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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UL- "Concord's priorities: Cut courts to fund arts"

The Union Leader editorializes against spending priorities in the State Legislature, at a time when lawmakers say they are cutting back on non-essential services:

For instance, both the House and Senate budgets include $1.2 million over two years for "state arts development." Do legislators consider arts funding an essential state service? Both budgets also include more than $200,000 for that essential state function known as the New Hampshire Film Commission.

To put these numbers in context, consider that Gov. Lynch proposed saving $1.8 million a year by closing eight district courts. Legislators agreed to close four district courts, for a savings of about $1 million a year. Yet they chose to continue spending more than $1.4 million ($700,000 a year) on "state arts development" and the film commission. That funding could keep three, maybe four, district courts open or revert to the general fund to help avoid tax increases.

Both the Senate and House budgets include $110,000 for the Department of Transportation's lilac and wildflower program -- a $20,000 increase over the program's current funding!

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