Sunday, February 8, 2009

Legislature to hold budget hearings around the state

The House Finance Committee will once again take the budget on the road, holding public hearings in three different sized and geographically situated communities during March.
Members of the Ways and Means Committee will also be sitting in on the hearings. In the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the Finance Committee deals with expenditures and Ways and Means deals with revenues.
"This method worked well two years ago," according to Finance Committee Chair Marjorie Smith."We decided to do it for the next budget, too. In these trying economic times, it can only help the average citizen to be able to talk with us directly. We want to hear from the people who use state services, especially because we make decisions that have an impact on their lives. This is an opportunity for us to hear from those other than lobbyists and people who can get to Concord for other hearings."
The Legislature is required to plan a two-year budget well in advance of its actually going into place. For example, the current budget for 2009 runs from July 2008 to the end of June 2009 and was planned and put into place in the spring of 2007.
The public is encouraged and invited to attend the hearings. Information will be provided at each making it simple for residents to testify before the committee.
The public hearings are scheduled as follows:
• SALEM, Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m., in the Media Center at Salem High School, 44 Geremonty Drive.
• CLAREMONT, Thursday, March 12, at 6 p.m. at the River Valley Community College, One College Drive.
• WHITEFIELD, Monday, March 16, at 6 p.m., at White Mountains Regional High School Auditorium, 127 Regional Road.

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