“As of this writing, there are 184 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes until Governor Hassan’s Government Shutdown.” That’s how an email from the Republican State Committee blasting Democratic Governor Margaret Wood Hassan ended. Before it, there were lots of paragraphs and quotes charging the governor with irresponsible conduct to further political ambitions and the damage it caused the state. It complained of failed leadership, too. But what it didn’t say is that the Republicans caved into that failed leadership by giving Hassan her way on a continuing resolution to avoid a shut down that would have been her fault. I’m thinking the Governor did what she did because she knew the G O P would blink.
Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester issued a statement yesterday saying the Finance Committee met to discuss priorities and plans for moving forward with the legislative budget. During the session, the non-partisan Legislative Budget Assistants Office presented an overview of the entire Legislature passed budget, noting that all spending lines had been accounted for and the budget is balanced. A key charge Hassan made against the budget in her veto message is that it was not. Said Forrester, Republican from Meredith: “The Governor’s claims that the budget she vetoed is unbalanced and dishonest continue to be unfounded, misleading, and hurtful to the people of New Hampshire.”
Forrester also charged that Hassan is ignoring a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to recognize a significant expenditure that may go beyond their appropriation in Fiscal Year Fifteen, saying she has an obligation to be transparent. Forrester did not identify the expenditure.
The disaster that befalls the state today, not including the imposition of the state’s overly aggressive Hands Free Law, is that spending levels in the new fiscal year will remain level with the one that ended at eleven fifty nine last night, for the next six months, or until another budget is adopted, whichever comes first, under the continuing resolution passed by the legislature and signed by Hassan. And if you believe that the G O P won’t blink if the governor threatens another veto at the end of December, then feel free to pay attention to the state G O P’s state government shutdown clock.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
About a hundred people turned out for a so called “Clap Out” at the now closed Hampstead Road Fire Station in Derry as residents opposed to the town council’s spending cuts rallied yet again. Yesterday was the last day the station will be open for the purpose of dispatching fire fighting equipment and personnel. Derry Fire Chief Michael Gagnon has said the station will remain open for storage and training purposes. The emotional gathering had residents applauding the firefighters, taking pictures with them and their trucks, handing off their children who played on the trucks and had pictures taken as well. Organizers of the event say the rally wasn’t just a send off, but just another step toward mobilizing the public to overturn the town council’s decisions. The council is expected to decide what to do with eight different petition questions signed by more than eight hundred people designed to overturn the bulk of their cuts. At a special meeting two weeks ago, the council tabled the item pending an objective, third party legal review. If the petitions and their intentions are found in order, the council can either accept them and overturn their prior actions or it can decline to accept them and order them to ballot in a special election, per the town charter.
On Monday, the Timberlane Regional School Board was given their auditor’s report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. It was due in November, well before the district’s deliberative session and elections. According to a post on her blog, Timberlane School Board Member Donna Green says the audit was posted school board’s private members only site. Being a public document, she released it. We’ve got the links for the interested. (NB: Superintendent Earl Metzler has replied to Green’s post.)
So, what did it say? Apparently the district received yet another adverse opinion for not accounting for its retiree benefits liabilities or depreciating capital assets. There was also some concern about two Title 1 requirements. Green has asked the SAU for information on a non-cancellable lease that costs taxpayers twenty five thousand dollars a year for just four photocopy machines which was identified in the audit.
Green said it’s hard to know just how significant any of the auditor’s findings are because the language of the report is factual and not at all evaluative or judgmental. She says she will continue to post what she finds as she conducts a more indepth review and has asked for the audit to be put on the agenda for the board’s next meeting, which isn’t until August twenty seventh. How nice. 2014 Timberlane – AUDITORS REPORT.pdf
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!