NH House Freedom Caucus
For Immediate Release
August 29, 2017
NH House Freedom Caucus Calls Out $93 Million
in Off Budget Spending Added by Fiscal Committee
Concord – The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus (NHHFC) today criticized the Legislative Fiscal Committee for adding $93 million in off-budget spending at the first meeting during the new budget cycle this past Friday.
“Taxpayers deserve the right to know how the state is spending our money. However, the Fiscal Committee bypassed the budget process to spend $93 million without a single word of public input. This shows a disturbing lack of transparency that undermines the credibility of government. The Freedom Caucus fought the House budget in part because it included roughly $220 million in phony ‘cuts’ that were simply a way of bringing money in through the back door. New Hampshire is entitled to integrity in budgeting taxpayer money, but we’re witnessing just the opposite here,” stated Rep. Josh Moore (R-Merrimack)
DHHS Commissioner, Jeffery Meyers approved the following statement in a letter to the Fiscal committee, dated July 25th asking for the $70 million that the House Finance Committee removed: ” This accounting unit has traditionally been budgeted and was included in the Agency Efficiency budget and the Governor’s budget. The funding was taken out in both the House and Senate phases with the expectation that the Department would request the reinstatement of funding from the Fiscal Committee.”
“Without any discussion with the other 395 members, just five House members on the Fiscal Committee voted to add nearly $100 million in new spending to the state budget. That is an outrageous abuse of the legislative process that thumbs its nose at the vast majority of Representatives and our constituents. The merits of all major spending should be debated by the whole House, so that we all can determine if the taxpayers are getting good value for the money that government is taking from us,” added Rep. Len Turcotte (R- Barrington).
This “off budget” spending is precisely why I couldn’t give my endorsement of the budget. The pretense of removing this money from the budget with every anticipation to return it via the Fiscal Committee was intentionally misleading, as this money has already been spent or budgeted by the local School Districts. Furthermore, it causes the real increase in State spending for the budget to rise faster than the rate of inflation as we all anticipated it would with off budget spending. Rep. Dan Itse (R-Fremont)
The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus is a grassroots organization consisting of legislators and private citizens, who believe in personal liberty and the traditional conservative “Yankee” values that made New Hampshire a great place to live.