FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 15, 2020
ICYMI: House Republican Leader Objects to Proposed Technology Cost Related to Reconvening Legislature
House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) called on Democrat Speaker Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord) to scrap a proposed plan to purchase electronic voting equipment costing possibly “in excess of $200,000” for when the House reconvenes on June 11th, and seek to be reimbursed by CARES Act funds for that cost.
“I agree that the House should get back to work, but this proposed budget shows poor judgement given the tough times we are facing. We’re asking state and local governments to tighten their belts as we deal with revenue losses due to this crisis, and we have businesses, organizations, and families that need assistance. Spending in excess of $200,000 on handheld voting devices and other equipment for legislators instead of spending those dollars where it's really needed seems insensitive, to say the least. The House operated for a century without any electronic voting gizmo, and spending this amount at this time is blatantly wasteful considering CARES Act money could go somewhere where it is needed more. We need to get back to work, and we need to pursue the safest, and most economical way to do the people’s business, not the flashiest.”
Background: The attached letter from the General Court Chief Operations Officer outlined the potential expense for reconvening the legislature.