Next Moves.

 

"I don't think there is support in the Senate to do away with the rail authority. I don't think it's going to happen."-- Governor John Lynch.

"If the Senate were to pass this, they don't have the votes to override the veto, and I would veto a bill that would disband the authority."-- Governor John Lynch.

By a vote of 16-8 the NH State Senate has passed House Bill 218 which dissolves the NH Rail Transit Authority, an entity that proposes to spend millions of dollars on a passenger rail system from Boston to Nashua, Manchester and Concord. “In this day and age it doesn’t make sense.” said Rep. Dan McGuire the prime sponsor of the legislation. Facts reveal that this rail system will cost taxpayers $110 million dollars to build and then $7 million dollars a year to operate and the projected ridership is at about 3,000 people a day, if that.

This is an expensive idea and a waste of money. There was a hearing on the legislation in early February and I noticed a tone of the rail authority, say anything to get elected. “Mix chocolate and ice cream and sell it to everybody.” said Senator David Boutin after picking up testimony from the authority that they were planning to study freight rail as a part of their planning process. This has never been said before and it’s also unprecedented. Unlike NH passenger rail freight operations are both profitable and do not require any direct taxpayer subsidy; so why would the NH Rail Transit Authority want to study freight operations unless salesmanship and politics were involved? The hearing closed out with Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau speeching quite enthusiastically about the rail authority and all they’ve done for New Hampshire, she didn’t seem to care how much it costs the average taxpayer as long as Nashua gets its passenger rail system in its quest for economic development and jobs. Right.

New Hampshire doesn’t need any more tax increases. Please contact Governor John Lynch at (603)-271-2121 and ask him to support passing House Bill 218 into law.