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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NH budget battle primed to begin

In the Nashua Telegraph, Kevin Landrigan sets the stage for this week's budget debate in the New Hampshire House:
House Finance Committee Chairwoman Marjorie Smith said everyone paying for, getting and delivering state services must sacrifice to help the state preserve essential services while facing the worst recession since the Great Depression.

"The committee made significant and painful cuts in the operating budgets of every agency," Smith wrote in her formal argument to the House.

House Republicans will offer 16 separate amendments to produce their alternative plan that would cut state spending by 2.6 percent and eliminate the need to raise existing taxes or create new ones.

This would be achieved primarily through across-the-board cuts nearly twice as big as the House has adopted in the past two decades.

"Taking millions of dollars out of the private sector inflicts further suffering on individuals who may have already lost their jobs, had their salaries and benefits reduced or face foreclosure from their homes," said state Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare.

"Individuals can't stimulate the economy with their spending because the state has more of their income, and they, in turn, have less to spend."

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