Press Releases

 

Entries in Blue Ribbon Panel (4)

Friday
Feb222013

State Leadership Group Releases Five-year Plan to Address Drug Abuse

Concord, NH - A new state strategy to address substance use disorders was

released today at an event in Concord. It sets targets for reductions in

substance use rates among youth and adults, and calls for increased public

financing, as well as greater collaboration among community stakeholders,

state and local government and private industry.



The Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse was the author of

the updated strategic plan, titled Collective Action – Collective Impact:

NH’s Strategy for Reducing the Misuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs and

Promoting Recovery. The plan, developed over the course of the last year

with input from community and state leaders, seeks to address what many on

the Governors Commission see as the state’s single largest public health

threat. A recent study by the advocacy organization New Futures put the

cost of overconsumption of alcohol alone at $1.15 billion per year – a cost

borne by the state as well as the business sector.



The report, produced by Brian Gottlob, principal of PolEcon Research in

Dover, NH, is available here.



“Our ranking as one of the healthiest states in the country does not speak

to the harm caused to New Hampshire by the abuse of alcohol and other

drugs,” said Tym Rourke, chair of the commission. “Rates of substance use

by youth and young adults are among the highest in the nation.

Additionally, many who are in need of treatment for the disorder can’t get

access to the services they need – our plan proposes to change that.”



The plan is tied to other efforts to curb substance use disorders,

including the National Drug Control Strategy.



“President Obama believes in the pursuit of an America built to last – a

Nation founded on an educated, skilled workforce that has the knowledge,

energy, and expertise to succeed in our highly competitive global

marketplace,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control

Policy. “Yet, for too many Americans, this vision is clouded by drug use.

We commend the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other

Drug Abuse for pursuing a smart and innovative plan to make New Hampshire

healthier and safer in a way that treats drug use as a public health issue,

not just a criminal justice issue.”



In a statement, Gov. Maggie Hassan signaled her support for the

Commission’s plan.



“In order to ensure New Hampshire remains one of the nation’s healthiest

and safest states, we must prevent and treat alcohol and other drug misuse

more effectively. The Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Prevention’s State Substance Use Strategy will help improve our efforts to

achieve this important goal,” the governor’s statement read.



Governor Hassan’s current budget proposal includes increased support for

substance use treatment through Medicaid, as well as efforts to bolster

public safety through funding of the Drug Task Force and an increased to

the number of State Troopers.



“We must prioritize the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse

in New Hampshire,” said Attorney General Michael Delaney. “Our law

enforcement community will embrace this strategic plan and will support the

ongoing partnerships that are critical to advancing the plan’s goals and

recommendations.”



Richard Ober, president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, voiced

the importance of a public-private partnership, which includes the

Foundation’s multi-year commitment to funding substance use prevention

services. The Foundation has one of the only significant philanthropic

funds in the country dedicated to issues related to drug and alcohol abuse.



“Our efforts will not succeed without adequate public financing,” said

Ober. “The foundation looks forward to working to ensure our funds are

leveraged wisely through smart public investments to reduce the burden of

this issue to New Hampshire Communities.”

Saturday
Jan262013

Josiah Bartlett Center - The Fight over Revenue Estimates 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire


New Hampshire's budget battles are always about revenue, and this year is no exception. Revenue estimates drive spending and make some decisions possible, others impossible. This year's estimates will determine the path the budget takes.

During boom times, revenues flow freely into the state treasury and make the state budget about who gets more money. But an economic downturn or poor revenue estimate creates budget crises and constant pressure to cut.
... Click here to keep reading.


 

Thursday
Jan242013

Governor Hassan Issues Executive Order Creating Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel 

Office of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan

Panel of Experts Will Advise Governor

On State Revenue Projections Throughout Budget Cycle


CONCORD – Fulfilling her commitment to implement fiscally responsible reforms to the state budgeting process, Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order today creating a Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel. The panel of experts will work to periodically develop and update revenue estimates and provide advice to the Governor both through the budget process and after the budget’s adoption.

The Governor’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel will be chaired by Gerard Murphy, the Governor’s Budget Director. The members are Linda Hodgdon, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (or designee); Kevin Clougherty, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration (or designee); Richard Samuels, a director of the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association and an attorney at McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton; Dennis Delay, an economist with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy; Jeff McLynch of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute; and Ross Gittell, an economist and Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

“A balanced budget is the cornerstone of a strong economy, and a fiscally responsible balanced budget requires revenue estimates that are as reliable and accurate as possible,” said Governor Hassan. “By bringing together experts from the business community, academia, and the public sector, we can work to improve our revenue estimates and ensure more accurate information throughout the budget process. I thank the members of our Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel for agreeing to serve their fellow citizens by supporting our efforts to balance the budget while protecting our priorities.”

The panel’s responsibilities include reviewing revenue estimates to confirm accuracy and reliability; monitoring variables materially impacting estimates such as employment, population trends, interest rates, income, business growth trends and other indices as are appropriate; and providing periodic revenue estimates to the Executive branch and to share such estimates with the Legislative branch. Once the budget is adopted, the panel will meet regularly to review revenue estimates and to help ensure that the state remains on track for a balanced budget. Legislative leaders will also be invited to meetings of the panel to ensure an open and informative exchange of information between the Executive and Legislative branches regarding revenue projections.

The first meeting of the Governor’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel will be tomorrow, Thursday, January 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Executive Council Chamber at the State House.

The full text of the Governor’s Executive Order is attached.

Thursday
Jan242013

Statements by Senators Odell and Morse on Gov. Hassan's Revenue Estimating Panel 

The New Hampshire Senate

Majority Office

Concord, NH – Senate Ways and Means Chairman Bob Odell, R-Lempster, and Finance Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, released the following statements today following Gov. Hassan’s executive order establishing a revenue estimating panel:

Senator Odell stated:

“When developing our revenue estimates, the Senate Ways and Means Committee takes testimony from numerous department heads, economists, and business leaders.  This open and information driven process has led the committee to adopt numbers for the current budget that are off by less than two percent.  In the months ahead, the committee looks forward to considering the recommendations of Gov. Hassan’s revenue panel as another part of our process as we work to develop balanced estimates consistent with a cautious economic outlook.”

Senator Morse stated:

“When building the current budget, the Senate Finance Committee relied heavily on the work done by Sen. Odell and the Ways and Means Committee.  The slight surplus in the first year of the budget and the near perfect estimates to-date in the second year are due in significant part to their good work.  The governor is right in noting the need for a ‘systematic and consistent method of forecasting state revenues.’  Thankfully, the Senate has experienced, pragmatic and thoughtful leaders like Bob Odell guiding our work in this area.  I plan to rely on the estimates developed by his committee.”