Gov. John Lynch's executive orders freezing hires, travel and equipment purchases saved $5 million more than expected, for a total of $13 million. That's great news. It's also evidence that there is fat to be trimmed from the state budget.
Gov. Lynch approved some exceptions to the freezes, including hiring a historian for the department of cultural resources ($43,073) and six recliners for the state veterans' home ($11,579).
A historian is an emergency hire? We can't get a furniture store to donate six recliners for veterans?
Governor Lynch deserves credit for instituting the Executive Order that led to this savings. State departments have been far more careful with General Fund dollars since February 2008 because of it. We are looking forward to seeing how the Department of Administrative Services calculated the $13 million savings estimate, and would love to see similar restraint applied to the areas of the budget outside of the General Fund. But for now, we'll simply echo the Union Leader's praise for the Governor's actions.