NEWPORT — With four members from the New Hampshire State Legislature in attendance, New Hampshire’s Budget in Limbo was dissected by the Newport Board of Selectmen during a meeting lasting nearly three hours Monday night.
Board Chairman Jeff Kessler reviewed the budget numbers in detail as District 8 State Senator Ruth Ward and Representatives Skip Rollins, Newport; Steve Smith Charlestown, and Linda Tanner, Sunapee.
Kessler said he attended an informational session on the proposed budget by Gov. Chris Sununu on July 19, which was vetoed.
See related budget story by Bob Sanders of NH Business Review on Page 6.
The four veteran politicians responded to questions by board members and explained some of the difficulties they have encountered during the current budget process.
Smith said the confidence level in Concord is a “real problem.” He said the “amateur legislature will keep businesses from coming to New Hampshire.” The turnover each cycle is about 100 legislators, he continued.
“Newport has a 25 percent turnover of teachers and administrators each year. A compromise has to come and I don’t think it should be at the cost of education,” Tanner stated.
“Concord is screwing up and the governor doesn’t give a crap about Newport,” said Selectman Todd Fratzel. “No one in Concord appears to give a crap about Newport,” he continued.
Rollins expressed concern about the makeup of the Committee of Conference. “There are five House members and four from the Senate and not one Republican was nominated,” he emphasized. “You can’t have one party call it a compromise when not one minority member is even on it.
“Somewhere down the road we need to find a compromise,” Rollins added.