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June 22. 2013 2:41AM

HHS spending: Responsible all along

The House and Senate have a budget agreement, and Gov. Maggie Hassan likes it. How interesting. Some of the same spending priorities she criticized just weeks before, she now says are great.

When the $10.7 billion budget deal was announced last week, Hassan released this statement: "This bipartisan, fiscally responsible balanced budget agreement represents true and meaningful progress on the priorities that matter to the people of New Hampshire and that are critical for creating good jobs and building a more innovative economic future."

This budget spends almost exactly the same amount of money on the Department of Health and Human Services that the Senate's budget did. Last month she said the Senate's budget would make "deep cuts to Health and Human Services and employees" and "put at risk critical areas, including mental health care, funding the waitlist for people with developmental disabilities, the CHINS program, and the ability to deliver basic services."

The difference between the Senate and Committee of Conference budgets on HHS spending? Out of $2.07 billion, the final budget spends $20,000 more. It could be a rounding error.

So when Senate Republicans propose spending $2.07 billion on HHS, it's devastating, but when Republicans and Democrats agree together to spend $2.07 billion on HHS, it's fiscally responsible. Got it.


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