The Concord Monitor Editorial Board featured this piece on the “Keno-garten” bill, which would provide additional funding for full-day kindergarten programs with revenue generated from the online lottery game Keno. Here’s an excerpt:
Under the rewritten Senate Bill 191, the state will pay 80 percent of kindergarten adequacy next year, with the rest tied to the success of keno. As Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and Sens. David Watters and Dan Feltes, all Democrats, argued in a Monitor op-ed on Tuesday, even the 80 percent figure is a mirage. There would be nothing to stop the next Legislature from dropping that figure to any other arbitrary percentage it chooses, thus leaving property-tax payers holding the bag. If you don’t think lawmakers would do such a thing, we invite you to read up on the state’s Alcohol Fund, the LCHIP conservation fund and retirement contributions for public employees.
…There are a lot of good people in the New Hampshire Legislature, both Republicans and Democrats, and we know they can do better than this for their constituents. We urge them to see “Kenogarten” as the deeply flawed plan it is and continue working toward a full-day kindergarten compromise that represents true progress. It would be nice if in the near future the phrase “New Hampshire being New Hampshire” referred to fiscal creativity rather than a reflexive reliance on vice as a funding mechanism.