Press Releases

 

Wednesday
Jul012009

NH Senate Republican Statement on Court Ruling to Freeze JUA Funds 

Concord, NH – Today, Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon released the following statement on Monday's court-ordered freeze of Governor Lynch's plan to seize $110 million from the private Joint Underwriting Association.

 

"I call on Governor Lynch to veto the budget and immediately bring the legislature back into session to deal with this $110 million hole in the state budget. This court order puts our budget out of balance on day 1.

 

"Governor Lynch and the big spenders in the legislature satisfied their desire for $1 billion in new spending with numerous accounting gimmicks, including this raid on a private fund. Senate Republicans warned this risky scheme would get tied up in court and could jeopardize the budget, but our attempts to stop the raid were blocked by the Democrats. Monday's court ruling has validated our warnings.

 

"True budget leadership would have held the line on spending, just as thousands of New Hampshire citizens have had to do this year. Instead Governor Lynch and the Democrat-controlled legislature raised total spending over 10%. If they had held the line on spending, there would have been no need to try to steal money from a private organization."

 

Background

A Belknap County Superior Court order on Monday blocked the state from seizing money from the JUA fund. [Source: Laconia Citizen]

 

The 2010/2011 budget passed by the legislature and supported by the governor counted on $110 million of money taken from the JUA fund to help balance the budget. [ Source: Legislative Budget Assistant's Office]

 

The 2010/2011 budget had over $1 billion more in total spending (all

funds) than the prior budget. [Source: Legislative Budget Assistant's Office]

 

Wednesday
Jul012009

CPR-ACTION REACTS TO LYNCH SIGNING BUDGET 

Concord - Today, CPR-Action Executive Director, evin Smith, reacted to overnor Lynch signing the new $11.5 billion dollar budget for SFY10-11.

 

"We are disappointed that the Governor would sign a budget that not only increases state spending by nearly 7%, but also raises many taxes and fees during a recession.

 

Furthermore, we found out today that this budget will already begin at least $45 million dollars in the red due to the suspension of the JUA monies that were being raided by the State in order to close the deficit. We applaud Senator Bragdon for calling for a special session of the legislature, and hope that the Governor will follow suit so that a more responsible solution an be hammered out."

 

Wednesday
Jul012009

WNO - Healthcare Overhaul Will Have Terrible Repercussions Says Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA)  

Who: Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA)

 

What: Exclusive interview regarding the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill.

 

When: June 30th, 2009

 

Where: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Conference Room

 

Bilbray Soundbite #1: Terrible repercussions for huge healthcare system

 

"We're talking a huge healthcare system, one size fits all kind of concept that could have terrible repercussions if it's not done appropriately."

 

 

Bilbray Soundbite #2: Republicans shut out of bill writing process

 

"I haven't seen very much input at all being either requested or provided by the Republicans on these healthcare packages. It's almost as if you don't agree with the line of either the majority party or the White House you're not really asked to participate. They don't want discouraging words."

 


Length of Full Interview: 5:22

Click for full video file: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLtjGPdIbDY

 

Tuesday
Jun302009

NH State Senator Bradley - Spinning Budget Myths 

Supporters of the recently enacted State of New Hampshire budget were quick to claim that it was responsible and that they made tough decisions during difficult economic times. Talk about myth and spin - this budget fits the bill - literally!

 

Myth #1: State spending will decrease in the next two years. Sounds great doesn't it? Unfortunately, this is flat out wrong. Here are the facts: According to the Legislative Budget Assistant--the non-partisan office that is charged with preparing budget figures--total authorized spending in the current budget, which will close June 30, is $10.408 billion. The budget that was just approved and will begin July 1 authorizes spending of $11.499 billion, an increase of $1.091 billion or 10.48% by every known method of mathematics! How can these budget supporters possibly justify this huge increase when people are struggling to pay their bills and now will struggle to pay the higher taxes and fees contained in the budget? This 10.48% increase also comes at a time when other states around the nation on average are actually reducing spending!

