Despite saving more than expected on an 18-month spending freeze, legislators questioned why some exceptions were made, including hiring 162 new state employees and expenses like $106 flashlights at the state prison and $900 pistols for liquor investigators.Landrigan also mentions our efforts to get this information out to the public.
All told, the freeze over the past year saved $13.3 million or $5 million more than had been expected.
"The freeze brought in more than we could have imagined and that's great news as we look to finish the last budget year in good shape,'' said Colin Manning, Gov. John Lynch's spokesman.
The waivers were worth $6 million in state dollars and $7.7 million when you count spending from federal grants and other sources.
Grant Bosse is a researcher for the fiscally conservative Josiah Bartlett Center that had been seeking this detailed report and posted the entire list on its Web site at http://www.jbartlett.org/
"This amounts to the governor approving one waiver every single day over the past year,'' Bosse said. "We compliment the governor for achieving savings that exceed expectations, but the public has a right to examine every single waiver from these freezes and appreciate the state releasing that information.''