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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (148)

Friday
Apr242015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Agreeing on the problem isn't always enough 

How are they spending your money?
Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

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Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Agreeing on the Problem Isn't Always Enough

The political process often obscures truth and inhibits agreement. Too often each of us believes he or she knows what’s important but that the things you think are important are trivial and your insistence upon them is a sign of perfidy or cognitive dysfunction. On very rare occasions there is substantial agreement on a problem. This is good only because it allows us to attack someone else’s solution as near-sighted or disingenuous. It is inconceivable that an opponent might have a well intentioned idea that we simply think is a lower priority or might not work as well. Click here to keep reading.
 


The Josiah Bartlett Report:
Fixing NH's Economy

Charlie talks to Ken Cail about the difficulty in finding common ground on how to fix New Hampshire's stagnant Economy. Click here to listen.

 

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Saturday
Apr182015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Leadership Sacrificed to Lionaization of the Milquetoast  

Keep track of your
tax dollars!

Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Leadership Sacrificed to the
Lionization of Milquetoast

If you’re serving in or hope to serve in high office, it would be best for you not to have opinions, show leadership, or otherwise do what might be considered your job. Leaders who lead are considered risky and bold. The political intelligentsia would advise you to be quiet, look ponderous, show grave concern, but avoid expressing too many actual opinions. Leave leadership to those in less responsible positions.

People who are old fashioned enough to believe in ideas are occasionally frustrated because nothing seems to happen. Similarly, politicians — who are rarely if ever confused with people who believe in anything — are sometimes befuddled by their inability to accomplish much. Surrounded by advisers constantly urging caution, too many putative leaders indulge themselves in regular hand-wringing about the dangers of having strong opinions.

We are used to the lionization of milquetoast on the local level and it promises to be on display regularly during the presidential campaign as well
. Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Apr112015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Taking a Look at the House Budget 

See how they are spending your
tax dollars!

Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

State Budget Less Chaotic than it Appears

The state budget seems chaotic after a draft passed the House but the details of the budget and the few large items subject to debate are now relatively clear. The next two months will see significant compromise on revenues and on human service spending with little or no drama about a final House and Senate approved draft and the almost certain though reluctant approval of the governor. Click here to keep reading.
 


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the State Budget

The House of Representatives proposed budget in New Hampshire is good, bad, and ugly. It is not draconian by any measure but does represent a difficult struggle to patch together New Hampshire’s fiscal house within existing sources. Not everyone will agree with every decision but too often budget information is sacrificed to the woefully misleading caterwauling that passes for political discourse today. Click here to keep reading.

 

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Saturday
Mar212015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Long Term Thinking Key to fending off Stagnation 

This week is
Sunshine Week!

Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Stagnation Will be Permanent 
Unless We Think Long Term

All too often for politicians the big picture can get lost by paying too much attention to details. The state’s budget season is a poster child for not being able to see the forest for the trees. The difficulty for politicians is that we expect them to simultaneously focus on the big picture and to pay strict attention to the details that threaten to obscure the big picture. However, our future as a state depends less on the particular lines of a spreadsheet and more on long term changes that will affect our future. Click here to keep reading.
 


Transparency in NH: 
Progress and Worrying Trends

Improvements in technology has made more data available than ever before and the Right to Know Law has been tweaked and expanded to cover newer forms of communications, like emails. However, despite the state’s strong commitment to transparency, it still needs defending. The current governor has repeatedly refused to release certain budget documents to local papers, and there is legislation that would allow the state and local governments charge people who file requests for public documents. Needless to say, both threaten to roll back the great progress made on transparency. Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Mar142015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Charter Schools and The Budget Trailer Bill 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

March 13, 2015
 
Over the last twelve years charter schools have become a small but critically important part of New Hampshire’s education infrastructure. Today, they are under threat by a legislative apathy that threatens to starve them to death. Some opponents are content to ignore any problems hoping no one will notice as the schools fight a struggle for survival. Soft supporters are equally guilty of destruction through apathy – one can’t claim to support something and then ignore it to the point of destruction. Click here to keep reading.
 
 
The State budget consists of two bills, traditionally numbered House Bill 1 (HB1) and House Bill 2 (HB2). HB1 is essentially a spreadsheet laying out spending levels, while HB2 contains all of the legal language to make it work on the spending side, as well as any changes needed to the tax code on the revenue side. Most of the 117 items contained in the Governor’s bill are technical details, but inevitably some new policy makes it in as well. Below are some of the major changes, and all of the tax and fee increases included. Click here to keep reading.