Monday, April 27, 2015

Koch Front Group Wants to Purchase Seat in Rockingham Dist. 13



On Tuesday, April 28, there is a special election for the NH House in Rockingham District 13 (Hampstead and Kingston). 

The candidates are Democrat Carol Croteau of Kingston and Republican Dennis Green of Hampstead. 

Carol has a candidate Facebook page, where she lists her background:

Kingston Municipal Budget Committee-current
Kingston Planning Board-Alternate -current
Kingston Conservation Commission 2010-2013, Alternate- current
30 years Community Service
20 year Business Experience
Co-Founder of Bully Free NH
Board Member of Family Mediation and Juvenile Services


Dennis has a candidate Facebook page too, where he refers to himself as a politician. 
He doesn't list his background, just this:

My name is Dennis Green and I am asking for your support in Hampstead and Kingston's upcoming special election for State Representative. I am a conservative who believes in limited government, prudent spending and local control when it comes to our school districts. My constituents can count on me to support a balanced budget and to oppose any sales or income tax. 

That's just a snippet. The entire "about me" is just as nonspecific and filled with ideological talking points. We don't know if he's ever done any volunteer work in his community. He says he's been self employed, but he doesn't tell us the name of his business. Usually candidates are eager to give voters information. Not this guy. 

A broader search turned up his personal Facebook page. He has privacy controls set so that the casual viewer can't see anything - anything but his friends list. And he has friends! They include: Koch subsidiary Greg Moore - the guy who runs the NH chapter of Americans for Prosperity; Yvonne Dean-Bailey - the young woman who attends Mt. Holyoke in MA, but wants to (with Koch help) be the state rep from Rockingham Dist. 32; John Burt - the legislator who berated 4th graders about hot dogs from the House floor; Free Staters Carol McGuire and Shem Kellog; DJ Bettencourt - disgraced former NH House Majority Leader under Speaker William O'Brien; and the former speaker himself, State Rep. Bill O'Brien. 

Carol has received mostly individual small donations. Her largest donation was $500 from the Rockingham County Democratic Committee. She's raised $4,200.

Dennis has raised $2,050. His biggest donation was $1,000 from O'Brien's House Republican Victory PAC. It's important to note that it's the O'Brien wing of the NH GOP that supports Green. This is the furthest right fringe crowd - those who bray about Agenda 21, Sharia Law, and MOAR GUNZ! 

The Koch Brothers want to see Dennis Green get elected. Americans for Prosperity has been canvassing and making phone calls in this district. The guy doesn't seem to have any local support - but he has the support of outside special interest groups who are willing to spend all kinds of money to buy a seat in the legislature for Mr. Unknown Dennis Green. 

If you have friends in Hampstead or Kingston, urge them to get out and vote tomorrow - and to vote against special interest groups taking control of our legislature. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NH Republicans in Disarray



We are approximately 10 months away from the NH Primary and the fun has begun. Candidates are visiting the state, some on a fairly consistent basis. They’re confining their energy to the bottom half of the state – as usual. They don’t bother much with the top half until they have to massage us for votes.

The Tea Party sprang into action in 2007. They espoused a sort of glibertarian philosophy; a lot of hard line fringe GOP mixed with some aspects of libertarianism. A lot of this was supported by low information voters who were willing to bellow about taxes, but wanted big gummint to leave their Medicare alone.

Political activists used the Tea Party (and the huge money behind it) to create a schism in the Republican Party, on both the state and national level. The Tea Party has bonded with the liberty crowd. In NH that includes Birchers and Free Staters. We’ve seen the old school Republicans in some areas forced out of office by libertea types. Nowhere is the divide more apparent than in the NH House, where the old school Republicans are in constant conflict with the libertea crowd, led by former Speaker Bill O’Brien. They’ve been a constant and deliberate source of obstruction and delay during House voting sessions. For months the libertea crowd has been carping about how Speaker Shawn Jasper (a conservative Republican) is really a DINO (Democrat in name only) because he was shrewd enough to use Democrats to help him win the speakership. In spite of all the acrimony, somehow Jasper and O’Brien kissed and made up (don’t dwell on the graphics of that) and passed a thoroughly odious budget that reflects the desire of the libertea crowd to “take the state back.” All the way to 1776, it seems.

