According to NH Watchdog Grant Bosse of the Josiah Bartlett Center, a lot of wishful thinking outnumbered actual cuts in spending in the new budget that was arrived at this week.
He says “Borrowing, transfers, and wishful thinking dwarf the actual spending cuts and tax increases included in a $295 million budget deal unveiled this afternoon at the State House. House and Senate Finance Committee Members held an informational session to give their colleagues and the public a chance to see the budget balancing package they’ve agreed to before both chambers vote on it tomorrow in Special Session called by the Executive Council.”
“The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire was not surprised that the Legislature in a June 9 special session took $3.1 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds to help balance the state budget.“We warned everybody two years ago that this is a big pot of money that is ripe for the plucking, and that’s exactly what happened,” said David Juvet, the organization’s vice president.Indeed, the raid happened without any real debate at all. In fact, the only other RGGI-related proposal – backed by Republicans – was to take even more money from the fund.Unlike other dedicated funds that were raided to close this budget gap, RGGI money doesn’t come from various taxes and fees that the New Hampshire Legislature created on its own. It is raised by 11 states in RGGI.Under RGGI, emissions from power plants throughout the Northeast are capped at 88 million tons, with each state auctioning off a proportional share of “allowances” (New Hampshire “gets” about eight million a year) with the funds raised used either for energy-efficiency programs or rebated back to the ratepayers.”