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Entries in Gov Hassan (322)

Friday
Mar132015

NHDP - NH House GOP Tries to Keep Budget Decisions Out of the Light of Day 

NH1 News Political Report Details Major “Transparency No-No” from Republicans on House Finance Committee
 

Concord, N.H. – Kevin Landrigan’s NH1 News Political Report details a major “transparency no-no” from New Hampshire House Republicans as they attempted to hold “public” budget meetings in a room closed off from the public and the press.
 
NH1 News reports, “A House Finance Committee working group narrowly averted a Right-to-Know crisis this week. Division 2 of the budget subcommittee made plans to meet during Wednesday's House session in the legislative break room. Oops! That's a transparency no-no since only legislators - not the public or the press - are allowed in that anteroom. They called off the discussion noting they had failed to publicly notice the session far enough in advance.”
 
“It’s disturbing that House Republicans tried to keep their budget decisions out of the light of day and only moved their meeting to a public room after coming under fire for their complete lack of transparency,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “This latest episode further shows that New Hampshire Republicans’ political posturing on transparency is nothing but cheap talk.”
Friday
Mar132015

NH Sen Forrester hails restoration of nursing home funding 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

 

SB 8 blocks $7 million Hassan raid on nursing home, home health care

 

Concord, NH – Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) issued the following statement on the Senate’s 16-8 vote to pass SB 8, which would block Governor Maggie Hassan’s proposed raid of $7 million from nursing home and home health care reimbursement:

 

“The state budget that the Senate passed unanimously and the Governor signed into law specifically protected these nursing home and home health care funds from being cut to pay for other spending. The Governor has chosen to ignore that part of the law, and this bill would restore the intent of the budget we all agreed to,” Forrester said.

 

The Legislative Fiscal Committee asked the Attorney General’s Office how the Governor was able to transfer money from the nursing homes despite a provision in the budget preventing such a transfer. Since the money that Hassan wants to take is matched by the federal government, her raid would actually end up costing nursing homes and home health care providers $14 million.

 

“When we passed our budget two years ago, we made a promise to reimburse nursing homes and home health providers for the services they provide to Medicaid patients,” Forrester concluded. “This bill would make sure we keep that promise.”

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.”

 

Thursday
Mar052015

NHGOP ASKS NH DOJ TO REVIEW HASSAN'S ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE RIGHT TO KNOW LAW 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked the New Hampshire Department of Justice to review Governor Maggie Hassan's attempt to pressure state agencies into ignoring the Right to Know Law. The party also submitted its own request with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services for information regarding its government efficiency proposal:

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster:

 

On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing today to respectfully request that you provide a legal opinion on Governor Maggie Hassan's effort to pressure state agencies to ignore New Hampshire's Right to Know Law.

 

The Concord Monitor and Union Leader report that Governor Hassan has distributed a memo to state agency department heads instructing them to forward all Right to Know requests regarding government efficiency proposals to her office. The New Hampshire Republican State Committee and members of the New Hampshire media have filed several requests for the efficiency proposals. Governor Hassan has already denied similar requests made directly to her office.

 

The New Hampshire Department of Justice has clearly stated that all state executive branch departments and agencies are subject to the New Hampshire Right to Know Law. Governor Hassan believes she does not need to follow the law, and her attempt to funnel all Right to Know requests through her office is a brazen and blatant attempt to undermine New Hampshire's transparency requirements.

 

Clearly, state officials should be required to respond to requests made directly to their agencies instead of forwarding them to the governor's office to be quashed. Governor Hassan's memo is obviously an attempt to pressure agencies heads to keep information about their efficiency proposals secret as she quietly gears up to run for United States Senate.

 

I ask that you please provide an opinion on the legality of Governor Hassan's shameful plan to undermine New Hampshire's transparency laws. I also request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A) that you provide me with any communications between the Department of Justice and Governor Hassan's office regarding the development of her memo to agency heads to determine if she sought an opinion from your office in advance. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee

 

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Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

129 Pleasant Street

Concord, New Hampshire 03301

 

Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas:

 

This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A).

I formally request that you provide me with all records regarding government efficiency proposals developed by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. These proposals may have been submitted to Governor Maggie Hassan's office.

