Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

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Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby Andy Sylvia » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:59 pm

89 Days to Go....

I don't want to see an Income Tax or Sales Tax, but I would much rather prefer avoiding those taxes to come from an understanding of our spending and appropriations.

So that's why I want to begin the process of going through our state budget with you all on these journals, line by line.

Are they too high? Are they too low? Is it not clear enough what the expenditures actually are? Let's figure it out together.

Today are the line items from section 01-02, the Legislative Branch

Here's the Senate's line items for Fiscal Year 2008.

01-02-01-01-11 Personal Services - Members $580.00
01-02-01-01-12 Personal Services - Permanent $1,282,379.00
01-02-01-01-13 Personal Services - Non Permanent $195,889.00
01-02-01-01-20 Current Expenses $78,500.00
01-02-01-01-30 Equipment New/Replacement $5,000.00
01-02-01-01-46 Consultants $63,000.00
01-02-01-01-60 Benefits $519,820.00
01-02-01-01-70 In-State Travel $150,500.00
01-02-01-01-80 Out-Of State Travel $24,000.00
01-02-01-01-91 Continuing Education $5,000.00
01-02-01-01-92 President's Discretionary Fund $4,500.00

Here's the House

01-02-01-02-11 Personal Services - Members $2,000.00
01-02-01-02-12 Personal Services - Permanent $1,424,587.00
01-02-01-02-13 Personal Services - Non Permanent $183,833.00
01-02-01-02-20 Current Expenses $167,500.00
01-02-01-02-30 Equipment New/Replacement $12,000.00
01-02-01-02-46 Consultants $30,000.00
01-02-01-02-60 Benefits $719,887.00
01-02-01-02-70 In-State Travel $1,077,500.00
01-02-01-02-80 Out-Of State Travel $100,000.00
01-02-01-02-90 Continuing Education $3,000.00
01-02-01-02-91 Speakers Special Account $4,500.00
01-02-01-02-92 Maj. Leaders Special Account $3,500.00
01-02-01-02-93 Min Leaders Special Account $3,000.00
01-02-01-02-96 Contingency $50,000.00
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby RBarnes » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:42 pm

Andy I can tell you the very first line that jumped out at me was the out of state travel expenses. Why on earth would a STATE senate or STATE house need that much of out of state travel?
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby Andy Sylvia » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:42 pm

No idea, but that's why I wanted to add this in there in the middle of the journals. I'll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby RD » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:33 pm

I would hope that NH state legislators would periodically get together with other states' legislators to discuss common issues and to understand how other states are dealing with them.
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby Andy Sylvia » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:56 pm

That's probably it, but I need to be perfectly honest in that I cannot say who is traveling and why exactly.
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby rowland » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:59 am

This doesn't even come close to accounting for $80 million in new debt.

But what on earth is Personal Services - Permanent all about?
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby Andy Sylvia » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:02 am

Rowland,

There are plenty more sections to go, we'll all understand soon enough.

As for the "personal services", i've always thought that it's the secret hot tub on the 4th Floor. They have an elevator in the Legislative Office Building that says the 4th Floor is accessible only to legislators and I always assumed that they had a hot tub and wet bar and disco ball and such up there that they were hiding from us mere mortals making more than $100 a year.
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby RBarnes » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:35 am

RD wrote:I would hope that NH state legislators would periodically get together with other states' legislators to discuss common issues and to understand how other states are dealing with them.


To the tune of $124,000?

Haven't they heard of phone calls or email? I routinely do business with people all over the world but its very rare that I have to travel outside of Merrimack borders. Between email, phone and video conferencing I'm able to do business very effectively with people in other states, other countries just as if they were in my own office.

So sorry, I can't buy that as a valid excuse for that much money being spent.
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby RBarnes » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:38 am

Andy Sylvia wrote:No idea, but that's why I wanted to add this in there in the middle of the journals. I'll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.


Wasn't expecting you to know much more then I would at this point but it's a question I would ask if I were you and get elected.

Is there a link to the full budget? Maybe there's more detail some where further in?
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby mglr536 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:45 am

Combined continuing education is $8000.

While it may be a small amount, it would be nice to see a list of last years actual education expense, the name of class and rep who participated.
And, if we really want to justify this listed budget, detail out what was proposed. I suspect they used incremental budgeting and it's just a number.

But if the leaders in Concord cannot justify $8000 or detail out such a basic expense, then we really should think about sending everyone up there to some education. Because if they can't justify $8000, how on earth should I trust that they can justify millions?
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby platypusman » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:50 am

These accounts seem fishy --


Speakers Special Account $4,500.00
Maj. Leaders Special Account $3,500.00
Min Leaders Special Account $3,000.00
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Re: Dissecting HB 1: Part 1

Postby Andy Sylvia » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:00 am

RBarnes wrote:
Andy Sylvia wrote:No idea, but that's why I wanted to add this in there in the middle of the journals. I'll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.


Wasn't expecting you to know much more then I would at this point but it's a question I would ask if I were you and get elected.

Is there a link to the full budget? Maybe there's more detail some where further in?


http://gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2007/HB0001.html

you can also get it at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/LBA/Indexbudget.html, although both have changed slightly due to the SSHB1.
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