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Steve Winter
State Representative
District 3

July 2, 2011
"Why we are broke"

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

"Let our children judge us for the fight we engage in on their behalf."
 - Professor Ulf Andersson

An InterTown Record reader from Wilmot chided Sen. Bob Odell and me last week for saying that the state of New Hampshire is broke. He said we are not broke because we have other sources of revenue available to us. Itís true that we do still have some money in the bank even though Governor Lynch has left us with a puny Ďrainy dayí fund of about $1M rather than the normal target of more than $50M.

My personal definition of Ďbrokeí is when I do not have enough money to pay my bills. I have been there during my life and I can tell you I certainly felt broke. Had we not made the cuts, we would not have had the money to pay our bills. Our January revenue estimates were criticized as too low. But the ensuing months have proven them to be correct and prudent.

Since the Democrat legislature over the last four years tapped virtually all of the customary revenue sources (100+ times), our reader must be referring to either an income tax or a sales tax or both. But if sales taxes and an income tax are so readily available, whey did the past two Democrat legislatures not institute one? They not only controlled the Senate and the House, they also controlled the governorís office. They could have easily put a broad-based tax in place. Why did they not do so?

Our reader declares that our shortfall is "the result of a decision made not to increase revenues. Somebody or somebodies made that decision." Yes, the people have made that decision. In election after election, gubernatorial candidates who favored a broad-based tax have gone down to defeat. The people have told us to stop the spending instead. As I have said repeatedly on these pages, "Elections have consequences."

He goes on to say that "where (we) are coming from" is that we hate spending on people who donít deserve it because they are morally inferior, and that we donít believe in education, and that we donít believe in social safety nets, and if you get sick, tough luck. These accusations are repugnant and unworthy of a civil discourse.

When you read over the budget, you will see that the safety nets remain. HHS still has over $3.7 BILLION to take care of the most disadvantaged among us. While every school district gets exactly the same "adequacy" funding as in the last budget, supplemental funds were added for various special needs. This budget provides 9.7% MORE money to schools than the previous Democratic budget. We worked diligently to provide funds where needed, but we prioritized between needs and wants.

If the voters donít like what we accomplished, they are indeed free to throw us out. Iím not a professional politician. Iím a volunteer citizen legislator. If I decide to run again, I will run proudly on my record of fiscal responsibility to the people of New Hampshire.



Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319

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