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Thursday, January 7, 2010

State Democrats Draining Rainy Day Fund

Via Grant Bosse and NH Watchdog:
The Legislative Fiscal Committee will be asked tomorrow to drain nearly $80 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to cover the remaining deficit from Fiscal Year 2009.

State Comptroller Edgar Carter and Commissioner Linda Hodgden have submitted a late request to the Fiscal Committee to transfer $79,733,939 from the Revenue Stabilization Reserve Account, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund, into the state’s General Fund. The Fiscal Committee will take up the request tomorrow morning.

The two-year budget approved in June planned to draw down $37.8 million from the Rainy Day Fund in order to pay for state spending. Comptroller Edgar Carter tells the Josiah Bartlett Center that the state’s loss in the JUA Lawsuit has forced him to transfer $40 million more than planned.

“This is a larger than expected draw down, principally related to the fact that the Superior Court ruled against our ability to use $65 million from the JUA,” Carter explained.

On October 1, 2009, the state issued its Surplus Statement for FY09, showing that the Rainy Day Fund would have $76.1 million remaining. Tomorrow’s transfer would leave the fund with less than $40 million.

The $80 million deficit for FY09 does not include an additional $45 million in JUA funds budgeted for FY10, nor the fact that current year revenues are already more than $30 million below projections. Josiah Bartlett Center President Charlie Arlinghaus projects that the total budget hole, including the $110 million JUA Lawsuit, could reach $300 million by the end of June 2011.

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