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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Are these N.H. advantages?

There are several lawsuits challenging some of the ways Governor Lynch and the Legislature balanced the state budget. (Taking money from the JUA, charging some retirees for health insurance, downshifting retirement costs onto local taxpayers, etc.)

Are these lawsuits a result of the Legislature making bad choices on the budget? Not to the Keene Sentinel. They see it as another indicator of a broken tax system. If we only had an income tax ...
Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

These may be the lazy, hazy days of summer for many of us, but the New Hampshire court system is certainly busy dealing with the latest crop of creative revenue streams from the governor and Legislature.

Some retired state employees are suing the state, contending that it’s unconstitutional to deduct health insurance fees from younger retirees’ pension checks, as the state has been doing for the past few weeks. The insurance used to be free, but the fees were added to the 2009-2010 budget to save $5 million. The fees are $65 a month for individuals and $130 for a couple. They apply only to state workers who retire before the age of 65.

“The federal and New Hampshire Constitutions clearly forbid legislation that impairs vested rights,” the retirees’ lawsuit reads. A spokesman for Governor John Lynch counters that the plan is fair. (more)

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