 

As Governor Hassan gears up to abandon her job to run for United States Senate, her Administration has gone to great lengths to undermine New Hampshire's Right to Know Law. The Concord Monitor and the Union Leader have reported that the governor is attempting to pressure and coerce state agencies into ignoring transparency laws by funneling records requests to her office. This strategy is designed to deliberately quash any records request related to agency efficiency proposals because the governor does not believe her office needs to adhere to the Right to Know law.

 

Additionally, the Concord Monitor and the Union Leader report that the governor's office has distributed a secret memo to agency heads that instructs them to ignore the Right to Know law. As part of my records request, I also ask that you please provide me with a copy of the governor's memo.

 

Should you decline to provide any requested information, please provide the specific provision under RSA 91-A that exempts such public records from the Right to Know Law. To be clear, I am asking for these records from your agency and expect a response from the Department of Health and Human Services - not the governor's office.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee

 

Wednesday
Mar042015

NHDP - Fact Check: Karl Rove Dumps More Dark Money Into NH as Desperation Grows 

Terrified About Kelly Ayotte Losing, Rove Launches Another Dishonest Ad to Try to Buy New Hampshire
 
Concord, N.H. – As Washington Republicans grow increasingly terrified about Kelly Ayotte losing, Karl Rove’s dark money group launched another dishonest ad to try to buy New Hampshire.
 
"The latest dishonest ad from Karl Rove's dark money group makes one thing clear: Rove and his special interest donors are terrified about Kelly Ayotte losing. And they should be," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley
 
"Ayotte is polling significantly below 50% because she's proven time and again that she's more focused on raising her national profile than looking out for the people and businesses of New Hampshire," added Buckley.  
 
"No matter how many false ads Washington Republicans run, they won't be able to distract from the fact that Ayotte puts her own political ambition first no matter the cost. Just ask the first responders who may still face a shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security because Ayotte held funding for the agency hostage for weeks to appease her Tea Party base,” concluded Buckley
 
See below for a complete fact check of Karl Rove’s false ad:
 
Crossroads: “When money’s tight, we set priorities. Governor Hassan’s budget made her priorities clear: more spending, higher taxes, and no real innovation. A disappointment.”
 
Fact: Governor Hassan’s budget makes the difficult, fiscally responsible decisions needed to balance the budget – without an income or sales tax – while investing in the priorities necessary to seize our full economic potential. The Governor’s fiscally responsible budget cut total agency budget requests by more than $1 billion and general funds requests by more than $523 million, and budgets many state agencies at or below FY 2015 levels.
 
The Governor’s budget keeps total spending increases to 6.4 percent over two years – far below historic averages – and allows New Hampshire to continue to make progress on key priorities. Adjusted for inflation, the 2016 general and education trust fund budget is at least $250 million less than the state spent in 2004.
 
The budget also draws on recommendations of the Governor’s Innovation Commission including increasing flexibility for state managers, expanding the state’s efforts to centralize key services, consolidating some function areas, and hiring a Chief Operating Officer – like at least five Republican governors have done – who will focus on driving efficiency.
 
Crossroads: “Hassan’s budget would even add a tax that hits lower income people hardest.”
 
Fact: Cigarette taxes have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent youth smoking. The Governor’s budget proposes raising the cigarette tax by 21 cents, which would still keep New Hampshire’s cigarette tax below our surrounding states.
 
Crossroads: “And sizable increases in business taxes that could hurt jobs.”
 
Fact: What the Governor’s budget actually does is increases a business tax exemption and makes sure that all families and businesses are playing by the same rules – rules that simply say they have a reasonable basis for claiming the tax deduction. The same rules existed until two years ago and exist for every other tax deduction across the nation.
 
Crossroads: “Worse, Hassan’s budget bets on a risky Keno gambling scheme to pay for more spending.”
 
Fact: Six of the ten most lucrative Keno locations in Massachusetts are located within five miles of the New Hampshire border. Allowing Keno and self-service lottery terminals machines would help bring that revenue back to New Hampshire to invest in our priorities.
 
The revenue changes included in the Governor’s budget will not diminish New Hampshire’s standing as having one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation.
 
Crossroads: “Tell your legislators Governor Hassan’s budget sets the wrong priorities for New Hampshire.”
 
Fact: Karl Rove and his out-of-state, dark money donors should stop trying to lecture Granite Staters on the right priorities for New Hampshire.