Dear Concord Monitor – What DOT Budget Cut?

Check out this title from the March 17th Concord Monitor:

Concord. Monitor.17March15

The article begins as follows:

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation would eliminate the positions of 321 employees if lawmakers pass a House bill cutting $41 million from the state highway fund budget over the next two fiscal years, according to officials.

But reading further reveals that the “cutting” is not spending less than the prior, 2013-2015 budget, but not increasing spending as much as Govern Hassan proposed.  More particularly, Hassan has proposed a 35 percent increase in registration fees to pay for increased spending by the highway fund.

With all due respect to the author, I don’t find the article very clear but apparently Rep. Neal Kurk is proposing to fund the highway fund at the increased level that Hassan proposes by shifting money from elsewhere in DOT’s $1 billion budget rather than raising fees, because many House Republicans are opposed to raising fees.

Kurk does not want DOT to have any discretion how to manage this reallocation of funding, but wants it taken from DOT employees because Kurk apparently thinks that this will force the House to raise fees and or taxes:

“The intent of this bill is to make it clear to the House the consequences of not increasing highway fund revenue,” Kurk said after the hearing. “The idea is to make this stark.”

According to DOT, the consequences of shifting $41 million to the highway fund, which is 4 percent of DOT’s 2013-2015 budget, and then cutting positions would be 321 layoffs.

One thought on “Dear Concord Monitor – What DOT Budget Cut?

  1. DOT should spend no more than is raised by those allowed methods in Article 6a of the NH Constitution. The money cannot be used for any other purpose so cutting does nothing more than create a balance due the taxpayer……or is there a move to unconstitutionally “borrow” the money for something else?

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