Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Public hearings on state budget continue

From the inbox:
The House Finance and Ways and Means committees opened their budget “road show” in Salem Monday night to an overflow crowd of more than 200.
The crowd was so large at Salem High School that it filled the media room and the cafeteria, where testimony was heard over the loud speaker system. Seventy five people testified over a four-hour period.
“This is exactly why we are conducting these public hearings at night outside of Concord,” said Finance Committee Chair Marjorie Smith (D-Durham). “We want to hear from the people who will be affected by our decisions on the budget.”
Monday’s night’s testimony ranged in topics from alcohol and tobacco programs, the corrections system, district courts, catastrophic illness, personal in-home care attendants and gambling. More than 20 cities and towns were represented, from as far east as Hampton and as far north as Dover.
The committees travel next to Claremont on Thursday, where the hearing will be at the River Valley Community College at 6 p.m., and Monday, March 16, in Whitefield at the White Mountains Regional High School at 6 p.m.
“We are taking testimony on House Bill 1 and House Bill 2,” Smith said, preparing for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“Some people are under the misconception we will be hearing testimony on the capital budget, HB25, which is not the case,” she said.
The public is encouraged to attend the hearings. Sign-up sheets to speak will be available. Written testimony will also be accepted.

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