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'We're going in': Sununu asks for more troopers

March 16. 2017 11:26PM

When New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu highlighted that most of the deadly fentanyl coming into the state was coming out of Lawrence, Mass., and said “Guess what? We’re going in!” Lawrence’s mayor and Granite State Democrats acted as if Sununu were planning an invasion.

Sununu was talking about his proposal to add five new troopers to the New Hampshire State Police dedicated to drug interdiction outside of the state.

Sununu requested 10 additional troopers in his budget address last month, and is now backing five more to focus on cross-border efforts with Massachusetts State Police.

Sen. Jeb Bradley introduced legislation this week to use some of the current year’s surplus to boost the Granite Hammer program by $2.4 million. That’s one-time money, and would need to be matched with permanent funding going forward, if these new troopers are to remain.

We praised Sununu for not using one-time money in his budget for recurring expenses. One-time revenues should be used on one-time expenses, rather than be built into the baseline in future budgets.

Using the surplus to fund new positions may be popular, but it is a departure from sound budget principles. We doubt the need to interdict illegal opioids will go away over the next two years.

If Sununu and the Legislature want to fund more state trooper positions, they should be willing to fund them with base revenues, not from the surplus.

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