Here are the stories we read on the air this morning in our top of the hour newscast.

Budgets budgets everywhere and not a buck to spend.  Oh, wait a minute, lawmakers at all levels seem to be finding money to spend.  Republicans in the New Hampshire House have announced they will hold a press conference today at twelve thirty to discuss the budget passed by the state senate.  No doubt, they’ll voice support for the document.

In Manchester, Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig and Ward 3 Alderman Patrick Long will bring forward the changes they’ve been working on to Mayor Ted Gatsas’ budget for more than ninety days.  While there has been some movement in the numbers and some last minute adjustments, the pair will need ten votes for the plan as it requires the city certify revenues that came in above projection so they can be appropriated in the current year.  If they don’t get ten votes, then half of the projected one point two million dollars will go to the city’s Rainy Day Fund and the other half will be used as a revenue to buy down next year’s tax rate.

When asked by Girard at Large what their Plan B was in the event they failed to get ten votes, the pair basically said Plan B was the mayor’s budget unless someone else came forward with any ideas.  Among the hurdles they’ve had to overcome as they’ve worked with their counterparts on the board is the negotiations impasse declared with the Manchester Education Association, the union representing some eleven hundred teachers.  That has roiled several aldermen and hardened opposition to Craig and Long’s proposal which would basically split all surplus funds from revenues and expenses from this year’s budget between the school district and the city.

Meanwhile, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s Community Improvement Program Committee, or C I P Committee, gave preliminary approval to the use of four hundred thousand dollars for the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority to take over a commercial location near the corner of South Main and Varney Streets, the former OPUS store, and turn it into twenty apartments for the mentally ill, only Alderman Phil Greazzo opposed the move, approved half a million dollars to Southern New Hampshire Neighbor Works to take over more rental housing in Granite Square, and another 40 grand to Families in Transition to create a shelter for the chronically homeless on lower Belmont Street.

Oh, and did I mention another city backed loan of thirty five thousand dollar loan it will consider at its meeting tonight to help keep the X O Restaurant on Elm Street afloat?

Ward 5 School Committeeman Ted Rokas, Chairman of the Superintendent Search Committee of the Manchester Board of School Committee has announced a community forum will be held this Friday night from six thirty to eight at Memorial High School so the board can introduce the finalists for the superintendent’s position to the public.  The full board is scheduled to meet tomorrow night in special session for the first round of interviews with the five finalists.  It will meet again Saturday morning beginning at 9 with the purpose of selecting a candidate.  Both meetings are closed to the public.

“Governor Hassan is welcome to disagree with the spending priorities outlined in the Senate budget, but given her abysmal fiscal record when she was a state senator we certainly don’t need lectures about responsible budgeting from someone with zero credibility on the subject.”  That was just the opening line in a statement released yesterday by State Senate President Peter Bragdon of Milford in response to the Democratic Governor’s criticism of the senate.  Quote “Budgets are about setting priorities and making difficult choices,” continued Bragdon, quote “Unlike the Governor, who avoided making the tough choices by proposing a budget that relied on an eighty million dollar gamble and more than one hundred million dollars in unrealistic Medicaid revenues, the Senate spends responsibly, realizes honest revenues, and does not raise taxes.”  End quote.  The complete release, along with various budget truths from this year’s senate action and Maggie Hassan’s past budget work is available at the NEW and IMPROVED Girard at Large dot com!  View the press release here.