Legislature examines impact of budget veto on cities and towns across NH.
Concord, NH - Senators and Representatives named to the Cities and Towns working group by Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) met today to hear presentations from state departments, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Revenue Administration, Department of Environmental Services, Department of Education, the New Hampshire State Treasury and the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
"Today was an important start and I commend legislators for their willingness to come together to listen to presentations made by various departments and organizations regarding any possible impacts on communities while operating under the Continuing Resolution," said Forrester.
"As legislators, we have an obligation to be fully aware of potential challenges facing our communities, but the need is even greater while the state is operating without a permanent two-year budget. Meetings like this one will prepare us to quickly respond to any issues that may arise as we move forward," said Forrester.
“We were disturbed to learn that the Governor’s office has not provided any guidance to these departments related to how they should base estimates for the Department of Revenue Administration for the purpose of setting tax rates. I am concerned that a lack of guidance here will cause a significant burden to be placed back on cities and towns,” added Forrester.
Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead), who chairs the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, will Chair the Cities and Towns working group meetings.
“Thank you to the legislators and executive administrators who met today to discuss the impact of the Continuing Resolution on Cities and Towns for the next six months,” said Birdsell. “We expect the Cities and Towns working group to maintain an open and regular dialogue between legislators and state departments and organizations that may be impacted as we move forward under the Continuing Resolution.”
“We heard in today’s meeting that a Highway Funds block grant will likely be $3 million short and that significant uncertainty exists in cities and towns when setting the tax rate for the next year due to anticipated funding differences under the Continuing Resolution and a permanent budget,” added Birdsell.
“We are committed to continuing our work with departments to do what we can to ensure that the needs of our state will be met,” said Birdsell.
Legislators participating in the Cities and Towns working group:
Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead)
Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith)
Senator Lou D'Allesandro (D-Manchester)
Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford)
Senator Gary Daniels (R-Milford)
Senator Jerry Little (R- Weare)
Senator Nancy Stiles (R- Hampton)
Senator David Watters (D-Dover)
Representative Peter Leishman (D-Peterborough)
Representative Lynn Ober (R-Hudson)
Representative Karen Umberger (R-Kearsarge)