This weekend, the Republican Party is having the “First in the Nation Leadership Summit” at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua. Both declared candidates, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio will be present. Also expected are likely candidates Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, the Donald, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham.  Other speakers include John Kasich, Joe Scarborough, Frank Lutz, Scott Brown, Fred Barnes, Betsy McCaughey and Kelly Ayotte.

This is a two-day event that is already sold out. They have a slick website, where one can look at the agenda, the speakers, and the various events, including a focus group with Luntz and a media panel that includes Drew Cline of the Union Leader. There was ever any doubt about the Union Leader’s loyalty to the GOP – but it’s nice to see it there in black and white. 

The NH Young Republicans will be having their somewhat controversial convention during this summit. It seems that all of a sudden, at the last minute, applications for 70 new dues paying members of the NH Young Republicans appeared, funded primarily by GOP operative David Chesley, who is going to be Rand Paul’s NH campaign director. This is all about influencing who will become the next chair of the organization.

The day after this Republican shindig is the Summit of Grassroots Activists by the 603 Alliance. It’s at the same venue, and includes at least one of the same speakers, former NY Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey. McCaughey was the lieutenant governor during George Pataki’s first term. He ditched her when he ran for his second term. There are only two female speakers listed at their event, both imported from out of state, McCaughey and Sharron Angle, failed US Senate candidate from Nevada.

From the 603 Alliance website, “A group of conservative activists joined together to create an organization---a movement---an alliance--- of like-minded constitutionalists and conservatives with the goal of impacting who wins the New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary.” That’s exactly how it is written and punctuated.

It’s the libertea crowd. The names of the Steering Committee are listed, but not much else. There’s a press release promising that this event is going to produce a loud bang, much like the shot heard round the world, on the day of their summit. The loud bang potential isn’t obvious from the website, which is dark, unattractive, and rife with florid rhetoric. Given how many Free Staters claim to be in the IT field, one would think they could have come up with something more appealing.

Their speaker list: Betsy McCaughey, Sharron Angle, Andrew Hemingway (former NH gubernatorial candidate), NH State Rep. Bill O’Brien, Aaron Day, who is Chair of the Republican Liberty Alliance and moved to NH as a member of the Free State Project. He’s also the Chairman of the Atlas Society, a group of folks who never grew out of their adolescent obsession with the fiction of Ayn Rand. NH State Rep. Dan Itse who fancies himself a constitutional expert, libertea blogger Mike Rogers, former NH GOP Chair Jack Kimball – businessman and UN conspiracy theorist, and Jason Sorens the founder of the Free State Project.

The Free State Project announced it was moving to NH in 2003, because NH was such a fine, liberty loving small state. They’ve given many reasons over the years, but all are variations on that tune. The tune was meant to distract, something the FSP is very skilled at. They talk about how peaceful and peace loving they are all the time, to distract us from the fact that they’re armed miscreants, coming to NH with the intention of taking over and dismantling our state government. They’ve told us for years that they aren’t political – when the opposite is so obvious. And yes, they told us they chose NH because it was so free. Horse hockey. They chose NH because of the primary. This is their big bid for influencing the primary process. This is the FSP coming out party.

It will be fascinating to see how the schism works this weekend, and how many of the GOP leadership summit speakers and participants hang around to be part of the 603 Alliance Summit. My money is on Rand Paul.


Published as an op-ed in the April 17 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper

Friday, April 10, 2015

Why NH Can't Have Nice Things

From the April 10 NH House Calendar:


SB 101, prohibiting the state from requiring implementation of common core standards. MAJORITY: OUGHT TO PASS. MINORITY: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.
Rep. Glenn Cordelli for the Majority of Education. Common core has been a divisive and confusing issue for local districts and in the state. This bill states clearly that the common core standards are not required to be implemented in any school district. 

Vote 11-9.
Rep. Barbara E. Shaw for the Minority of Education. No law in New Hampshire requires school districts to adopt the common core standards, nor has it been mandated by the department of education. Therefore, SB 101 is unnecessary. 


This is a perfect illustration of the current NH legislature. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

No Pretense of Compassion




Remember the “compassionate conservatives?” Former President George W. Bush would get that earnest, constipated look on his face as he described himself as one. Early in his administration, he used compassionate conservatism as a basis for his faith based initiative program, which was just a way of shoveling tax dollars at right wing Christian groups. Once Bush got his war, we stopped hearing so much about compassion. He did have boundless compassion for the plight of the wealthy, giving them huge tax cuts while putting the cost of his wars on a credit card, and sending off the children of the far less wealthy to fight and die in the war he was so desperate to start.

