Budget statement of our priorities
To the editor:
A budget is a statement of our values, priorities and vision for the future. In preparation for creating the budget the finance committee members held five hearings across the state. They listened to the people of New Hampshire, who clearly stated their desire to restore funding for higher education, mental health, developmentally disabled citizens, Children in Need of Service programs, and to preserve our lands.
In 2010 the objective of Bill O’Brien’s legislature was to cut programs and reduce spending. Accomplishing their goal they produced the lowest budget (percentage wise) in over 20 years. Funding was drastically cut for the University System and Community College, the Children in Need of Service program was decimated, and funding for uncompensated care was eliminated, causing some hospitals to restrict access to Medicaid patients and lay off employees.
In the Democratically led house we created and passed a budget that invests in our state and allows us to rebuild from the devastating budget cuts imposed 2 years ago. Although it was not possible to repair all the damage in one budget cycle, the House passed a responsible balanced budget that begins to restore programs that are priorities for the people of NH.
As the budget process moves to the Republican led Senate, I hope they recognize the real world impact of the previous biennium’s devastating cuts and the benefits of investing in our young people, our communities and our state.
Rep. Melanie Levesque