Governor says constitutional amendment is necessary, Portsmouth Herald, 4/13/12

posted Apr 14, 2012, 2:18 AM by Bill Duncan

By Charles McMahon
April 13, 2012 2:00 AM

GREENLAND — Gov. John Lynch on Thursday reaffirmed his belief that the state should be responsible for education funding, saying there are some in the Legislature who think otherwise.

As guest speaker at the Portsmouth Rotary Club weekly luncheon at Portsmouth Country Club, Lynch addressed several issues, but mainly focused on the state's role in education funding.

"There are some members of the House who believe the state shouldn't have any responsibility for public education," Lynch said to a crowd of more than 100 Rotarians. "That's absurd."

With less than a year until he ends his historic fourth term as governor, Lynch continued to express support for a constitutional amendment that would ensure the state continues to be responsible for funding public education. Lynch said New Hampshire is the only state in the country that is expected to pay the first and last dollar of what is described as an "adequate education."

He said the constitutional amendment would effectively send more money to the communities and the children in the state who need it more than others.

"This affirms the state's responsibility for a public education but allows the state to distribute it to who they believe needs it the most," he said.

Although the constitutional amendment has support in the Senate, Lynch said the debate going on in the House is a stumbling block. Where the discussion will go is unclear, said Lynch, who added he hopes the House embraces the Senate's position.

"With a constitutional amendment, we'll be able to, if the Legislature so chooses, eliminate donor towns permanently and eliminate the statewide property tax."

Lynch said he hopes lawmakers can agree on an amendment to be put on the ballot this November.