The compassionate conservative label was a layer of sugar coating intended to distract us from the fact that what these conservatives were espousing was the same old mean-spirited conservative policies they’d always been in favor of.

Then along came the Tea Party, and sugar coating just washed away. There was no pretense of compassion any longer. That lack of pretense has grown louder and nastier over the years.

There was no pretense of compassion in Indiana, when Governor Pence signed the bill legitimizing discrimination by the religious right. There’s no better way for the religious to show their faith than by refusing to serve gays and lesbians. They tell us that if we don’t allow them to discriminate in the name of their religion that we are discriminating against them!  Of course the same section of their Bible that they point to in order to justify their bigotry also calls for stoning adulterers to death, a practice they don’t seem to have the necessary fortitude to engage in.

A reminder: In 2012, the NH legislature attempted to pass a similar bill. Eighty-five legislators voted for it. Thirty-one of them still serve in the legislature, including Conway’s own Frank McCarthy.

There was no pretense of compassion in the legislature this week while the House was in session, passing their bungled budget. Speaker Jasper and former Speaker (and leader of the rump caucus) O’Brien somehow kissed and made up and worked together to pass this thing. Representatives Neal Kurk and Dan McGuire cackled with glee over the many opportunities they took to gut programs for the most vulnerable among us.

Greg Moore of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch funded special interest group, appears to have had a great deal of influence over the budget, despite the fact that none of us voted for him. Moore was brought in to serve as O’Brien’s policy director in 2011, and then became O’Brien’s chief of staff. Moore wasn’t too principled to refuse a taxpayer-funded paycheck. (The guys who hate gummint never are.) At the end of the O’Brien reign, Moore moved on to AFP, where he has served his new masters (the Kochs) well by putting out political ads last year that were outright lies about the Affordable Care Act. He’s a paid shill who is given a disproportionate level of influence over our legislature and given a disproportionate share of attention by the incurious GOP sycophants who make up the mainstream NH media.

New Futures, a group that works to educate and advocate the reducing of drug addiction in NH staged a “die in” in front of the State House on the day the budget was voted on. Some 300 people lay on the ground, representing the 300 people who died of heroin overdoses in the last year. Some of the participants were family members. Greg Moore was overheard mocking them from inside the State House. Later in the day, a reporter from WMUR tweeted out a statement made by Governor Hassan on the budget. Moore’s tweeted response was “You want fries with that?” Because what is more fun than mocking the plight of those less fortunate! Please ask your elected Republicans why this Koch tool has such sway over House Republicans.

That the GOP has whined for years about the raiding of dedicated funds didn’t stop them from emptying the state’s rainy day fund – a move that would lower NH’s bond rating. Please ask your elected Republicans why they would sanction such an action, knowing how it will impact the future of our state. They claim that hacking apart the governor’s budget was necessary, that we must live within our means. These “means” are an artificial construct. NH is the 7th wealthiest state in the nation. There are plenty of “means” at our disposal, but we refuse to use them. We refuse to raise sufficient revenues to fund our state at a responsible level, so every two years a new budget kicks the can down the road for the next legislature to have to deal with.

The hope now is that the Senate will have a more compassionate take on the budget. Anyone who equates the GOP majority in the NH Senate with compassion hasn’t paid any attention to the legislation they’ve been passing this year. One bill was a direct attack on people receiving benefits via EBT cards. The bill’s sponsor, Jeanne Forrester admitted that the bill’s provisions were impossible to enforce, but it needed to be passed anyway. What could be more important than demonizing the poor? It’s certainly cheaper than bucking up and doing something about the infrastructure. It’s the kind of legislation that appeals to the lowest common denominator of the GOP, something that she can point to with pride when it’s time to pass the hat for campaign contributions.

Today’s GOP no longer requires the veneer of faux compassion. Today’s GOP would mock Jesus for not getting a co-pay from the lepers.





Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Petition to Stop Outrageous NH Budget Cuts






The petition is at the link below:


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PBfisqJHo4Mkm5D8Cw7sH5HP2tO2vZVMBKFhgG9noJU/viewform?c=0&w=1

Voices of Faith Call Upon NH Lawmakers to Pass a Humane Budget




New Hampshire Voices of Faith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 31, 2015

CONTACT:  Arnie Alpert (603-224-2407) or Rev. Gail Kinney (603-381-7324)

FAITH LEADERS CALL UPON LAWMAKERS TO PASS ‘HUMANE BUDGET’
Prayer Breakfast and Vigil April 1
Religious leaders from multiple faith traditions will conduct a prayer breakfast and prayer vigil on Wednesday, April 1, to express their shared belief that state budgets must promote the well-being and fair treatment of all people, especially those who are the most vulnerable and whose dignity is threatened by irresponsible public policy choices.
The breakfast and prayer service at St. Paul’s Church in Concord will take place at 8 AM, prior to the beginning of debate over the budget in the NH House of Representatives.
Following the breakfast, at about 9 AM, participants will leave St. Paul’s Church, cross Park Street to the State House, and assemble along the second floor hallways outside the chamber where the House of Representatives will consider the budget.
“A budget is a statement of our priorities as a community and in that sense it is an expression of our values,” explained the Rev. Jonathan Hopkins, President of the NH Council of Churches and pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church.  “Our faith leads us to pay attention to the common good, not just to the interests of individuals. Our faith calls for a budget that is fair and just,”
Participants in the prayer breakfast will include:
·         Most Rev. Peter Libasci, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester
·         Right Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, Episcopal Church of New Hampshire
·         Rev. Jonathan Hopkins, President, NH Council of Churches
·         Rev. Gary Schulte, Conference Minister, United Church of Christ
·         Rev. Tim Roser, Associate to the Bishop, New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
·         Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger, President, Northern New England Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association
·         Rabbi Robin Nafshi, Temple Beth Jacob, Concord
·         Lama Samten, Dharma Fellowship of New Hampshire
Other participants will include:
·         Clare Chapman, Executive Director, NH Council of Churches
·         Rev. Gail Kinney, Pastor, South Danbury United Church of Christ
·         Rev. John Gregory-Davis, Co-Pastor, Meriden Congregational Church
·         Rev. Jason Wells, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, East Concord
·         Rev. Eric Jackson, Pastor, Smith Memorial Congregational Church, Hillsboro
·         Rev. Dr. Mary Westfall, Senior Pastor, Community Church, Durham
·         Rev. Peter Hey, Pastor, Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord
·         Mark Barker, Concord Quaker Meeting
·         Muslim representatives (invited), and many others.
The prayer breakfast and vigil represent a continuation of acts of witness conducted in recent weeks by NH Voices of Faith, an ad hoc movement of people from several faith traditions who care about social and economic justice. 
“We feel a deep obligations to come together in a sense of beloved community to help provide for the basic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors, to support and value the people who perform public service on our behalf, and to care for the natural environment,” said Rev. Gail Kinney, Pastor of the Danbury United Church of Christ and a leader of NH Voices of Faith.  “Through our actions we bear faithful witness to the need for policies that promote the well-being and fair treatment of all people, especially those among us who are most in need.”

~~~~
St. Paul’s Church is located at 21 Centre Street, Concord NH 03301.  It is directly across Park Street from the front steps of the State House.  Parking is limited.   
The faith leaders and others will be available for media interviews at 9 am.  At 9:15 am, participants will walk across the street and begin a prayer vigil at the doors of Representatives Hall, holding signs which say “A Budget is a Moral Document.”   

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bills, Bills, Bills




The legislature is back from a week of hiatus, and they’re getting back to business. A lot of proposed bills were dealt with this week, and the committees are busy hearing more.

One of the many good things about NH is our unwillingness to frivolously amend the state constitution. Every legislative session numerous amendment bills are filed, and most of them never go anywhere. This week, the House voted that CACR 1 was inexpedient to legislate. CACR would have amended the constitution to stipulate that a 3/5-majority vote would be required to increase taxes or fees, or to authorize the issuance of state bonds.

This is model legislation, from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate funded organization for conservative legislators. ALEC drafts model legislation for its members to try to pass in their own states. CACR 1 was sponsored by Rep. Jordan Ulery, who is the NH State Chair of ALEC. ALEC’s goal seems to be to ensure that taxes are not raised and state legislatures are hamstrung. It is telling that Rep. Ulery couldn’t muster up a single co-sponsor for his bill.