 

Myth #2: The new tax on campsites closes a loophole. If budget writers really thought this tax on camping was closing a loophole it is hard to imagine why they would have introduced it in the wee hours of the night without a public hearing. The fact is that it is a brand new 9% tax on camping. It is positively amazing how supporters of this budget claim to be the politicians that support the little guy. This budget not only taxes camping, it hikes taxes or fees on meals, tobacco, boat & car registration, salt water fishing licenses and most importantly, property taxes. Nothing can hide the fact that New Hampshire citizens of modest means will be digging deeper into their already empty wallets.

 

Myth#3: The tax on limited liability companies (LLCs) also closes a loophole. Again, if this was a loophole – why no public hearing? This tax w ill impact approximately 10,000 small business owners organized as LLCs who will now be subject to the 5% Interest and Dividends Tax. Without any rules yet promulgated, who knows if this will be a tax on interest or dividends---or a tax on the compensation a business owner pays him or herself. If this taxes a business owner’s compensation in the same way the Business Profits tax is applied -- against so-called excessive compensation -- then New Hampshire will be sending a terrible message to those very people we want to invest in the state and create jobs. Perhaps the supporters of this budget are spinning this as a business owner loophole because in reality they want an income tax!

 

Myth #4: If the budget were not enacted the cost to the State under a continuing resolution to keep government running would be $11 million per month. This takes the cake for spinning a myth. There is no reason whatsoever that spending for a short period could not have been authorized at 98% of existing levels to ensure deficits were not created. This is precisely what could have been done for the entire budget in order to avoid all the tax and fee hikes that will hurt working families and small businesses.

 

Myth #5: This budget is balanced. Whether the budget is actually balanced will not be known for some time. However, this budget relies on $75 million of magically inflated revenue estimates and a $110 million raid on a fund paid into by doctors to reduce medical liability costs. This raid is already the subject of litigation and the STATE JUST LOST THE FIRST ROUND IN COURT! Given these problems, it is hard to imagine the budget being balanced when it closes in two years.

 

Unfortunately, the really difficult choices were left for the next budget when the $500 million dollars of one-time revenue sources runs dry. The stage will be set in the next budget for the penultimate debate of whether this state adopts an income or sales tax or both. Even if the st ate were to allow expanded gaming, it will not be enough to fill this spending sink hole!

 

My grateful thanks to everyone who has written me with comments on these email updates. I appreciate all the information and ideas that you have provided. With the close of the legislative session in Concord, I won’t email updates until the fall. Please however monitor my web-site www.jebforstatesenate.com for occasional discussion about issues ranging from global warming legislation to healthcare. Hope to see you climbing in the White Mountains this summer!

 

Tuesday
Jun302009

CPR-ACTION CALLS ON LYNCH TO VETO 'MARIJUANA BILL' 

Says state cannot afford price tag

 

Concord - Today, CPR-Action's Kevin Smith called on Governor Lynch to veto the medicinal marijuana bill citing the bill's fiscal note which, at the very least, calls for an increase in state expenditures of $250,000 for the next biennium including the creation of at least one new state position.

 

"We call on Governor Lynch to veto this bill because of the severe fiscal impact it will have on the state budget should it be signed in to law. At the very least, state administrators predict a cost of $250k to administer the program which includes the creation of a new position within DHHS, at a time when the Governor is considering furloughs or layoffs. Additionally, the fiscal note does not take into account the state's licensing and monitoring of the new "compassion centers" which will undoubtedly increase state expenditures beyond the $250k over the next biennium."

 

Smith added, "We continue to stress that the Governor needs to start budgeting like many New Hampshire families do - which means not increasing spending when times are tough. Now would not be the time to start adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to an already bloated state budget."

 

In addition to costs described in the fiscal note, CPR-Action notes that it has not been revised to take into account DHHS's additional responsibilities of licensing and monitoring the new "compassion centers" established to distribute the marijuana. CPR-Action estimates that these additional duties by the Department will only increase state expenditures, to possibly include the creation of additional state positions. The fiscal note can be found at the following site:

 

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0648.html.