We've Moved- Please Come See Us

Check out the new home for New Hampshire Watchdog:


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Telegraph all over state budget

Kevin Landrigan blankets the state budget this morning, with a pair of pieces.

First, he reports on the growing shortfall in the state Highway Fund, along with the hopes for free money to start flowing from the Obama Administration:
A federal stimulus package from President-elect Barack Obama would help pay for much-delayed projects, but does little to deal with a projected, $153 million deficit facing the Department of Transportation, Commissioner George Campbell said Monday.

"A lot of people think if we get a 100 percent fully funded stimulus package that it's going to solve all our problems, but it's not,'' Campbell told a legislative commission that will soon prepare a final report on the state highway fund.
Then, Landrigan turns his attention to health care, as State Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas says that rising health care costs will keep going up:
"A business as usual approach will not be available. We need to fundamentally examine what we do and how we do it," Toumpas said.

Spending to maintain current services from all sources (including federal grants and local property taxes) would go up 16.5 percent over the same period. The total health and human services budget would increase from $3.3 billion in the current two years to $4.4 billion in the next two. For the past several months, Toumpas has engaged in an agency-wide dialogue with stakeholders to figure out how to more efficiently deliver services.

"Our ability to tweak rates and cut on the margins is just not going to fly moving forward," Toumpas said.
Both Campbell and Toumpas are telling legislators that the structural problems in their departments goes far beyond the current economic slowdown. State budget writers have been placing far too much blame on national economic conditions, and not enough on their own choices. They will have to make far different choices this year in order to close that gap.

No comments:

Post a Comment