Oct 7, 2014 8:16 AM
State Senate returns little money to state treasury
Senate Republicans say Governor Maggie Hassan's poor leadership and management has led to the state needing to make significant spending cuts.
But an NH 1 News investigation has revealed when it came to returning unspent money to the treasury, it was the State Senate that seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.
State budgets are always brought into balance by getting all of government to return unspent or lapsed money to the treasury.
The target for state government was 3.6 percent for the budget year that ended June 30.
But according to official documents and the state spending web site, the Senate returned one-tenth of 1 percent or only $2,700 to the treasury.
Governor Hassan's office returned 7.5 percent of its budget or twice the target.
The Democratically-controlled House of Representatives returned 5 percent of spending.
``When you see such a miniscule number, really the attack by these Republican state senators is shown to be hollow, these senators don't know how to manage their own budget,'' Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said.
The Senate also spent nearly $15,000 on new or replaced furniture after Hassan had asked the Legislature to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out of state travel.
Senate President Chuck Morse said this budget required the Legislature to cut an additional $1 million.
He said the Senate wound up spending $300,000 less than it could have though it was $165,000 more than the previous year.
``I had a lot on my plate last year,'' Morse said.
This was Morse's first year as Senate leader and he dealt with Medicaid expansion and settling two expensive lawsuits against the state.
Morse said Senate spending is not the problem and warned the state has to close up to an $80 million hole in this year's budget.
As for furniture, Morse said most of what was bought did not arrive in the Senate office until this budget year.