We've Moved- Please Come See Us

Check out the new home for New Hampshire Watchdog:


Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Roundup

In the Nashua Telegrap, Kevin Landrigan reports on the proposed capital gains tax passed by the House Ways and Means Committee, and reflects on the last time this idea came up:
A decade ago, the dilemma was how to solve an education funding mess as the result of the state Supreme Court decision that judged over-reliance on local property taxes to be unconstitutional.

By now, it's well known that lawmakers and then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen ultimately went for a statewide property tax and other hikes in existing state taxes to more than triple state aid to public schools.

In the midst of that debate, however, Shaheen got squarely behind raising the capital gains tax and raising the state's tax on corporate profits 1 percent (HB 117) as her preferred solution.

The state Senate agreed in passing her version by a 14-8 margin.

Tom Fahey writes in his Under the State House Dome column in the Sunday News about the proposed budget savings from cuts to state employee health plans:
Retired state workers will have three months to get used to a new health-insurance program. The Legislative Fiscal Committee voted unanimously Friday to move all retirees into the same point-of-service program active workers get. The change is part of Gov. John Lynch's budget plan, and saves an estimated $2.4 million.

Retirees at the meeting worried that their costs, especially for pharmaceuticals and hospital visits, will soar while they stay on fixed state pensions.

House and Senate members said the most onerous part of the switch was dropped. Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon pulled a proposed $100 monthly premium for retirees under age 65 from the plan. However, that charge remains in the mix for consideration with the rest of the 2010-11 state budget. Taken together, the
premium and plan change save $10 million.

In the Concord Monitor, Lauren Dorgan tells us about a group of New Hampshire and Massachusetts lawmakers trying to disfuse the border war:
United against tolls

Lawmakers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts will join up in Concord tomorrow at noontime to announce united opposition to tolls on Interstate 93 in either state. They're calling themselves the Border Coalition.

Foster's editorial page notes that the federal stimulus is seen by local officials as a way to fix their budgets, at least for the short term:
Does the pot runneth over? If it does, there are a lot of people getting in line to dip their ladles in the caldron before there is a spillover and the excess goes elsewhere.

The so-called stimulus fund is looked at hungrily by officials at every level of government. The only emergencies county and local officials acknowledge are the ones within several miles of their offices. They have started to think of the stimulus fund as a deep well from which they might draw relief. The fund is taking the shape of "found money."

Every state, city, town and hamlet in the country is trying to get its hands on some of the three-year funding.

Stimulus funds are seen as a way to balance budgets in a manner that denies there is hole in the economy through which the nation's wealth is flowing.

No comments:

Post a Comment