An open letter to the governor and members of the House and Senate
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I had the pleasure of listening to Governor Lynch’s speech at the April 20 Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast. I have always liked Governor Lynch and feel he has been a good balance in our system. He talked about New Hampshire being number one in places to live, safest state, healthiest state and best educational state.So I ask all of you to please answer a question that I asked at the meeting, to which I did not receive a proper answer. Why are the proposed budget tax cuts resting primarily on the women and children of New Hampshire?An article in New Hampshire Business Review this month lists all of the cuts to state expenses, and out of about 15 cuts, fully 10 are aimed at women and children, their safety and health care. Specifically, I point to these proposed budget cuts:• $26 million would be taken from local school construction• $31 million would be stricken from special education support• The internship-support direct medical education would be eliminated• The Healthy Kids insurance program for low-income families would be eliminated• The Children in Need of Supervision program for truancy would be eliminated• The child-care subsidy for working families would be eliminated.• Over $1.5 million would be cut from aid for victims of domestic violence• $11 million would be removed from support for community colleges and $80 million from four-year universities throughout the state• $13.4 million would be taken from community mental health centers• Up to 45 state troopers may be eliminatedHow about some true fiscal responsibility? The state has about 1.5 million residents and three layers of government. Significant savings could be had by simply reducing duplications.Pension reform should be a priority. Take away the ballooning of benefits and gear it to a fair and balanced approach. Nowhere else but in the public sector can employees work for three to four years at the end of their career and double their benefits.Education of our children and adults should be a priority. Education increases income, reduces crime, and builds a stronger society. This increases the tax roles and decreases expenses.Health care should be a right and not a privilege and should be geared toward management and prevention. This will reduce costs in the long run.Stop playing games with our future and govern responsibly. Smart investments will pay off and reduce costs in the long run.Clifford A. Metcalfe Jr.