The House voted down HB 350, which would have created a commission to study the impact of the property tax on NH residents, businesses, municipalities, and the economy. The commission would have written a report. Just a report. A non-binding report.

 The very idea of this commission was so frightening to the Republican majority that they voted against it 213-143. This is the same party that thinks that eliminating collective bargaining and business taxes is going to entice companies to move to NH. Companies thinking of locating here will be bringing employees – employees who will be interested in the cost of housing, property taxes, and education. NH has the 11th highest housing costs in the country. That the property tax might be a deterrent is apparently not worthy of consideration, especially if you’ve been beating the wrong drum hard and loud for decades. All of our local Republican state representatives voted against the commission.  


Republicans do have a long-standing resentment against education in all forms, but especially public education, and perhaps that’s why the idea of a STUDY was so abhorrent. HB 302, a bill to require a public hearing prior to the submission of a grant application by the Dept. of Education was also defeated. The goal was clearly to make life more difficult for the Dept. of Education by forcing them to bow and scrape before the legislature before they could go about their business.


HB 438, a bill to exempt proprietorships from taxation under the business profits tax was defeated soundly, in a roll call vote of 254-54. This bill would have cost the state an estimated $17 million in revenue next year.

A number of bills attempting to make voting easier or more difficult will be dealt with this year. HB 627 is a bill to eliminate same day voter registration. The bill stipulated that voters could register at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the Dept. of Education. This would have undoubtedly been a real treat for the perennially underfunded and understaffed agencies, but the bill went down in flames. HB 185, an attempt to bring back straight ticket voting was also defeated. The supporters of this bill said that filling in a whole ballot was too difficult and time consuming. HB 652, a messy and confusing bill, would prohibit undeclared voters from returning to undeclared status after an election. It was defeated.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has voted to retain HB 582, a bill to eliminate the concealed carry permit for a pistol or revolver. The committee wants to further study the issue. The Senate recently passed a bill repealing the requirement for a concealed carry permit. Non-residents pay a $100 fee for a permit, so it is estimated that this will cost the state nearly a million dollars in annual revenue. Supporters of these bills tell us that NH is one of the safest states, which is why we need this bill. NH has required a permit for 90 years (since 1923), and somehow managed to become one of the safest states. The MOAR GUNZ crowd isn’t big on logic. My other favorite is “criminals won’t obey the law.” If that’s the case, why should we have any laws?

SB 30, a bill to provide state backing for a $28 million loan to the developers of the Balsams has been retained in committee for further study. There is some question about the financing of the project.

Developer Les Otten had an independent economic impact study done that is worth reading. We would all like to see the Balsams open again, creating jobs for people in Coos County. It’s a landmark, it’s part of our history, and we want it brought back. The plans, however, are a mite grandiose.

The study generates some fanciful expectations, like the idea that wealthy people will buy 50 percent of the residential units and relocate to the area. The plans for the Balsams are lovely, but anyone who thinks that the wealthy will be dying to move to a place where there is one bad road and questionable telecommunications access and infrastructure is living in fantasy land.

I encourage readers to go to the House on a Wednesday and observe the voting session. Many voters seem to vote purely on the basis of partisan affiliation. Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to what their elected officials do in Concord, or how they behave in the House chamber. It is an eye opening experience for anyone who hasn’t been there.

The NH General Court website www.gencourt.state.nh.us is a treasure trove of information. You can look up legislators, look up bills, read the House and Senate calendars to see what’s coming up for a vote and what bills will be in committee during the upcoming week. Both the House and Senate voting sessions are live streamed for both audio and video. The chances are excellent that you’ll get the audio. The video, not so much.

As spring approaches, so does work on the budget for this biennium. This is something that will affect us all – so we should all be paying attention.  

Living Within Our Means



The NH House Finance Committee is currently working on the state budget. They are outraged by the budget sent to them by Governor Hassan, and so the pushback begins. So far it contains every bit of cruelty that today’s Republican Party has ever wanted to inflict on the non-wealthy, and plenty more besides.

