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Thursday, July 23, 2009

City fights state's 'unconstitutional' cost-shifting

PORTSMOUTH — The city is joining other communities in the state and the New Hampshire Municipal Association in a potential lawsuit against the state for what they say are unfunded mandates that violate the State Constitution.

The New Hampshire Municipal Association — supported by the New Hampshire School Boards Association and the New Hampshire Association of Counties, 140 municipalities and 53 school districts — is currently considering legal action against the State of New Hampshire for cost shifting state financial responsibilities to local governments, which they say is in violation of Part 1, Article 28-a of the State Constitution.

The Legislature downshifted more than $117 million in state costs to local governments in the 2010-11 state budget, according to NHMA.

“We believe that we must start legal proceedings against the State in order to challenge this unconstitutional action and stop the downshifting of state obligations to local governments,” said John Andrews, executive director of New Hampshire Local Government Center, home of NHMA. (more)

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