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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (145)

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.
Sunday
Mar082015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Price Controls are Still Bad 

Sunshine week is coming up!
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

Price Controls are Still Bad

Among politicians, price controls are a bad idea unless they’re your idea. In truth, the government setting prices is never the right solution to a problem.

Those who would have the state government set and control prices in the workers’ compensation part of health care should remind themselves that they were opposed to government price controls five years ago when it was then-Sen. Maggie Hassan’s idea for a hospital price fixing commission. They were right then. They should listen to their old selves now.

Employers looking for ways to reduce the cost of doing business in New Hampshire have looked to possible reforms in the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is the successor to Otto von Bismarck’s sickness and accident laws. It is a mandatory system of employer paid insurance to cover workers’ temporary and permanent disabilities. Click here to keep reading.

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Saturday
Feb282015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Delayed Decisions are Difficult Decisions 

Google Your Government
 
Click on the Coin to check out our database of all state spending. We have 5.8 million transactions, all uploaded to our easily searchable platform. 

 


The decisions a politician makes this year will have an impact next year, particularly as it relates to the budget. Nonetheless, most politicians ignore short term consequences and pretend the future doesn’t exist. The logical outcomes of choices they make are often ignored and many decisions are delayed for a year or two as a way to avoid them.
 
In the state’s budget process, putting off decisions seems to haunt us every two years. In general, politicians are expected to balance current levels of spending with the revenues they raise in the same budget. But enough games and gimmicks are available that clever budget writers can cover up holes until they become much bigger two years later. They then feign surprise and look for a new gimmick.... Click here to keep reading.

 
Saturday
Feb072015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Gov's Budget, Trains, and School Choice 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

February is that exciting time of the year when the governor gives us a special valentine in the form of her budget address. Much better than candy or flowers, it is an outline of the two-year state budget – the policy document that guides every little thing the government does and defines an administration. With government currently divided, we should listen carefully to see if this critical address is meaningless theater or the first step toward something constructive happening despite political antagonism. Click here to keep reading.


This week, the Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study’s final report was released. The study, which began in 2013, examined a number of transit options for the corridor, with most of the public and political attention focused on the possibility of extending commuter rail into the state. The final study looked at 7 transit options, three for commuter rail, three for bus and a ‘no build’ option. These options were reduced to 5 with the elimination of two of the bus proposals from further consideration. This piece details the commuter rail options presented in the report. Click here to keep reading.


Last month we celebrated School Choice Week here at the Center, highlighting all of the great things that happen when parents are empowered to make get the best education possible for their children. 

A short documentary, Live Free and Learn, was produced by our friends at Cato, that details the School Choice Scholarship Tax Credit here in New Hampshire, and the impact it is having on education.

And
a podcast featuring our own Charlie Arlinghaus discussing education reform in New Hampshire. Click here to listen.