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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JUA ruling puts $110 million hole in budget

The Union Leader reports that Judge Kathleen McQuire has found for the plaintiffs suing the block the state's efforts to take $110 million in excess medical malpractice payments to the Joint Underwriting Association:

A court ruling today blocked the state from balancing its budget with $110 million from a medical malpractice fund.

Belknap County Superior Court Justice Kathleen McGuire said the state had no right to the funds because they belong to the Joint Underwriting Association. (more)
The state is expected to appeal, but for now, $110 million that budget writers has assumed would help balance both the last budget and the current one is off limits. There is no legal requirement that the state operate with a balanced budget, but State House watchers believe this shortfall could spur a special session to make up the difference.

Charlie Arlinghaus predicted this outcome back in February. He is far to classy to say "I told you so." I'm not.

Much more on this story after we've digested McGuire's complete 28-page decision.

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