CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) and Fiscal Committee member Rep. Lynne Ober (R-Hudson) issued statements following the denial of a request by the Department of Justice for additional funds to cover litigation costs. The Joint Fiscal Committee voted along party lines to give the department less than half of its original request, with Democrats voting in favor of the cut.
“Democrats have turned the Fiscal Committee into a partisan political machine. There was a time not long ago where the Fiscal Committee put politics aside and quietly and responsibly did the work it needed to do to ensure state government operated smoothly,” Hinch said. “Now at nearly every meeting, Democrats appear to savor pulling the rug out from under agency heads with whom they disagree, and in this case, jeopardize critical funding for DOJ to carry out its duties. You’d expect these types of political stunts out of Washington, but New Hampshire deserves better.”
“The AG provided thorough history of previous similar requests from the department to cover litigation costs and his request was justified and necessary for his department to meet its obligations. Never before has Fiscal denied the AG money for litigation. No matter what party was in power. No matter if they agreed with pending litigation or not. This was pure partisan politics,” Rep. Lynne Ober stated after the meeting. “The Department has $120,000 in invoices coming related to completed work on the mental health settlement, and Democrats have essentially told him he’ll need to prioritize his obligations, and risk default. The AG has duties to uphold in defense of the state and paying related bills. The Fiscal Committee has put politics ahead of responsible government in this instance.”