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Steven Cunningham State Representative
Sullivan District 2

 

June 10, 2010

Steven Cunningham represents the towns of Springfield, Croydon, Newport, Goshen and Washington in the NH House of Representatives. 

Representative Cunningham is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government.


CRY FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE

There is no budget in Concord, New Hampshire today. Only a bundle of lies and debt.

The vote on this budget should verify how poorly this budget bill was formulated. 177 to 167 in the House of Representatives, 14 to 10 in the Senate. This vote came in one of the most partisan years for votes. On a typical bill there would have been the usual party line vote and this would have been about 207 to 137. That tells you that about 30 Democrats, or about 15% of Democrats, could not stomach this budget. The vote to kill this bill was truly bipartisan, the vote that passed it, truly partisan.

The good: there are some cuts in spending, most, although unpalatable, acceptable. A few cuts were onerous; $10,000 cut for heat/electricity and $26,000 cut from food for the Tilton Soldiers' Home. This winter will be a little less pleasant for our injured, elderly combat veterans. The Commander states that they "might" be OK with the cuts. Want to be nice? Send the soldiers' home a few bucks.

The bad: The budget bill authorizes the state to evaluate state assets (buildings, parks, etc.) for "monetization" potential. This means how much they would sell for. The budget bill then goes on to count $60,000,000 as income against the budget for those assets so identified.

The kicker: No authorization is given for actually selling those assets, so, no actual $60,000,000. This leaves next year's legislators with the dilemma of whether to actually sell our assets (almost everyone would agree this is WRONG), or to find the money elsewhere (where?). If the Republicans become the majority party as expected, they inherit this headache. An intentional political ploy? I think so. A very bad budget move? I know so.

 

At least 17 reserve funds are raided. These funds are built up slowly over the years by adding small amounts from various budgets, such as police training. Then when something big happens, such as 911, extra money is available to cover this one-time, unexpected expense. Think of a little extra cash in your savings account for when the roof leaks and you need a new roof. All of these millions of emergency money are going to pay our day-to-day bills. Pray for sunny skies and no tornadoes.

The ugly: The budget bill has the University of New Hampshire give us $25,000,000 cash and we issue bonds for them. This is you paying last year's bills with your credit card hoping something magical happens next year to bale you out. Why the circuitous route and why does New Hampshire not just issue bonds (borrow) to pay its bills (spend)? Because we are not allowed to. We are cheating the rules. Rules that exist because borrowing today to spend today is wrong, and will not work. Tomorrow we will have to pay and pay big.

I want to thank all of those legislators who spoke against this bill. I want to especially thank those Democrats who spoke out, some quite passionately, against this bill. The latter did so in the face of strong pressure from their party. Bless you all. This bill, if signed by our Democrat Governor, will make our taxpayers carry a truly terrible burden next year. Cuts in spending this year would be uncomfortable for many of my constituents, but the price of easing the burden this year will create a truly terrible burden next year.

Remember all of this next year. $85,000,000 of budget money that really is not there. $85,000,000 added to next year's deficit, which may be just as big as this year's $295,000,000 deficit. Over a 1/3 billion dollar deficit next year…in New Hampshire! If these tricks are pulled again next year, look for a bankrupt state. Our state employees may lose part of their pensions, we may actually have to sell our state parks to developers, we may cut virtually all aid to the needy, we may do many things that we all find abhorrent. To avoid this, next year we must all work hard, cut spending, increase revenues and bite the bullet. Or else.

 

Cry for New Hampshire. Then get to work and get out the vote.


Steven Cunningham
NH State Representative, Sullivan County District  2

Telephone:  603-271-3317
Email:
drstevec@live.com 
Website: www.DrSteveC.org

 

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