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Will Sen. Forrester explain these fiscally irresponsible decisions?

To The Daily Sun,

Sen. Jeanie Forrester is the newly-appointed chair of the N.H. Senate Finance Committee, entrusted with leading thoughtful conversations and drafting fiscally responsible legislation in the area of N.H.'s fiscal policy.

But how does that square with some of her recent decisions? Back in June, Sen. Forrester voted against the inclusion of Medicaid expansion in the budget before the legislature. Instead, she endorsed appropriating $200,000 to seat a commission to study the issue to report to the Legislature in the fall. That expenditure is after the Department of Health and Human Services hired an outside consultant, the Lewin Group, to study and report on the exact same issue earlier in the year.

In addition to sanctioning the commission, Sen. Forrester agreed that Governor Hassan should call the Legislature back into Special Session for 10 days in November. Special sessions involve reimbursement of members for mileage, committee hearing expenses, staff salaries; it is neither a cost-free nor a normal order of business proposition.

And most recently, Sen. Forrester joined her Republican colleagues to defeat all the Medicaid expansion proposals before the Senate; one drafted by Republicans, one by Democrats and one based on proposals by the Commission to Study Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility. Instead, she wants even further work on these proposals even though failing to begin Medicaid expansion on January 1, 2014, will cost NH $500,000 per day in unrealized federal reimbursements.

As chair of the Senate Finance Committee, how does Sen. Forrester explain these fiscally irresponsible decisions to her constituents and residents of NH?

Paula Trombi

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