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Entries in Balanced Budget (56)

Friday
Mar062015

NH Senate focused on balancing budget, growing economy 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

 

(CONCORD) The New Hampshire Senate today voted 14-10 to table a package of dedicated fund transfers proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan. SB 233 would have raided dedicated funds within the Fish and Game Department and the Department of Safety, drawn down the State Self-Insured Fund Reserve by $5 million, and cut funds from both the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

 

“Just two weeks ago, the Senate voted to protect dedicated funds from exactly this sort of raid,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “As the Governor works to keep state spending within the budget we passed two years ago, the Senate will continue to focus on ways to grow the New Hampshire economy.”

 

“Senate Republicans have been asking for more detailed information from the Governor on our current spending problem for the past nine months. And we look forward to her report on how her latest Executive Order is working,” added Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith). “In the meantime, we see no need to raid dedicated funds to cover for overspending in other departments. This bill is not a responsible solution to our state’s spending problem.”

 

Monday
Feb092015

Jim Rubens - Stop Runaway Congress: Public Hearings for Article V Convention Bills, Feb 12 & 13 

Stop Runaway Congress

 

By unanimous vote, George Mason, James Madison and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 gave state legislators power under Article V to reign in a Congress they feared could one day become corrupted and no longer accountable to the people.
 
We’ve reached that time. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress buy themselves reelection – not by making the hard choices – but by loading our kids and grandkids with trillions in debt and rewarding corporate cronies and campaign benefactors with pork, regulatory complexity, and market-distorting tax loopholes. 
 
Stop Runaway Congress
 
A first in US history, the states are now at the threshold of taking decisive action to stop our runaway Congress.
  • Twenty-four states including New Hampshire have applied under Article V for a convention of states to propose a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
  • Three states have applied for a convention to propose amendments for fiscal restraint, term limits, and enhanced federalism.
  • Three states have applied for a convention dealing with campaign money corruption.
  • Three to five states are likely to be added over the next few weeks.
Reach Out to the NH House This Week

This coming Thursday and Friday (February 12 & 13) the New Hampshire legislature will hold public hearings on bills covering each of these three subject applications. Attend these hearings or leave a brief phone message for any committee member you may know.
 
Thursday, Feb 12, 9:30am
House Legislative Admin Committee
Committee member contact info
HCR1, rescinding NH's 2012 Balanced Budget Amendment application
Legislative Office Building, Room 203, Concord
Urge ITL (no vote)
 
Friday, Feb 13, 9am - 12noon
House State-Federal Relations & Vets Affairs Committee
Committee member contact info
HCR2, applying for a convention addressing campaign money corruption
HCR3, applying for a convention addressing fiscal restraint, term limits, and enhanced federalism
Legislative Office Building, Room 210-211, Concord
Urge OTP (yes vote) on both
 
Opponents’ Faulty Logic
 
Remarkably, opponents (lead by the John Birch Society) have mounted a full court press to block the states from exercising their constitutional authority and responsibility to pull our nation back from the brink. Opponents argue that the several state legislatures and the people can no longer be trusted and that the exclusive power to propose amendments must remain the hands of Congress.
 
AVC opponents are whipping up irrational fear that an Article V convention of states will “runaway” and propose crazy amendments to gut the Bill of Rights.
 
Fundamental safeguards against a runaway convention
  1. Crazy amendments will fail. 38 states are required to ratify any amendment proposed by an AVC. Just 13 of 99 state legislative bodies have absolute veto power. A convention of states has no power to adopt changes to the 38-state ratification hurdle.
  2. Delegates will act knowing that crazy amendments will fail. Delegates will not waste time debating or proposing off-subject, hard to explain, or fringe amendments. All 27 ratified amendments to date (all drafted by Congress) were supported by overwhelming public supermajorities.
  3. Red states and New Hampshire will not ever gut the Bill of Rights. Blue states and New Hampshire will not gut the social safety net.
  4. One state, one vote. Big states will not rule. Convention delegates will adopt proposed amendments via one state, one vote, regardless of number of delegates for each state.
  5. All AVC supporters back ONLY a convention limited to the subjects specified in the state applications. No one working on this and no legislative proposals seek an open-ended convention lacking subject matter limitation.
  6. Not once – not ever -- has a runaway convention happened in American history. All thirty-four pre-constitution conventions and the 1787 Constitutional Convention adhered to application subject matter limitations.
  7. Opponents need to get their history straight. The 1787 Constitutional Convention was suggested by the five-state Annapolis Convention of 1786, resulting in ten states adopting the following application language to guide delegates: “… taking into Consideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.”
 Thanks for listening.
 