NH’s infrastructure is the 11th worst in the nation, and that was before this winter. The Republicans on the Finance committee want to slash $88 million from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) budget.  Some bridges would be closed. Welcome centers and rest areas would be closed. (Probably not the ones where we sell cheap booze to tourists.) Approximately 700 jobs would be lost, that’s half the workforce. Federal funds would be lost. Say goodbye to completing the widening of I-93. NH has failed to invest in infrastructure for decades, but this is a kind of bold, intentional negligence that is hard to imagine in a state that relies so heavily on tourist dollars. This also means that 2500 miles of roads and 1000 bridges would be turned over to cities and towns to pay for.

The state was sued for providing inadequate treatment services for the mentally ill. The class action lawsuit was settled in 2013.
The Republicans on the Finance Committee are suggesting that the terms agreed to in the settlement be underfunded by 20%. Some other legislature can deal with the costs of the next lawsuit, right?

Apparently the Republicans on the House Finance Committee really hate old people. They’re suggesting higher taxes on nursing homes, as well as higher fees and $26 million in state funding cuts. They’ve also proposed $10.5 million in cuts to social services for the elderly, cutting funds for transportation, caregivers, senior meals and meals on wheels. Our new state motto: Hey Olds: Live food free and die.

Some $2 million in proposed cuts to community health centers. At a time when heroin addiction and overdoses are rampant, the Republicans on the House Finance Committee have suggested cutting the inadequate addiction services budget by $6 million. Governor Hassan had proposed $8 million for emergency homeless shelters. The Finance Committee has cut that in half.

Representative Neal Kurk is the chair of the Finance Committee. He’s from Weare. His district consists of the towns of Weare and Deering. If you are from any of the other 219 towns or 13 cities in NH, you did not vote for Neal Kurk. That doesn’t matter - he’s not shy about speaking for you. “This is what the people of NH want,” he intones, with regards to the budget cuts he’s proposing. It seems unlikely he’s spoken all of the people in NH, especially those north of Concord. To his credit, he does not approve of the DOT cuts. He understands the connection between infrastructure and commerce. He doesn’t want to hurt the roads and bridges. Hurting people is a different story.

The people who want to make NH a failed state are the libertea crowd, a mix of John Birchers, Tea Partiers, and Free Staters.  Representative Dan McGuire, a Free Stater from Epsom, is emerging as a star pillager in this year’s budget follies.

Representative McGuire has proposed $2 million in cuts to the NH Veteran’s Home. The Veteran’s Home was established in 1890 as the Soldier’s Home for Civil War Veterans. It’s now a home for elderly and disabled NH veterans. The cuts proposed by McGuire would mean that the Veteran’s Home would have to kick out 25 residents. I suggest that Representative McGuire be the one to go in and choose who gets kicked out. I further suggest that this be televised.

The cruelty goes on and on. The Republicans are desperate to eliminate the NH Health Protection Program that is currently providing 37,000 NH families with health care, and has reduced emergency room visits to hospitals by 17% in just 6 months. The BIA supports the NHPP, by the way. It is slated to sunset in 2016. Failure to extend the program will mean a loss of approximately $240 million in federal funds.

The Republicans on the House Finance Committee are also intent on gutting existing Medicaid services to adults. They are eliminating personal care assistance for people who are wheelchair bound, and eliminating therapy for stroke victims. They’re also eliminating access to ambulances, optometry, audiology, and speech, physical and occupational therapy. Medicaid covers adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. What kind of people even think of doing this? If a budget is a moral document, NH is heading for the warm place.

A proposed Kurk/McGuire cut of $60 million in DD funds (developmental disabilities) failed on a tie vote in committee. This would be 10% of DD funding. Remember the shameful DD wait list? It’s likely to be coming back.

The Finance Committee hasn’t just cut funds to Service Link; they’ve eliminated them altogether. It seems that if you’re not funding any services, you don’t need an organization to help people find them.

In many cases, the cuts being made will result in further cost shifting to counties, cities and towns. Those cities and towns will have to come up with funding – and you know what that means. Hello property tax increases!

There will be a significant loss of federal dollars. The libertea crowd thinks this is striking a blow for independence from the gummint. What it really means is that instead of a portion of your federal tax dollars coming back to NH, they’ll go to some other state. FREEDUMB!

The Republicans on the House Finance Committee assert that they have to do make all of these budget cuts, and they mouth the usual platitudes about “living within our means.” If NH is in such dire straits for revenue, how is it that the Senate has passed SB 1 and SB 2- bills that cut the business enterprise tax and the business profits tax to the tune of tens of millions of dollars? What they’re saying is that if we lack sufficient revenue to run our state in a responsible and humane way, we should make big cuts to revenue sources.


“Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.”  George Eliot