The Devil's in the Details (Like Hampton Beach Security) When it Comes to State Budget

Mar 2, 2017

House finance members are continuing to draft their version of the next two-year state budget – a process involving hundreds of pages and thousands of individual spending items.

But some budget items take up a little more time than expected.

House budget writers Wednesday went through Gov. Chris Sununu's spending proposal for the Department of Safety, which included more than 100 items. Among the proposals to take up a large chunk of the discussion was one that amounts to less than one hundredth of one percent of the total state budget. 

The question? Whether to pay state police to provide security at Hampton Beach during the summer. Some lawmakers, including House Finance Chair Neal Kurk, said this should be a purely local affair.

“So if I am having a rock concert at my place in Weare and we are getting 10,000 people there – I don’t need to worry about calling the town police and paying for the detail that’s required," Kurk told the Safety Commissioner.  "I just call up the Commissioner of Safety and say ‘Hey, Hampton Beach West – we got a problem on Friday night, send over the details.’ And then it comes out of the State budget? That’s what you are telling me?," he asked.

The Safety Commissioner says the policy is nothing new – with growing crowds in recent few years, local officers have been stretched too thin.