 

Stay Warm,

 

Jim Rubens

Wednesday
Jan072015

NH Sen. Boutin Applauds Strong December Revenues  

Conservative estimates continue to pay dividends for NH

 

Concord, NH – Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Boutin (R-Hooksett) applauded today’s strong December revenue report from the Department of Administrative Services. Revenues for the month came in $14.3 million ahead of plan, and are $19.2 million above projections with six months left in the 2015 budget year.

 

“Two years ago, the Senate insisted on adopting conservative revenue estimates to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from a budget shortfall. That decision continues to pay dividends for New Hampshire,” Boutin said.

 

Entering the month, business tax receipts had been running behind projections, but were offset by stronger revenues from other sources. FY14 revenues came in $3.1 million higher than anticipated, and FY15 revenues are currently $19.2 million above plan. That leaves the state revenues $22.3 million above projections with six months lefts in the current two-year budget, which runs through June 30th.

 

“I’m encouraged by the improved performance in business tax revenues. It shows that the New Hampshire economy is improving, thanks in part to the tax reforms we’ve passed over the past four years,” Boutin added. “The December revenue report provides more useful information as the Senate Ways and Means Committee begins crafting revenue estimates for the next two year budget.”

 

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets next week to hear from both the Legislative Budget Assistant’s Office and the Department of Revenue Administration.

 

###

Wednesday
Jan072015

Rep. Major statement in response to NH Revenue Numbers

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/VtOLTKp5k70QT_b_dWXTh2dedWS5wiXat3NFpwNjMsvgwgX-aFoMqXT6YEG2hPIf-Hg_Wf3W6YXt2GOIzaC0jgK9fegH1a6GiFf1osIUHzCXfoZKrSgviOk-wg

 

The following is a statement from Rep. Norman Major (r-Plaistow), the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in response to the state’s revenue numbers that were released this morning.

 

“The revenue numbers released today clearly shows that our revenues, year to date, are on track.

In fact, state revenues for the last 18 months meet or exceed the estimates set forth in the plan.”

Tuesday
Jul082014

NH Senate Finance Chair Requests State Spending Update 

Calls for comprehensive report on State’s financial position heading into FY2015

 

Concord, NH – Senate Finance Chairman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, today formally requested that Fiscal Committee Chairman Mary Jane Wallner schedule a Fiscal Year 2014 state spending update as a part of the next regularly Fiscal Committee meeting.

 

Last week, lawmakers learned that state revenues for the fiscal year exceeded plan by approximately $5.8 million.  Yet while revenues have met the responsible and conservative estimates set by the budget, it remains unclear how the Executive Branch has performed with regards to controlling spending.

 

“As we move into the second year of the biennium, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of our current financial position, especially on the expense side of the budget, in order to determine if any legislative action is necessary to ensure we live within the balanced budget we all voted for,” writes Sen. Forrester in her letter.

 

The Fiscal Committee is scheduled to meet on Friday, July 25 at 10AM.  The full text of Sen. Forrester’s letter to Representative Wallner is available below:

 

 

Dear Representative Wallner:

 

On behalf of the Senate members of the Legislative Fiscal Committee, would you please schedule an update on FY14 state spending as a part of our next regular meeting?

 

As you know, the Fiscal Year 2014/15 budget requires a budget surplus of approximately $26 million in the first year of the biennium in order to be balanced.  To accomplish this, revenues must come in as planned, and state agencies and departments must not spend more than their budget appropriations which includes meeting their lapse and back of the budget reductions required by law.

 

With the June revenue figures in, and the preliminary FY14 figures reported, we now know that actual revenues for the fiscal year have met the responsible and conservative estimates laid out in our budget.  This is an important first piece of the puzzle.

 

Still unknown, however, is how the Executive Branch performed on the spending side of the budget for the year.  The Governor’s recent words of caution, particularly with regards to the Health and Human Services budget, as well as her decision to institute a spending freeze to further restrict state expenses, suggests that the Governor may have experienced difficulty keeping spending under control over the last twelve months. 

 

As we move into the second year of the biennium, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of our current financial position, especially on the expense side of the budget, in order to determine if any legislative action is necessary to ensure we live within the balanced budget we all voted for.

 

Therefore, I would ask that you include on the agenda for our Friday, July 25 Fiscal Committee meeting a “spending update” item to include a presentation from the Governor’s office.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.