Entries by Editorial Staff


Understanding The State Budget: A Rising Tide of Taxes and Fees

The budget for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 passed in June of 2009 and additional legislation passed this year include 38 new or increased taxes and fees that are projected to raise an additional $318 million over the two years of the budget.

A study of the total number of tax and fee increases over the last decade shows a consistently high number with the exception of the 2003-2004 legislature. However, the current total for this legislature at 38 is nearly double the 19.5 average of the last four budgets.


Mythical Spending Cut

Charlie Arlinghaus takes issue with a recent attempt to claim that the spending increase in the current budget can be described as a cut by one measure. He explains how intellectually misleading the report is and where the error occurs.


NH Watchdog’s Live Blog of the House-Senate Committee of Conference on the Budget

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy has published a running diary of the hectic final fourteen hours of the marathon Committee of Conference on the budget.

Lead Investigator Grant Bosse provides an unprecedented behind the scenes report on the issues, arguments, and maneuvers that went into the two-year, $11.6 billion budget that will be considered by the full House and Senate.

The minute by minute reprint of Bosse’s live blog from inside the State House show’s the fascinating ins and outs and horse trading that goes on as the deadline looms over negotiations.

You can read the running diary in the attached document and follow his up to the minute reporting on budget details online at the Josiah Bartlett Center’s NHWatchdog blog at NHWATCHDOG.BLOGSPOT.COM


The Great Turnpike Robbery of 2009

The transportation plan endorsed by the Senate budget writers and the governor is a radical scheme that ends the requirement to spend toll revenue maintaining toll roads so they can transfer tens of millions of dollars each year out of the turnpike fund. It is the most cynical of public policies and the worst of the three options currently before policymakers.

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352 Executive Order Exceptions cost $6.2 Million so far Government Data shows hiring and purchase freeze not draconian

Government data shows that Governor John Lynch issued 352 exceptions to his Executive Order 2008-01 instituting a hiring freeze, a ban on out of state travel, and certain equipment purchases. The 352 exceptions cost a total of $6.2 million during the twelve months of fiscal year 2009. These totals are only for the months from July 1, 2008 through June 30 of this year and do not include the first four months of the executive order or the most recent two months.

For details on all of the exceptions granted click here for a


The full text of the governor’s executive order is attached

HERE (Executive Order)


Impact of State Budget on Local Communities

The House Budget suspends the 40-year old Revenue Sharing Program under Chapter 31-A, and provides no funds for State Building Aid. Based on 2008 revenues to each town and the amount scheduled to be awarded to each school district, the Josiah Bartlett Center is able to provide local budget writers with the projected impact of the pending state budget.

“Budgets are about choices, and as the State Senate takes up this budget, it should know the impact it would have on cities and towns,” said Lead Investigator Grant Bosse, who authored the study. “Better information leads to better decisions, and we’re happy to provide it.”


JUA – Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The Bartlett Center has been a leading opponent of the government’s attempt to take the private property commonly known as JUA. With the court ruling of 7-29-09 prohibiting the taking of $110 Million, readers may wish to see our previous work on the subject. Included an early piece (March 25) sounding the alarm before there was a lawsuit

Unacceptable Seizure of Private Funds

The other discusses the lawsuit and the reasons the taking would almost certainly be prohibited ( from July 8 )

Dangerous Taking of Private Property

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2009-2010 Building Aid by School District

A district by district compilation of how much school district would have received in the coming year if school construction were not eliminated. Under the Governor’s Budget and the House Republican Alternative, construction aid would have been funded at $41 million. The budget as passed by the House eliminated school construction aid.


Senate Budget Could Kick New Hampshire Kids Out of School Charter School Supporters Fear Consequences of Enrollment Cap

An amendment capping charter school enrollment across New Hampshire could force hundreds of Granite State students out of their current schools. The Senate budget would cap enrollment at 850 students, hundreds fewer than are currently enrolled. If the cap stays in the state budget, New hampshire’s eleven charter schools would not be able to accept new students next year and might have to hold a “reverse lottery” to kick current students out of the classroom. Two charter school administrators worry that the cap might force them out of business entirely.