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Later today, the Senate Finance committee will hear public testimony for the first time on the overall $10.3 billion biennium budget passed by the House last month.
Expect a long list of speakers to line up in Representatives Hall to support or oppose the myriad proposals for revenue and spending in 2012-2013. Senate budget writers have until June 2 to complete their version of the budget, at which point the House and Senate will have to hammer out any differences.
The committee is scheduled for two (2) two-hour sessions this afternoon and this evening on the main budget bills, House Bill 1 and House Bill 2.
A logistically ironic item is up for discussion at the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority’s monthly meeting this Friday: repealing the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority.
Signed into law in 2007, the NHRTA is using federal grant money to develop plans for a return of passenger rail service through the so-called “capital corridor” from Boston to Nashua, Manchester and Concord.
House Bill 218, which has passed the N.H. House, would repeal the entity. It’s supported by House Transportation Committee Chair, Rep. Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry), who also serves as a legislative member on the NHRTA.
Today and tomorrow, the Daily Dispatch will highlight bills that have gone under the radar during the first part of the of New Hampshire’s 2011 legislative session.
The proposals cover a wide range of issues — from a constitutional amendment giving the governor line item veto authority over the state budget to increasing the allowable size of off-highway recreational vehicles on state trails. It’s all a part of government, folks. …
We start a new, semi-regular feature today called “They Said It.”
Our goal is to capture a sampling of legislative and state government quotes that we hope illuminate, educate, entertain and reflect the tone of the current legislative session.
Here are our Top Six of recent vintage …
The next two-year budget is setting off political fireworks even before it’s written, but that day will come soon. The House Finance Committee is scheduled to complete its budget work next week, with executive sessions on Monday and Tuesday, March 21 and 22.
The Committee has been holding budget hearings for the past month. In the meantime, sparks have flown.
Is New Hampshire ready for Electronic Vehicle Registration? Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Henniker) thinks so. He says it’s long overdue, and he’s gathered 18 co-sponsors for a bill that could dramatically change the car registration routine for New Hampshire residents.
The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 156 Friday.
A Constitutional showdown could be on the docket if New Hampshire lawmakers pass a bill set for a full House vote. The session has been cancelled tomorrow due to snow, so the House will likely take up the bill next Wednesday.
Republican-sponsored House Bill 89, which passed out of committee on a party line vote, would require the Attorney General to join some 26 other states in a lawsuit challenging the federal health care reform act passed last year. Attorney General Michael Delaney testified last month that the proposal itself was unconstitutional because the legislative branch can make laws but not tell the executive branch how to enforce them. He promised to challenge the law in court if it passes.
When it comes to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS), Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) is ready for a major overhaul. He believes the situation demands prompt and decisive action.
“We need to get people off the dime,” Bradley told Front Door Politics shortly after he released details of his retirement system overhaul proposal late last week. “The problems are immense and the longer we wait, the worse it becomes.”
Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) will soon release his plan for a major overhaul of the NH Retirement System.
The measure will be known as Senate Bill 3. Bradley says it will be introduced within the next two weeks and it will require a detailed financial actuarial analysis by the NHRS. Bradley says it the bill is designed to stabilize and build up a retirement fund that is currently underfunded by an estimated $4.75 billion.
With lawmakers and Gov. John Lynch scrambling for every possible revenue source to help balance the state budget, selling off or monetizing state assets might appear to be an obvious choice.
It looked so good last year that the current budget is balanced, in part, on a predicted $60 million the state will make by June from such sales and monetizing efforts. With that plan, a commission was created to figure out just what properties and other assets should be turned into cash, and how.
But as Lynch and the commission have discovered — and as some lawmakers cautioned last spring — liquidating what belongs to the state is much easier said than done.
The saga of banking commissioner Peter Hildreth ended last Thursday when he abruptly resigned rather than face the likelihood of being removed by the Executive Council regarding his oversight (or lack thereof) of the Financial Resources Mortgage affair that saw hundreds of investors lose tens of millions of dollars.
At times, you need a score card to keep of the various legislative and regulatory investigations into the state’s greatest Ponzi scheme. But we might be nearing the end of the trail.