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Bar News - March 22, 2013

Nashua to State House: ‘Hands Off Our Court’

The following is an excerpt from the Nashua Telegraph, March 6, 2013, regarding a vote by Division 1 of the NH House Finance Committee to recommend consolidation of Hillsborough County Superior Court, thus eliminating Superior Court operations from Nashua. The NH Bar Association has joined in opposing the measure.

"To be fair, we don’t envy the task of House budget writers as they look to cut $80 million from the governor’s budget proposal – $80 million that would do a lot to restore some of the cuts imposed on education, hospitals and social services by the previous Legislature.

"But stripping the state’s second-largest city of its superior court for relatively cheap money – last year’s bill projected savings of roughly $310,000 by fiscal year 2016 – has no business being in the committee’s final proposal.

"Even if those savings proved to be true, they would be more than offset by the economic damage done to the city’s downtown, increases in travel and overtime costs for area police departments, and the personal and financial hardship borne by victims of crimes forced to find transportation to Manchester.

"It was a bad idea in 2011. It was a bad idea in 2012. And it’s still a bad idea in 2013."

Editor’s note: Judicial Branch officials, including Chief Justice Linda Dalianis, have said that they had nothing to do with legislators’ revival of this cost-saving measure, first proposed by the court two years ago.

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