is witnessing deep cuts in just about every state agency, the veterans' home in Tilton is the latest to find itself on the chopping block amid a proposal to reduce state funding by as much as $2 million.
… From slicing $41 million from the DOT to pulling troopers off the road to reducing state aid to the university system, Republican budget writers on the House Finance Committee are making clear everything is on the table.
Click here for full WMUR story.
Union Leader: House budget writers trim from Health and Human Services
CONCORD — House budget writers continued Tuesday to whittle away at social services to meet their target to trim about $180 million in general funds from the Health and Human Services Department’s budget.
The day before, the House finance subcommittees decided to eliminate Meals on Wheels and ServiceLink, to reduce money for nursing home long-term care, developmentally disabled services and optional Medicaid services, and to cut $63 million from transportation which would result in more than 300 layoffs, and reduce winter and summer road maintenance.
The budget cuts had House Democrats comparing it to the budget slashing when Bill O’Brien was House Speaker, and Gov. Maggie Hassan said Republicans continue to act like the state is in an economic crisis when it is not.
Click here for full Union Leader story.

NHPR: N.H. House Budget Writers Slash H.H.S. Funding
The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.
So far the House Finance Committee is proposing $115 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.
Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”
“The actions you have taken  yesterday as well as this morning will absolutely devastate the Medicaid program.” Nihan said Tuesday.
Click here for full NHPR story.

AP: House budget writers to vote on transportation cuts
House budget writers are preparing to vote on whether to cut millions of dollars from the Department of Transportation's budget, forcing layoffs and a decline in road maintenance.
… Officials say the cuts would have dire consequences on public safety by reducing the department's ability to clear roads and perform bridge maintenance. The cuts could reduce by a quarter the department's workforce, which now has 1,600 positions.
Click here for full AP story.