The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), New Hampshire’s only state-wide funding program to protect important open spaces and our cultural heritage, has had a rough few years. Five years ago a dedicated LCHIP funding source — a $25 fee paid on document recording at the county registries of deeds — was put in place. Since then, the state legislature has repeatedly raided LCHIP’s dedicated funding. To date, more than $10 million of the “dedicated” LCHIP fee has been diverted to the general fund, or almost two thirds of all the funds collected from the fee since its inception.
But Governor Hassan’s budget for the next two years puts LCHIP back on a trajectory towards full funding! Under the Governor’s proposal, LCHIP would receive $1 million from its dedicated fee in the first year, and all fee revenues in the second year (about $4 million). The Governor is clear that the diversion of Land and Community Heritage Investment Program funds for other purposes must not continue. We must work with the NH legislature in the weeks ahead to ensure that this same principled standard is applied to both years of the biennium in a final budget agreement. This is the year we can—and must—finally get LCHIP back on track.
The House Finance Committee will be holding hearings on the budget around the state in the next two weeks. Showing up to speak in support of LCHIP will make
a difference! Here are the logistics:
House Finance Committee Budget Public Hearing Schedule
4:00-7:00 Whitefield Regional High School, 127 Regional Road, Whitefield
5:00-8:00 Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst Street, Nashua
Monday, March 18
4:30-7:30 Claremont, Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center, 111 South
5:00-8:30 Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield Street, Rochester
Labels: CAN, Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, LCHIP, New Hampshire, NH, Take Action