Hassan names revenue review panel, lawmakers respond
Yesterday Governor Maggie Hassan formally named the membership roster of what’s been dubbed the Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel. The group is set to “come up with revenue estimates as the state assembles its next two-year budget.”
The panel is the result of a campaign promise and the first executive order issued during Hassan’s still brief time in office.
Per the Concord Monitor, the Panel will be comprised of “Kevin Clougherty, commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration, Linda Hodgdon, commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, Dennis Delay from the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, Jeff McLynch from the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, and Richard Samuels from the Business and Industry Association.”
“By bringing together experts from the business community, academia and the public sector, we can work to improve our revenue estimates and ensure more accurate information throughout the budget process,” stated Hassan in her office’s press release.
The governor’s order isn’t going to stop both the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees from having looks of their own, though, and several publications recorded reactions from lawmakers.
“We will not cede our legislative responsibility to develop reasonable and sound revenue estimates,” said House Minority Leader Gene Chandler, per the Union Leader. “We are elected by and accountable to the taxpayers of New Hampshire, but appointed members of the governor’s panel could be viewed as having other interests.”
“In the months ahead, the committee looks forward to considering the recommendations of Gov. Hassan’s revenue panel as another part of our process as we work to develop balanced estimates consistent with a cautious economic outlook,” stated state Senator Bob Odell, who chairs Ways and Means.
Chuck Morse, who chairs the Senate’s Finance Committee, applauded Hassan for seeking both a “systematic and consistent method of forecasting revenues,” but stated his intentions to lean heavily on the numbers that come from Ways and Means.