Home » Opinion » Editorials
NH's revenue dip: No cause for alarm
That is the engine driving Gov. Maggie Hassan's push for gambling. She wants the $80 million in casino licensing revenue in the next budget and the hundreds of millions more to spend in the future. She wants this partly to restore state funding to its pre-recession level, erroneously considered a baseline for the minimum level of acceptable state spending, and partly to expand the state into new areas.
It is the same reason some legislators who otherwise are not gambling fans have supported it this year. A good example is Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, who explained that, despite her reservations about gambling, she voted for casinos because she wants the money to spend on state programs and services.
Providing traction for this drive is the economy. Gambling bills seldom got very far before the recession of 2007-08. But since then, state revenues have fallen from $2.35 billion to $2.26 billion, New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies economist Dennis Delay pointed out this week. Thanks to that 4 percent reduction, politicians have portrayed the state as in such dire financial shape that it has little choice but to authorize slot-machine casinos to rescue the government from collapse.
The reality is that the state can weather this temporary dip in revenue without resorting to a permanent new funding source that would create a permanent change in our culture. We simply have to be frugal and set priorities. That is possible if we understand that not every dime of government spending is sacred.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- The Sony hack: Kim's judgment of Obama - 1
- Obama gets smoked: Castros celebrate in Havana - 35
- On naming the victim: It is Kibby's story now - 0
- After Newtown: A gun rights revival - 38
- Vermont's disaster: An Obamedy of errors - 14
- Jeb takes a dip: First Flavor of the Week - 21
- Asking about marriage: The Census should keep doing it - 3
- All lives matter: Even Al Sharpton says so - 14
- Taxi fail: City regulations don't work - 14
READER COMMENTS: 0
- State House Dome: Just past Concord session a mixed bag - 0
- Monarchs squeak by Bruins - 0
- Memorial hockey shuts out Trinity - 0
- Dover's Parratto a national champion - 0
- UNH defense comes up big against Redbirds - 0
- St. Anselm men knock off Post - 0
- Leadership, defense made Katie Bishop, of Conway, an All-American - 0
- Jet menace faltered under Rex - 0
- Strong start lifts Bedford to win - 0
UNH loses to Illinois State
Nashua police left rattled by tot's death
A new era for Nashua's police force
Haylee Ann-Marie Patten