To The Daily Sun,
As the legislative session of 2014 begins, the buzz in the State Capital centers mostly on state revenues and budgets. One of the larger issues, is the surplus of $72.2 million. State Senator Jeanie Forrester, recommends ( LaconiaDaily Sun 1/4/14) that $15 million of the $72.2 million be transferred to the "Rainy Day Fund" as required by law. In my opinion, this is a logical move and makes sound business sense for two reasons:
1. It builds a good foundation for those times in which the state is faced with unplanned crises, and
2. he R.D.F. supports a favorable bond rating, not only the state, but the state's municipalities as well. Yet, according to the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, in years past, many politicians have lacked the will or more importantly the discipline to follow the law.
A case in point: Senator Hosmer of Laconia, a Democrat, in response to Senator Forrester's recommendation, dismisses the intent of the "law" and thinks the money should be available for the Department of Transportation for roads. However, according to the Granite Status News (May 20) and the Department of Transportation, the state is currently spending $600 million a year on roads and bridges — figure Mr. Hosmer conveniently leaves out of the discussion. Moreover, since the Rainy Day Fund was established in 1987, there have been six governors in office. Of those six, two were Democrats who removed monies from the fund. Gov. Shaheen withdrew $37 million dollars and Gov. Lynch pulled nearly $80 million from the fund to cover his huge budget deficit in '09. Gov. Lynch also raided the road toll fund of $8 million, money that could have been used for road and bridges. If Mr. Hosmer is so insistent on spending, and not following the law, perhaps he should contact former Gov. Lynch, and demand the money be returned to the road toll fund.
We already know, governor's and certain legislators have a penchant for disregarding the law and the state's Constitution, but the public, expects legislators to follow the law and act in a fiduciary manner that promotes good public policy.