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Belknap County Democrats pleased with N.H. budget compromise

To The Daily Sun,
Belknap County Democrats are relieved a budget agreement has been reached in the N.H. Legislature. Much credit goes to the House Democrats' negotiating team for crafting compromises in key areas, especially Medicaid expansion.
The budget also restores critical funding to N.H.'s university system, makes a substantial commitment to the state's mental health care needs as well as investing in economic development and public safety in N.H.
Belknap County Democrats believe Medicaid expansion is critical to the health of N.H. citizens and its economy. The agreed-upon timeline will ensure that N.H. is ready to receive the federal matching funds that will begin to flow into the state in January, 2014.
Tough choices had to be made and important principles were upheld. We credit the conferees, the legislative and agency staffs and the governor's office with a willingness to work late into the night to arrive at a fiscally sound balanced budget to deliver to the House and Senate for a final vote.
Kate Miller, Chair
Belknap Democratic Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:29

Hits: 335

Human Relations Committee supports expansion of Medicaid

To The Daily Sun,
To our State Senators and Representatives:
The Laconia's Human Relations Committee is a task force of concerned individuals that works to address issues of importance to the Lakes Region community. Many people in the Lakes Region have become stigmatized because of the lack of access to necessary health care — physical and mental, preventative and on-going for the youngest to the oldest of our residents. As representatives of the Lakes Region to the state, we ask that you vote for Medicaid expansion: moral and just funding that grants access to health care as a basic human right for the neediest among us.
Here is the Human Relations Committee mission statement.
a) Cultivate a community-wide climate that does not tolerate prejudice of any kind which undermines the dignity of any person.
b) Educate ourselves and our children about the presence and dehumanizing impact of any prejudicial attitudes that are currently at work in our community.
c) Promote, in as many segments of our community life as is possible, policies and practices which encourage and demand equal opportunity and responsibility for all people.
d) Proactively resist and publicly condemn any practices or incidents in our community which either result from or might encourage prejudice, intolerance, harassment and discrimination.
In the words of Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, "... I refuse to stand by while people suffer.... it will extend cost-effective care to Arizona's working poor, using the very tax dollars our citizens already pay to the federal government. It will help prevent our rural and safety-net hospitals from closing their doors. And it will boost our economy by creating more than 20,000 jobs at a time when Arizona needs them most.
I hope you will understand how the Laconia Human Relations Committee wishes to see the marginalized people of the Laconia area have the same access to health care others have and not be stigmatized because the state refuses to grant them this basic right.
Leonard Campbell, Interim Chair
Laconia Human Relations Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:26

Hits: 305

Thanks for donating aluminum tabs to Shriner's Hospital/Boston

To The Daily Sun,
I want to thank the Laconia and Belmont schools, their students, and staff for making the aluminum tab recycling program so successful over the past several years: Holy Trinity, Elm Street School, Pleasant Street School, Woodland Heights School, Laconia Middle School, Laconia High School and Belmont Elementary School.
Each school has a container to deposit tabs into. When the container(s) get full, the school gives me a call and I go pick them up or they get drooped off to me. It's as easy as that. Last year these school collected more than 350 pounds of tabs during the school year!
Recently, through word of mouth, several community members have been stopping in to see me and to donate aluminum tabs. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to remove and recycle that small piece of aluminum! The tabs are the only pure aluminum part of the can, and once recycled, can help with the hospital's expenses.
The tabs I collect from the schools and community are donated to the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston, to help offset the cost of transportation, lodging, and/or equipment that is needed to keep this hospital available to those in need at no cost to the family.
Like Don Perrault in Somersworth, I see no personal gain from this endeavor except the knowledge that I have helped the hospital, patients, and the community with this easy-to-do program.
Please continue to collect aluminum tabs and thank you for all you do for those in need.
Mary Anne Ross

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:23

Hits: 323

Council can't 'contribute' $4k by transferring 'found' tax dollars

To the editor,
According to an article in The Laconia Daily Sun on May 30 by Michael Kitch, "City Council adds $4k to fund used to buy new U.S. flags for downtown".
The article states the council agreed to apply "found money" to make a contribution to dress up the downtown. Councilor Bob Hamel was correct when he, "suggested that between the assistance provided by the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments the city had already contributed to the project and remarked that the council should have been informed of the project before the fact." But then he voted along with the rest of the council to "apply found money rather than draw from the TIF fund."
The City Charter is clear that an "appropriation" is for a specific purpose and amount, regarding an individual line item, the source of money is to be offset by comparable revenues. The sum of all the individual line items comprises the annual Grand Total Appropriation,.
The process for transfers are applicable for intra-department or inter-department but only after an encumbered appropriation is completed; unencumbered amounts are available for transfer to an existing line item.
When a "new purpose" that benefits the taxpayer funded municipal government; the charter is clear for such supplemental appropriations after the budget is adopted.
There is no specific appropriation line item listed in the FY2012/2013 annual budget regarding the Main Street Initiative, which is a private organization, for lining the streets with U.S flags and flowers. There cannot be a vote to "contribute" by transferring $4,000 to an unspecified line item "found" tax dollars. Just a month prior to the end of the fiscal year is unacceptable and is in violation of the City Charter.
"APPROPRIATIONS AFTER BUDGET IS ADOPTED. "No appropriation after the budget is adopted, shall be made for any purpose not included in the annual budget as adopted unless voted by a two-thirds majority of the council after a public hearing held to discuss said appropriation. The council shall by resolution designate the source of any money so appropriated" Emphasis added Section 5:06 (RSA 49-C:23) (Amended by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,334 yes, 1,235 no, effective 7-1-2011)
This City Council has been in office long enough to know and understand the Laconia City Charter and New Hampshire State Laws
David Gammon

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:17

Hits: 267

Food stamps, no. But money for rich, non-working farmers, yes

To the editor,
Congressman Stephan Fincher and his family of Tennessee loves the farm bill so much. They are the 7th generation of reciprients of this bill for working and non-working farmers. Some don't even have to grow crops. His family, which needs the money, has gotten over $3.5 million from 1999 to 2012. In 2012, they got a direct payment of $70,000, which might have been not to grow anything but that list is not public. But overall that is $738 per day in farm welfare for 13 years. But he wants more and to do that he will cut the food stamp program to cover costs. After all, the food stamp people get $133 per month and Fincher ($738 per DAY) says that there is no big printing machine in DC for money. It's others people's money DC gets to spend.
Also to help cover these costs, Congress will try to double college loan interest for our future leaders. This can still be stopped before going into effect July 1st.
On the immigration issue of which we all are right? Now we see Kelly Ayotte has signed on with the Gang of Eight. Of couse she has because both John McCain and Lindsey Graham are there. She wants that VP slot w/ Rubio. But Rubio doesn't even like his own immigration bill. Maybe he will filibuster it like Mitchie did his own bill. So now what to do Kelly?
Jon Hoyt

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 11:52

Hits: 380

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