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REP. ROUILLARD AWARDED THE HENRY TOLL FELLOWSHIP
Freshman Legislator from Goffstown among 48 National Winners Concord—Rep. Claire Rouillard of Goffstown, serving her first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has been awarded the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship given annually by the Council of State Governments (CSG). The program, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials.
Each year Toll Fellows bring 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government to Lexington, Ky for an intensive six-day, five-night “intellectual boot camp” designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth.
Speaker Shawn Jasper, who nominated Rep. Rouillard for the fellowship, saw early on in the legislative session that the freshman was a quick study. “Claire grasped the legislative process early in the session and has made a significant contribution to the House. It is rare to have a freshman part of the leadership team, but Rep. Rouillard certainly earned her title as Assistant Majority Whip,” said Speaker Jasper. “She has a very bright future in state government should she choose to stay on that path,” he added.
Rep. Rouillard represents Hillsborough County, District 6, and has been serving on the House Judiciary Committee while assisting the Majority Whip Richard Hinch of Merrimack.
Rep. Rouillard is a graduate of the Franklin Pierce Law School in Concord, known today as the University of New Hampshire Law School.
Since 1986, 20 New Hampshire government officials have received the Toll Fellowship, including Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan, current Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff, State House Chief of Staff Terry Pfaff, and State Senator Sharon Carson.
Rep. Rouillard will join the 47 other fellows in Lexington, KY from August 28 through September 2, 2015.
Recently an editorial published in the Manchester Union Leader titled, “Not our problem? Drug problem is a County problem” and a story, “Drug battle not over between Manchester and County” by Ted Siefer, cites a recent vote of the Hillsborough County Legislative Executive Committee to not fund a drug court in their budget as has been intiated and paid for, in whole or part, in other counties. A lot of criticism has arisen because of that vote and some of the rationale behind it. So, I reached out to our representative on the committee, Rep. David Pierce (R) Goffstown.
Here’s his response and clarification regarding the issue that I am posting with permission from the author.
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On Jun 7, 2015, at 10:48 PM, Dave Pierce <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Since I participated on the Executive Delegation preparation of the FY16 budget, let me contribute a little background on the funding of a Hillsborough County Drug Court – which wasn’t covered in the one-sided Union Leader article last Friday or today’s editorial.
The Executive Delegation on 29 May, first finalized all of the departments’ FY16 expenses as proposed by the Commissioners and reviewed/adjusted by delegation sub-committees.
These expenses were covered by a projected $42.8M in non-tax revenue and $48.0M in tax revenue. The goal offered by the Commissioners was to keep the $48.0M tax revenue flat with last year’s tax revenue; ie, therefore no change in the tax rate. But to do this, the commissioners had to use $3.8M from the Undesignated Fund Balance which shows up as non-tax revenue.
Over the last 5 years the County has been dipping into the Undesignated Fund Balance at the approximate rate of $3.0M per year. This practice keeps the tax rate artificially low. This practice over 5 years has reduced the fund balance from $18M to currently about $5.0M. As mentioned above, the Commissioners proposed the take out another $3.8M from the $5.0M. However, $5.0M is the minimum amount recommended by DRA to retain in the UFB as it should be in the range of 5 to 15 percent.
The Executive Delegation decided to stop this unwise use of UFB which would bring the balance significantly below the minimum 5% level. Therefore the $3.8M needed for revenue was moved from non-tax revenue to tax revenue. To raise $51.8M vs $48.0M would mean about a 10 cent increase in each community’s county tax rate. This issue was discussed at length by the Executive Delegation.
At this point the expenses and revenue was set to bring before the full Delegation and the Executive Delegation was ready to adjourn. Then Pat Long (rep from Manchester), out of the blue, offered a motion to increase the expenses by $450K to provide 1 year funding for a drug court. He offered no information as to how this amount had been derived or when such a court could stand up.
My take on the situation was that the Delegation had just finished resolving not to dip into the Undesignated Fund Balance, and being at some discomfort at having to raise the tax rate by about 8% there was little interest in supporting the motion to fund the drug court that had not been vetted by the Commissioners or any Delegation finance committee. The motion failed.
In closing, the reps at the 29 May Executive Delegation, from my observations, were very impressed with the effectiveness of a Drug Court due to a briefing from Superior Court Chief Justice Judge Nadeau and had the issue been presented earlier in the budget process the funding would have been more favorably acted upon.
I suspect the issue will be the key discussion point when the full Delegation meets on 23 June.
Rep. Dave Pierce
Trolling the internet, at times, can unearth some interesting tidbits. Such was the case when I recently came across a facebook posting promoting an upcoming appearance of Republican presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, at the New Boston Central School. A seemingly innocuous post that one would think wouldn’t elicit an attack on a neighboring town, but elicit an attack it did and not from an everyday person just spouting off. No, but from an elected State official in the body of State Rep. John Burt (R) who lives in Goffstown and represents Hillsborough County District 39 that include towns, Goffstown, Weare and Deering, NH.
Really? There are communist running the town of Goffstown? Oh my, call out the militia, where’s the NSA when you need it to apprehend these horrible reprobates that have, obviously, taken over our quaint little town? I thought if this is true, than I better look into this.
So I went on the town website committee page to find out who these scary communist could be. I found there are approximately 191 individual Committee/board members, 59 of which are elected directly from the voters. But, try as I might, I couldn’t find any communist. What I did find was a diverse group of volunteers. People from all walks of life; veterans, seniors, young folk, men, women, Moms, Dads, just hardworking people giving their time for a better community.
So could Rep. John Burt please list which of the above volunteers are communist? And while he’s at it, could he please answer why he hates this town so much that he continues to embarrass and malign us at every opportunity he gets yet cries for our vote when he runs for public office?
Oh yes, and you might want to also ask him what legislation he has filed on behalf of the town he suppose to be representing or is he just representing himself?
…… Bills prime or co-sponsored by John Burt (1. leave “Session Year” blank – remove “2015”. 2. Scroll down to “sponsor” on the left hand side and click on the pull down arrow and select, “Burt” – Leave all other sections blank – do not fill in any other sections. 3. Click “submit”.)